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Pitch to the editors of the International Herald Tribune about launching the paper's first blog-based column went well!! (Incorporating many of the ideas from this blog.)

Sounds like I might be the first-ever official blogger of the IHT.

Still wrestling with a variety of details - technical and editorial - for version 1.0. It will be rudimentary to begin with (and quite labor intensive for me).

Thanks for further ideas and I will be counting on readers here participating through this blog (or directly on the IHT site.)

How would you prefer to give submissions:

a- I edit them from a blog-like discussion?

b- People have a limited space (100 or 50 words) to give their take on something?

18 Comments

b! (100 word challenges!)

You being close to one of my favorite bloggers, Joi Ito, will get the best advice from him directly.

Blogging as dialogue is good, and I prefer to keep it genuine, including mistakes and blunders, but leaving out rudeness and insults.

Yeap, I choose B too.

I think keeping the online format as-is, then editing afterwards would be good. This keeps the writing fresh, and not overly thought out formatted as a 100 word limit would force. If I am writing long strings of garbage (which I might be) just edit it out. Better that than lose a gem that I might not get to till line 103.

Also, it might be cool to keep it completely as-is textually. Meaning, typos and all (of course make a dislcaimer). None of us are proud of them, but it definitely lends an online feel to things to see misspellings and typos. That might be too much, but I figure I'll throw it out there.

I think a combination of a and b, that is via a blog format, people could be asked to limit their words on a topic to a certain number, say a guideline of a hundred words, and then you could pick the best bits.

Great suggestions.

Tresler: I really like the idea of keeping the online feel, but there is no way my editors would allow typos in the paper (intentionally, that is!).

Can anyone think how the online feel could be kept?

but thomas, typos errors etc etc just make the article and participation more genuine. Remember the Cluetrain manidesto ?? Thats extactly what IHT is trying to establish, a conversation with people in this case bloggers and thru bloggers. so let the free txt stand. What you need to edit is the Swear words etc etc that editors need to edit /refrain and cut out !!

I would suggest the following
a) you blog about a topic, Desciption etc and time line.
b) Send out a notice to everyone on an email list. bloggers will anyway see you notice
c) bloggers will blog the article in approx 100 words w/trackback to your Orignal notice
c) you see the trackback and then actually read the blog post
d) Harverest the best text/entry and publish on IHT
e) blog another entry which say with a pingback to the harvested entry.

f) Begin cycle again :)-

did that nmake sense ?? all parties doing w/ever !!

opps sorry for the typo errors. I am thumb pushing off a pda :(-

Tom, as a suggestion to hold onto the online feel, perhaps you could print something that looked like a screen shot (minus the Google ads but probably inclusive of a blogroll, maybe categories too). Just a presentation technique. On top would be the topic posted, underneath would be the comments chosen - numbered, credited to the person making them and dated as they are now.

If there was room, perhaps a short explanation of what blogging is and how it works could be included, e.g. Tags, Trackbacks etc. explained. Very basic to current bloggers, but not so basic to people who have only ever heard about blogging and have yet to try it.

I wish you all the best at profiting off the free labor of others!

I tend to think that almost anyone reading the IHT would understand a simple [sic] insert, if the IHT is worried about there readership mistaking context for carelessness.

Noel: I like the idea of screenshots, but is this going to be in print as well as online? It would really work well in print.

B.Succinct. 50 words or less.

/pd: I like the email idea. That is a more active involvement. I will look into a program to manage an email list. (Perhaps Mozilla alone would work)

Noel: Excellent idea to have presentation that is blog-like, but I am not sure I fully envision how to execute it. Our designers will need to have a go. As for explanations about blogging for newcomers, great idea to have that embedded. The vast majority of IHT readers have only a vague idea about blogging.

Tresler: I'll explore the possibility of the [sic] model or some variation, but know it will be an uphill fight.

Whatever form is used to begin with, it will be important to be laid out as clearly as possible so that expectations meet execution on all sides.

Does it have to be a OR b? Encourage posters to keep their comments succinct, and edit/combine them as necessary. So long as readers trust you as an editor, that seems workable.

As I understand it, the blog where we post comments will, like all blogs, be unedited (aside from the odd deletion from spammers), but we can't expect a newspaper to run everything everybody said. There isn't the space in a newspaper.

Maybe, if it's not too complicated, bloggers could vote on what were the best comments, something like what digg currently allows its users to do (vote on the best articles submitted) which could help simplify the selection process and take some of the heat off Thomas for not featuring that wonderful 42-page comment on the Algerian Woodfly posted by an enthusiastic and now very irate Algerian Woodfly supporter.

It would be good if people could be involved as much as possible in it. And for those of you still opposed to the idea of the IHT featuring a selection of blog comments in its newspaper, how different is it to what newspapers have always done which is publish letters to the editor? And remember, anyone can refer at any time to all of the comments that were made, comments we probably would be making anyway, just not on the IHT site. Now we have the chance to. I think it's an excellent idea and hope it succeeds as I'm sure it will.

"And remember, anyone can refer at any time to all of the comments that were made, comments we probably would be making anyway, just not on the IHT site."

The last part of that should read ... "just not in the IHT itself"

Noel:

Actually, I am not sure we will be able to have it open to post all comments.

Eventually that may be possible, but our previous experiments in allowing people to post things have resulted in commercial postings and crude postings.

Myself and some editors will likely be charged with filtering messages.

Clearly we will want as many comments to get out as possible!

My concern about a voting system is that the Algerian Woodfly enthusaists find a way to jack the system. That said, I love those rankings too. Will need to explore the best way to do that.

Tom, I don't think anyone would argue with deleting spam and blatantly offensive comments as soon as they are posted, but if it's not open to post all comments, how will it work? Are you thinking of introducing comment approval? Because speaking for myself, I never post twice on sites that want to approve what I say first. I'm too impatient and also think that sites operating comment approval are essentially saying that they will not post people's comments unless the site agrees with whatever they want to say.

The purpose of blogging in my view is to draw opinion from many different perspectives, not all of which are agreed with or approved of. It is the "withering crossfire of debate" that makes blogging interesting to me.

On the voting system, that's just an idea to take some of the workload off your shoulders.

Noel,

I agree totally with the principles of open posting that you mention.

There is great satisfaction in seeing a posting go straight up.

I would not want to post on a site that refused to publish my comments, but on the other hand, I would not want to read a blog that was filled with promotional spam.

There have only been three things I have deleted from postings since starting to blog as a guest of Joi's.

One was a double posting someone did by accident and the other two were spam-ads for sites trying to show how to make money out of blogging.

Otherwise, my view is that most posts on this site would be valid for the IHT blog.

Whether my editors agree with that or not will be a topic of (lively, no doubt) discussion.

The editors take the viewpoint that we need to provide something different from anyone else and that may be something combining a filter for the highest quality comments with inviting prominent non-bloggers into the fray (head of WTO or somesuch).

The problem with filtering, as you mention, is that it inhibits people from posting.

As I said, I agree with your starting principle, I just need to see what works on all sides.

Like so much in the new Internet, this is something that will evolve over time.

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