Oregonian: a Day Late and a Dollar Short

by Steve, December 13th, 2007

Isn’t it ironic that the Oregonian, whose Web site is the crappiest of all local news outlets, has suddenly discovered (thanks to the folks at Nielsen) that blogging is kind of a big thing in Portland. The front page of today’s living section features a story — yet to be published on the Web, evidently — about how Portland is the #2 bloggingest metro area in the US.

With a cutesy blog style article, complete with comments from Real! Live! Portland Bloggers!, the big O barely scratches the surface. In typical lazy Oregonian style, Steve Woodward did a cursory browse of ORBlogs and didn’t quite mention this blog.

He quotes the blurb on my ORBlogs page (“This may well be he only anti-war hockey blog… in the universe”) without mentioning the title or URL, and lumps me in with sports blogs.

Lordy, I’ve tried to be a sports blogger, but I just don’t have what it takes. All my hockey fan readers have left in droves since I’ve become more about politics than pucks. So it’s obvious that Woodward has no clue that this is one of a small handful of sites where Portland Public Schools policy and politics are discussed with any depth and regularity. The Tribune has pegged me and this blog as “the leading voice for equity issues” at PPS (I don’t think I’m worthy of that, but at least they’ve got the general drift). To the Oregonian I’m a sports blogger.

Most glaringly, there was no mention of Wacky Mommy, the internationally adored blogger I share a bed with.

Naturally, there’s no mention of the Portland Mercury’s very popular, pop culture-saturated Blogtown, or the less popular, more newsy Willamette Week WWire.

The fact that the Oregonian is trying to get current, with their generally irrelevant blogs and Oregon Reddit on oregonlive.com, doesn’t make up for the fact that they have the most outdated, least usable Web site of any local media source. The fact that I can’t even link to the story I’m writing about says it all. Even if it were published on the Web, the link would go dead after a couple weeks, since the O refuses to keep archives online.

17 Responses to “Oregonian: a Day Late and a Dollar Short”

  1. Comment from Shermdog:

    Good post.

    FYI, you can find that story here – http://www.oregonlive.com/livi.....038;coll=7

  2. Comment from Steve:

    Yep, there it is… for a couple weeks, anyway. Thanks. Wasn’t there when I looked this morning, which is certainly appropriate.

  3. Comment from Kevin:

    I’ve just read that article (online) for the third time in a row and I’m more confused than ever. Was it somehow more coherent in print, with some sort of graphic treatment to overlay a bit of sense and organization?

    And did the newspaper version have, say, I dunno – I’m just spitballing here – any URLs for all this stuff that Woodward was talking about?

    I’m not surprised that the article didn’t mention Willamette Week and the Mercury’s blogs. Nor am I surprised that it didn’t mention Portland Food & Drink and ExtraMSG, which are more lively alternatives to the O’s restaurant sections – or the Portland Metroblogging people, who are trying to have the sort of civic dialogue for which the O blogs heave and strain.

    And I’ve gotta say: In Woodward’s list of Portland subgroups in the blogging world and all their fabulous creative-class diversity as they search for their humanhood and all that happy horseshit, it says a lot about the paper – and about the city – that the story didn’t include or mention blogs by blacks, Latinos, or Asians. Diversity, it seems, means that everyone has a different tattoo and microbrew.

  4. Comment from Terry:

    The O has done blog stories before, even, as I recall, back in 2002 which is what got me started.

    The funny thing is, the local media (the O and the Trib) always mention the same three bloggers in their stories on blogging –Jack, Betsy, and Christopher Frankonis– despite the fact that b!x (that’s Frankonis) is no longer a major player in the local blogosphere.

    But, oh well. You and Wacky are on my blogroll, and that must count for something, don’t you think?

  5. Comment from Wacky Mommy:

    The print story made no sense, either.


    Yee-haws!!!! going out to both of you, from your avid reader, me.

  6. Comment from Betsy:

    I must confess – I have Steve Woodward in my back pocket; we are >likethis

  7. Comment from Betsy:

    (grrr…chopped off my own comment ’cause I was trying to be all cutesy with the code…)

    …and he is more than happy to do my bidding.

    Seriously – he emailed me a few weeks ago, I responded fairly quickly, and that’s all. (The piece has been delayed a few weeks, which wasn’t his fault.) And he got me via MetBlogs, where I’ve been forever and a day.

    I wasn’t ever under the impression that it was going to a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the local scene – I figured it was going to be a pop-tech piece in the LIving section of the local daily, so made my comments accordingly. I also figured no one in my offline circle would even read it – and I was right!

    As for inbound traffic? Didn’t really expect it, haven’t really seen it…

  8. Comment from Casey:

    It’s one thing to complain about the content of the article. There are points to be made on that end. But it’s rather pathetic to complain that your blog wasn’t mentioned within the article. Very petty.

  9. Comment from Steve:

    My blog was mentioned… as a sports blog. (Anyone takes a cursory glance at this blog knows this ain’t a sports blog.)

    Kevin, in the print edition, the article was laid out like a blog, complete with graphics stolen from blogger.com, simulated hyperlinks and a sidebar. The real irony is that this is all lost on the Web, including the hyperlinks.

    How the hell can you write an article about the Web and not include a single hyperlink in the Web version? Now that’s pathetic.

  10. Comment from Wacky Mommy:

    Casey, I think you’re pretty, too!

  11. Comment from Steve:

    If you’ve got Steve Woodward in your back pocket, Betsy, maybe you could teach him what an URL is, and why they are important for finding things on the World Wide Web. You might also teach him about hyperlinks, and how if you click on them, you can actually read the sites they link to and learn a little about the subject at hand.

    Just sayin’.

  12. Comment from Betsy:

    Steve, like the rest of the folks at The O, have no control over how their stuff shows up on OLive. O content is licensed to OLive like any other syndication deal; OLive gets to do with it as they will without any pesky reporters or editors or the like standing over their shoulders directing what should be linked, etc.

  13. Comment from Steve:

    That’s not entirely true, Betsy. The Oregonian and OregonLive.com are owned by Newhouse, and though they are run independently, Oregonian staff has certain leeway in making the site theirs. See the pimpage for school choice the Oregonian’s education team put together on OregonLive, for example, complete with hyperlinks and other interactive Web features. Very 1997 functionally, but still, it’s way better than most of OregonLive.

    I understand this was just a quickie mid-week living cover, which is generally throw away crap. But that’s kind of the point… they put out a paper every day, whether they’ve got worthy stuff to print or not. That story wasn’t even up to the standards of a metblogs post, but their going to kill a few hundred tree to print it.

    OregonLive is clearly Newhouse’s bastard step-child compared to the Pulitzer-winning O. Newhouse’s corporate-wide timidity with the Web reflects incredibly badly on their papers, and will probably be their downfall.

  14. Comment from Sara:

    I think betsy is correct; with rare exceptions, the O writers don’t get control over their work when it gets sucked into the OLive vortex.

    Steve’s comment about Live being the “bastard stepchild” is right on, too. It is, hands down, the worst website in Oregon.

  15. Comment from Wacky Mommy:

    I would say it’s one of the worst websites In. The. WORLD!

  16. Comment from BlackFriend:

    one of their featured blogs on OregonLive is that black girl, wherein a black woman spouts all of her race-related self-hate. I don’t think it’s a coinky-dink that oregonlive links to a site where a black person basically co-signs every racist belief about black people.

    conspiracy theorist, nope, not me.

  17. Comment from Tonya:

    If it makes you feel better, I found you via OregonLive’s Reddit. :)