May 05, 2006

Lawsuit Against Maine Blogger Is Withdrawn

Big win for the Media Bloggers Association, as the lawsuit against the Maine blogger is withdrawn. Good job by everyone involved.

Though all the Usual Suspects are doing their set-pieces about Blog-Power, a few days ago, MBA President Robert Cox had a very interesting detailed blog post describing the strategy used:

The real story behind the "Maine Blogger" story is that this blogstorm did not just "happen". I personally spent several weeks developing a media strategy which we launched last Thursday morning. The original goal was to get the story in front of 3-5 mm people by Friday night. We easily surpassed that figure and the number continues to grow.

Once we were ready to drop the story, I reached out to the membership of the Media Bloggers Association with an "MBA Legal Alert" and they responded in force. Hundreds of bloggers responded to the MBA's request to post on this story and make their readership aware of what was happening in Maine. We also sent out a traditional press release to our "press list" and added in about 100 Maine/Travel media outlets - that's how the Globe got the story. Once the ball was rolling lots of other folks got behind the effort and Lance was a full-fledged bloglebrity.

This kind of blog/MSM media strategy is part of the two-pronged approach we take as part of our Legal Defense Initiative. I think the real story is that this strategy can be - and has been - so effective.

And I agree - it can be, and has been, so effective. But ... it's important to realize just how old-school top-down this is structurally. In fact, scarily so. Work with people who have big megaphones, get them to echo the story, then go up the media pyramid. It's extremely traditional. Now, the powers here were used for good instead of evil. But, still, what if it were the reverse?

It's a good thing if lawsuit-filers have to take into account that their target may become a cause célèbre, and get the support necessary to fight back. But note also that it's mathematically impossible for *all* bloggers to become cause célèbre. There's only so much support to go around. So nobody in particular can count on being supported beforehand.

Ultimately, I think the lesson is that media organization is (still) media organization.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in mba | on May 05, 2006 11:57 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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