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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Friday, December 7, 2007

See Barb blog. Blog, Barb, blog.

There's a first time for everything. And thanks to Web Editor Stephen Shoemaker and sports paginator Adam Samrov, here we are.
Adam informed me that editors at other newspapers have blogs that are bor-ing. So the pressure is on.
I'm not posting so much to entertain as to open a dialog with you about, well, whatever it is about the newspaper and the newspaper business that you'd like to talk about.
We just introduced our new Saratogian Web site and I insisted on having a tab for "blogs" -- so I figured there had better be something besides Stan Hudy's Diary of a Mad Sportswriter. Not that Stan isn't enough on his on. Still, there will be more, I promise.
For now, let's start with this little hello and see where it goes.


Blogger Horatio Alger said...


I guess my first issue would be that it's hard to keep up with the Saratogian's brand of news when the Web site doesn't boot up half the time. It's also hard to compel oneself back to such a site when it takes half a century to load up, thanks to the bells and whistles –such as useless AP videos folks could get anywhere on the net –clogging up cyberspace.

Also, as somewhat of a blogger myself, I might also add this advice: You must "blog" to have a blog. It doesn’t matter what you blog about, as long as you write something for the masses to digest. No blog semi-daily blog entry equals no blog visitors, which in turn means no blog (See: the failure in blogging otherwise known as Ted Reinhart's "city beat." On a side note, you can’t blame the poor guy given what JRC pays him, i.e. a wage unlivable in most third-world countries).

But the real drawback to the changes –and the new site by extension –is that the news itself still contains glaring errors of fact(see: Campaign finance story, Tuesday; now compare with Times Union story. Specifically, look at Keehn’s spending figures). Jesus, Barb. Teach these kids how to report before you give them technological paraphernalia and tell them to shoot, blog, video, document, narrate or whatever else the “new media” might predicate.

As an ardent critic of both you and your publication –and a fellow hack in the most professional sense of the term –I realize this advice is probably unwanted. Perhaps you’re even chortling at the fact that I bothered to waste my words posting here. However, the notion of change is a positive one for the atrophic Saratogian and one I fully support. Yet, it pains me immensely to see sweeping changes that only lead to further regression; this community deserves more.

Overall, I’ll give you an "E" for effort. But in most institutes of higher learning, an "E" doesn't get you any credit. Feel free to write back with comments or concerns on any of these issues I raise. I eagerly await your response. After all, this is the “new media” way of doing things.

Regards, Horatio

PS. Could you tell me how much JRC is offering to sell the paper for? I might just have a coalition of investors ready to buy.

December 13, 2007 at 11:34 AM 

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