Tag Archives: bloggers

WHY CAN’T NEWSPAPERS FIGURE OUT HOW TO INCORPORATE QUALITY LOCAL BLOGGERS?

Le Monde's website integrates high-quality non-staff blogs like this one.

Le Monde's website integrates high-quality non-staff blogs like this one.

In my last post, I looked at the failures of newspapers who are trying to do the right thing (incorporate high-quality local bloggers) but failing because they are either opening the doors to everyone (it’s fun but mostly nonsense), they are putting the bloggers in a blogger “ghetto” all by themselves (as if readers were interested in reading any blog), or they are turning their blogger aggregation operations over to an outside company — for example, in the case of the Des Moines paper, to Pluck (note: Chris Snider pointed out in his comments that the Register is doing good work elsewhere on their site; more on that soon).

It’s not like there aren’t great examples of successful blog aggregation staring newspapers right in the face.

The Huffington Post came into Chicago and stole great local bloggers who otherwise might have appeared in the Tribune and driven traffic to the paper's website instead of the interloping HuffPo.

The Huffington Post came into Chicago and stole great local bloggers who otherwise might have appeared in the Tribune and driven traffic to the paper's website instead of the interloping HuffPo.

By embarrassingly stark contrast to clueless newspapers, the Huffington Post came into Chicago and stole the very best local bloggers from under the Chicago Tribune’s nose. HuffPo gave those bloggers an enviably simple and attractive HuffPo URL on one of the most popular sites in the world (e.g., http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-jones, and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-cusack). Continue reading

Nine minutes that could help save your newspaper: How local bloggers can add content, revenue, reach

When I spoke at the International Newsmedia Marketing Association “The Newspaper Outlook Experience” conference in Vienna, Austria last fall, I was interviewed by Artur Karda, multimedia reporter at Media Regionalne, for the Forum4Editors report on the conference.

This is a shot taken during my presentation at the INMA Europe "Outlook" conference in Vienna, Oct. 2008

This is a shot taken during my presentation at the INMA Europe "Outlook" conference in Vienna, Oct. 2008

Artur e-mailed the video to me recently. In it, he poses all the questions I hear from newspaper publishers and editors, and gets it all into a tight 9-minute piece.

I’m putting it up so everyone can hear, in one concise presentation, all the editorial, advertising and traffic arguments for incorporating high-quality local bloggers into newspaper print and online products.

FINDING THE “WORLD’S BEST BLOGGERS” PROJECT AT GLOBALPOST.COM

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I want to introduce you to a very exciting project I am working on as the Director of Global Blog Development for a cool new organization called GlobalPost.com.

It will be the first online-only world news service, and will launch in January with 70 correspondents in 53 countries “to satisfy a growing need for independent, reliable, insightful and up-to-the-minute coverage and analysis of news in every region of the world.”

A pioneer in the development of 24-hour local cable news, former New England Cable News President and founder Phil Balboni came up with the idea with another New England legend, Charlie Sennott, the former veteran Boston Globe foreign correspondent. They have an awesome video about their mission on their home page. Go take a look: <a href=http://www.globalnewsenterprises.com/>

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I approached them over the summer about adding hundreds of local bloggers from around the world to GlobalPost’s corps of correspondents. While the correspondents are great, they can only be in one place at one time. Bloggers are everywhere. And they are very, very local. Continue reading

The Worst “Blind Pews” of U.S. Newspapers, PT II

You might think that as you move down the list of large American newspapers, away from the tradition-laden (tradition-handicapped?) major metros of the east and west coasts (and, OK, Chicago), that you might find a greater connection between a newspaper and its community (e.g., more local bloggers and vloggers on the papers’ websites).

After all, among the 19 largest circulation metro dailies, we only found seven papers that welcomed bloggers — Denver, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Cleveland (hmmm, no east or west coast papers among that group….). It HAD to get better, right?

Wrong.

Sad to say, local bloggers are no more likely to be integrated into daily newspaper websites as you move down to papers below 400,000 circulation.

Of the next 15 largest metro newspapers (numbers 20-34), only five integrate local bloggers (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Portland Oregonian, Indianapolis Star, Orlando Sentinel and San Antonio Express-News).

So, as editors wave goodbye to more and more laid-off, right-sized, bought-out staffers, those editors remain as incapable as “Blind Pew” of seeing the rich content being created all around them. As the old proverb goes, “God protects fools, children and drunkards,” but probably not purblind editors and the newspapers they work for.

THE SECOND TEN “BLIND PEWS” OF AMERICAN NEWSPAPERING
Of the top circulation newspapers in the U.S., these are numbers 11-20 that have chosen to ignore the existence of top-quality bloggers in their midst. (See my Top Ten list here.)
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THE BLIND PEWS: The Top 10 Most Purblind Papers

Blind Pew from It’s time to be name names.

Too many big, ordinarily smart newspapers still refuse to involve high-quality local bloggers and vloggers on their websites and in the pages of their paper in any significant way beyond a lame, well-hidden, token local blogger index page (if that).

Now the thieves are at the door, about to make off with the family jewels (audience and advertising) and newspapers are leaving the doors unlocked and the valuables in plain sight.

Arianna Huffington’s announcement last week that she will be launching 12 local Huffington Posts with aggregated news and local bloggers is only the tip of the iceberg, the flashiest fox in the henhouse. The chairman of the board of one of the top U.S. dailies told me last week that he is seeing a lot of other crafty characters coming into his market looking to steal market share in exactly the same way, and he’s finally ready to act.

It’s time for editors to drop their tired excuses: “Bloggers aren’t journalists,” and “they’re just loonies in jammies,” and “my paper’s reputation will be sullied” (hey, guys, YOU choose which ones to publish!).

Pull in the best local bloggers and vloggers now or lose them and the thousands of folks who follow them, going where they can find the best local content and communities of shared interests.

So, in the spirit of your mom’s classic “I’m only going to tell you once more” warning, here’s a whack upside the head for what I’m calling:

THE BLIND PEWS: AMERICA’S TOP 10 MOST PURBLIND PAPERS Continue reading

Wake up, folks, Huffington is no Backfence

HERE SHE COMES.

If you are a newspaper editor or publisher, and you haven’t worried about Outside.in, YourStreet, Topix, or BackFence (deceased), it’s finally time to worry.

Like Craig Newmark before her, Huffington Post creator Arianna Huffington plans to steal our lunch. In her case, she’s announced she is going to launch at least a dozen local sites, starting with Chicago this summer.

You could ask a stadium full of people if they had ever heard of YourStreet, Topix, BackFence or Outside.in, and you might hear a faint voice or two from the bleachers. You could FILL dozens of stadiums with people who have not only heard about the Huffington Post but have also been there. Like three to eight million people a month, depending on which measurement you believe.

Now Huffington says she’s coming after our most precious asset: our local readers.
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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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