tins ::: Rick Klau’s weblog

Steve Outing: Board The Weblog Bandwagon Now, Please.

“The newspaper industry historically has not been able to notice a hot Internet trend and act to capitalize on it fast enough to beat pure-play Internet competitors to the punch. How about if next time, the newspaper industry notices a trend and takes it seriously? We can start with weblogs…

“Imagine if most every reporter, for example, had an outlet for material that doesn’t fit in the print product. A city hall reporter runs across a wealth of interesting tidbits every working day, and some of them can be added to a city hall news weblog. I’m not talking about stuff that’s ‘not good enough’ for the print edition, but rather ‘insider’ information that might not be right for a general newspaper audience…

“Most likely you’ll want to have webloggers post their content without publishing, then have the city and/or copy desk edit it before hitting ‘Publish.’ That’s going to take some editor time if you have a lot of staff journalist webloggers.”

Whoops! Got the first part right, but nix the editorial control. To make staff weblogs really fly, there has to be a quicker turnaround than would be possible if the editors have to approve every word. It just won’t fly. The publication has to trust their writers to exercise their own better judgement.

Outing goes on:

“The other major area for news organizations to consider in the weblog scene is to host them. Today there are many software and Web service solutions for hosting weblogs…

“Given the number of people publishing weblogs now, and the significant growth, weblog hosting should grow into a sizable business. Local newspapers, especially, are well positioned to introduce the weblog concept to their readership — many who will not yet have heard of weblogs — and profit from hosting their new weblogs. Possibilities include charging for hosting…, selling weblogging software, or selling advertisements to run on free public weblogs.”

[via Rick Klau]