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The Little Blogging Story That Couldn’t – and Kept on Going Anyway

The Little Blogging Story That Couldn’t – and Kept on Going Anyway

Trudy W. Schuett> When I first saw a mention at Steve Rubel’€™s blog about a story at the AZ, Public on blogging, I was momentarily encouraged. Maybe they were finally getting it.

You see, the AZ ‘€˜Public has a pseudo-blog called the Plugged-in weblog, which is really just a collection of short commentary from columnists. It has, in most cases, no way for readers to communicate with them, as there is no comment feature and only recently has added an RSS feed.

I’€™d really hoped the Phoenix paper was going to promote the Plugged-in feature, or maybe even local bizbloggers.

Turns out the article was just a recycling of a piece that originally appeared at The Akron Beacon Journal in March – the 14th to be exact. The story itself was well, a little odd. It didn’€™t disclose the nature of the company the article leads with, (it’€™s a website promotion firm) and the reporter from the Akron paper apparently hadn’€™t bothered to check the links in her own story to establish that yes, Blogger and BlogSpot are now the same thing.

If you read the whole story, you realize that the reporter has no understanding of what she’s talking about at all. This sentence really got me: “Many companies put a link to the blog on their Web site or let search engines such as Google and Yahoo! draw in people.” Uh, pardon me, but linking is not an option, folks. And through what kind of magic does Google and Yahoo “draw in people” ?

I can just imagine small business owners all over the country reading this syndicated piece and scratching their heads. A more complete version of the original article appeared at the Tucson paper in April, which gives a bit more explanation, but not much.

The original at the Beacon Journal is now behind a paid firewall.

What amazes me about this is not so much that it does promote confusion and misinformation, or even the fact of its age. What amazes me is that of all the editors who must have seen the piece and given approval, nobody caught any of the mistakes. Didn’€™t Ohio bloggers read this and point out where it went wrong?

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Or maybe it was as, Greg Patterson ( a genuine blogger at the AZ ‘€˜Public ‘€“ maybe the only one) said on his blog the other day ‘€“ maybe nobody’€™s reading newspapers anymore. It’€™s possible that the reason it wasn’t noticed before this was that none of the previous papers had an RSS feed, and so it went below the radar of those who would otherwise note and comment on something as far off the mark as this article was.

One thing is certain ‘€“ there are still plenty of people around who not only don’€™t get blogs yet, they don’€™t get the Internet either. And that’€™s a real shame, especially when those who don’t get it are in the position of informing the public.

Trudy W. Schuett is a contributor to The Blog Herald and blogs at a number of blogs including WOLves, Desert Light Journal, The God Blog and Food Basics

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