Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: PR and reviewing Frontier

Author:Russell Lipton
Posted:6/3/2000; 11:29:20 AM
Topic:scriptingNews outline for 6/3/2000
Msg #:17549 (In response to 17548)
Prev/Next:17548 / 17550

Keeping to the PR/news coverage dynamic, I see a need for something that is O'Reilly like but news- and conversationally-driven FIRST, rather than a publishing house (and, of course, they sell software too). Slashdot-alikes are in the ballpark, I spose, but there is a perfectly acceptable lack of even remotely conventional packaging to them (given their missions) that take them off the radar screen of conventional media.

The major environments-tools for collaborative authoring (Frontier, Zope, PHP, Domino et al plus the cool eccentric ones like StorySpace) deserve consistent, repeated, analytic coverage as do the protocols so critical as glue to tie them together (SOAP, XML-RPC ...).

Not deserve, require.

Their stories can't be told in PR bites. On the other hand, the Web lends itself to re-iteration over time. Between press releases and books lies a lot of usable turf.

Jon Udell does a bang-up job most of the time - he is sharing his ongoing explorations, discoveries and analyses of "things that matter" as published in a variety of venues. (You might get in touch with him if not already connected).

It's not mainly a matter of geekishness, but integrity that is required here. PR people who treat it as a profession (there used to be such), not to mention technical "journalists" can find the time - and have the brains - to understand these matters adequately enough to be of use to all of us. This is what their "time" is for ....

While there are a lot of nonsense demands on them to regurgitate PR formulas and repeat the stale conventional wisdom they heard last month over a beer, the shrewd ones need to understand that the way to differentiate themselves (they are their own brand, after all) from the pack is to (mirabile dictu!) function ... as ... real ... journalists.

The one concrete suggestion I would make for Userland is this - time permitting (ha!), an evolving Frontier-Manila white paper that covers "synthetically" the development of the software in parallel with the evolution of the supporting protocols might spark glimmers of recognition in the media.

Even better, do it as a tiny but distinct Frontier site, with versioning of a hard-copy white paper (or three) emerging from that. This could be a case study in electronic authoring while providing accessible stuff to the media rabble. If you give them media-only access to Frontier staff (and selected third-party Frontier gurus) for discussion, they will feel even more special.

I'm sounding sarcastic here, but these thoughts are seriously offered FWIW.

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