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April 09, 2007

Expanding BW Blogs

Heather Green

So we're trying to figure out how we can improve our blogs, bring in more discussion or widgets that are relevant. Are there any blogs out there, folks making a transition from print to this new kind of reporting that you think are particularly good?

12:35 PM

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I heard that Infoworld has gone to totally online with no print edition. Infoworld has been around as a print edition for over 25 years. This might be an example to look at.

Good Luck!

Alan

Posted by: Alan at April 9, 2007 01:15 PM

Nude pics! Seemed to be Wired's take.

Posted by: dg at April 9, 2007 02:08 PM

No kidding. And the cover was interactive too, because you had to turn to page to see the naked woman!

Posted by: Heather Green at April 9, 2007 04:28 PM

Here's my 2 cents...

One way to improve and get the conversation going is have either no moderation or a quick email/confirm system. There is no conversation here as commenting takes too long.

Would also be nice if there was an optional email or RSS notification when new comments are added.

Posted by: PXLated at April 9, 2007 05:17 PM

You could publish full RSS reeds. Right now you do snip its and it would be nice if I could get the entire post in my reader.

I know that would take away from your pageviews/ad views and the powers that be might not like that but thats my suggestion.

Posted by: Nelson at April 9, 2007 09:51 PM

Heather,

I think the #1 thing people want from blogs as opposed to regular news stories is personalization. They want to hear stories about how business issues are really put into practice.

I also think BNET does a good job with their new content flow.

Posted by: Rob at April 10, 2007 06:25 AM

Agree on moderating comments. I understand the need because there's so much spam/nasty comments, but the tradeoff is that it kills any chance for an actual conversation to get started in the comments since there's such a lag in the time it takes for comments to be posted.

Also more linking to existing blogs would help. That gets us linking back to you, and lets our readers check out your blogs.

Posted by: Mack Collier at April 10, 2007 09:20 AM

Thanks for the comments. Very thoughtful. Please keep them coming.

Posted by: Heather Green at April 10, 2007 11:31 AM

Links to smaller, well written blogs are a great way to build traffic and a sense of community. While the work in finding these is harder, oftentime the reward is far greater.

As blogs get bigger, the A-listers increasingly form their own cliques with their own biases. The real question is what kind of readers do you want, and how do you proactively go out and find them? That's what most people miss.

My local paper, the Post-Dispatch has blogs, but they are really online columns written by people in the community. A blog has to be part of something bigger to make any kind of difference. A single blog does not matter. The blogosphere does.

Posted by: Jim Durbin at April 10, 2007 12:29 PM

Another thing is that BW could put it's content where it's mouth is. Make it all free and accessable. I subscribe and will continue to do so whether the content is available onlne or not.

Forbes does it, Fortune does it, New York Times does it....

Posted by: Chris Baggott at April 10, 2007 12:39 PM

Hi Heather, I'm Matthew Bamberg, a Southern California freelance writer. I have a blog called the Digital Traveler. I write for the Press-Enterprise in the Inland Empire. Since I switch from one type of writing (for the on-ground press) to another (for my blog); I've got a few notes that you might want to take into account.

1. Use numbered and/or bulleted lists on your blog. People really like them because they are easy to skim at the same time as picking up the needed info in a short period of time (gives more time for looking at ads : )

2. Keep you're writing in narrative form; tell stories of business successes as well as the interesting flukes of the trade.

3. Make your posts focus on something that can help your readers, say, a tip on investing in the publishing business.

4. Every once in a while focus on a successful business and/or an investement everyone seems to be jumping on. Invite readers to share what they see as the next up and coming business trend.

5. Every once in a while, skip the "we" perspective and get more personal and tell viewers about you, using an "I" perspective.

Last an image never hurts, maybe you guys can take a photo or two for the blog. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Right now, I'm teaching Photography for Writers and Bloggers at Betterphoto.com, a class which I detail all kinds of these things.

I'm author of the book "Digital Art Photography for Dummies."

Posted by: Digital Traveler at April 10, 2007 03:03 PM

I wonder how Business Week would feel about adding blogs that were narrower in focus. My favorite blogs (criteria: best content, most interesting, least cheesy, small self-promotion factor) are very focused: Presentation Zen and Endless Innovation. Your existing blogs (and most mainstream newspaper blogs) are good general compendia, sort of like the print magazine. Making some interesting business-related niche content more available to readers could be a good step.

Regards, John

Posted by: John Caddell at April 11, 2007 11:56 AM

Heather,

Honestly i think it'd more helpful for BW if instead of trying to "copy/imitate/get inspired by" other print publications that are migrating to the blogosphere successfully (as you put it 'making a transition from print to this new kind of reporting'), i believe you can get the most if you think outside the box and learn from "pure blog/web" players.

You can see my point if you check the Technorati 100. Any successes from "print gone blog" there? Nope. Not even one.

http://technorati.com/pop/blogs/

Maybe you need to look somewhere else, not in "print gone digital" for inspiration. After all, 26,950 bloggers can't be that wrong (number of blogs linking to Engadget, the #1 blog in Technorati.)

Donno, just thinking out loud here Heather, maybe it helps you.

Cheers,

G.

P.S. Why neither Entrepreneur.com nor Business2.com came up with the simple idea of KillerStartups.com? Because no other "print player" they were monitoring closely was doing something like that.

Posted by: Gonzalo at April 11, 2007 05:10 PM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned The Guardian yet - they are leading the online space in the UK.

Posted by: Devon Dudgeon at April 12, 2007 01:07 PM

My first thought was viewer crowd flow on the online magazine articles. How many people are going to what in this issue, the top 10 viewer choices. It might open new article to people who don't do the whole issues every week. They could be set up as a feed that could change and update in your reader with every issue. Try a separate blog on "profit" and who is creating it that day. That top 10 list on which business is making money can turn people on to opportunities they may not be seeing now.

Posted by: Mike Reardon at April 14, 2007 01:50 AM

Business Week's established blogs have influence but what does 0.16%. user participation mean? To expand the blogs you might partner with appropriate college level school programs to gain student participation on the blogs for grades on the weeks comments into the blogs. Design and marketing ideas from MBA students and creative writing students directed here might add some extra punch and the school programs impact could gain more participation.

Posted by: Mike Reardon at April 23, 2007 04:53 PM

The assumption that we are undergoing "... a transition from print to this new kind of reporting" is utter gabbling nonsense, to begin with.

There are two distinct processes in the journalism business: (1) reporting, or going out and discovering what the heck is going on, and (2) publishing, or communicating what you have found out about what the heck is going on to your public.

Computer-assisted reporting has certainly brought valuable advances to process (1). However, whether or not process (2) is accomplished with hot lead or disembodied bytes has very little to do with the content of process (1).

Ideally, the ease and cost-efficiency of publishing using disembodied bytes, rather than hot lead slung by union printers, ought to mean that we would be getting more and more deep, detailed digging into what is what for the price of our subscription or newsstand copy.

Instead, what we seem to be getting from you evangelists of the "new journalism" is less and less and less old-school digging into what is what and more. Instead, we get more blogging. Whoop de doodle doo.

But blogging is essentially a form of hearsay that requires no time or effort to develop other than a quick google or two and a collection of bookmarks.

"Reporting" means spending hundreds of hours chasing down information that might be capable of being expressed in 25 words or less.

"The new electronic journalism 2.0" too often means publishing words, words, words whether there is something substantial to report or not. It's filler. Filler, mind you, has its uses, but marketing it as the real deal is like trying to sell sawdust as sausage.

So it's important to understand the difference before you start evangelizing the digital revolution in journalism. Human wetware -- I believe the current consultantspeak for this is "human capital" -- is still unrivaled when it comes to actually going out and finding out what is what.

Posted by: Colin at April 24, 2007 11:06 PM


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