30/03/2007

A SLIP OF A FINGER, A MASSIVE PR GAFF

You must read the Microsoft memo on Wired writer Fred Vogelstein that the Redmond giant's PR company accidentally emailed to Fred Vogelstein. Man, as a reporter, you just dream of documents like that falling into your hands. I've been CCed in on emails I shouldn't have been and got some juicy tidbits in the process, but never the motherlode that landed in Vogelstein's inbox.

The reporter is, as you'd expect, beaming. Not only is it a great story, the memo also shows him up as a thorough reporter that Microsoft are scared of. That's because Vogelstein is a very good tech reporter, he did a great piece on how Yahoo blew it, in the January issue of Wired.

The memo shows a couple of interesting things - the fastidiousness with which Microsoft and its PR team planned for the interviews with Vogelstein - they really wanted to cover every base as a good PR team should, but their level of analysis of Vogelstein's reporting methods is a little creepy.

It also shows the thoroughness required in putting together a Wired article, a level of research we simply aren't able to complete writing here in New Zealand on 40 cents a word. I'm not sure what Vogelstein's word rate is, but he's probably on a special deal, earning more than a US$1 a word. For a $5000 word article, that lets him work on it solely, for a month or more.

Vogelstein blogs on the incident himself here.

Also, a couple of interesting stories in the Herald. According to AC Nielsen, we're bigger online shoppers than the Australians. That will be down to Trademe and the airlines which I suspect would account for 90 per cent of ecommerce traffic in New Zealand. Still, good to see we're getting comfortable with the medium.

Another story about the music industry complaining about music piracy. Aparently Bic Runga's last album only sold 50,000 copies because people are downloading it for free. I'm sure piracy has had some impact, but it doesn't change the fact that our outdated copyright law has to change.

The currently proposed two year sunset clause on the much-needed format shifting provision has to go and attempts to criminalise methods of circumventing anti-piracy measures is a potential minefield the Government should not be enshrining in legislation. The new legislation won't change the rate of piracy which may not be at the high level the industry claims (1 legal song to 42 illegal), but is neverthless very high. The music industry's busniess model has to change to keep up with this runaway train.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Awesome stuff! Good read. Somebody is very red-faced somewhere