Why would you want to kill exclusives?

I like Steve Rubel. I like Robert Scoble too. Robert’s dead wrong on this one though. For some reason, bloggers seem to think that just because there’s more of us and anyone can contribute the conversation, that somehow everything has to change. Not so.

Perfect example, we just did a major release about 3 weeks ago of FireAnt. We spent a lot of time on the product. The directory was over 4 months in development. There were test sites available to the public about a month prior to release. We seeded the release out to trusted videobloggers and our users groups for the product to get feedback, but we asked all of them to remain quiet. They did. The reason? We wanted to give someone who had traction the exclusive to write about the new release such that we’d get a bit of a bang with our release instead of a gradual dull thud. That exclusive fell to Mike Arrington of TechCruch, and we were not disappointed. He got the exclusive, he was happy, his readers got the scoop the day it was released, and we got extended coverage in the blogosphere echo chamber because we gave a high-profile blogger the exclusive.

Steve groks it. I’m not sure why Chris and Robert seem to think everything has changed. I could have had the exclusive or given it to someone like my good friend Steve Garfield (whose readership/viewership is nothing to sneeze at), but why would I want to release something to my 200 readers and wait for it to maybe disseminate throughout the blogosphere when I can seed it to someone with a much larger and more influential readership? If we had given it to everyone all at once, we would have ended up with that dull thud I was talking about earlier. Somebody has to help control the noise, and a little bit of PR and marketing savvy can go a long way to doing that.

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