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Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, October 6. 2012
Clutching at straws
First is CBS News, which has gone to what might be called a 'news blog' format. That is, the format small blog sites like Power Line switch to when they want to appear more relevant and 'newsy'.
And check out the 'social media' influence in the right sidebar. Most Popular. Most Shared. Most Discussed. Follow us. Screw the news — we just want to hear what you have to say!
And then ABC News gets into the act, also going with the 'lotsa big pictures' format, but at least they still carry some of that pesky 'news' stuff down at the bottom.
But — speaking of 'social media' having an influence — check out the jaw-dropper that USA Today has become. If you have a tablet, notebook or smartphone, USA Today is the site for you! What do you mean, "web browser"? What's that?
And notice what's missing from the bottom half of the page. Yep, that pesky news stuff. Why bother!
It strikes me that there's a flaw in the logic of dumbing-down news sites to appeal to the "Ooh, lotsa pictures!" crowd. They're thinking they'll tap into this market, but my contention would be that the social media crowd doesn't read standard news sites to begin with, and, when it does, it reads the news off Google or Yahoo or MSN or AOL.
The good news is, while half of those abandoning these three digital train wrecks will end up on the left-leaning CNN or NBC sites, the other half will end up on Fox News. So I'd call it a net plus for our side.
And one thing I personally found interesting with these three particular sites going the social media route is their placement on my page of links. I have the links listed in the order I stop by every morning, first reading Fox to get the right-wing side of things, then CNN for the left side, then (formerly MSNBC) NBC News for the ultra-left. Then I look over the right- and left-wing Washington papers, then skim through the three lesser news sites:
Fox CNN NBC
I find it interesting that the three news sites I find least consequential are the three that decided not to be news sites anymore.
Probably just a coincidence.
Posted by Dr. Mercury in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 12:30 | Comments (23) | Trackback (1)
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Yes, it's the latest site fad. Makes it easier to pick 'n choose.
For the nonce, we're sticking with the old style. Conservatives, ya know.
For the record, I stopped reading both Power Line and Neal Boortz when they went to the 'newsy' format. I don't want to read some tiny blurb first or click on a link, I just want to start reading the damn article. If it's not interesting, the mouse's scroll wheel works just fine, thankyouverymuch.
Methinks sites like Power Line have forgotten what made blogs popular in the first place. It wasn't the fact that someone actually had an opinion they wanted to air. It was the linear, reverse chronological format that made it all so interesting and different.
Then they spend a decade railing against the mainstream media, all the while trying to become more and more like them.
Yeah, that makes sense.
Powerline gives you the option of the old versus new format. If you don't like the new format, switch to the new format. There is a gray and white lined box right below the Picks/Links. Put your mouse on that box : it will then say "Switch to old format."
Ah, the little things you find out late in life. That's MUCH nicer, thank you.
What jumped right out in the new/old format, though, was the lack of comments. The most was 15. (By means of comparison, my Jackie Evancho post had 80+) For such an old, established site, I thought that a little surprising. I would note in passing that I can't remember the last time Glenn linked to them, and I think Hot Air did a while ago, but not for a long time before then. Have they lost their touch?
I am concerned with PowerLineBlog. Scott and Paul don't add much -if anything. I guess they are founders so they'll have to stay but the less they publish the more I would enjoy the site.
#184.108.40.206.1 Roland on 2012-10-08 08:35 (Reply)
Both Scott and John came out VEHEMENTLY against Sarah Palin when McCain announced his choice, which pretty much banned them to blog Purgatory forever in my book. You would have thought they would have at least waited to see which way the winds blew before jumping into the pond with concrete boots on.
#220.127.116.11.1.1 Dr. Mercury (Link) on 2012-10-08 08:45 (Reply)
Quit watching/reading ABC, CBS and NBC news years ago. Totally shallow and completely biased. Have never read USAToday, even when I used to fly occasionally. Time is too precious to waste on this kind of warped and superficial "news".
g6log -- (his friends just call him 'gloggy') Yep, getting better by the day. I attribute my healing powers to a steady diet of Ginger Ale and Hershey Kisses. The GA for the natural healing ginger root and the Kisses for their valuable Vitamin S.
Bill -- But... But... But how will I keep up to date on the latest imminent global warming catastrophe without ABC News? Now that Fox News has tailed back on their AGW news, ABC News is the undisputed King of AGW, with CNN and NBC waiting in the wings to do their part. This kind of dedication simply can't be easily dismissed!
G 6 L O Q . The letters pronounced in Fwench sound like the words I-have-six-wings-on-my-ass
Numbers 2,3,4,5 were already taken at Yahoo. I signed on time for the 6 ....
In case you were wondering ....
Ya know, I didn't want to mention it earlier, but as soon as I read your comment, I thought to myself, "Sheesh, another one of those six-wings-on-ass kinda guys."
Sorry for the stereotyping.
One intriguing thing that happened while I was out of touch with humanity for a week was that three mainstream news sites completely changed their format.
Musta heard you were on vacation in Mexico?
And check out the 'social media' influence in the right sidebar.
Isn't this the "obama vote mine" with all those free cell phones?
"Musta heard you were on vacation in Mexico?"
It just made me all the gladder I didn't bring my laptop. I would have tuned in, seen the new formats, and promptly blamed the Mexican ISP I was using. "Damn foreigners don't even know how to display a web page properly!"
"Isn't this the "obama vote mine" with all those free cell phones?"
The 'Lifeline' program was enacted in 2007, during Pres. Bush's reign.
You were close, though. Only one president off.
The 'Lifeline' program was enacted in 2007, during Pres. Bush's reign.
Wasn't speaking of who started the program only who needs it to win this time around and maybe why the MSM (that you identified) changed the sidebars.
Gotcha. I thought the "Free Food & Rent for Life -- Vote Democrat!" article was a bit much, though. Especially since it was in their 'News' section.
Maybe one man's news is another man's free lunch?
#18.104.22.168.1 Garry on 2012-10-06 16:37 (Reply)
Doc, PowerLine has no comments on Firefox. Does on Opera. Maybe it's just me. I've decided against PL comments. For news, I like Doc Reynolds and Doc Mercury (and friends/associates/henchmen/partners-in-crime).
Not for me, in Firefox.
Disregard previous comment. I found the icon.
Still no comments/responses displaying.
Yeah, the mystifying redesign of USA Today.com has made me not go there anymore. It wasn't the greatest news site to begin with, but at least it had, you know... headlines. Not giant pictures.
By "social media crowd", you mean "pretty much everyone"?
If you think these sites have been optimized for anything but ad revenue, you're going to hate what comes next.
Read the CBS article on the Muslim video guy. It says matter-of-factly his video caused the death of many, including our ambassador to Lybia!
USA Today does have a news section. But it includes who Esquire chose as sexiest woman of the year.
People still get their news from ABC and such? What on earth for?
Holy crap! Amber Tamblyn married David Cross!!
Er...sorry. I never go to any of these sites and that was what jumped out at me.
Tracked: Oct 08, 08:15