I was going to do this post about the wonders of PR–but after checking it out, I see it’s really about the perils of editing.
The San Francisco Chronicle business section includes “The Tech Chronicles”–portions of a similarly named blog, one of a bunch of blogs that the Chron runs on SFGate (which has a fair amount of original content). Most of today’s stuff comes from the Web2.0 conference, not surprisingly. One short item begins something like this:
Switching back and forth between e-mail and instant messaging is annoying, to say the least. Yahoo plans to address that frustration by giving users access to the two services in the same browser window. The free Yahoo Mail service, to be released in the next few months, will meld e-mail and instant messaging. No download necessary.
…and goes on to note that the revised Yahoo Mail will show you who else is online at the moment, so you can chat with them right from the mail application!. What a neat idea.
Now, I like Yahoo, really I do–and, apart from search, it’s beating Google on most fronts (mail, social space, overall visits). But, you know, the combined mail/IM application had a certain ring of familiarity to it, something like Gmail.com.
So, I was going to say, “isn’t that great! PR can make ‘we’re going to do it TOO’ sound like a brand new idea!”
Except that the newspaper version left out the final paragraph of the SFGate item:
Google, which has far fewer e-mail users than Yahoo, recently combined its Google Talk instant messenger with Google Gmail.
So the reporter, Verne Kopytoff, got it right: It’s still a good story, given the reach of Yahoo Mail, but it’s not an entirely new idea. Too bad that last para. didn’t make it into the paper (or at least not my copy).