Reading blogs is a strange thing. People talk about completely different subjects but the threads of their arguments and observations often cross over and get all wound up.

Today I have been reading Tom Murphy’s piece about the lack of PR content in PR blogs (guilty as charged gov) and Simon Collister’s piece on the future of Myspace News. So, remembering that this is supposed to be a PR blog, I thought I’d link the two.

How does the rise of UGC news sites affect the PR pro? Assuming that Myspace news is successful, and that Digg continues to grow we will be looking at a situation within the next few years where UGC news will be providing a serious alternative to traditional media.

Obviously then, our much vaunted “excellent relationships with key editors” will count for allot less and instead of key people we will need to be forging relationships with key communities. We’ve always tailored our output to a particular journalist (or more recently a blogger,) now we will have to learn to understand news communities, watch the behavior of serial posters and commenters etc…

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges to PR posed by the emerging UGC news sites is the lack of control. We aren’t used to letting go of the message and we will have to get used to it.

I read somewhere that “the first half of the C20th was all about production, the second all about branding but the first half of the C21st will be about legitimacy.” I think it’s interesting to see how these new technologies are helping that transition.