Saturday, February 12, 2005

Nashville Blogger Bash

Nashville bloggers had their first bash this morning. Check these facts out: A local television station hosted it at their facility (picture here), and catered it. Well... donuts and coffee, but still. Attendance was around twenty. It was their first bash. (More info from Bill Hobbs and Blake.)

Bloody freakin' hell.

The television station has their own blogs, including an anchor who is respected by other local bloggers. They also have a prominent icon on the front page to a blogroll of Nashville bloggers. An impressive list it is, too, with several of the state's largest blogs and quite a few involved in Nashville and State politics. They are identified by blog name and author; many include a short blurb. Clearly, this is a station that gets it.

Compare to Memphis. The Commercial Appeal has a barebones blogroll. But I can name quite a few great Memphis blogs not listed. Can't say that for the Nashville blogroll. On the other hand, the CA has started driving traffic to my site, anywhere from 6 to 12 visitors a day. Clearly, someone's reading it, though again out of thousands of hits a day at their site, that's a piddling amount of collateral referral hits.

The Commercial Appeal also has their own stable of bloggers, but it's a very mixed bag. Look them over here. Some of them are pretty savvy in terms of blogs, like Mark, Eric or Leslie; some of the blogs are moribund. Some have active commenter communities, but I don't get a sense that any of the CA bloggers participates as much as one might hope. None of the blogs is oriented to complementing the paper's reporting or with bringing the Memphis community into their news gathering process.

None of the television stations in Memphis has a blogroll, nor makes any effort to reach out to the blog community. At all. WHBQ/13 has a weatherblog, written by a chatty and funny Joey Sulipeck. WREG/3's chief weatherman, Tim Simpson, has a blog too, and also discusses a variety of family, work and weather issues. As personal blogs go, it's great, very well done; as a weatherman's blog, it's less satisfying in that he doesn't speak much to the mechanics of his job. Last is his coworker, anchor Pam McKelvy. Her blog started out great, but has petered out. It's shout-outs, recipes, and lots of pictures. Nothing behinds the scenes.

Radio blogs? Right.

And that's it. For folks who want to know more about the local news biz, there's no one blogging it. The Flyer has a Grizzlies blog, but me not being a sports fan I've never cared. They also supposedly have an "online columnist," but it's news to me. I've never heard her mentioned anywhere else. It's sad, too, in that the Flyer has mentioned blogs a time or two before, and in his latest columns Jackson Baker has been touting them like mad.

I can't leave this subject without mentioning WMC/5. No, they don't have any blogs, but their newsrooms is chockablock with bloggers! At least a half-dozen staffers have personal blogs. If any newsroom "gets" blogging, it's them. And yet they've never done a story on blogging, to my knowledge.

I've been plugging a story on the Memphis blog community for two years now. No luck, no bites. I find that strikingly odd, given how hot "blogs" are nationally and in media discussions. Memphis' news community is so parochial and cut-throat, so slow to give credit to others and quick to criticise. The daily paper likes to pretend there is no television news community.

Meanwhile, Memphians are yet again upstaged by that hick town up the highway. We have the largest blogging community in the area. I'm not talking Mid-South, but state and regional. I haven't counted it, but it's something like forty or more blogs. That's not counting Memphis-themed website communities or LiveJournals either.

Twenty bloggers got together at a television studio! To me, this is deeply dispiriting. It will likely make the evening news, too. So why can't we all get along?

No comments: