OlyBLOG.com is targeted at small and midsize business owners, while publications like "The Courier" and "The Sun" are published for general readership. I've reported frequently that Olympic frenzy and the real estate market go hand in hand in EVERY Olympic region in the free world. Not only have I sent this message to literally thousands and thousands of SMBs, but I also often copy media across Canada when it is appropriate. Interestingly, SMBs seem to get it, unlike some media.
Considering my unwavering position, it still surprises me that mainstream media can't, or won't connect the dots. What's wrong with you guys? Why do you want to even flirt with perpetuating that mainstream media ranks high on the list of the "most mistrusted" right down there with used car salespeople, realtors and politicians? Considering that newspapers find it increasingly difficult to maintain marketshare, don't you think it might be a good idea to rethink the way you do business? Music companies took the same position and look where it got them. MP3 and peer-to-peer cleaned their clocks. The internet is slowly doing the same to newspapers, television and radio. Your business model is outdated.
Here's the scoop. Newspapers sell billions of dollars of
advertising to the real estate industry. When the Olympics come to town
it temporarily boosts everyone's confidence and they go on buying sprees
fueled by real estate sharks who know the window is narrow. Artificially
inflating real estate values is unconscionable. I have no problem with
newspapers selling as much space as they possibly can to developers and
real estate firms, but in order to maintain journalistic integrity, it
is also necessary for said media to also disperse an equal amount of information
that clearly describes what happens when the market is artificially inflated.
Staying silent, as you have for the most part up until recently is unethical.
For every ad that Bob Rennie bought over-hyping the big "W",
media should have presented an alternative view relating how ad campaigns
supported by advertorials, and in conjunction with compliance selling
techniques, undermine the social fabric of our community, but they didn't,
for obvious reasons - money. Media won't tell a balanced story because
if you do, developers won't buy ads from you.
OlyBLOG.com is in business to help SMBs profit, and not necessarily
to improve or protect society, however, when mainstream media hurts the
community it hurts all of our businesses, so by default it is in our best
interest to protect our community. We are not in competition with mainstream
media, and they would never hear a peep out of us if they reported more
fairly. We don't need them to get our message out. We have direct access
to our market, but it would be nice if they at least occasionally told
both sides of the story. So far, in the last two years, I can only recall
a couple of instances of mainstream media representing the real-world,
everyday challenges of gold medal frenzy. (Bashing the Games doesn't count
- that strategy is referred to as "necessary illusion" by Noam
Regardless of what VANOC currently thinks, they need
small and midsize businesses, and they need to ensure that SMBs
succeed at a hometown level, because if they don't, SMBs now hold the
power to wreak absolute havoc on the Games like nothing the IOC has ever
experienced at any stage in history. We are not asking the IOC, VANOC
and mainstream media to treat our community with more respect. We are
telling them to either do it or suffer the consequences.
OlyBLOG.com is unique, and the first such business (in the world) to take the stance we do, but guaranteed, we will not be the last. In fact, as we approach 2010 and the local and national community becomes more and more frustrated, everyone will want to know what to do to prevent the economic thrashing that Athens, Salt Lake City and Turn recently experienced. Unfortunately, based on the story mainstream media is telling so far, it could be too late. It's like cancer. It's best to be preventative by eating properly. Instead, media encourages gluttony.
Recently, The Courier and The Georgia Straight took shots at The Vancouver Sun. Thank you for finally recognizing what OlyBLOG has been telling our readers for the last two years. I have a request though - keep it up, because when one apple goes bad it eventually ruins the whole bushel, and whether The Courier and The Straight realize it, you guys are all baked into the same pie.
On June 2, 2006, "The Courier (K&K)" criticized "The Sun" for overstating the obvious regarding rising property values, but they still failed to connect the dots and attribute it, at least in part, to Olympic frenzy. Our research indicates that the "insane" rise in property values here is not a result of anything proactive our politicians have done. It's more about what they haven't done, which is to responsibly educate the public regarding impact of Olympic frenzy. All of North America experienced unprecedented hikes in property values. Unfortunately B.C.'s hike was "obscene," which is now translating into economic hardship. Considering that politicians took responsibility for the rise in property values, would they like to also take responsibility for the downside of their supposed actions?
The Georgia Straight (June 1-8 edition) ran a headline that read, "Error-riddled Sun irks editor" It's about time someone said what the rest of us have been thinking for years. The Sun is notorious for grammatical, spelling and sometimes factual errors. The Straight informed us that Sun managing editor, Kirk LaPointe, sent a message to all staff advising them to shape up or ship out. Charlie Smith, who wrote the article for The Straight, did a great job as usual, but it would have been truly helpful if he took it to the next level and also explored The Sun's "philosophy" for reporting the news. LaPointe is worried about spelling mistakes when he should really be worrying about bias. The great thing about the article in The Straight is that it reveals a lot about the atmosphere in the newsroom at The Sun. According to LaPointe, there exists a "pattern of preventable mistakes", and it seems he is blaming his staff. Funny, I always thought the quality of writing was excellent at the Sun. I do however have serious reservations about management.
Besides questionable management, here's what I think is happening
at The Sun and why LaPointe is blaming the soldiers in the trenches.
Four words -- capitalizing on Olympic frenzy. Based on our research, The
Vancouver Sun is hands down the favorite to become an Olympic news
sponsor. (In this era of transparency it's not necessarily a good thing,
so the rest of you shouldn't feel snubbed. Do you really want to deal
with me, and at least 100 others locally, plus who knows how many internationally,
over the next four years?) I've not seen any official indication that
The Sun is working towards this end, but unofficially, and based
on how they relate stories regarding real estate values, they seem to
be in "sucking up" mode.
The irony regarding LaPointe's missive to his staff is that NO WON REELY CAIRS THAT MUCH ABOUT SPELING AND GRAMER ANYMOR. R U 4 real krc? WEE DONT KARE. WE DO HOWEVER CARE ABOUT THE CONTENT. GET THE CONTENT RIGHT AND WE WILL LET EVERYTHING ELSE SLIDE. Spell it any way you want. We'll figure it out. Complaining about spelling at The Sun is like sanding rust off the hull of the Queen of the North. The ship doesn't need a paint job. It needs to be raised from the deep. In this era of text messaging and SMS, spell it as you see it, but make sure the message is right and that the information you share is complete. While you're at it, could you also beef up the Monday paper and add a Sunday edition?
One of the great things about the internet is that it makes it easy to keep an eye on mainstream media. In 2003, we kept track of errors we saw in the Sun. It started as a lark, but eventually we did it for a couple of business reasons. We did it partially as a legal strategy to demonstrate professionalism and accuracy on a national level (you never know when someone will want to launch a class action suit in 2011). The second reason was to demonstrate to SMBs today that what they read in mainstream media should not be trusted. Needless to say, after a short period it became apparent that minor spell check stuff was immaterial, so we focused solely on content. All you have to do is click through the links below to see some of the observations we've made over the last year or so.
A turning point for us came during a media presentation
at SFU when a member of the audience called the Sun the worst paper in
the country. Over the next forty minutes, not one person in the rather
large audience of media professionals and followers challenged the statement.
I thought it was just I who thought this way. Apparently I am not alone.
Learn more about the challenges small
Shouldn't you benefit too?
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