NYTimes: Haven't Quite Figured Out This Online Conversation Thing
from the extra-attention dept
There’s been some controversy in the past over the question of whether or not GM understands new media. While some have said they don’t, it seems increasingly clear that they understand it quite well — better than many in the old media, in fact. The latest example of this concerns a spat with the New York Times and its columnist Tom Friedman. Friedman apparently wrote a piece blasting GM. We’d link to it here, but, of course, the NY Times is working hard to keep their best columnists out of the discussion. In fact, they apparently want them so far out of the discussion that they won’t let those disparaged by those columnists respond in kind via the traditional “letters to the editor.” GM apparently wrote a 490 word response to the Friedman piece, and submitted it to the NY Times, who rejected it as being “too long” (note that the original article was a clean 800 words). GM actually had to go through a series of negotiations, where they agreed to shorten their response to 200 words (well shorter than other letters the NY Times has published). Finally, the NY Times demanded they take out the word “rubbish” in describing Friedman’s arguments. So, what does GM do in response? They post the entire story to their own blog, which is probably going to get a lot more traffic and attention than the NY Times’ “letters to the editor” would have gotten. It’s not clear what world the NY Times thinks it’s living in these days, but trying to limit a response to an attack column in a world where anyone can post online seems somewhat pointless — and, as in this case, pretty much guaranteed to have the opposite effect.