Thursday, September 22, 2005

St. Louis Paper Launches Blog Based Feedback Section

I'm a harsh critic of the St. Louis Post Dispatch when it comes to their politically liberal agenda, and rightfully so. No one should want a political hack home town newspaper. However I have to say that the Post has made a significant upgrade to their online edition with a decent "blog" format. Take a look at the first step that every paper should be taking if they want to be in-touch with the New Media movement:

Post Adds Blog Section

The St. Louis Post Dispatch has done a really good job in their first "interactive" step focused on getting a pulse of what their online readers are thinking and writing about. They have taken a first step to become interactive and allow their readers and customers to provide feedback without filters and that is a "huge" step I think. I'd give the Post an "A" on their first step roll-out. To maintain an "A", they need to open up the blog comment lines to "all" articles and "editorials". Then they need to allow Bloggers to write articles and posts them as fresh offerings at some point as well. As of now on the first tier roll-out they have selected a pretty safe and moderate group of reporters, stories, and columnists for the test. That is a good strategy and I would have done the exact same thing. However, every article and offering should have a blog comment section before we are done with this overhaul.

Lee Publishing has done a much better job than I could have imagined when they purchased the Post. I thought it would be years before we saw the ultra-left leaning paper start making even slight moves to the middle and a moderate - relevant voice. Enhancements like this are a very pleasant surprise. Don't get me wrong, the Editorial section and political coverage is still very favorable towards a liberal agenda, but things are beginning to change slightly. Adding an interactive "blog" section and then enhancing it to all the online offerings would be a huge development.

You should send your paper a link to the St. Louis Post Dispatch "blog" section and tell them that you want the same type of product in your online paper, if you don't already have it. Again, good job Lee Publishing and St. Louis Post Dispatch, it is a very encouraging enhancement..............................................