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August 15, 2002

Reuters needs a clue. Bloggers

Reuters needs a clue. Bloggers need the work.

I'm on a neverending quest to find content for Silflay the blog monster. Part of this involves reading lots of news sites. Not major sites, like the NYT or Slate, but niche news and oddball sites. You're much more likely to find a story like Mother Goes to Court over Newborn Named After Horse at Lycos than you are at the Washington Post. I also find writing about poor little Man o'War a lot easier than I do the UAL bankuptcy talks. But the sites, large or small, may as well be on newsprint for all the interactivity they offer. Take Australians turn turtle watchers, from the Reuters' Oddly Enough section. I can accept that a site may decide not to give you links out of some wrong-headed desire to keep you there for all eternity, but what's the point of this?

The newspaper's and EPA's Web sites (www.thecouriermail.com.au/dean) and (www.epa.qld.gov.au) also offer a map plotting Dean's course.

Yes, they do have links to the map, but they're not easy to find. What's so hard about just saying see the map here? Why not go whole hog and say "If you like turtle maps, you can see more here." You're supposed to be an information site. Writing the story in the first place is the hard part!

Don't want to fool with the copy? I'll tell you what. Find a blogger, there's at least one out there who could use the work, ok two, and pay them the money you'd pay an intern. Give them ftp access to some remote corner of your site, and then send them a copy of the story 10 minutes before it's uploaded. At the bottom of each story, put a link to the blog in and say "For more information, see our blog at http://fakereutersaddress.com" The blogger will find the extra info and post it beneath a link back to the original story. In less than a month it'll be the most popular page on your site.

Don't want to go to the trouble of finding a blogger? Would you prefer round-the-clock updates? Well, contact an organization of bloggers, and they'll contract out the updates to bloggers from all over the world. It's cheap. Most do this for nothing anyway, so they'll do it for next to nothing.

And if you're a such a an organization, think of this. Most media sites run the same stories. You only have to find a link once. Depending on how many sites sign up for your blogging service, you could get paid for them multiple times.

Hmm, that smells suspiciously like a business model. I'm not a businessman, though. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Olsen?

Posted by Bigwig at August 15, 2002 02:51 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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