Monthly Archives: May 2008

Houston Chronicle is local blogger heaven

Talk about doing it right.

The Houston Chronicle gets it.

Chron.com\'s citizen-generated Faith blogsThey have local bloggers EVERYWHERE on their site, even on their specialty sites: MomHouston.com and HoustonBelief.com (left).

Most importantly, the citizen bloggers are not buried on a “blogs” page. They are incorporated on the theme-appropriate Web page: citizen sports bloggers are on the Sports home page; local political bloggers are on the Politics home page; ditto, Health, Tech, Gardening, Entertainment, even Real Estate!

Not only that, chron.com promotes the most recent local blogger posts prominently on the chron.com home page, right below the main news stories.
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Solving the blogger payment problem


The old dust-up over newspapers (and other media) paying non-staff bloggers for their contributions is being debated on the Center for Citizen Media Blog and only Tish Grier got it right in her comments (“…what’s wrong with just aggregating this content and sharing traffic with local bloggers?”).

I think that’s the answer for newspapers: Aggregate and point off.

It’s a win-win.

Newspapers get great local content (but not all of it), and bloggers get traffic most of them couldn’t get on their own.

If the bloggers optimize their sites and the traffic amounts to even modest numbers, they can make more money than the newspaper would be willing to pay.

From the newspaper’s perspective, it’s not essential to own ALL of the content, only to be able to point readers to it.

The newspaper’s new role is to give readers the opportunity to find the best information in their areas of interest, either geographic (neighborhood) or thematic (sports, movies, news, politics, etc.). Continue reading

Huffington sticks it to the NYT

Arianna Huffington speaking at the 2008 Interactive Media Conference in Las Vegas, May 15. (John Wilpers photo)

How many bloggers would brag that their standards surpass the New York Times?

Arianna Huffington would, and she did.

When asked about the HuffPost’s accuracy standards Thursday, she outlined her 24-hour correct-it-or-lose-your-rights deadline. Then, without skipping a beat, she compared her one-day correction turn-around requirement to the NYT which “took years to issue a mea culpa” for the “lies and distortions” about the lead-up to the Iraq war that it printed on the front page.

Ouch. (Watch below.) Continue reading

Introduction

It’s about time….

I’ve been promoting newspaper collaboration with bloggers (and vloggers, podcasters and readers in general) for more than a year now, but I never found (took) the time to write my own.

No more.

It was embarrassing.

In 2007, I launched the first metro daily newspaper (the recently shuttered BostonNOW) that included bloggers not only on the newspaper’s website but also in the pages of the paper.

But I didn’t have a blog.

I worked with the LA Times over the winter and identified hundreds of local neighborhood and LA-themed bloggers to populate their new local site when they re-launch it.

But I didn’t have my own blog. Bad boy!

So, here I am.

I’ll be looking at newspapers’ use of bloggers/vloggers/podcasters and community building. Who’s trying what? What’s working? What isn’t? Can anyone monetize it? What can we learn from everyone’s efforts?

I’ll be hunting around myself. But if you know of any cutting-edge newspaper blogger initiatives, let me know and we can take a look together and spread the word.

And if you just have ideas about what might work, let me know and perhaps we can convince a newspaper to give it a try!

Coming next: Reporting from the Interactive Media Conference this week (May 14-15) in Las Vegas. Continue reading