Blogrolls and PR Blogs

At the corner of Innovation and ExplorationI’m making some alterations to my blogroll. I’m adding sections for photographers, podcasts and PR blogs. I have no idea if that’s the correct nomenclature, but PR blogs will cover those blogs that aren’t media, personal bloggers, or hyperlocal bloggers. It’s for the not-for-profit, for profit, and governmental blogs that are focused on an organization.

Josh at Empirical Polk said this the other day about a PR blog: “Message to the business reporters covering the Winter Haven area….Bob Gernert and the chamber blog are eating your lunch.”

In the comments, Barry (from The Ledger) had a slightly different point of view, and this was his most important point:

I can even imagine a scenario where a reporter leaves a voice mail with a local official asking for confirmation about a newsworthy event — only to see that official post the news to his/her blog before getting back with the reporter.

In that scenario, I suppose the blogger can be said to have eaten the reporter’s lunch — presuming the blogger has distribution similar or greater than the reporter’s.

I see PR blogs as merely a continuation of press releases, media and public events, and old fashioned letter writing campaigns. It’s just taking the road show to a different audience, with the spice of instant feedback.

Josh has the most popular blog in the county. I doubt the individual PR blogs will ever reach his daily numbers, but even Josh doesn’t reach the audience a Ledger reporter gets with a single story. At least not in the current media/public tug-of-war.

The big advantage Josh, and especially the PR bloggers, have over The Ledger is they’re not doing this for a profit. They have a vested interest in making permanently available everything they write.

Right now you can find almost everything the Ledger has posted since August 2002*, but someday that content might go behind a firewall. When that happens the newspaper will win the audience eyeballs in the short term, but in the archives and Google searches the bloggers win the marathon. Some cities already use pay firewalls for old content. It might as be lining a birdcage.

This will accelerate as the traditional audience (my age) starts expiring. Ask any college librarian, information that isn’t easily accessed is lost to today’s generation.

* – I had the wrong date. Fixed 14:00

8 thoughts on “Blogrolls and PR Blogs

  1. To set the record straight, all Ledger articles that have been posted to theledger.com since late August 2002 are available for free online.

    Our basic search returns results from our live server, which has articles back to September 2005. However, a user can go to http://www.theledger.com/search and click on the box for “Search for articles published before Sept. 1, 2005” to query our archive server, which contains articles from August 2002 until Aug. 31, 2005.

    We are working on new search procedures, and hopefully it will become easier to find older articles.

    At this time, we have no plans to put archives behind a for-pay wall. In my mind, open archives has several benefits, including:

    — It allows us to link more easily to older articles that might be relevant to current news.

    — The ability to search our archives for free is a great benefit for people who register to use our site.

  2. To set the record straight, all Ledger articles that have been posted to theledger.com since late August 2002 are available for free online.

    Our basic search returns results from our live server, which has articles back to September 2005. However, a user can go to http://www.theledger.com/search and click on the box for “Search for articles published before Sept. 1, 2005” to query our archive server, which contains articles from August 2002 until Aug. 31, 2005.

    We are working on new search procedures, and hopefully it will become easier to find older articles.

    At this time, we have no plans to put archives behind a for-pay wall. In my mind, open archives has several benefits, including:

    — It allows us to link more easily to older articles that might be relevant to current news.

    — The ability to search our archives for free is a great benefit for people who register to use our site.

  3. Sorry about the wrong date. I was looking at the search function and thought the listed date was as far back as you kept the archives. I’ve fixed the post.

    “In my mind, open archives has several benefits…” I’m glad to hear that. I hope you’re always in charge.

    Rereading the post I wish I would have written “The big advantage Josh, and especially the PR bloggers, have over newspapers is they’re not doing this for a profit.”

    Many papers do put their content behind for-pay firewalls. I’d reel off a list, but once I find a paper does that I stop reading it. Then it is soon forgotten.

  4. Sorry about the wrong date. I was looking at the search function and thought the listed date was as far back as you kept the archives. I’ve fixed the post.

    “In my mind, open archives has several benefits…” I’m glad to hear that. I hope you’re always in charge.

    Rereading the post I wish I would have written “The big advantage Josh, and especially the PR bloggers, have over newspapers is they’re not doing this for a profit.”

    Many papers do put their content behind for-pay firewalls. I’d reel off a list, but once I find a paper does that I stop reading it. Then it is soon forgotten.

  5. Chuck, thanks for the call-out/compliments. To speak to a few points:

    – Media Bypass: This is what we call it when a blog can directly communicate with the core audience they’re trying to reach. Rather than relying upon the media to report, they can do it themselves. Perhaps the distribution might be smaller, but often it is more targeted. Which is better? It depends on the situation.

    – Popular Blog: I wasn’t sure if you were refering to EP or my primary blog at Hyku. I can say that Hyku is probably the most visited blog, but the Winter Haven Chamber Blog might be a close second.

    – Archives: As Barry has said, the Ledger is doing a great job with their archives, but the big issue is are those archives searchable/indexed by Google/Yahoo, etc? The long-term pay-off for all web content is the inbound search links you get years from now. (Barry if I’m not mistaken this isn’t the case for the Ledger?)

  6. Chuck, thanks for the call-out/compliments. To speak to a few points:

    – Media Bypass: This is what we call it when a blog can directly communicate with the core audience they’re trying to reach. Rather than relying upon the media to report, they can do it themselves. Perhaps the distribution might be smaller, but often it is more targeted. Which is better? It depends on the situation.

    – Popular Blog: I wasn’t sure if you were refering to EP or my primary blog at Hyku. I can say that Hyku is probably the most visited blog, but the Winter Haven Chamber Blog might be a close second.

    – Archives: As Barry has said, the Ledger is doing a great job with their archives, but the big issue is are those archives searchable/indexed by Google/Yahoo, etc? The long-term pay-off for all web content is the inbound search links you get years from now. (Barry if I’m not mistaken this isn’t the case for the Ledger?)

  7. “Media Bypass” What a horrific thought. I guess I look for the media to be a filter. However, I’m glad both avenues of communication exist.

    Thanks for the regarding a better name for the blogs I had listed as PR Blogs. It started with that in mind, but I expanded what I listed there. Your idea of “organizational Blogs” fits much better.

  8. “Media Bypass” What a horrific thought. I guess I look for the media to be a filter. However, I’m glad both avenues of communication exist.

    Thanks for the regarding a better name for the blogs I had listed as PR Blogs. It started with that in mind, but I expanded what I listed there. Your idea of “organizational Blogs” fits much better.

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