Handshake 2.0’s Business Model Is So Web 2.0

From Anne Clelland:

Handshake 2.0’s very business model very thoughtfully walks that very fine line between journalism and public relations that I described in Addressing the Journalism vs. Blogging Debate.

To make that line wide and strong so I can stand firmly on it with both feet, I follow my own advice:  I tell the truth.

Handshake 2.0 is a business news and public relations site.  That means I, and Handshake 2.0’s writers, generate traditional journalism pieces – articles, features, editorials.  That means I, and Handshake 2.0’s writers, generate for our clients non-traditional public relations “creative” because we do social media PR – also termed digital PR – not print.

Like on a print newspaper or magazine page where journalism and “creative” sit side-by-side,  on Handshake 2.0, journalism and PR sit, not side-by-side, but, because it’s a blog, above-and-below.

When we’re writing about a client, we say so.

I oversee the content of the site.  To the best of my ability to determine so, the content is accurate. If I'm uncertain about what a company is doing or why, we won't cover it, even if they would like to become a paying client.

Here’s an example of a business news journalism piece from Handshake 2.0:  Clicking Back Over the Years – Most Wired Town in America.

Here’s an example of a public relations piece from Handshake 2.0 for one of our clients:  Sheriff of FurnishWEB.

Do you know why I founded Handshake 2.0?  Because I couldn’t help it.  I’m a fan.  I’ve lived fifty years on the planet and I’m as starry-eyed about people and what they create as ever.  Handshake 2.0 showcases and celebrates people and what they create in business. 

To complicate things, here’s an example of the tossed salad of Web 2.0-social media-digital media-journalism-PR:  a free blog post we offer regional businesses – a Handshake 1.0 – because I’m a fan.  A pic and company descriptions from the featured companies’ Web sites.  We don’t write it, so it’s not journalism, and they don’t pay, so they’re not clients.

And get this:  Handshake 2.0 is a nine-month start-up.  To generate the first content for the site, we would feature a company in a blog post – even though my mother told me not to - by giving it away for free.  We’ve got lots and lots and lots of companies on Handshake 2.0 that aren’t clients.

As I wrote in a post about the potential intern who asked, "What do we do?", the business plan I write in the morning is obsolete by the afternoon.

Can you tell I'm passionate about being a part of the uncertain, fast-paced change and evolution of online business – with all its ethical complexities – through Handshake 2.0?

Thanks to Lindsey Eversole, Member Services Manager, VT KnowledgeWorks, for her camera work.

May Day Greetings from the New River Valley
Addressing the Journalism vs. Blogging Debate


  1. Anne,
    At at time when traditional reporting, marketing and PR are changing at the speed of a tweet, it seems to me you are standing at the doorway of all that is new and all that is to come with your arms open wide in welcome, ready to shake the hands of all who enter.

    It’s a good place to be.
    – Kelly


  2. As Lindsey Eversole said the site is a great showcase for great stories, what ever you call it, and whatever the business model is. With Handshake 2.0 there’s no hidden wires, no smoke or mirrors – I applaud your candor, others should be as open about their agendas and models as you are.

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