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, Europe 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.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A very curious-but-pleasant surprise for some South Florida bloggers from the Miami Herald, but there's still so much more blogger knowledge & synergy that ought to be publicly displayed on a regular basis. South Florida needs a weekly Broward/Miami-Dade Politics Hour on radio!

Above, my screenshot of today's Miami Herald website showing where the link to their South Florida Blogs are shown on the page by the orange circle, at the bottom of the default, with no icons of any sort to identify it.
Could it be more hidden?

Wow! Very curious but pleasant surprise from Miami Herald

Just noticed this NEW change from last week at Miami Herald -they're linking my (our) blog posts under their extant "city" pages, i.e. http://www.miamiherald.com/hallandale-beach/

Example: 

It's not as easy to navigate as my actual blog page, esp. moving from right-to-left because they seem to have shrunken the blog's page it to fit within their own "window," but while you have to know to navigate to your right to see the important fact-filled right-hand column of the blog, which doesn't show up immediately on their "window," my three Google Adsense ads are included, so that's very good. 
(This'll make more sense when you see the URL above.)

After I watch the Duke-North Carolina ACC Lacrosse title game that starts on ESPNU at 3 p.m., I need to spend some time checking whether they're doing this for every city in Broward and Miami-Dade that has a blog I'm aware of, or whether they're now including bloggers on those "city" pages who are not currently on their own "South Florida Blogs" list, which I know might include some of you reading this.

If the Herald really wanted to play this smart, they'd greatly expand that list of blogs -after asking them first- and then link to the "city" page in their online version of their articles via a link at the end of the article, not unlike a label or tag at the end of a blog post.

That would make it a lot easier for news junkies like me to see if anyone else has already written on the subject at hand, perhaps -likely- even better and with more knowledge of the actual facts and context, the lack of which is one of the biggest and most-constant criticisms of the current group of Herald reporters in either county.

As it happens, about ten days ago, partly out of curiosity as much as boredom, I actually checked their "South Florida Blogs" homepage on the Herald's blah website for the first time in about 6-8 months, and it seemed the way it always was -neglected and with zero colorful icons to catch a reader's attention as they scrolled almost all the way down the page, compared to it being located near the top when they first initiated it, when hopes were high I suppose.

Frankly, as I'm sure is NOT a surprise to many of you reading this given how often I've taken the Herald's website to task, that link is very easy to miss and to my thinking, has represented a terrible blunder by the Herald 


Unlike has been the case in cities like Seattle and Chicago, where lots of creativity, energy and outside-the-box thinking took place as how to best utilize the bloggers to help them and get more information out to the public via a media platform, the Herald seemed largely satisfied with just having a link and nothing else.


Now sometimes that outside-the-box thinking doesn't live up to anyone's expectations, most especially the bloggers, as happened with the experiment that was the Tribune's Chicago Now Radio Show that first aired in 2009 on WGN radio from 9 am-Noon on Saturdays
http://www.wgnradio.com/shows/chicagonow/wgnam-chicago-now-about-show,0,4398318.story but which was killed after about a year, despite this sort of attention:

Still, the axe fell on the radio show -see 6th paragraph of 

The whole dysfunctional episode in Chicago between the legacy media's Tribune Company, ChicagoNOW and the bloggers makes even more sense when you read what was really going on behind-the-scenes as Mike Doyle recounts in his blog post, The Past Imperfect of ChicagoNow, or, as I prefer to remember it using one of his funnier lines, "You can’t run a 21st-century blog network at the speed of a 19th-century newspaper" which ran a few months before the radio show was killed.

This seems to be yet another instance where bloggers were the bait for a legacy media company that wanted to be more relevant, but where the management and bureaucracy of the media powers-that-be and the media platform company weren't too terribly interested in making the product not only more useful for readers, but work for the bloggers, too.

When you consider how many smart and creative people there are in South Florida who have some experience of a sort to add something interesting and new to the news and conversation mix, and yet see how poorly the Herald has reacted to New Media and technology, as I've mentioned here previously in my November 27, 2010 blog post titled
How a video of Paramore in Stockholm & Razorlight in London proves the Miami Herald is too damn slow. Iceberg dead ahead!
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-video-of-paramore-in-stockholm.html 
it's amazing to me that McClatchy's Herald or one of the local Miami TV stations -or even these bewildering sycophantic TV production outfits like Plum TVwhich seem so focused on very shallow topics and celebs for their affluent or wannabe affluent viewers that they fail to appreciate how silly they appearhaven't yet figured out a way to regularly get knowledgeable and articulate people in South Florida who are bloggers on the air to share a story in an interesting and original way, getting much-deserved attention to news stories or issues that people do care about but which the local news media is largely ignoring, for whatever reason.

But then South Florida is the year 2012 is an area without an All-News radio station and
despite all its pretensions, still hasn't figured out a way to have a weekly one-hour radio show on Miami-Dade politics, govt. and local current events one hour, and then Broward the next -or vice-versa.
Say on Friday morning or at Noon, or Saturday mornings from 10-Noon.

The template for this sort of weekly format already exists on Washington, D.C.'s NPR 

affiliate WAMU, which has had this hugely-popular show on Friday afternoon's from Noon-2 p.m. for over 25 years, with D.C. and Maryland/Virginia.

It also features the two governors and the DC mayor, separately, regularly taking questions from their well-informed callers, flanked by savvy area reporters to ask questions as well, and not just folks from the WaPo, either.
I listened to it every week for 15 years and so did almost everyone I know, as well as nearly every serious civic activist and news junkie in the area.

There's nothing even remotely like that currently on South Florida radio/TV.

I'm curious what's happened to the Herald to at least in a small way, shake them out of their longstanding doldrums, since they should've been integrating knowledgeable bloggers into their own coverage over two-and-a-half years ago, when they first introduced the South Florida blog directory and I was included under "Communities
and didn't even know about it because they never contacted me.

As I've mentioned here previously, I only found out about it in the first place because a friend saw it and asked me why I hadn't told her about it.

Could it be that some of my recent (better!) posts re the Broward IG investigation into Hallandale Beach and some other areas to check into, which I'd sent originally as a bcc email to Rick Hirsch, the Herald's Executive Editor -he's Anders Gyllenhaal's successor- the number-two person, directly under the publisher David Landsberg, caused Hirsch or someone else to re-think about some of those accurate verbal darts I threw last December -and some good ideas I suggested to him and others at Herald HQ- which I then posted online here? I highly doubt it but still...

I'm kind of dismayed, since I'd not usually have even checked that HB city page, since given the way the Herald has largely ignored the city for many years, due in part to the fact that Hollywood also holds their City Commission meetings on the same days, that city page of theirs has usually served as nothing but the dusty attic of an archive of recent stories, all of which I'd already read. 
And nothing else the least bit useful to readers here.

Hmm-m... it figures that given how things over there have been managed the past few years, even when the Herald does something good, like this probably will turn out to be, they do so in such an odd and confusing way.
And again, with me knowing nothing about it beforehand.

Yes, a very curious-but-pleasant surprise, indeed!
But is it just the first step or the one-and-only change?
Wish I knew.

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