Joining the elite

Should the readers’ representative have a blog to inform readers on a more regular basis?

by Tim Franzen

It’s rare that a big scandal rocks the Daily’s office. More often, there are a lot of little issues that pop up during the weeks that must be worked out by me and the staff.

The Daily has recently ventured into the world of blogging in order to get more reader involvement.

The A&E blog launched Jan. 10 with the stated purpose being “to provide all the space we could ever desire – hopefully without reaching the point where we want to blog about whatever sandwich we ate for lunch.” I think we can all agree with that.

The sports department is the most recent to venture into the blogging world. “Upon Further Review Ö” began Feb. 5 and has become fairly popular with online commentators.

This should make you wonder, where is the Editorials and Opinions page blog?

The opinions page probably generates more controversy, more letters to the editor and more online comments than any other section of the paper. If any section needs to have a more interactive feature, it ought to be “EdsOps.”

The editor in chief and I have been thinking that perhaps a blog from the readers’ representative might be interesting and a good way for the readers to connect with the paper.

Every week, I send out a list of issues we’ve had and corrections we’ve published to the members of the staff. Writers and editors seem to appreciate seeing what worked and what didn’t work at the paper the previous week. Perhaps the readers would be interested in hearing something similar.

The thing is, it’s hard to write a column about the Daily with any sort of regularity. The problems that we encounter are normally small, and the feedback we receive is scant.

But a smaller blog feature on the Daily’s Web site might inform people about the Daily’s internal actions on a more regular basis.

This way, I could write more often about the little things and not feel compelled to fill up a whole column’s worth of issues. Also, it would allow for more of a conversation between the readers and me.

I’m interested in your thoughts. Is this worthwhile? Are there too many blogs around already? Would anyone read this blog? What would you like it to focus on?

And, the most important question, what should we name this blog? Let me know your response to all these questions by sending me an e-mail or online comment.

Tim Franzen is the readers’ representative. He welcomes comments at [email protected].