B-Dub has some interesting thoughts about how the mainstream media is slowly changing to accommodate bloggers and the blogging aesthetic. He’s got good meaty stuff to say, but I want to focus on the fact that, like it or not, audience expectations have changed.
People do a great deal of reading on-line and they expect things to be easily available for them online. I think if you look at the Scene‘s website*, it’s fairly easy to find your way around. As much as they rag on bloggers, the folks over there do seem to understand that your online presence should be a compliment to your dead tree presence, but useable in its own right.
On the other hand, the Tennessean is a barely useable mess. Their designer would do well to sit down in front of the New York Times online and steal as many good ideas from them as he or she can.
And I think that affects my opinion of the Tennessean, the fact that it’s hard to navigate and you can’t find everything you’d like to find and you can’t be sure you’ve read everything you might want to read. Shoot, they could improve their site by leaps and bound by hiring a blogger to highlight the day’s top stories and point readers to them, someone who had enough sense of the paper to point you back into the archives to old stories for needed context, and who can watch stories come off the wire and understand how they affect things here.
In other words, I hope the mainstream media will come to see bloggers not only as producers of content, but as folks who have a knack for distilling content into reader-friendly chunks, and making use of that talent as well.
*Shocking, I know. I’m mentioning the Scene in a complimentary way. I guess I’m getting soft in my old age.