2nd Aug 2005

Blog :: Is the Bee listening to me?

I've previously critcized the Bee's policies, especially as regards the online world.  Was somebody listening?

OK, with all due humility I concede that none of my ideas were revolutionary: in fact they pass for conventional wisdom in the technically sophisticated media savvy segment of the populace from which (doubless) all my readers are drawn.  Recently I noticed a new feature on the Bee's website.  A link to "Community Blogs" that links to Modesto area bloggers and has excerpts from their latest posts.  (Based on the time delay, I doubt it is going so far as to automatically pull content via RSS... But that might be asking too much.)  One quick email and literally half an hour later, the metapundit is in the house.

So of course I have to give props to the Bee for paying attention to the blog scene.  Poking around on the website, however, I found all sorts of new features that seem ... almost ... savvy (for a MSM organization, at any rate.)  In my earlier post (linked above) I had several suggestions for the Bee:

What you really need though, is a trusted geographically local name that could serve as a central collation point for geographically local stories.  It would even help if there were some human sorting, arranging and even editing going on of the potentially vast streams of local content bloggers could churn out.  ... How about trackback links for news stories.  User created media galleries?  Ideally, an interesting story on the front page of the print section might have multiple pieces of content (local blog posts, uploaded pics/movies/sounds, followups from later on) attached in the online version.  The paper, then serves as a teaser for the website and the media company rides the blogging wave rather than fighting it.

In the last few days I've noticed a few new features at modbee.com.  First there are the new forums. Login, and you can comment on news stories, local issues and so on.  The bee has already begun to highlight local bloggers, and now I see that the bee is hosting image galleries (to which users can submit pictures) and soliciting coverage of local events for the society page (text and photos). Is the Bee reading my blog? Or are they figuring out the obvious all on their own? If it's the former, guys, I don't want to see that "give us money to see old articles" page next time I search modbee.com, OK?

Posted on Aug 2nd 2005, 12:31 AM