Trenchant observations.

3 May

Trenchant observations … Smart and spry.

That’s how my blog and I were described in today’s Balt Sun article about Howard County bloggers. Smart and spry I understood. Trenchant, while it sounded good, I had to look up on m-w.com. So, first, if you’re here reading my blog because of the article, welcome. May I offer that your curiosity may be tickled more by checking out —

Now, on to some “trenchant observations.”

While I spoke to the Sun reporter in late December or early Jan, and the photographer came to our January HocoBlogs party, I found it quite interesting that the article ran the same week the Balt Sun just laid off another round of folk (60 people this time). Interesting timing, ja? Not sure if it was conscious and specific, or just one of the juxtapositions of events that makes life a fascinating treasure hunt for meaning and connection.

I also found it interesting that while listing a number of bloggers and their website, the online version of the story included no links. Fer real. No links to outside content. Now, here’s an article about blogs, Web 2.0, connections, right. And the Balt Sun folk, dying on the vine, can’t muster the courage to trust that their audience will come back to their site if they provide links to content other than theirs.

That’s just sad.

And one more thing, the Sun sent a professional photographer to our event. I’m sure at least a dozen pics of the hundred-plus she took turned out great. She’s a professional, right? Yet the article only included links to the two pics: the same two featured in the print version. That’s just sad. People like pictures. Pictures tell stories.Traditional journalism is getting kicked in the *ss, in part, because it insists on continuing to deliver what is not highly desired by the market today.

Now, while I doubt few would advocate for the wholesale loss of journalism as an art form and business, I find myself less and less interested in the adamant insistence that the industry stay as it’s been.

And, yo, read your generational theory stuff. You’ll get what you need there, but here’s the short version: GenXers are the gen ascending into mid-life. Whatever gen is in mid-life holds cultural dominance, regardless of whether you like it. GenXers want real-now-functional-practical info, and for journalism, much of that need translates to hyper-local, real-time, access-it-anywhere news that is highly customized and personalized to the reader’s specific and individual interests. Sorry to be the breaker of bad news, but haven’t you all figured out by now that your current model isn’t working?

Anyway, remembering my manners after my minor rant, many thanks to the Sun for running the article. And, please, join us in the world of hyper-local news. We need you to survive. But you guys (read: BOOMER-dominated media organizations) won’t ever make it unless you understand that we (read: GENX-I’ll-do-what-I-need-to-do-regardless-of-how-much-you-stand-in-my-way individuals) have an equal, if not — dare I say — more important voice to express at this time in this age.

Well, that’s just my two cents, in any case.

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2 Responses to “Trenchant observations.”

  1. Robin May 3, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    Loved the picture with the iPhone Jessie!

  2. Ian May 4, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    Yesterday’s Sun was a treasure trove of source material. All of the local, HoCo articles — as well as the news that almost a third of the Sun’s news staff were being laid off — tied together nicely into a bigger narrative about communications and community. Reading the paper yesterday was the first time in forever that I longed for the blog (and not just because I wanted my name in the paper… if anything, quite the opposite). Alas, the longing faded quickly with the sounds of a waking baby in the next room…

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