Newspapers and blogging – They’re learning

Observation: The NYTimes.com has started to include posts from their staff blogs on their “Home Page” RSS feed (unfortunately, they are not full-post feeds, but summaries). So, I was able to learn from the NYT’s U.S. Open blog that the Times of London is hosting a Rafael Nadal blog (interesting sidenote: it’s running on TypePad.com) on which he is providing some very frank and personal insights into his emotional state regarding the death of a Spanish soccer star and his physical condition.

There’s a lot going on here: While not new — newspapers and magazines often get athletes to “keep a diary,” and I believe I’ve blogged before about athletes blogging major competitions — Nadal (or whoever he’s dictating this stuff to) is cranking out a steady stream of legitimate (in the tennis world, huge) news that reporters would love to be breaking. Since it’s being hosted by a newspaper, perhaps it is the newspaper that’s breaking these stories. It’s also somewhat unique — and making me a fan of NYTimes.com blogs — to see newspaper reporters cross-linking to other newspapers. Another thing: It’s interesting to note the Times of London has recognized that it is a better thing for them to utilize a hosted, blogging software application for this than to use the paper’s content management system or even an enterprise-version of MovableType running on the Times’ servers. (I’ve noted this before when other newspapers have done so, most notably when the New Orleans Times Picayune depended on such a strategy in the days after Katrina.) And, very nuanced, the integration of blog-posts into the NYTimes.com’s “Home Page” feed is an effective way for them to get those linkable posts in front of bloggers like me, who never actually visit the NYT.com website unless coaxed via an RSS feed.