Celebrating Valentine's Day with links from 2008

The only proper way a journalist could celebrate Valentine’s Day 2009 is to look elsewhere, the past, namely.

It might have been hard to think in February 2008 that one year later would only look darker for newspapers. Let’s look back on those happier times with what was going on in the blogosphere circa Cupid’s Day 2k8, via the archives of 10,000 Words. Thanks Mark.

For those of you pathetic souls alone and online searching today, something that can totally take away the pain is due up later this morning.

Image from Wikipedia.

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Four ways to improve the Philadelphia magazine Web site


A host of people smarter than I am call Philadelphia magazine home.

Better writers, reporters, editors, designers, photographers and more. I suspect they know worlds more about the business model, their print product and Web presence, but I can’t help but think Phillymag.com has a lot of work to be done.

Their lessons are worth learning for all publications on the Web, particularly magazines. Philadelphia is too large a market, and Philadelphia magazine is too historic a product for both not to be served by innovation in every field and industry.

Below see four broad areas Philadelphia magazine can improve its less-than-remarkable online product.

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Don't do it for free, freelancers

Photo by Alex Irwin. See more at AlexIrwin.wordpress.com

Pike Place Market in Seattle.Photo by Alex Irwin. See more at AlexIrwin.wordpress.com

Last month, Alex Irwin, a good friend and a very hip arts blogger and Philadelphia music writer, posted that he gave over publishing rights of two of his photos to an online travel guide for Seattle, where he was visiting his girlfriend when snapped the pictures.

Wrong move, I say. Let me tell you why.

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Will the Philadelphia Inquirer Harrisburg bureau get trimmed?

The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are officially sharing content, according to Editor & Publisher.

Inquirer Editor William Marimow and Post-Gazette Editor David Shribman confirmed that they have been swapping daily budgets since Jan. 29, the latest example of the ever-growing trend of newspapers with no common ownership or JOA trading news.

“We exchange budgets and except for the most highly-competitive stories, we will be sharing,” said Marimow. “You will see more Pittsburgh Post-Gazette bylines and photos in the Inquirer.” [Source]

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I hate PR-infused e-mail quotes

Some folks in public relations relish the opportunity for their clients to respond to journalists in e-mail.

The message can be crafted, measured and direct. Really, it ought to be a great opportunity, but most times, in my experience, I see the difference between a wizard in media manipulation and some hack. The lessons are for reporters and PR reps alike.

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Six month old trend, then I'm ready to join: is your newspaper like that too?

I am now the proud owner of an mp3 player – my first.

It’s a trend of my coming to any popular phase months too late. Sometimes by choice, sometimes not.

In anything, from electronics to music to business innovation in media, there are trend-setters, followers and late-comers. Which are you, and which is your organization?

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Newspapers: stop moving around your online articles

Let those links live.

For most newspapers, I bet, this is an issue with their content management system, but this is getting serious.

Two of my best clips ever for the Philadelphia Inquirer, including one among my favorite stories I’ve ever written, are no longer available online – even though the links are still live for a profile on state Rep. Babette Josephs and a 1000-word ditty on the nascent Harrisburg reform movement.

Someone just plum and moved them, I guess behind a paywall, though I can’t find them even there.

Why would any newspaper do that, particularly a big newsaper with evergreen like profiles and enterprise features?

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Why don't Philadelphia police and fire departments sell merchandise?

God, I could get sick if I see someone else with an NYPD hat.

But, Hell, kudos because that is brand development and, I’d bet, some additional revenue for those departments – even if lots of copycats are out there.

I could only imagine the fear is police impersonation, but I have to believe you could limit the design and merchandise to mitigate that fear.

In a city of huge bureaucracy, this could be a department of the city’s police or fire departments that could make some money. As much as those departments are reviled by some, there are those eager to support a big city’s bravest and finest. Let’s monetize that for the city.

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