You probably already know this by now, but last night Jim Romenesko — a man widely respected in the media world — resigned early after a ridiculous piece by Poynter’s Julie Moos went up during the day. In the article, Moos attacked Romenesko for the very thing everyone thinks he does the best: Crediting sources and linking.
Moos’ take was so off base and wrong that everyone immediately lashed out at it and her. Romenesko was taken aback by it too, so he quit earlier than he planned to, telling the New York Times, “This really did throw me for a loop.”
A loop is putting it lightly and politely. Romenesko was Poynter, and for them to do that to him was almost surreal. We hope Moos enjoyed writing that, because now that Romenesko is gone, the site’s traffic will disappear too. But enough from us, let’s take a look at some of the best reactions from around the blogosphere.
Romenesko’s entire practice was about giving credit, in ways that virtually no other blog has been, a position that “Romenesko+” does not embrace as strongly. Poynter has worked systematically to erode a fairly noble, not particularly money-making thing as it works to boost “engagement” and whatever other (highly transitional!) web “best practices” are being touted at the heinous “online journalism” conferences that regularly go on.
Many journalists saw the aggregating Mr. Romenesko did in his early-morning posts as the best real estate in American journalism to promote their work. They would send him links to their stories and encourage him to summarize them. So the idea that anyone could think he was somehow trying to take credit for work that wasn’t his rang false.
David Carr, also of the Times, tweeted, “We all know @Romenesko could not be bought, rented or spun. So he gets pilloried for lack of quote marks? Stay classy, Poynter.” Peter Kafka, of All Things D, took to Twitter to show his disbelief as well, writing, “Unable to fathom Poynter Romenesko kerfuffle, except that from what I can tell it is *not* a parody. I think.”
Jim Romenesko is a KING of the blogosphere. He’s the kind of person you should be looking to as an exemplar of best practices in the blogosphere. If your guidelines go against what Jim is doing, then there might well be something wrong with your guidelines.