The Convergence Point

Because Story is independent of medium

Entrenching

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The City’s day-by-day walking, talking, and living marks only one part of the community. The other exists in the air, made up of locals who capitalized on the death of the gatekeeper.

Bloggers. Lately, they’ve bred like rabbits, and few areas can say they don’t have some form of a blogosphere.

These bloggers are the city’s other news-makers. Thought they may not cover breaking news, they handle, for the most part, other matters in the community. Good Morning Gloucester won’t cover a city council meeting, but the Gloucester Times won’t cover the smaller aspects of the City’s tourism committee meetings.

The local paper can’t ignore local-minded bloggers any more. Papers like the Gloucester Times list local blogs on the website, in a small down-page box in the corner of the screen. While that works, it’s not enough.

We can’t just list local blogs, we’ve got to work with them to dig into the online community. They built it. We didn’t.

The traffic circle, which we’ve talked about before, needs to happen between papers and blogs. If a blogger’s commenting on something the GDT did, then link back to it. If the GDT’s writing a story that the local blogosphere done some work on, send a track-back to the blog.

The Tory Record, out of New York, started recruiting bloggers to work as part of a Community Media Lab. That media lab brought new traffic both to the paper and to the blogs who signed up. The paper also began hosting small conferences about a few of the Local blogs. In an area Gloucester’s size, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but cooperating with the blogs gives the newspaper a new role.

It becomes a community “pillar” a place where people go to find out more than the essential morning news. They’ll find where businesses are, what local blogs to read about what, etc.

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Written by Steven A. Fletcher

May 5, 2011 at 7:56 am

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