Via Vanity Fair (and others) we learn of a tweet fight between former technology analyst and CEO of the Business Insider site, Henry Blodget, and Reuters’ financial journalist and blogger Felix Salmon.
It all started when Salmon poked fun – via Twitter – at Blodget’s business model and the way Business Insider had illustrated a banking story with a picture of two women kissing.
This kicked off a long dispute between the two over media strategy; not a simple old vs new spat, but an untangling of ethical issues for online publishers.
Never to miss a traffic opportunity, Blodget has posted the entire conversation on Business Insider here, in the form of a slideshow.
Blodget, fond of tweet by tweet mini-essays, also responded with a posting on business models.
Salmon then responded here, in length, on the Reuters blog.
Blogger and journalist Mathew Ingram has a thoughtful post on the whole episode at this link. An extract:
So what are smart online media outlets doing? Two things: One is focusing on building businesses such as conferences and events, as well as subscription-based, proprietary content (something Business Insider is also experimenting with). The other – and this is what I think Salmon was driving at – is thinking about traffic and pageviews in a different way. Not all pageviews are the same, and as a result not all CPMs are the same. Does forcing readers to click through multiple pages to view a slideshow add any real value? No. This is the digital equivalent of newspapers throwing extra copies into a ravine (or dumping them at a taxi stand) to boost circulation.
And elswhere on Twitter: Gawker’s founder Nick Denton backs Blodget, while writer Andrew Keen calls for the Business Insider CEO to return to Wall Street.