Thursday, December 27, 2007

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - A local satirical news Web site is slowly being assimilated by mainstream media outlets - Main Feature - Main Feature Extra

Nice ink about media ink for a local blog via the City Paper.
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - A local satirical news Web site is slowly being assimilated by mainstream media outlets - Main Feature - Main Feature Extra - Pittsburgh City Paper - PittsburghA local satirical news Web site is slowly being assimilated by mainstream media outlets
I only wish that the CSB was able to take comments within its blog postings. Perhaps they can run an 'open thread' once a week within the blog.

If comments were permitted, that would could prove to increase the humor ten-fold.


Bram Reichbaum said...

Generally, I am in favor of all blogs having comments, and generally, I am in favor of telling people what they should be doing. But with these guys, I'm content to just let them do their thing.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Spoken like a real liberal who can't make up his mind. Or, with one who is okay with exceptions.

I think that the blog should be open to comments now -- because of the expansion into print (Trib) and radio (DVE). You can't talk back easily with either the daily newspaper nor the radio segments. So, it is time to evolve the blog into a real blog.

Allow comments!

Tim Murray said...

Mark, my feelings are hurt when I'm accused of not running a "real blog" simply because I don't allow comments, and then I get cranky. Especially since I've supported you for Mayor.

Here's why I don't publish comments. I did when I started, long before most people were reading me. What I got was inane comments such as, "Oh, I remember the Carbolic Smoke Ball case from law school." (No kidding! What did you think I just made up the name? Everybody knows it's taken from the name of a famous case.) Stupid comments like that detracted from what we were doing. It is fake news, and unless we received fake comments, I don't see how it would work. I mean what kind of comments would I get when I report that the Emergency Broadcast System has been reactivated to carry Pirates games?

I welcome emails, and I get a lot of those from our fellow bloggers when we misspell a word (we even got some emails to congratulate us on being given a weekly page in the Trib p.m., but those were almost exclusively from mainstream media folks, strangely not our fellow bloggers -- probably because we're not a real blog).

So, no, maybe we don't run a real blog. But I don't think comments would advance any legitimate purpose on whatever it is we do.

Anonymous said...

Some further considerations.

Back in the heady early days of blogs, I would argue that no one really had any idea what the hell it was they were doing (as opposed to now, when I would argue that no one really has any idea what the hell it is that they're doing). As to the former point, comments are one result (condition? symptom?) of that. It used to be that blogs did not have comments, but then someone added the feature, and the feature became popular.

(As to the parenthetical point: all of this stuff is terribly new yet. It took them half a century, more or less, to figure out what Gutenberg's press was actually good for: we're only getting started with this nonsense, and I think tossing around notions of what makes a real blog based on featurism is incredibly premature).

I'm typing from a slightly broken soapbox here, I know: my own little effort in this brave new media doesn't allow comments! The reason for this is far more prosaic, though: when I wrote the (admittedly crappy) CMS I use to maintain it, coming up with a way to do comments within my design goals turned out to be something I wasn't interested in, so I left it out. Or possibly i was just lazy. I've forgotten. Anyway: the point is somewhat shabby, but there are yet some reasons for lack that do not hinge upon philosophy.

For myself, I would argue this: real blogs thrive or die on the efforts of the writers (or photographers, ecc.) that fuel the content. Sometimes, it's a good thing to spread that load a bit: comments enable this nicely, with a bit of luck and a good community. But I do not find it an essential feature by any stretch.

Case in point, I somewhat suspect that if there were comments enabled on the CSB, what'd we see is a tenfold increase in the attempts at humor. And you wouldn't see any of mine there, because I know that they'd be pretty miserable.

With apologies for the comment,

Mark Rauterkus said...

Judge, I'm sorry if I made some rain on your parade. Heck, it is but a drop as you've got a mega parade in full swing.

My remarks about the comments need to be taken in today's context -- as I gave them in light of what's going on now.

Back in the day -- we didn't call what I did a 'blog.' Back in the day -- the CSB had comments. Fine. But that isn't what I'm fussing about.

The CSB is a media empire, sorta -- or shortly. GREAT. You've got the blog (it is a blog), the Trib, the radio gig. You've got the PA influence rankings too.

Those other outlets don't allow for interactions. You can't take phone calls on the radio show and expect the humor to work. Newspapers present a one to many communication system. (writer & publisher) to readers (many).

I'm eager for some 'evolution' for feedback and sustained conversations / jokes / humor as well as more community building.

- -
Tip: if you wish -- NUKE the comments that don't raise utility and grins.

If you wish, make blog posts on an approval basis.

If you want -- make one OPEN thread a week. Then all the $.02 comments can land there and not clutter. Keep comments 'closed' on all the other postings.

This is 'constructive feedback' -- as I love what you do. And, I've been thrilled to get props from you in past campaign efforts.

Keep up the good work.

Tim Murray said...

Well, I need to get you running for mayor instead of worrying about small fish like us. 2009 could be the year for you.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I like fish. I like to run. Friends are nice too.