. . . Wednesday April 20, 2005

Extra, Extra, and Then Some

In an entry where he wonders “Why did traffic on nytimes.com rise?”, Jason Kottke gets right to an all too often ignored point about blogs and newspapers.

By some counts, the number of blogs is doubling every few months and the NY Times, despite their content being behind a registration wall and their links expiring after a few days (unless you know the secret code), is a favorite source that bloggers link to. During the 2004 Presidental campaign, the Times was the #1 most cited media source and was cited equally by both sides of the political aisle.

In the words of Ben Kingsley’s character Don Logan in the movie Sexy Beast: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Blogs are the best thing to happen to newspapers in over a decade. The never-ending storyline of blogs vs journalism totally misses this point. And so have plenty of newspaper executives.

What we have here is a group of thousands of virtual paperboys, all over the world, who are shouting “extra, extra” at the top of their lungs.

We know that mainstream media finds it nearly impossible to report stories that are neither hot nor cold, but warm. A story that suggests that blogs are both a bit a challenge to some parts of the newspaper industry and the most important marketing channel they’ve had in years just doesn’t make for good reading. We need enemies and harshly opposing views to make for good mainstream headlines.

Is the same nonsense going to infect the blogosphere?

Concentration is important!