Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Some thoughts on the frustrating South Florida blogging scene in 2011 that compares so unfavorably to the innovative one in Sweden; Observations re NY Times' article on growing cleavage between using blogs and Twitter to disseminate original content: "Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter"; On comparing the blog portals at the Miami Herald to the ones used by savvy Swedish news media that makes young women like Blondinbella, Tess Montgomery and Josefina Boston influential voices on so many issues; The whole blogging scene in Sweden is not just different from the U.S. -it's better. Meanwhile, here, MSM and "Usual Suspects' try to dominate the conversation

South Florida blogging scene in 2011; Observations re NY Times' article on growing cleavage between using blogs and Twitter to disseminate original content: "Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter"; On comparing the blog portals at the Miami Herald to the ones used by savvy Swedish news media that makes young women like Blondinbella, Tess Montgomery and Josefina Boston influential voices on so many issues; The whole blogging scene in Sweden is not just different from the U.S. -it's better. Meanwhile, here, MSM and "Usual Suspects' try to dominate the conversation
* Updated in January of 2016

I'm still laughing and bemused after reading this New York Times article, below, with my emphasis in red.

This fascinating-yet-revealing quote is what really hit me:
“It’s different from blogging because it’s easier to use,” she said.“ With blogging you have to write, and this is just images. Some people write some phrases or some quotes, but that’s it.”


Yes, putting those pesky words together in sentences and paragraphs sure is hard work! 

These kids are all thumbs.

New York Times

Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter

By Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Published: February 20, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO — Like any aspiring filmmaker, Michael McDonald, a high school senior, used a blog to show off his videos. But discouraged by how few people bothered to visit, he instead started posting his clips on Facebook, where his friends were sure to see and comment on his editing skills.
“I don’t use my blog anymore,” said Mr. McDonald, who lives in San Francisco. “All the people I’m trying to reach are on Facebook.”
Read the rest of the article at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/technology/internet/21blog.html

Meanwhile, in Europe, media companies that create a stable of popular and blogs stressing text and visuals, esp. those written by popular teens and twenty/thirty-somethings about fashion, design and pop culture, are making money. Why?
Because they offer something that readers always want:
interesting unique content.


The hugely-popular blog, The Blond Salad, http://www.theblondesalad.com/ created by a very 

savvy and resourceful Italian twenty-something named Chiara Ferragni @ChiaraFerragni today had this exclusive: Burberry fashionshow in real time on Theblondesalad!

Yes, timeliness and genuine relevancy for her readers, just two of the things that concerned residents like me perpetually complain that we have far too little of in South Florida for local politics and government, in part because in the year 2011, we also STILL lack an All-News local cable channel that can fill that gap. 
To match the All-News radio station that South Florida also still lacks.








Above, the colorful header used by model Tess Montgomery for her popular blog, TessM.se.

*2016 Update to below: In 2013 Tess was one of the featured bloggers on the very popular Stureplan.se platform at http://stureplan.se/bloggar/tess but in 2016 Tess is now blogging at http://tessm.metromode.se/  


Spotlife.se
with two London-based blogs, Josefina Boston's Absolute Boston, http://absolutboston.se/  and Tess Montgomery's, http://tessm.se/, both of which I have mentioned here very positively in this space previously, have multi-national advertisers, and that's even more the case at Isabella Löwengrip's Blondinbella blog -also at Spotlife- who has become a well-known celebrity/author throughout Scandinavia and Europe.


She's also not only
a frequent presence on national TV in Sweden, but is more influential than most veteran reporters and correspondents at well-known European newspapers, magazines and wire services covering fashion or pop culture.

And everyone knows it, too.

In Sweden, there's even a nationally-televised awards show for blogs on Channel 4, for the best blogs in about a dozen different subject and age categories, and it's promoted on both TV and in print, even to the point where they have TV ads featuring the various candidates in the weeks leading up to the telecast. I've even placed those some of promos here on the blog in the past to give you an idea of how differently blogs are viewed.

Here's the video they produced for the Blog Awards 2010 show in the category of Best Newcomer - Årets nykomling

Blog%20awards:%20%C3%85rets%20nykomling

http://www.tv4play.se/noje_och_humor/blog_awards?videoId=1.1773279

See some more recent clips at: https://www.tv4play.se/program/blog-awards

Let me tell you something -there is no station promo for local Miami TV newscasts or Dolphins or Hurricanes shows that is as well-produced as that one.

Yes, genuine effort and vision still counts for something with readers and viewers.
And the numbers show it.

Here's the list and video of the 2010 winners:

http://www.tv4.se/1.1831566/2010/09/27/vi_vann_blog_awards_2010

Meanwhile, the Miami Herald's blog network such as it is, is featured in the bottom-third of the website's first page, and has no identifiable icon or graphic next to it, just boring black text saying South Florida Blogs.


Above, a screenshot I took Monday night of the location on the Miami Herald's website where their blogs and collection of South Flordia blogs are located, with, as you can see, no icon to attract your attention or differentiate them -just text in black.

Boring!

I'll leave to another time the question of why a media company like McClatchy that prints both English and Spanish language newspapers in Miami insists on placing Spanish language blogs on an English language website, and even worse, confuses people by having a Spanish language blog with an icon being the first one that people actually see on the English language website.
And it's also the only one
.


Why are there blogs listed in the South Florida blogs section that are actually written by Herald staffers, and why aren't they listed in the Herald's own section?

That's real genius!
And nervy!

Lots of online Herald readers no doubt see that and say, "Why even bother?"


And when you get there, you aren't exactly wowed visually by what you see!

http://yourblogs.miamiherald.com/

Compare that frumpy-dumpy scene of the Herald blog page to not only Spotlife's colorful blog home, http://spotlife.se/ but also the very popular Stureplan blogs, which are very much about Stockholm's exciting nightlife and entertainment scene which puts Miami/South Beach's to shame for genuine fun for non-millionaires, http://stureplan.se/


Could there be more of a contrast between the integration of color and design?

And there are other differences, too.

For reasons that were never explained to me, my own blog -yes, this one- was listed on the Herald's blog page when it first launched, but since I was never asked about it or received any info from the Herald about their plans prior to its launch, I only found out about it a few weeks after it started, thru an email from a friend who'd seen my blog on it and was puzzled why it was there without my ever having mentioned it to her.


She wanted to know who I got there to put in a good word for me.

Nobody -it was a complete surprise to me, too.
That's NOT exactly a strategy to win well-informed hearts and minds -or readers and eyeballs.

And now that the
Herald's link for their hodgepodge collection of blogs has migrated from near the top of the website to some dubious real estate with no promotion, graphics or icon, it's not at all clear that readers even realize it's STILL there.
I don't even think about it anymore, even though I'm on it.


Since this article is about a downward trend among some sub-set of bloggers, let's call them the
never-reads, let me leave you with a more encouraging stone-cold fact about one who gives people facts and context they are looking for.

Isabella Löwengrip
 at Blondinbella has more people following her on Facebook than the Miami 

Herald and South Florida Sun-Sentinel and ALL their reporters, columnists or subject blogs combined.
She's... actually recognized in Stockholm at the airport when she flies home into Arlanda.


Interesting and unique content
-it's why I read the blogs I've mentioned here and why so many other people do, too.

Just saying...

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