Okay, I’m Not Done

Shoot, I just can’t let this go.  Okay, I’ll say this and then I’m done.

This:

I’m just a dumpy broad with a computer and some random stuff to say.  What I enjoy about blogging and what makes it for me more than just an exercise in being a writer too cowardly to really write is the stuff I learn from the other amazing folks out here on the internet, who comment here or post at their own places, who put it out there.

I find this to be incredibly important.  It makes me feel intellectually engaged in the world and makes me feel like I have a real stake in things.  Maybe a tiny stake, but a stake.

The thing about WKRN under the old vision, with Brittney and Kleinheider, was that the leadership really got that–that blogging gave people a way to really be engaged in our community in ways that traditional media just doesn’t.

Even if we all watch the news or read the paper, it’s passive.  You just sit there and let information flow into you.

It’s not that way with blogging.  With blogging, if information comes in and doesn’t come back out in some way–either by spurring you to comment or blog yourself or act in some other way–it’s a failure.

To grasp the difference, imagine if I went to the Scene and said to Liz Garrigan, “Damn, Liz, I so love what you’ve done with the Scene.  I love the stuff you make me think about and I love learning about places and so, yeah, I’m going to start my own alternative newspaper.”

But people all the time start blogs because of a blog they’ve read.

So, yeah, Kleinheider, and Brittney, gave me a kind of legitimacy that was a hybrid of the blogger/old media thing.  I was just talking to a bunch of other ordinary folks who also had computers, but folks who got paid to blog by a television station thought what I said mattered.

That was nice.

And I’m sorry to see the end of that.

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13 thoughts on “Okay, I’m Not Done

  1. Pingback: Unleash the Metadata! » Blog Archive » Blogging in Context

  2. Aunt B, I’m guessing your first source for what other blogger’s are talking about is either Bloglines, Google reader or some other aggregating tool. The reason I guess that is because that’s what Brittney and Adam used to deliver the content and perspective you came to enjoy. Until the new NIT, that’s what I used. Why didn’t Brittney and Adam use NIT or VV’s blog aggregators? I bet you know the answer to that: they didn’t work. They were either delayed by hours or people would never show up in the feed, and you were forced to only see posts of blogs chosen to be aggregated by WKRN.

    Let’s be even more honest. The real reason to come to NIT or VolunteerVoters was to get a real person’s aggregation of local blogs and to join the conversation that came from that. Your reader can’t do that. One thing I noticed was how the audience plateaued at around 1500 people on either blog for more than a year. Maybe you have some thoughts as to why. As someone who focused on that over the course of this experiment, I have a lot of thoughts and we’ll move forward with our continued committment to innovation based on lessons learned.

    If your Google reader could tell you in a tag cloud exactly what all your selected blogs were talking about by specific geographic area, and could tell you the top posts as determined by other bloggers, and could list only posts by Nashville area bloggers in any of over 40,000 selected subject feeds, and also provided you a real person’s view on some of that content just like the old NIT and VV did before, that would be awesome, wouldn’t it?

    The new NIT does that and more, and the cool thing is if I was fired tomorrow, the community there wouldn’t implode. The whole point of WKRN’s experiment was to grow community, not work toward flatlining growth or have it implode around a personality who decides to quit, becomes a target of budget cuts, or is brought done by other bloggers in controversy. If Google fired anyone tomorrow, I don’t think you’d care one bit as you fired up your Google reader to continue following the real conversation.

    Let’s keep a few things in perspective. The bulk of cuts at WKRN came in every other area but web. Brittney quit for well known reasons she published in the midst of attacks by other bloggers. Our GM, News Director, Assistant News Director, reporters, anchors, sales, Accounting, HR were all let go of well before Adam. In that time, we reacted to Brittney’s departure the best we could, taking the time to evaluate how the community imploded and what exactly we could do to better serve our goal of building community.

    Before you write off WKRN as no longer innovating new media just because we don’t have two WordPress blogs and two full time bloggers posting on them, take some time and honestly evaluate what is evolving out of this experiement. Use the new NIT and compare it to your prefered RSS reader and honestly ask yourself which one really tells you what Nashville Is Talking about. Think about what you have personally gained and ask yourself if those gains came from any other local media outlet. Adam, Brittney and I value the role WKRN has played in our opportunities. Assess the new opportunities and measure them against the opportunities WKRN provided you and others over the past 2 years, and maybe in time you’ll see the same opportunities we see ahead of ourselves.

    The experiment was all about you and elevating your conversation. If in time you don’t see our efforts serving that goal, fair enough, but we’ve already been through one wave of eulogies in July 2007 from bloggers while at the same time our blog traffic slowly doubled. One of these sets of perspectives reflects a reality you need to be a part of.

  3. Christian, I can’t for the life of me understand why you’re so worried about convincing me that I somehow need to get on board with what WKRN is doing. Why?

    I don’t see you over at Newscoma’s, where she says basically what I’m saying here, or over at Music City Bloggers, or any of the other places where they’re talking about what a mistake WKRN is making.

    I, myself, am not talking about whether WKRN has made a mistake. You might have noticed, I’ve stayed out of the conversation every place, but here. And even here I tried to focus on my feelings about the change and not whether the change was well or ill advised.

    Why?

    Because I’ve got nothing against WKRN. Do what you like. I’m happy I had the opportunities I had through WKRN and I’m a bit bummed that it’s not going to be that way any more, but I don’t wish y’all any ill will.

    You sure as hell don’t need my buy-in to be successful. I’m no king maker.

    But if you want my opinion, fine. Here’s my opinion. The new NIT sucks.

    So you’ve doubled your readership since Brittney left. So what? You know how many readers you send to me when you link to me?

    Zero.

    None.

    When Brittney linked to me from NIT, I could get anywhere from fifty to two hundred.

    When Kleinheider linked to me, I saw the same.

    When the automatic aggregator links to me, as far as I can tell, it doesn’t mean shit. It doesn’t send readers who otherwise wouldn’t read me to me.

    It may be valuable to WKRN in terms of bringing them page hits, but it’s not benefitting me to be included.

    Maybe that will change, but I don’t see why it would.

    You say, “The real reason to come to NIT or VolunteerVoters was to get a real person’s aggregation of local blogs and to join the conversation that came from that.”

    But in what way can people join the conversation over at NIT? There is no conversation happening there. And I didn’t want a real person’s aggregation of local blogs–thanks to Tim Morgan, I already have those blogs in my aggregator. I wanted a real person’s perspective on what caught his or her eye in the local blogosphere.

    To use Newscoma’s metaphor, I wanted a DJ and now you’re trying to sell me on some JACK-FM shit. Well, you’re going to have the same problem JACK-FM has, which is, if a human isn’t doing the choosing for me, I might as well have my computer do the choosing (either through an iPod or, in this case, through Google).

    You say, “If your Google reader could tell you in a tag cloud exactly what all your selected blogs were talking about by specific geographic area, and could tell you the top posts as determined by other bloggers, and could list only posts by Nashville area bloggers in any of over 40,000 selected subject feeds, and also provided you a real person’s view on some of that content just like the old NIT and VV did before, that would be awesome, wouldn’t it?”

    To which I say, “No, no it wouldn’t.”

    I liked that there were personalities involved and I’m kind of mortified to think that I should be glad that WKRN is putting things in place that can exist without people working them.

    Maybe I’m just an old fogey, but I like this medium because I like reading what people think.

    And one last thing, while we’re being blunt, if you and your bosses looked at 1,500 readers a day, on average, as too small a number–considering how many people in this state even have computers and feel comfortable using them–then I’ve got nothing for you.

    Kleinheider had the most powerful people in the state reading his blog at WKRN. If he had only had ten readers, but they all originated out of the upper eschelons of power, VolunteerVoters still would have been important.

    But whatever.

    You do what you want to do and find a way to make it work and I wish you the best. You don’t have to justify it to me.

  4. Pingback: Christian Grantham

  5. Aunt B., I’m a big fan of your blog. I read it everyday. So when I read you telling other fans how WKRN’s days of caring about what you have to say are dead, I get a chuckle out of that.

  6. Kleinheider had the most powerful people in the state reading his blog at WKRN. If he had only had ten readers, but they all originated out of the upper eschelons of power, VolunteerVoters still would have been important.

    Bingo.

    Christian, you know I’ve got mad love for ya, but I must ask you to please understand that people are mourning yet another change in something they’ve come to depend upon to be there for them. Not to mention we hate that a good guy has lost his source of income.

    It just sucks on many, many levels…and I agree with what B says about the new NiT seeming like a “Jack-FM” to a lot of bloggers. The personality-driven aggregator is what the audience wanted, and it’s unfortunate that WKRN couldn’t find money in the budget to maintain it, especially in this highly charged political season.

    :(

  7. Grantham, that’s not what I’m saying. If that’s what you want to take from it, fine.

    I will keep in mind that when you lose your job, you don’t want anyone to bother to express any dismay.

  8. Just a point of clarification. In the list of positions I described as “let go,” I probably should have used the word “departed” as each one left under different circumstances. Our former GM, for example, left. He wasn’t “let go.” Others quite, some were laid off, etc.

    B., I understand your pain that Adam is gone. He was a co-worker, so I feel it a little more than most because we sat together 10 hours a day.

    As a fan of yours, I’m just saying it’s difficult to hear you say WKRN no longer cares what you have to say when I read you every day. Just saying. Crochet on! ;)

  9. As a fan of yours, I’m just saying it’s difficult to hear you say WKRN no longer cares what you have to say when I read you every day.

    Wait…you, as an entity, are entirely indistinguishable from the WKRN corporation, a subsidiary of Young Broadcasting?

  10. Kat, not sure what you are getting at.

    Adam blogged for WKRN until Friday. I still blog at WKRN on NIT. Adam’s departure isn’t the end of WKRN caring what Aunt B. has to say anymore than your departure from MCB was the end of MCB caring what she has to say. MCB still cares. WKRN still cares. Does that make sense?

  11. Christian, I cannot believe nor understand why we’re going round and round about this, nor why it’s now spread to twitter.

    But fine. I’m a big meanie for forgetting, while in the midst of being sad that my friend lost his job, that the real important thing is that at least someone over at WKRN reads me.

  12. Automatically aggregating content from Aunt B or Kat Coble or anyone else isn’t he same as a human perspective on local blogs. The human brought the caring into the picture.

    The new NIT is a good example of bad usability and design combined to make it horrible to go to for information.

  13. Jim, I also think automatically aggregating content isn’t the same as a human perspective. That’s why I also link to Aunt B., Kat, you and other bloggers on a daily basis on NIT. I’m only part robot ;)

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