Inquirer blogs that don't own their Google searches: all newspapers need to learn


Why does a Google search of “Commonwealth Confidential,” the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Harrisburg state capital bureau blog, yield no direct results, but rather links to some of their posts?

Because they haven’t reached out to the blogosphere and received in return the currency of the Internet – incoming links.

This isn’t something I put on the Inquirer Harrisburg bureau staffers, nor am I trying to criticize the Inquirer. Rather it is the newspaper I read, so my criticisms and suggestions often fall their way, though I think they’re widely applicable to newspapers across the country.

If you don’t use RSS feeds to bring the Internet to you, you really should – and subscribe to this blog here. Why you should be using RSS feeds will come in a future post, but for now, what gives with newspaper blogs? This particular one is filled by great reporters and managed by smart people, so why a lack of a rudimentary step – owning your name in a search?

This is more about my concern about major newspapers ignoring fairly fundamental rules of the Internet because I highly doubt the Inqy is alone in these mistakes. I respect the living hell out of a dozen or more Philadelphia reporters, including the lot of the Inqy’s Harrisburg bureau. What’s more, I am quite confident that the whole lot of people at Inquirer online and have worlds of experience on me.

But if newspapers are going to surprise, some idiot 20-something outsider, sitting in his living room in his pajamas at 11 a.m. on a weekday, shouldn’t be able to give a major urban daily any advice that is even remotely sensible. …Period. Even about the small stuff.

I recently posted about newspapers needing to learn the value of RSS feed catchers, too. These mistakes, I fear, are signs that, despite all the whining and squealing, newspapers aren’t racing to catch up on the Web as swiftly as we’d like to think.

Does this matter? Have you seen examples of other similar mistakes by the Inqy or other newspapers when dealing with the blogosphere, the Internet in general or technology?

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