Advantage…the media?

Is it one word (linkbait), two words (link bait) or is it hyphenated (link-bait)?  However you slice it, the peeps at Time magazine are linking it all the way to the bank as their publicity stunt of naming anyone involved in UGC (user generated content) as person of the year.

People are always asking how blogging will change journalism and one very demonstrable way is articles like this – high profile link bait written with the sole purpose of increasing the incoming links to a MSM’s web presence. 

This creates a virtuous cycle of increasing the site’s search engine ranking, which makes the rest of the content more “findable” which means  more people are finding it, which means more people are reading it which (deep breath) means more pages are served up.  All of which mean more advertising for the traditional media.

If the MSM are going to doing more link-baiting, will this work against bloggers? 

Blogs have becme influential, ubiquitous even, because of their search engine friendly nature (updated frequently, lots of links going in and out) but if the media are getting smarter about using their superior resources to generate incomging links, will this negate the (unfair? inherent?) advantage that bloggers have had up until now?

Incidentally, Time probably shouldn’t’ve allowed their cover story to directly contradict the creative of the story’s sponsor…(via the always NSFW Gorillamask)

4 Responses to Advantage…the media?

  1. Ed,
    Maybe the media is just slowly wising up to the community aspect of social media? It’s a slow, step-by-step process. So, give ’em time.

  2. Matt Roth says:


    I can’t disagree with you on the baiting aspects to the online version of the story, but I think more importantly is the fact that it’s given citizen media a very prominent spot. Yes, the obvious linkbait to the online version is a clever way to get more people accessing TIME’s site, but remember it will still be the cover story of one of their top issues of the year. The favourability of the article alone and the fact that it aligns social media and its participants with the likes of Clinton, Ghandi, King Jr. etc is nothing to scoff at, even if it’s partially meant to up the hits they receive online. In my opinion, the credibility the article lends to Web 2.0 is far more important than the sleazy, underhanded and EdLeeian tactics of baiting.
    Also, you know I can’t pass up an opportunity to disagree with you on anything.


  3. Ed Lee says:

    Mike – you’re right, it is a slow process but from some of the new biz prospects we are currently working with, I can atest that media companies are becoming more and more curious about social media.

    Matt – from the coverage I’ve seen (by no means representative) there are a few more problems to the story than the one’s you’re disagreeing (out of principle) with.

    1) the story has been done before, and to death
    2) if UGC is the winner why not have chad hurley and steve chen as the people of the year? they, more than anyone this year, truly represent UGC
    3) linkbait is to get people linking to them, not necessarily visiting via those links. in a search engine’s mind, a link from your blog is just as valuable as one from mine or scoble’s
    4) see you in the new year – we can disagree over the sports thing in private rather than the PR thing in public (although I know which one is more gratifying!)


  4. This Chrysler story really does make me laugh. How can people be so obtuse?

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