Yorkblog.com officially went live this weekend. For those interested in the official launch proclamation, I’ve posted my York Sunday News column for Sept. 25.
A decade ago, a respected newspaperman built a future-of-media speech around a metaphor.
Newspapers need to view delivery of information as a multi-lane road.
For news organizations to move ahead, they must use several lanes to move toward their destination — providing information to readers.
The newspaper represents one lane — a wide, heavily traveled lane. Niche print publications form a second. Providing news feeds to radio partners is another. So is the Internet. And so on.
Newspapers and special publications — like our weekly Flipside entertainment magazine — remain wide open lanes.
Meanwhile, the York Daily Record/Sunday News, like other media companies, are increasingly exploring the Web lane.
And to torture the metaphor even more, we’re finding this lane full of options.
Do we go left? Do we head right? Well, maybe we must go left and right — at the same time.
This weekend, we’re opening a new lane heading toward a virtual community — Yorkblog.com.
Blogs, or Web logs, are showing sharp growth on the Web. These sites often represent musings — or rants. And those agreeing, disagreeing or searching for a third route can respond.
Blogs can turn into a multi-sided conversation.
Well, Yorkblog.com pulls together several distinct voices into one community:
– Argento’s Front Stoop: Mike Argento, our columnist, is posting regular entries that are, well, Mike Argento-like.
– The Lineup Card: Several members of our sports staff are posting updates on the prep sports scene.
– York Town Square: I’m putting up entries connecting county history and journalism.
– Pardon My Rant: Copy editor Dave Dentel will be making observations on religion, culture and politics.
We plan to add other staff-written blogs. We’re adding links from local bloggers to Yorkblog, too. Bloggers should contact blogmaster Scott Fisher at email@example.com for consideration.
Back to Argento, as an illustration of what’s on “Yorkblog.‿
Most of his postings reflect the satire of his three-times-a-week newspaper column.
His blog explains that his newspaper column can be about anything and so will his online entries, encompassing life in York County and beyond.
“And, for the record, as he told his wife the other night, he wishes people would stop asking him, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ He really doesn’t know,” a description on Argento’s blog states.
But Argento made history at Yorkblog.com.
He actually posted a serious entry:
“One of the greatest human beings to ever walk the Earth has passed on. Simon Wiesenthal has died. He was 96. … The world is a better place because of him. And we humans are better people because he walked among us.”
For readers traveling exclusively in the newspaper lane, we expect Yorkblog.com to improve the Daily Record/Sunday News, too.
For years, newspapers have posted stories and photos onto their Web sites. With Yorkblog.com, we hope to do the reverse.
Simply put, some “good stuff” from the blogs will make it into the newspaper. Our journalists must know how to change lanes — to write for different media.
If you’re still reading, you’re probably tired of this highway metaphor. Indeed, you might be ready to reach for the NoDoz.
But please finish reading the York Sunday News, turn on your computer and head to Yorkblog.com.
Enjoy the conversation of others or jump right in. I hope you’ll find there a real sense of community.