Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Spilling the Beans

Hardest constraint someone can put on you whithout actually spelling out constraints is "I trust you." But it's also kind of flattering. Maybe that's the hook that makes it so effective.

Anyway, I've been busting at the seams to spill what Craig Westover has been doing to try to get a piece I wrote published as a guest editorial in the Pioneer Press. Let me just say he went above and beyond what I could have reasonably expected in support. Yesterday the Pioneer Press passed on publishing the piece (still shopping it elsewhere, so I can't publish it here yet). I'm not thrilled with it, but I'm not crying in my beer either. First attempt. Got a reading, a reply, and a great experience. Wouldn't take it back for the world.

But when I hinted at what was going on, a couple of you guessed in the right direction, but still wrong. The BIG point here wasn't about getting any one piece published in the Pioneer Press. It was about blogs (not just this one!!) having a channel into a major local paper. This is crucial if newspapers are to survive, but an important step for the newsie portion of the blogosphere as well.

Adapting a blog post to newspaper standards and style was hugely illustrative of the difference between the mediums. That will get its own post some time. For now I'll just leave it at that.

Anyway, the reason I was so high on Craig's help wasn't just about getting one piece published. It was about his commitment toward local bloggers in general, and the ramifications this holds for our future opportunities. It ain't just me folks. It's not just Craig either. It's us.

Craig wrote to me:

"There's a lot of raw talent out there -- good ideas -- that deserve a "mainstream" audience. Also, every time a good solid piece of writing comes out of the blogosphere it adds to the impact on Pioneer Press editors and moves them closer to incorporating bloggers into their strategic thinking."
Much as I would have liked to have my piece picked up, overall this isn't about a single event like that. It's bigger. And it involves you just as much as me.

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