The Newspapers have been between the proverbial rock and hard place. Thursday evening NPR aired a report on the perilous predicament papers are in: how to get $$$ when presenting the news online. I don't think it can be accomplished, at least not in this generation. Every newspaper attempt to charge for content has fallen flat. You or I are just not going to pay for it. Period. The people behind the papers seem to think that we can't get news without them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There's TV. There's radio.
Contrary to what newspapermen might believe, broadcast journalists don't have to rely on the papers for stories. In the past two weeks I've used the newspaper as a story source once, maybe twice. Most of my stories have their beginnings in press releases. Don't get me wrong, I love the paper... I read the Times Union, New York Times, Daily News and New York Post, in print and online. But if I was to buy a paper at the newsstand, I would have to be certain it contained material that I really wanted to read. A few years back certain magazines used the soft-porn mag technique of putting shrink-wrap over the paper. You could see the story "teases" or "headlines" on the cover but you couldn't peek. I found that whenever I bought one of these I was always disappointed with the suck-y content! You have to be able to sample, and not the kind of samples the pay newspaper sites used to offer: a few beginning sentences from which you really couldn't tell where the story would take you.
Pale Imitations! So many blogs out there are simply clones of other blogs. Wannabee bloggers are a dime a dozen. Nearly all of the blogs you'll find links to here on my blog have been around for awhile. My all-time favorites are (in no particular order) XiaXue, Michelle Malkin, the Drudge Report and Global Voices. You might argue that the second pair aren't blogs. Well, yes and no. All four have more than proven their worth to me, many times over. Not one of them would ever miss a newspaper, should papers cease to be printed. There's something about a tangible newspaper vs. a cyber-paper. I'd rather have something I could hold in my hand and read without having to turn on a computer or cell phone. Do you readers agree?
Enough about newspapers! Back to blogging! My blog is styled after the four websites listed above. I wanted to give readers 1)personal insights, 2)commentary and news of the day, 3)Links to great reads and 4)offer an aggregator, and although people (myself included) use RSS readers and Google Reader, I still try to upload "Around The Blogosphere" at least 5 days a week. And that's not just for you, it's also a way fro me to catlog and keep URLS for things I may want to go back to. Which brings me to 5)the personal diary or weblog. Admittedly, I don't get as in your face / personal as Wendy or as politically rigid as Michelle, but I do share some things with you, as any good friend would. Sometimes there may be a misspelling or a typo, but, hey - it's just a blog!
Which brings me to things like links and trackbacks and pagerank and comments. All that stuff is part of a blog. These days TWITTER is part of a blog, so I looped twitter via Facebook and into a widget in my sidebar so you can see what I'm doing even if I haven't posted anything here lately.
LINKS are great, but how many bloggers can write posts WITHOUT relying on them? I can! Wendy can! Michelle can!
TRACKBACKS don't seem to be important as they were, say, back in 2005. I still use them once in awhile, but I notice these days most bloggers don't incorporate them.
PAGERANK is another thing. Some place great stock in it. It's nice, another way of measuring a blog's performance, but I can take or leave it... I have may wonderful services on this blog, including MyBlogLog and LibraryThing and Technorati and C-Box. They're all there just to make the connection between me, the net, and you a little easier to navigate and perhaps a little bit stronger.
COMMENTS are nice! I still envy some blogs that manage to log bunches of them and they get very "forum" like or turn into a "discussion board" which is something I've always wanted to accomplish, but I know, people are busy and don't always have time to stop and comment. Bloghoppers---that's what they are! I'm guilty of that! But I still try to leave a comment or a C-Box line.
As I write this in May of 2009, I can assure you that by May of 2012 blogging may still be around but there will be many changes that have been made and probably some new service or fad that people will use, and I will likely be one of those people too!
One thing is for sure, and that thing is called CHANGE. There was a time I was against the "Tip Jar" or "Donation Box" on a blog. But now I have one in my sidebar. I don't make much, but it's nice when soemone drops a few dollars or pesos or yen as a way of saying they appreciate what I write and what I do. I don't get rich on any of the blog advertising, either. But I like the services I advertise and it dresses up the weblog a bit.
To all of you who regularly stop by here, thank-you! To those who have landed here by chance, welcome, leave a message in comments or C-Box! And look at that! An entire post without a LINK to an off-site URL (pats self on back!) - Have a great day!
Tags: newspapers, blogs