Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bloggers Of The World Unite

I spotted a few weeks ago that Sarah Hartley of the Mancunian Way blog and Manchester Evening News was organising a bloggers social and trip round the MEN news room. Seemed like a good opportunity to meet a few MCR bloggers, so I signed up and went along last night. Great evening it was too, being described by Sarah as a "landmark media event". I was expecting 20 min dash round the building and off to the pub, but it turned out to be a properly organised event complete with tea and biscuits.

It was interesting to get an angle on the how the web affects MEN's timing of news delivery. Paul Gallagher explained that most news goes straight onto the website, but any potential exclusives are held over for the print addition so those sneaky folk at the nationals can't nab the story. So it appears that despite the impact of the web, the print edition is still seen as the key medium.

After the tour we had a discussion with the deputy editor Maria McGeoghan where we got an insight into what makes a good story. Certain issues such as the congestion charge and a recent story about two girls getting drunk on a plane are guaranteed to get people going and generate lots of comments. There was some talk about the pros and cons of blog moderation. One person suggested that the Guardian's policy of not moderating their 'Comment is Free' section has allowed it to become a "seething pit of hatred", damaging the Guardian's brand.

It was then off to the pub where we got a chance to have a chat. It was nice to talk blogspeak with justhipper and TheLedge from The Indie Credential, MartinSFP from 14Sandwiches, Joe Gravett, jonmford from Shoplifters, Craig McGinty of This French Life and also catch up with old mate Jon Clements of the cryptically named PR Media Blog. There was talk of a crimbo get together so hoping I can make that one.