10:38:52 PM # your two cents 
10:33:18 PM # your two cents 
10:32:31 PM # your two cents 
10:26:31 PM # your two cents 
10:16:32 PM # your two cents 
I got a press release from a privacy group dangling this as a story -- although the company wasn't named, one could make a fair guess it would be Amazon. The enticement to the conference call was to find out who the company was. I'm not sure how I feel about that kind of tabloid-esque (almost gleeful) approach to such issues -- especially regarding child privacy -- though I'd guess this particular story got more attention because some journalists would be eager to Have All Revealed at the conference call. Nonetheless I think a normal press announcement of the issue, including naming the company and a time for a conference call, would have been a better and more professional and serious approach. Here's News.com's take: Is Amazon.com no place for kids?. A dozen privacy groups collectively charge Amazon.com with violating federal child privacy protection, filing a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. [CNET News.com] UPDATE: Actually, I see the enticement was to get the full letter, naming the company, at 9am on the website, with a conference call to follow at 11 am EST. Which doesn't much change the overall scenario nor my feelings about it.
Further thoughts: one commentator wonders if I am complaining about this method of revealing the story because it makes journalists come back to find out more -- eg, adding more work to the hack's day. No, most press releases demand further work -- phone calls, conference calls, attending an event. I need to clarify. I am bothered that a story is being dangled as bait. The reward of coming back the next day, being to find out who did the nasty things implied in the advance release. It's a kind of informational striptease, predicated on catching the journalistic interest early by promising the revelation at some later point (it also tips a journalist off to make space for the story in the next day's publication). But this is a flirty approach usually used to sell products. Here, it demeans the subject at hand, which is the potentially dangerous availability of private data about children, online. Maybe others aren't bothered. The reality is, that this would be a good story and most journalists would respond to an announcement on the day. That's our job. We don't -- or shouldn't -- need advance teasers for a story with potentially serious implications.
11:22:24 AM # your two cents 
11:13:04 AM # your two cents 
11:12:08 AM # your two cents 
Ireland came out tops as the country a sample of European tech executives think is most likely to become the tech centre/Silicon Valley of Europe. Two tech-based PR companies carried out the survey, Eurocom and Simpson, and it's a small-ish sample, but nonetheless interesting. From the press release today:
The survey, which was conducted in the first quarter this year, covered 147 senior executives in technology companies in 12 countries in Europe including Ireland. Almost one in five (19 per cent) backed Ireland followed by Germany (14 per cent) and UK (8 per cent).
"The results are significant as respondents were not allowed to vote for their own country," commented Ronnie Simpson (Simpson Financial & Technology PR). "This suggests that the Government's policy of positioning Ireland as a major European high tech centre is working."
IT security, CRM and Wireless Telecommunications are the technologies most likely to drive growth in the technology market according to the Eurocom survey.
11:10:23 AM # your two cents 
Copyright 2003 Karlin Lillington
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