Welcome (back) Barry, and Hello Lenore, Cary, and Bill

Long time readers of Lakeland Local (Hi, honey!) will remember I borrowed the concept of Lakeland News Watch from Ledger honcho Barry Friedman. He had written the column for awhile at the Ledger, and simply got too busy to keep it going.

Well, Barry’s back with a new online column at the Ledger. What’s New Online will, oddly enough, focus on what’s new online at the Ledger. It’s all part of the new blogs.theledger.com initiative.

In addition to his column, Ledger staffers are adding focused blogs. Managing Editor Lenore Devore (Inside Scoop, a behind-the-scenes look at the Ledger), Religion Editor Cary McMullen (Scriptorium, religion news), and Political Editor Bill Rufty (Politics, local to national political news).

Don’t expect juicy gossip from Inside Scoop. I’ve worked at newspapers. They have pointless meetings, “borrowed” lunches from the staff fridge, and too many memos — just like your place of work. Nevertheless, it is always interesting to see why stories are pushed, and which ones caused reader response. Most importantly, it will be good to know why the occasional ball was dropped.

Scriptorium and Politics — one good title, one ho-hum — will appeal to the religious and political junkies. If my brief time in the area tells me anything, those two areas will overlap every now and then.

Since I can’t comment on The Ledger without offering my two-cents:

(1) Replace the banner at blogs.theledger.com. It’s using the Timeout banner. Blogs@The Ledger would look fine.

(2) The “Contributors” link is nice, but put links to the big shots on the front page; with little blurbs as to the topics.

(3) Each blogs’ home page needs the author’s name in the top blurb. Their name appears no where — not even under the article.

(4) Why are posts only signed on the generic home page? Every post, no matter on what page it falls, needs the author’s name. You never know how a reader will find your post.

(5) It may just be me, but why are we forced to click “more” on the newest post? They’re short. On each topic’s home page let the latest post appear in full.

(6) Who decides what is the “featured post” on the generic home page? (I don’t have any problems with that. I’m just curious.)

(7) Go ahead and forward scriptorium.theledger.com to religion.theledger.com. I can’t be the only one who will ever make that assumption.

Those are all minor quibbles — well, except for signing the posts everywhere they’re placed — and many are a matter of style.

I really like how The Ledger tries hard to connect the staff with the readers. These blogs will only improve that connection.

2 thoughts on “Welcome (back) Barry, and Hello Lenore, Cary, and Bill

  1. Thanks for the mention, Chuck, and the advice. Between today’s breaking news on the tornado north of here and addressing blog issues, I won’t have time to respond to all of your suggestions. Suffice it to say that the blog initiative was rushed out the door very quickly mostly so that we could get the Super Bowl blog online while our two reporters are in Miami. I did not realize until I saw the paper today that blogs.theledger.com would be made public; that page still needs a lot of work, as you indicate.

    The nice thing about our online products is that they can change rapidly, and you’ll be seeing lots of changes soon.

  2. Thanks for the mention, Chuck, and the advice. Between today’s breaking news on the tornado north of here and addressing blog issues, I won’t have time to respond to all of your suggestions. Suffice it to say that the blog initiative was rushed out the door very quickly mostly so that we could get the Super Bowl blog online while our two reporters are in Miami. I did not realize until I saw the paper today that blogs.theledger.com would be made public; that page still needs a lot of work, as you indicate.

    The nice thing about our online products is that they can change rapidly, and you’ll be seeing lots of changes soon.

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