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.

  • “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.”

    That is interesting… I guess they didn’t want to deal with the headache of integration.

    Something else that’s interesting: it seems that blogs aren’t searchable from the TOL main search. I tried using several post titles from the Typepad bogs as search terms on the main site and the posts did not get returned in the results. I guess they just don’t think of “blogs” as part of the “newspaper”?

    The NYT blogs – which use WordPress (I assume running on NYT hardware) – also do not seem to include blogs in search from the nytimes.com main search – UNLESS you search the title of the blog itself OR the writer. I tried searching “Stanley Fish” and got a link for his blog as the first result.

  • Rex Hammock

    Thanks for noting that the NYT blogs are running on WordPress. I didn’t take time to figure that out. They could (and you can take this as a grain of salt from me, the non-developer) could hack a Google co-op solution to that NYTimes.com search issue.

  • You mentioned cross linking. What will it take for the mainstream media to do away with “no-follow” links on comments? I noticed the Politico still doesn’t. Hopefully, they are in the minority.

  • Rex Hammock

    Is the “no follow” link bad on comments? I thought that was a good thing. It merely tells Google not to index those links — you can still click through. Perhaps I think it’s a good thing because I have over 200+ comment spam attempts on this blog every day.