28 September 2008

Media Diet Week 39

Press: I'm quite amazed at the number of physical papers I've purchased this week. Four copies of the Guardian and an Observer, a Sun and a News of the World plus my local paper (for the first time in weeks) and 2 Daily Mirrors. This was largely down to the amount of travelling I've done since 8 days ago. Reading newspapers on trains is practically obligatory and certainly passes the time. One thing I've noticed is I have actually read more. I suppose it's partly because I've paid for the papers and want to get my money's worth but I'm also very aware that when reading the papers online I tend to just skim the headlines and only click on those that entice me. With a print copy, my eye is drawn not just to the headlines but also the opening paragraphs and that determines whether I'll keep reading or not. On the net, papers tend to offer only the headline of a story - the sole determinant of a click-through. Perhaps there is a lesson there for the designers of the online editions...

Blogs: two journalists I admire have started blogs - stand up Kate Bevan and Anne Wollenberg. My current gripe, though, is with Technorati, which seems to be permanently borked. Technorati's admin have admitted to having indexing problems and a backlog to catch up on but weeks later nothing seems to be fixed. Their last site status report, dated 12 September, claims all problems are resolved when they clearly are not - a look at the discussion board reveals endless complaints from fed-up bloggers who are not being automatically pinged. This particular blog went unpinged for a whole month. It took four requests to admin to get them to push a status update through for me (which saw lots of new incoming links and a hefty rise in my ranking) but since then it has languished unpinged again, 12 days and counting. I'm not alone in feeling frustrated by Technorati, which seems to be rapidly losing its reputation among bloggers as the essential indexing site. I'm looking into alternatives myself now that I can longer rely on Technorati for reliability.

TV/radio: apart from EastEnders and Strictly Come Dancing, I'm still watching very little TV. EastEnders is attracting huge controversy just now for running a long-term storyline about paedophilia. It has been really well-scripted so far, with some terrific acting and I think if it helps even one abused child break their silence it will have done good. Looking back over the last few weeks, I seem to have started watching a number of things and abandoned them - Merlin and Mutual Friends to mention just 2. Very few of the new serials seem compelling enough to make me want to tune in again. Usually the autumn season signals a decent run of programmes but I suspect at this rate I may be signing up for adult ed classes to fill my evenings.

Books: the other good thing about spending endless hours on trains is the chance to get stuck into a juicy book. Last Sunday's trip back from the capital gave me the opportunity to blitz Piers Morgan's Don't You Know Who I Am? Disappointly, while he mentioned buying Press Gazette and then, a bit later, deciding not to attend its fabled Press Awards, he failed to write about the collapse of PG under his and Matthew Freud's ownership. It would have been interesting to hear his version of events but perhaps poor Piers felt it might be too painful to recall...

3 comments:

writeyouare said...

Aw, shucks. Thanks an' that. Right back atcha.

Wordpress seems to ping me automatically when someone links to me (such as when you did, in this post). I'm hoping that means I don't have to piss about with Technorati. I haven't used it, but have you tried Icerocket as I think that does something similar?

wordsmith_for_hire said...

I've been looking at Icerocket but I'm not sure if it logs inbound links and ranks you or not (someone please correct me, if you have the answer!). I'm looking at http://weblogs.com/ and may sign up to that. Their FAQ is not terribly helpful, though.

I have 1 blog on Wordpress which automatically sucks up my inbound links. Blogger.com doesn't seem to do that always, it seems very hit and miss and I know for a fact that on at least one entry here it dumped two inbound links and replaced them with others - is there a quota, I wonder? That's why I use Technorati. Except now it's borked with a capital B...

writeyouare said...

I lie - WP didn't ping me, I found this post courtesy of Google Alerts which I have set up to spot people nicking my work. WP does seem to ping me if someone links to the URL for a post rather than the main blog URL.