1. Thursday, July 2, 2009

    i got interviewed by PBS the other day 

    and totally forgot about it.

    it might be my last interview. im way too blunt, way too honest. way too easy for people to misunderstand. also when you get me talking about Blogging, the thing i love the most, the thing i want everyone in the world to do – several times a day – i can come across as a snob. which im pretty confident i came across in this interview.

    my old boss, Jake Dobkin, tweeted this about me this morning when he linked all his followers to the piece, “Paraphrasing @busblog: ‘Citizen’s journalism is just a viper’s nest of paranoiacs, liars, and queers.’

    because everyone loves and respects jake, including me, heres what i Actually said:

    “For the most part, this whole citizen journalism concept is fine for about three or four people per town, but that’s about it,” he said. “And most of those people are not journalists for a reason. Either they’re crappy writers or they’re crazy, which makes for sometimes interesting blog posts, but is that something that a major newspaper would link to? I mean, even my personal blog is certainly nothing I would have expected the LA Times to link to. I was swearing a lot, it was mostly very personal, plus I say on it that it’s full of lies.”

    But if the newspaper didn’t feel comfortable linking to all the local content, should it at least try to sell advertising on these sometimes highly specialized blogs, creating an advertising network that benefits everyone?

    “It’s just that if you have a whole lot of blogs getting 5,000 page views a day, you’re going to need a lot of them, a whole lot of them,” he said. “And even if you have a whole lot of them, where do you put that ad that it’s going to be really valuable? It’s a really tricky situation, and I might come across as kind of a snob — I mean, I love blogs more than any other person — but I’ll be the first to tell you that most of them are crappy. Which isn’t to say that individual posts can’t be great, and I think that’s where newspapers should focus.”

    the topic by the way was whether newspaper websites should aggregate huge swaths of local blogs under the newspaper’s masthead. theres both good and bad reasons to do such a thing and the Chicago Tribune’s Chicago Now is a good reason to try it because their thing is new and looks promising.

    But in LA im not so sure. here the blogs dont usually stick to one subject, so it would be really difficult to pretend that more than a handful of them would actually be a a great supplement to the news we already produce, the 42+ blogs we already have, and the interesting comments we get every day.

    but im willing to be proven wrong.