"Hey, honey, I've got a great idea for Friday night! Whaddya say we go home and read some generic user-generated blogs tonight?! Sound like fun?" (Flickr photo by larryfishkorn/CC/With permissions)
HIGH-QUALITY NON-STAFF BLOGS SHOULD RUN IN THE WEBSITE (AND PAPER) SECTION PERTAINING TO THEIR TOPIC.
When was the last time your colleagues said they were heading out for a wild weekend of reading generic user-generated blogs?
No one (in their right mind) reads blogs just because some other reader wrote them.
And yet, that’s what editors must think because they keep putting ALL reader-written blogs together on one big web page (ghetto), whether those bloggers are writing about knitting or martial arts or kitty cats or Jesus. How fascinating. How compelling. Continue reading
“It’s the economy, stupid” worked for Clinton.
“It’s the placement, stupid” would work for newspapers’ in their efforts to make user-generated content successful.
But most newspaper websites place (“bury”) user-created stuff in UGC ghettos nowhere near the subjects they’re blogging or vlogging about.
If newspapers treated their own content the way they treat users’ content, there would a newsroom revolt and website anarchy. There would be no “news,” “sports,” “entertainment,” or “opinion” tabs. Everything would go under two tabs: “our stuff” and “your stuff.”
Oh, yeah, reporters (and readers) would LOVE that.
Editors organize and promote their reporters’ and photographers’ best stuff on separate pages by category, displaying it well according to what they think is the best, most compelling stuff.
Not reader blogs. First they bury them, then they don’t promote them, then they gang’em all together with no rhyme or reason.
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.
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