Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

MediaWatch Monday: 2 Years on from Die! Press Release! Die!Die! Die!

Posted by Tom Foremski - January 21, 2008

Evolving the news release with microformats...Die-Press-Release.jpg

When I wrote Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die! nearly two years ago, it got a lot of attention and a lot of work has gone into creating a more modern news release that includes much of the media technologies that make up Internet 2.0.

Chris Heuer, Shel Holtz, Brian Solis, Todd Defren and Shannon Whitley are some of the many people that have worked hard to bring attention to new formats for a press/news release, which is sometimes called a new media release, or a social media release.

We are still far from what I described in the original post:

In most news stories, the spin or angle, is set by the journalist in the first couple of paragraphs.
Much of the rest of the news story is factual: what the CEO said, when the company was founded, where it is based, the stock price, the specs of a product, the price, etc, etc, etc...

Deconstruct the press release into special sections and tag the information so that as a publisher, I can pre-assemble some of the news story and make the information useful...

The tags would be things like: recent share price, founders, first quarter revenues, analyst quotes, etc...

And because we are dealing with tags that are attached to facts--there is no spin so there is no problem in printing the information as it is received. If we can get the tags to be finely tuned, as a publisher, I could spec out a story and assemble it automatically and then quickly edit it by hand before publishing.

Read more here...Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die!

We are far from this vision but we have the technology to do this. It is because it requires a cultural change and we know that culture is always slow to change. And so we have to be patient.

In the meantime, Shannon Whitley has done some excellent work on creating those tags I mentioned, which in Geek speak are called microformats. He has been part of the hRelease Working Group and has done a stellar job in producing the basis of a standard.

Now we just need to have people start using it and refining it.

Just before the holidays, a few of us got together to do a New Media Release podcast that discusses microformats. From For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report

Content summary:The usual suspects: Chris Heuer, Shel Holtz, Tom Foremski, Brian Solis and Shannon Whitley. Shannon runs down the recently-released pre-specification working document, which needs your input. The group discusses the flurry of posts taking pro and con positions about the social media release.

You can listen to it here.

Shel provides some reference materials:

Working document referenced by Shannon Whitley.

The new Social Media Release site

Google Groups mailing list for New Media Release discussion

hRelease wiki

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