Welcome to the small leagues: On WordPress and journalism

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Written By Brian Krogsgard

4 thoughts on “Welcome to the small leagues: On WordPress and journalism”

  1. Nothing is stopping the next Nate Silver from simply starting a blog and changing the conversation again.

    Every time I’m reminded of the empowerment WordPress can give people – even small league home journalists – I feel butterflies in my stomach. Anyone can change the conversation, or share their view. It’s a beautiful thing.

  2. Hmm. I feel the power of the average blog has diminished a bit since the bigger groups have formed. As much as I think Medium is an awesome service (as are the many other similar platforms) I think their existence, and emergence of these ‘platforms’ are continuously diminishing the possibility of what makes a blog so unique, and powerful…the independence of it all. The disconnect of this individual, or small groups of individuals, writing away on this unique website. Each person pouring their heart out to an audience that may never hear them, but then one day someone comes across a post, and next thing you know the social networks are all a buzz. Then the small website goes down from the traffic, and someone made a difference. If a Medium post goes viral…why does it matter? How is that inspirational when it’s a distributed platform? Don’t get me wrong I believe it’s great in many ways, since it provides the readership the above required a spark to find….I just think it’s this spark blogs need. Where is the magic in Medium? This is all just a personal feeling, and opinion of course. Thanks for listening. Responses are of course appreciated.

  3. Brian, first of all, let me say that I’m sort of blown away that a casual twitter conversation can be picked up and analyzed like this – I guess this is what happens when you chat with the guy who basically invented the modern web browser. Second, I think you are correctly getting at what I was trying to say, but probably used the wrong term in “webmaster”. As sites scale from a hobby level into a larger professional level, they inevitably require at least one resource that focuses on site itself. The idea that a one-person can focus on generating great content as well as keep a site well-designed, optimized economically and running becomes more difficult the more it becomes a business. But I do agree with Marc (I assume he and I are on a first-name basis now) in that you can definitely get started this way. But lastly, I was really talking about the kind of journalism that greatly impacts our biggest institutions – investigative journalism and I still think this is very hard to do on a “prosumer” basis even with modern tools. First of all, this type of journalism tends to be anti-establishment, so running a site with ads could get sticky if someone is uncovering uncomfortable truths that expose the underbelly of our corporatist society. Additionally, I find a lot of this reporting requires deep expertise, connections and an understanding that is hard to develop without resources. Hence the points I was trying to make about the role of new funding models (public grants, kickstarter(ish), etc…). For topics that aren’t as controversial (say sports for example) I think the WordPress>Viable Self Sustaining Entity model works fine – a la Bleacher Report, et al.
    Thanks for noticing the discussion and for spelling my last name correctly! Great discussion.

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