Monday, June 20, 2005

A Rocky start to blogging

Last April Instapundit noted approvingly that Rocky Mountain News editor John Temple was starting a blog. Since then the Rocky has immersed a quivering toe in the blogwater several times, including a sports blog begun today by reporter Sam Adams.

So how's the Rocky doing with its blogging? Not so hot. They seem, in fact, both unclear on the concept and uncertain in its application.

Temple's blog, for instance, is screwed up in basic ways. For one thing, every archived post repeats its opening paragraph--Today in the news blah, blah and right below it Today in the news blah, blah. Hasn't anybody at the Rocky noticed this? Hasn't John Temple noticed this, and if not, what does that say about his involvement in his own blog?

Also, what's the deal with all the broken lines in block quotes? I mean, I know what the deal is, but again, why hasn't the designated personage fixed it?

How about content?

Okay, minor stuff. What about the content? Well, unfortunately Temple's a stiff as a writer, but he's blogged about some fun stuff, like the brouhaha between Dave Kopel and the News' Washington bureau chief John Aloysius Farrell (great name) after Kopel called Farrell a leftist. Or the e-mail exchange between Ward Churchill and Temple after the Rocky ran it's five-part series on Ward a couple of weeks ago.

Too often, though, Temple writes "editor's corner" junk about, say, a reader's question about the weather page, or, God help us, "awards" won by Rocky staff in something called the Scripps-Howard In-house Journalism Awards (Mike Littwin won a "special" award, by the way.).

What else for Temple? He doesn't post very often (three times a week at most) or link to others much. No idea what kind of traffic he gets, but five comments tops on any one post--except for the post on Churchill, which has drawn 140. Comments are unmoderated, and it shows; one commenter on the Churchill post, after berating George Bush, asks, "where's Lee Harvey when you need him?"

Other Rocky blogs

Somebody had the splendid idea of having Rocky reporter and former obituary writer Jim Sheeler blog from Bath, England, where he's attending the 7th Great Obituary Writer's Conference. Unfortunately Jim has gone on a monumental bender, or at least that is my surmise, for his latest post is from Saturday. It's now late Monday. Unless he's reeling around Bath like a Roman and therefore out of touch, why has nobody told Sheeler: blog, ya stupid kid, ya.

Another Rocky temp blog has John Lehndorff in Telluride for the bluegrass festival. Didn't read much of it, but at least he was posting. `

Don't much care about Sam Adam's blog (link above). Upshot is, the Rocky has some work to do.

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