Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rocky editor Temple's blog: Not dead, just looking that way

So I screwed up the other day by announcing the demise--the "sadly exaggerated death" as one wag put it--of Rocky Mountain News editor John Temple's blog. The least I can do to atone is actually read the damn thing (yes, so you don't have to--check that off my list of blogger cliches) and see if it's still as lame as ever.

Well, it is, almost. Actually, the first thing I noticed is that Temple's blog is no longer listed on the Rocky's main page. Nor is it listed on the opinion page. You now have to go to a dropdown menu on that page, click on "Rocky blogs," then open a list of (count 'em) all four of them (two sports-related, one about shopping, and Temple's). Is this an attack of modesty on Temple's part, or is he just bowing to the evident lack of reader interest?

Also hard to miss is that although he's been blogging since April, and the Rocky just this week unveiled a total redesign of its website, Temple still doesn't have permalinks. Why on earth not? And is a blog without permalinks really a blog?


Least surprising is that Temple's posts are still really boring. Here are the titles of his last few, just to give you the flavor: October 28: "National interest in citizen journalism," a defense against the slagging given to the Rocky's dorky "YourHub.com" in Editor & Publisher; November 1: "Question from a reader about campaign finance," about guess what; November 3: "Insight into impact of Libby case on journalism" (impact bad, but Temple merely introduces a paragraph from Theodore Olsen's WSJ piece on Monday, with, of course, no link); and, Sunday (deep breath), "Michael Brown's e-mails another example of how Colorado Supreme Court mistaken in Tracy Baker case."

This one is actually kind of interesting, despite the unbearable title: Tracy Baker was the Arapahoe County Clerk caught exchanging lewd e-mails with one of his employees, with whom he was also having an affair. The Rocky, even though the wording of the e-mails had long been known, sued to have them made public. And, last week, lost. For questionable reasons the state supreme court said the e-mails, though written and sent by public employees at their workplace, were not part of the public record.

But Temple doesn't actually write about this on his blog, or not much; he just points (again without linking) to a USA Today article, and links to his own Saturday column on the subject.

All in all, it still seems as if Temple has a blog merely because he thinks he should have one. But while the Drunkablog has no clue what newspapers need to do to survive these days, it's apparent that one thing they almost certainly don't need is a blogging editor. Temple, like any big-time editor, already has multiple avenues to take his opinions out for a drive; his blogging is simply redundant.

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