"Hey Mitch, nice interview in La Presse... keep it up."
That's what the email read. I had no clue what the person was talking about. I had not done an interview with the French daily newspaper, La Presse, in Montreal.
I hopped over to the newsstand, grabbed a copy of the Wednesday, July 5th edition and found an article called, A Quelques Pixels De La Bonne Personne, in the La Presse Affaires section under Technology. The article was written by Alain Mc Kenna. Loosely translated the title reads: "only a few pixels away from the right person."
It was an article on online social networking sites like LinkedIn (of which I am a huge proponent). A Quelques Pixels De La Bonne Personne featured an interview with my good friend, Michel Leblanc, from Analyweb. Michel told me later this week that he suggested Mc Kenna check out my Blog, which was a very cool gesture.
If you check out the final published article (I'll make the assumption that the Editors got to it and Mc Kenna had no control), you'll see two things that are frustrating:
First off, the article reads like I was interviewed by Mc Kenna. Essentially, A Quelques Pixels De La Bonne Personne, starts off by explaining what's going on with places like LinkedIn, then has some quotes from Michel and ends with some quotes from me. It does not say that my "quotes" are just translations of Blog postings I did - LinkedIn Made Me Loose My Mind and The Invisible Long Tail Of LinkedIn.
Second, Mc Kenna refers to me only as the Vice-Chair, Quebec for IAB Canada - Interactive Advertising Bureau. While that is one of my many volunteer titles, I don't think it takes too much investigating to uncover that my professional title is President of Twist Image. That being said, I guess the article has much more credibility when it's backed by IAB Canada. Truth is, I have no idea where IAB Canada stands on online social networking, and I certainly don't have the authority to speak on their behalf (La Presse would know that if they had bothered to contact me about the article).
Now don't get me wrong. I'm the first to say that the only bad press is an obituary, and I certainly appreciate the coverage. What rattles my cage is how I was never contacted or asked if it's ok to use to my name, translate my Blog postings or if my IAB Canada volunteer-position title is accurate.
We live in a world where everyone is so hard on Bloggers for not being credible sources and for not doing thorough fact-checking.
And isn't that the irony?
Here is a credible journalist with a well-respected daily newspaper who grabs my Blog postings, translates them and in the final product it look like an actual interview took place with a senior executive from IAB Canada.
I'm flattered and appreciative of the publicity, while at the same time, this article is a shining example of the existing hypocrisy within mainstream media.
You can read the full article here: A Quelques Pixels De La Bonne Personne - La Presse - By: Alain Mc Kenna.
CORRECTION: I just re-read the article and saw that Mc Kenna does say: "Sur son blogue, le vice-president section Quebec du Bureau canadien de la publicite interactive (IAB Canada), Mitch Joel, est pour le moins elogieux." Regardless... great coverage and much appreciated.