A quick post on a strange phenomenon I’ve noticed recently in the Wall Street Journal. In the past month, I’ve seen two of my friends from the SEM world quoted in the paper – Ellen Siminoff, CEO of Efficient Frontier, and Matt Schnuck, CEO of Trouve Media.

Now both Ellen and Matt are clearly experts on SEM – Ellen being an early Yahoo exec and the CEO of the biggest bid management company on the planet, and Matt being an early Quinstreet employee and the CEO of a very successful online lead generation company. So you might think that there is nothing unusual about either of them getting quoted as experts in a major media publication.

The strange thing here, however, is that both are being quoted as the “average man”, in stories without any focus on paid search. Ellen was quoted a few weeks ago as a user of the new travel Web site, Yapta.com (which, by the way, does sound pretty cool). Matt, on the other hand, appeared yesterday as a “wedding attendee” of a guy who uploaded his wedding video online.

Granted, both of these stories have something to do with the Internet, but in neither case is it revealed that Ellen and Matt are actually Internet experts. It would be like doing a story about the NBA and interviewing “sports fans” Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.

For the record, I don’t really have an angle on this post – I am not criticising the WSJ for quoting search experts in non-search stories (and for that matter, if they want to quote me on any random issue, I have an opinion on everything . . .). I suspect that a writer at the Journal use to write a lot about search and made some connects in the industry as a result.

The next time I read their “money and investing” section and see a quote from “small business owner” “Donald Trump”, I may be a little more skeptical.

1 Comment

  1. terry June 1st, 2007

    I must say, I catch your posts mainly through the news alerts at Google, but I always enjoy your commentary.

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David Rodnitzky
David Rodnitzky is founder and CEO of 3Q Digital (formerly PPC Associates), a position he has held since the Company's inception in 2008. Prior to 3Q Digital, he held senior marketing roles at several Internet companies, including Rentals.com (2000-2001), FindLaw (2001-2004), Adteractive (2004-2006), and Mercantila (2007-2008). David currently serves on advisory boards for several companies, including Marin Software, MediaBoost, Mediacause, and a stealth travel start-up. David is a regular speaker at major digital marketing conferences and has contributed to numerous influential publications, including Venture Capital Journal, CNN Radio, Newsweek, Advertising Age, and NPR's Marketplace. David has a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. with honors from the University of Iowa. In his spare time, David enjoys salmon fishing, hiking, spending time with his family, and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, not necessarily in that order.