Changes Brewing At Newscoma

6 09 2008

Tomorrow, I’m going to be changing some of Newscoma and, admittedly, I’m a bit scared because it’s change. Change is terrifying.

This has been in the works for most of the summer, but I’m moving Newscoma to where I can take ads. I’ve been asked and, for a long time, I resisted the idea. I asked some great minds like Jackson Miller in a series of emails in the spring (he is truly one of the coolest people ever) and Sharon Cobb was one of most supportive people ever about going ad-based. Heather and Ivy have also been a great inspiration and I thank them for fielding emails from me when I was wigging out a bit. And Sadcox is the dude. He has been just wonderful. My buddy, Chris, is going to help me out here with the techy stuff as I’m a moron about certain things. My main hesitation is actually learning widgets and stuff that I didn’t have to use before. I’ll learn it but it may take me some time.

As I said, bear with me.

So Sunday is the big day. And, as I walk into a bit of the unknown, I’m worried that you guys will wander off.

I started a magazine in 1993 and it was a lot of fun. We had a good time with it and it’s still around although I’m not a part of it anymore. I kind of feel the same way I did back then. Anxious, a bit excited and, you know, afraid of failure and burning in a huge blaze of public humiliation.

Basically, nothing is going to change here other than new digs, you will see some ads and possibly some collaborations with some folks who are working in the news business.

So, if it’s a bit wonky around here in the next few days, please bear with me. I’m trying to be transparent about it all so if you come to a page that has weird code on it taking you to a midget porn site or something equally as freaky, send me an email. Once it’s all done, change those bookmarks and your feeds (you can already) to newscoma.com

As we launch the new site, I have some giveaways next week from the Red State Update guys so stay tuned to that as well.

And send me some courage, as change freaks me the hell out.

She's Coming Too





Terry Heaton’s Take On The AP

30 08 2008

As Mr. Heaton is a heckuva lot smarter than me, and being that I agree with him on this and am having a moment of intellectual superiority because we are on the same page.

I’m trying to ride the coattails of smart people. He’s talking about the potential demise of the Association Press.

This should surprise no one, for, as I’ve oft-written in the past, the Internet by-passes middlemen, and it is no respecter of companies. The networks even by-pass affiliates in delivering their programs directly to viewers these days. This “by-pass” trait inherent to the Web has been discussed by minds much greater than mine, only they use the term “route around” to describe the idea.

“The net regards censorship as a failure, and routes around it.” John Gilmore, SUN Microsystems.
“The net regards hierarchy as a failure, and routes around it.” Mark Pesce, Writer, consultant, Sydney, Australia
“The web regards centralization as a failure, and routes around it… by moving to the edge.” Stowe Boyd

My take: The net regards the middleman as a failure, and routes around it.”

The Associated Press is in the midst of a big, good, old-fashion fail. The kicker is that the rules are constantly changing. If dinosaurs don’t pay attention, they are going to get left behind.

I haven’t had the AP in years at the small paper I work at. It’s more than fine. I get my information off the net, local connection because I hit the beat and through bloggers.

Just saying.





Scobleizer Has A Point

19 08 2008

He says:

Look at this photo from the Olympics. I count about 75 photographers, each decked out with a $9,000 (or more expensive) camera and lens (and most of them are carrying several cameras).

This is in a year when tons of journalists are getting laid off.

This is in a year when there are tons of stories around the world that aren’t getting reported on.

I couldn’t agree more.





Anything Goes In The Internet Era

19 08 2008

An article out of Pittsburgh takes on the mainstream media’s recent reaction to the John Edwards scandal. But the story is more about how the blogosphere is changing news delivery.

Such is the inevitable result of the revolution in the communication of news in the anything-goes Internet era. The old standards of how and when to report a story have gone out the window when instant disclosure is the imperative; anybody with a laptop can become Walter Winchell or Matt Drudge.

These are discouraging times for reporters who grew up under rigid restraints on pursuing stories within established boundaries of truth and accuracy — and with regard for privacy and reader sensitivities of all sorts. Those olden days, when a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking and was never reported, are long gone.

snip

With the blogging phenomenon already elbowing itself into mainstream print outlets, you can expect more sensationalism ahead — especially in the once gray and staid top dogs of the circulation-sinking newspaper business.

If you are in news, you blog or if you are in news and you blog either personally or professionally, I encourage you  to read the whole thing.





Changes In The LA Times

13 08 2008

Ooh boy.

Sellers will no longer be able to demand their houses be advertised in the LA Times real estate section because the major, super-dooper, massive,incredibly big newspaper has killed this special section.  More accurately, it has combined real estate with the Home and Sunday Business sections, according to Inman News.

This could be seen two ways. The first one is that the paper is evolving due to the pressure of the Internet’s presence in the real estate market. Looking at houses online is super easy these days.

The second thing that could be an indication from one of the big boys that, once again, dead wood editions are in trouble.

Either way, it may not be a sign of the apocalypse, but it’s a sign of changes in print news.





Tennessee Politics Blog Closes Shop

12 08 2008

From Adam Groves this morning.

After more than two years of reporting daily on Tennessee politics, I will be closing Tennessee Politics Blog. My reasons for doing so are personal – although I will say that at times it has been difficult to keep up the pace of a daily entry summarizing the news of the day. Late breaking news was often overlooked to the detriment of content and other blogs have risen since the time of this blog’s inception which have delivered the news in a far better fashion than I was ever able.

I went over there quite a bit. He was excellent in running down the political news stories of the day.

The Tennessee Blogosphere is constantly changing, isn’t it?





Media Loses Money As Auto Industry Flounders

11 08 2008

I can personally attest to this being absolutely correct.

In the first quarter alone, the auto industry spent $414 million less on advertising than in last year’s first quarter, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

And it’s not just the local newspaper or television station that is hurting from cutbacks in advertising by the local car dealerships.

In recent earnings reports from the major media companies, like Viacom and Time Warner, executives mentioned the downturn in the auto industry as one reason for lagging revenue at cable networks and magazines.

Newspapers were the hardest hit, losing $131 million in auto advertising, much of the decline coming from local dealerships that are having trouble moving cars off their lots.

“You’re talking about cars sitting on lots for 90 days,” said Mort Goldstrom, vice president for advertising at the Newspaper Association of America. “The dealers are saying, ‘I have cars that won’t move. And I can’t advertise.’ It’s because of cash flow.”

Traditional media/old school deadtree folks who deny this is happening make me scratch my head.

I’m telling you, it’s happening. Car lots have always been a huge spender in local newspapers. They aren’t moving cars which means advertising is down because they don’t have the money.

Sometimes, though, I feel like I’m preaching to the choir.

Read the whole thing if you are so inclined.