So that will be sorted out today and Sunday will see various Post & Echo people Twittering, texting and phoning in their experiences to the live blog, along with readers. Should be really exciting.
In other news Ben Johnson has apologised to the Post and Echo journalists for calling us all lazy. He rang both papers to say he meant to say the national press, not the local ones, so I guess I can forgive him for that.
Don’t know if my hard-working friends on the nationals will be so kind about his work next time they get to write about it though…
So, today I learned: Streaming without wifi is slow and painful; streaming without wifi and in gale force winds is an absolute bloody dead loss.
I like to think I can search for a lesson in even the most mundane of defeats…
I can even see the funny side of a post being accidentally put on the publicly-facing site by a twat who perceptively named himself/herself T.W.A.T (I told one manager it stood for Tunbridge Wells Automotive Trust and it was a well-known anacronym – for a few beautiful seconds he believed me.
Then the Post editor Mark Thomas, Echo editor Ali Machray and I went to the opening of the Liverpool Cityscape painting at the Walker Art Gallery. It was a gathering of the great and good, who had rocked up in the name of Art, fizzy wine and nibbles.
Then artist Ben Johnson got up to make a speech… and 20 minutes later was still talking, oblivious to his audience’s growing distraction.
People had stopped listening… right up until he thanked the press office for “having to deal with bloody lazy press” and “managing to drag lazy reporters in so they could see what we were doing”.
Well, the bloody ACRES of coverage this inflated ass has got in the local media doesn’t bear telling. So Mark, Ali and I signalled our appreciation of his comments by Walking Out In A Huff.
The look on the Glitterarti’s faces was, in a word, picturesque.
I’m naming this phenomenon geo-nagging (i.e. the ability of others to find me, wherever I may be, and give me problems) and I’ve Had Enough.
The latest random act of geo-nagging was someone I had never even seen before (probably using GPS) tracking me down so he could refuse to move chairs for a meeting. The chairs weren’t fixed to the floor you understand… but they weren’t being moved by his staff either.
Life was much simpler when you just had to negotiate your way past the loosely-tethered rottweiler to push a doorbell that may or may not work and then wheedle your way into the front room of a family whose little darling had just been banged up for some random thuggery – and then persuade them to talk about it.
I posted Markmedia‘s reply to my Utterz here because it’s actually a far more lucid and interesting answer than my ramble deserved.
Mark makes an excellent point about newspapers having to become a hub; I was talking to Neil MacDonald about this earlier although I used the phrase ‘toolbox’ – giving them as much information as we can in our online space and providing them links to expert external sites that can inform them further.
Mark is right – our products (paper and online) can be hubs for the audience. We need to make our sites indispensible – an information port of call – rather than a repository of our news. Users should be able to add to that information bank, as with wikis, and put up external links. If we don’t offer the service, readers will find somewhere else that does. People use papers and websites in the most disposable of ways – occupying time on a bus, or searching for information, consuming it and moving on.
The idea of loyalty (“our readers love the paper”)is a myth repeated by journalists but we’re only fooling ourselves; our audience will stay with us if we can attract and hold their attention – if we can’t they will move on.