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Tech Blog – How Not to Respond to Local Bloggers if you’re a Newspaper March 10, 2011

Posted by acusumano in : Assignments , trackback

Here’s a controversial one for you.

The West Seattle Herald posted an article essentially downplaying the importance of bloggers that, in many respects was the equivalent of an old man telling a bunch of teenagers to get off of his lawn.

20th Century Fox

The anonymous piece (which perhaps said it all) included such nuggets of wisdom as:

Instead of 3000 words about a community council meeting that was ‘live blogged’ with updates every seven minutes, wouldn’t you honestly prefer 300 words that tell you what happened and what was decided?

And in what would make Professor Klein burn the West Seattle Herald offices to the ground, the author even lamented the use of links in online stories.

The article does raise some good points, particularly about the effectiveness of advertising between the mediums. But a rebuttal from the Blog Herald (which, incidentally, displays a number of smart Web-writing techniques) courtesy of Thord Daniel Hedengren presents a wise argument against the West Seattle Herald’s techniques.

While I probably wouldn’t read a liveblogged council meeting, I still find this offensive. Let’s say I’m really interested in local politics but can’t attend, then the live blog is a great way to keep up to date as it happens. Is it the perfect way to cover a council meeting? No, of course not, but it is live and happening right now.

Hedengren loses some credibility by going over the top and suggesting readers cancel their West Seattle Herald subscriptions but it’s still an interesting conversation between two sources who are obviously in complete opposition when in an ideal world they would be working together.


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