SAP confuses bloggers with journalists
At its TechEd event today, SAP made a big point of inviting bloggers to its press and analyst conference. The bloggers were all from companies in SAP’s developer network and included Robert Scoble, now at Podtech. Sources tell me the bloggers in the pack stuck to softball questions – such as what the SAP developer of the future would look like – and left the tougher questions to the journalists.
So should SAP be applauded for embracing bloggers in this way? In this case, I think not. The bloggers in question were all part of SAP’s ecosystem and therefore not impartial. Surrounding yourself with a sympathetic audience might seem attractive, but you’ll end up isolated from reality. Love them or hate them, journalists perform an important role in asking the hard questions that force companies to substantiate claims and confront the facts.
I’m not saying that SAP shouldn’t embrace its blogging partners, but don’t confuse them with the media. I can’t imagine that the journalists in the audience were happy with the situation. And I reiterate my point from an earlier posting: “citizen journalism is no substitute for the traditional media with professional writers, editors and codes of conduct.”
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