Bob Stepno's Other Journalism Weblog
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Saturday, February 12, 2005

Steve Rubel's Micropersuasion, then Reuters and PaidContent and others are reporting that the Los Angeles Times, CNET and the Guardian plan "branded" RSS readers.

More reports by Jon Dube's Cyberjournalist. When not toiling at his Buzzmachinery, Jeff Jarvis had mentioned doing some related consulting.

I haven't looked into all the details of these new services yet... too many other things to do. But you can go straight to the sources: See Consenda, Newsburst and Newspoint

Meanwhile, the Economist has launched RSS feeds, and MSNBC has its own blogging tool. So many ways to get so much news. It's exhausting!

Of course branded aggregator sites are something news publishers would see as a readership-control, advertising or subscription-fee vehicle. The challenge will be making it more inviting than the over-busy "my.portal" pages of the past.I wish them luck.

News organizations do need to pay top-notch editors and reporters (my journalism school graduates!) if they're going to keep generating original high-quality journalism.  Unfortunately, the whole "you get what you pay for" model is shaky online. Wire service news is everywhere... and so many online writers work passionately for nothing, summarizing, linking, even writing original on-scene reports. Not only can readers go looking for the news, they can go looking for products they want to buy -- which cuts into the need for traditional advertising+news packaging.

With limited time and money, I know I've settled for "pretty good for free" a lot of the time instead of "excellent for money." As Greg Brown said, "Time ain't money when all ya got is time." Heck, plenty of people settle for "pretty bad" when they don't have to pay for it.

I sent off some mail asking if the LA Times experiment will extend to content from other Times-Mirror/Tribune papers, including my old friends at The Hartford Courant, which just redesigned its website, separating from the entertainment features at its old "portal" address

2:56:28 PM    

The Triangle Blogging Conference is underway, and I wish I could be in Chapel Hill to be part of it,connect with old friends from grad school and more recent acquaintances from the blogosphere at the same time. Virtually just ain't the same.

Dan Gillmor's blog about the event has already dropped a couple of my favorite Tarheel names, including Paul Jones, who gave me my first server space 10 years ago, and Phil Meyer, who wrote what was probably the first book I ever read about computers and journalism -- almost 30 years ago!

I sent Dave Winer a note endorsing the shrimp & grits at Crook's Corner and suggesting he swing through Knoxville sometime... I passed along a link to the Rocky Top Brigade site, which he added to his account of the conference in Chapel Hill.

Folks are probably wondering why he slipped "We the Bloggers of the Great Volunteer State of Tennessee..." into the middle of a report from Carolina...  probably figure he's just a lost Yankee.

1:02:51 PM    

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