Blurring the Lines Between Business Reporting and Blogging

The Boston Globe's Business Update blog had a post today referencing a Huffington Post piece that plugged a survey about Twitter — specifically, a survey that ranked the most active business people on the micro-blogging service.

The survey, compiled by NetProspex, a Waltham sales and marketing database firm, outlined the top tweeting business cities and how active business people in those active cities were on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

The results are interesting, yet begs to ask three questions:

  1. Might the results indicate where true influence lies on the social web as it relates to business topics;
  2. Does one of the leading newspapers in the world truly consider news about Twitter to be actual news; or
  3. Is this story a ploy to drive page views, content sharing, etc. because of the popularity of Twitter and continued hype around the service?

On one hand, it is interesting to know where social-business influence may reside online, which the results sort of elude to. However, being active doesn't mean you have influence, of course.

On the other hand, it's strange to see a traditional newspaper cover a topic and medium (social media) that continues to play a role in its demise as a breaking news source.

Of course, both of these points may lead one to be of the opinion that the story was covered simple to boost page rank, impact overall site traffic, etc., which, of course, helps with advertising revenue.

Then again, the Globe just reported the results and didn't conduct the survey. And with the gray of what's journalism and what's blogging being pretty vast these days, what's the say the same criticism can be made of HuffPo?

Regardless, it's a tough call as to where the lines of journalism, blogging, page rank juice and plain old PR fluff reside in this case.

What do you think?

Article first published as Blurring the Lines Between Business Reporting and Blogging on Technorati.