Monday, October 03, 2005


The Washington BlogPost?

Is that the new de facto name for the Beltway Paper of Record? For that matter, is its friendliness to the new medium making it the de facto paper of record? The Washington Post's latest entry is The Fix.

Add that to
Joel Achenbach, Jefferson Morley (originally a weekly column, now daily), Howard Kurtz (a blog-ish version of his weekly/bi-weekly media column), Dan Froomkin, and specialized blogs on the Supreme Court, national security, computer security, Russian travel, and more and more.

Andrew Sullivan has noted, The Washington Post has decided to fully embrace the flexibility that blogging represents and adapt it to their Old World model. In addition to streaming Andrew's Daily Dish, they have also worked out a deal with Technorati which will enable Posties to see how much their stories are being linked around the 'Net -- while also increasing the number of eyes that will go to whatever blog happens to link to the Post.

It has the possibility of creating an interesting symbiotic relationship.

On the other hand, as has been recounted ad nauseum, the Gray Lady has chosen the Times Select route. Rather than expanding their columnist/opinion/analysis options to increase the number of eyes coming to the Times, they are effectively closing eyes. From a short-term business standpoint, this might work. In the long term, I have my doubts.

Why? Well, here's an example: I had some free time this (Monday) morning before heading into work (I had to do a brief TV spot on the Bill Bennett controversy). I had a breakfast sandwich and decided to flip through the papers at a more leisurely pace than usual. I read the New York Times' letters page and there were all these comments on an op-ed that Nora Ephron had written last week. It was, as I gathered from the letters, about how she had "fallen out of love" with Bill Clinton. On reflection, she decided that Clinton's behavior with Monica -- and the impeachment drama it produced -- essentially created the condition for George W. Bush to become president and, thus, the current troubles (in Ephron and the readers' minds) the country is now forced to endure.

The point is -- not only had I not read Ephron's piece, I hadn't even heard of it, or seen it referred to anywhere. Now, I don't read only conservative media or blogs. I read those on the left (a couple are even on my blogroll). And, yes, I wasn't paying as much attention to the blogworld this weekend as I might otherwise have, but I don't think this is just me.

I think the Times Select has caused the blogosphere as a whole to shrug its collective shoulders and not pay attention to what is over at the Times site -- including the free commentary stuff (which, as I understand how TS works, Ephron's piece would have fallen under -- for completion's sake, here are the
letters on Ephron's piece). It just no longer comes on the blogging radar screen.

On the other hand, The Washington Post is adding new stuff on a regular basis, thus forcing (if I can use that word) readers to stick around on the site for longer periods of time. Not surprisingly, that means having to deal with more ads, but that seems like a fair trade off. It will obviously take some time to assess who has the better business model, but right now TWP seems to "fit" better in the current world of media than the NYT does.

Bookmark and Share

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Technorati search
Search Now:
Amazon Logo
  •  RSS
  • Add to My AOL
  • Powered by FeedBurner
  • Add to Google Reader or Homepage
  • Subscribe in Bloglines
  • Share on Facebook