Doc Searls has an excellent post up with some advice for newspapers trying to make their websites better. One quibble: he’s still trying to push the “charge for the new, give away the old” idea, which I gave him some grief for last time be brought it up (and he gracefully admitted that he might not be right about the “charge for the new” part).
In any case, the rest of his advice — including the “give away the old” part of the above statement — makes perfect sense and should be laminated and posted in every newsroom from sea to shining sea. Bon mots include the following:
Start following, and linking to, local bloggers and even competing papers (such as the local arts weeklies). Youâ€™re not the only game in town anymore, and havenâ€™t been for some time.
The whole â€œbloggers vs. journalismâ€ thing is a red herring, and a rotten one at that. Thereâ€™s a symbiosis that needs to happen, and itâ€™s barely beginning. Get in front of it, and everybody will benefit.
Stop calling everything â€œcontentâ€. Itâ€™s a bullshit word that the dot-commers started using back in the â€™90s as a wrapper for everything that could be digitized and put online… Your job is journalism, not container cargo.
There’s plenty more where those came from. Go read the whole thing — I’ll wait.