Yesterday Om found a story via WiFiNetNews (now pulled) that talked about Google canceling its Click2Call efforts.
Om pursued the story in true reportorial fashion, and reached out to Google PR for comment. Today he received that return phone call and immediately amplified the story with a new post, and closed off comments to the original posting.
Had this not been the age of the blogs, chances are the story would have been a one day exclusive on a web site, followed by a rapid syndication of the news around the globe. It would have also been Monday or Tuesday before the correction was posted and Google would have taken some hits on Monday by the Wall Street types.
Instead, between Om's corrective action, Michael Arrington's suggesting that this was a hack job of the Google blog site, and the rest of the blog army both covering the news account, then correcting the story as more facts came available, Google has been spared and what's more, all of the j-bloggers (journalist oriented bloggers like Om, Mike, me, etc.) are able to amplify the story, recognize that the hacking is the story, not the false report.
Did any of us err by reporting on it? I think not. The story was first picked up by a reputable and responsible Glenn Fleishman. Om questioned if this was real and called the appropriate news contacts. The rest of us pointed to the story, also referencing that this was a report by Om and not going too deep. I speculated that if this was in fact that perhaps the patent which Microsoft acquired from Teleo could be a reason, more to point out that the Redmond company also plans to play in the space.
Bottom line is the responsible parties in blogosphere worked the story, got to the bottom of the matter and within less than 24 hours, had the facts up and out. The mainstream press could have done this also, but over a weekend, and given the way those sites tend to work, the story would be a day old or more before the correction took hold.