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Friday, August 24, 2007

Newspapers' Online Flops and Failures

Here's an interesting article from Editor and Publisher, for all you Vermont media types who tell me you read my blog.

Joe Strupp does an informative survey of pitfalls for newspapers to avoid online.

Lesson One? Blogs can backfire.

At The Roanoke (Va.) Times, editors noted that readers are not always that interested in what their fellow readers are saying, at least not on a regular basis. Online Editor John Jackson set up 10 online columns by local residents in 2003, finding maybe three got any real reaction. "They weren't writing about things that a whole lot of people were interested in," he says, citing a graphic artist who described life in that job. "One guy wrote about stuff he saw on the side of the road, and he would hand-write it and we would scan it in."

This reminds me of the RH/TA Reader Roundtable experiment. And of our own Jazz Mafia blog. It's more difficult than you might think to train people to blog. And to figure out what's interesting. Hard to know what will work until you try it!

UPDATE: Here's a few thoughts on how CNN is getting online news right

August 24, 2007 at 11:50 AM in Media/Keeping an eye on the competition | Permalink


Doc Searls has a great list of suggestions for how newspapers can be more successful in the online space. The LA Times just ran a piece on journalism and blogging, which includes a great list of blogger journalists.

Posted by: Justin | Aug 24, 2007 3:50:11 PM

Perhaps papers should engage folks who are already blogging to do some blogging for them, obviating the need for blog training. Just thinking out loud (and trying to get some freelance work!).

Posted by: bill simmon | Aug 24, 2007 7:14:00 PM

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