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It’s Not Just Blogging Anymore

Jun
22
2004

Observant readers – that’s you, I know – will see that we’ve started to sell advertising.
This represents a change in what’s happening on this side of the monitor so it’s a good time to talk with you – more of you every day! – about what we’re doing and where we’re going. It’s not just us, either. The media business is changing. Dramatically. And it’s only going to get more thrilling for all of us.


As you know, the way current events in this country are discussed is under dramatic and sweeping change. It’s just getting started. Readers like you – tech-savvy, sophisticated, interested in the world around them – don’t get all their news at one time in one place. Instead you receive information throughout the day from a variety of sources, in a host of ways, as things happen or as their interest is piqued. It’s just starting to seep into the consciousness of the not-so-technically alert world, too. New York magazine columnists (and on-line journalist) Jim Cramer talks about the tremendous changes at work in the media business in this week’s column. It’s the Geeks v. the Moguls says Cramer and, well we know who’s winning, don’t we?
For a while I, and many others, have been dissatisfied with the term “web logging.” That focuses on the technology, not on what the technology produces. So, after a little thought, I’m calling what I and others do Stand-Alone Journalism. Why Stand-Alone Journalism? Well, it’s accurate. A journalist – or a small group of reporters – can work on the web to produce what they want as they find it appropriate. And readers are equally free to read the work of individual journalist as they see fit, on their time, not on schedules set by TV networks or the newspapers.
And boy, if you folks are any measure, this stuff is really catching on. In less than a year, Politics From Left to Right has gone from nothing to more than 25,000 regular visitors a month (visitors who hang around, by the way). It’s almost a business. We’re going to try to really stand alone on our own two feet. That’s why our reader survey was so important. And it’s why we’re taking ads.
But Stand Alone Journalists don’t have publishers. So, for now, we have to collect our subscriptions. So we’re asking you new readers – that’s more than half of you – to hit – as hard as you can — the PayPal tip jar over there on the far upper right. If you’re a repeat visitor – and most of you are – this site has earned a place on your desktop and I’d suggest that a $25 subscription is in order. If you’re a huge fan – if you want to support smart, well-informed political journalism here in San Francisco and (eventually) across the country, if you want to support a woman’s voice in political discourse, if you want to see more liberals writing about politics without the partisan baggage and over-the-top rhetoric, if you just like what you see – please consider a larger contribution or sponsorship. Some details about that stuff are posted here.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that I am not alone. I have great tech and advertising support in Chris McCarthy at LocalMagic. He’s not alone, either. A number of companies, of journalists and self-styled “publishers of the future” are looking at everything, talking to everybody, suggesting, tinkering, editing and writing about how to make this little mousetrap work better. But here, too, this site is unique. Unlike other big bloggers – friends like Dan Gillmor and Doc Searls – this site is aimed outside the tech businesses. But unlike most political bloggers – Andrew Sullivan or Joshua Micah Marshall – we have experience in Silicon Valley and in tech-related businesses.
In the next few months, you may see this site test out new advertising, audience generation, and other technologies. You might see our name and logo associated with other, probably more technical, businesses, as we work with them to figure out what works, what doesn’t. You might see us working with others, on the business and editorial sides, in a variety of roles, adjusting what we do and how we do it to accommodate a growing audience or changes in how the coding geniuses at places like Netnewswire, FeedDemon, Six Apart, Feedster and Technorati help us get our words out.
It’s exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. Those of you who live and work in Silicon Valley know this. For those of you outside the valley, this is as close a public look as you’re likely to get at how an enterprise grows and, we hope, prospers. Regardless, please stick around for the ride. We need your comments and critiques, your evaluations and reviews, your support – financial and otherwise – to make this succeed.
Thank you.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 9:32 PM | Permalink

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