As you may know, we have been publishing this “New Journalism” Website since March, 2005. Prior to that, we published a headline Website with columns laid out in the html computer language before blogging software developed to the point of being a practical, manageable publishing system, at Southerner.net, which still exists as one of our sister blogs mostly run out of Arkansas.
We have big plans to continue evolving and our third redesign in a year will be announced soon. There is not a newspaper in existence that ever redesigned itself three times in a year. Those changes usually came around about every five years or so. But the pace of change is at such a breakneck speed now that to keep up, we have to work and work at it to keep abreast of the changes, for way too little money, I might add.
One of the struggles of developing a new media company in these times without a lot of working capital, especially in this region, is to educate people on how to use and support such a Website.
But we have come a long way and I wanted to publish this note to thank you for reading and to tell you about a couple of recent breakthroughs that are helping us to fund our progress.
As you may or may not know, we sold the very first political blog ad in Alabama history just a few days before the Nov. 4 election to the campaign of Deborah Bell Paseur. We had already had some success getting businesses to target our Google ad strip. We have received a number of donations from individuals from all over Alabama as well as from other states. We recently made another breakthrough with the Friends of Don Siegelman, who have now purchased a blog ad to raise money for his legal defense fund.
That blog ad, which is visible on the left, is now circulating far and wide on the Web. It has been picked up by Democrats.com, one of the top traffic blogs in the Liberal Blog Hive. If you have not done so already, click on it and see where it goes, and if you are so inclined, make your donation today.
In case you are still having trouble understanding what a blog is, the way we look at it is this: We are developing what I like to call the Web Press. It is really not all that different from a daily newspaper, only it is published on the Web over the Internet instead of on paper with ink. We tend to use e-mail to promote readership, known as traffic, without telemarketing or hiring someone to give it away in the grocery store : ) We don’t need delivery trucks to bring it to you either, so it costs much less to produce and distribute
And contrary to popular opinion, we do have a print edition of sorts. There are people in a number of communities who print out our stories, make copies, and pass them around to their friends who don’t use computers.
My first experience with this was in early 2004 after I published my version of the Bush-AWOL story, when I got an e-mail message from a woman in New Mexico who said she made a bunch of copies and was passing them out to everyone she knew. The story was picked up by the Washington, D.C., columnist for the Village Voice in New York, and was linked to by more than 800 Websites around that time.
We know for a fact that there are small towns in this state right now where this happens, including one community in Clay, Alabama. I usually have to notify a certain person of a new story on the telephone. They go online and print it out and pass it on.
We know that some people are skeptical of this thing called a blog, and I’ve even received e-mail messages very recently from a couple of people who claimed: “You are just a blogger. You don’t publish anything!”
What? Are these words not published? Just because they are not published with ink on paper doesn’t make them any less valuable, if people read and learn from them.
If you are one of the converted “fans” of this Website now, perhaps it’s time you did one little thing to support it. We are not asking for a subscription price to read it. We don’t even ask people to sign up for a cookie by giving us your personal information. It is totally free, our archives are searchable, acting as a sort of online memory, and will remain up indefinitely.
And hey, we even return your e-mails and phone calls in a timely way : )
Can you say that about many newspaper editors these days?
If you want to support us, and you are a fan of Don Siegelman, click on the blog ad and make a donation today. If you like what we do but don’t want to contribute to Don Siegelman’s legal defense fund, hit the donation button at the top right-hand side of this page. We still need to raise the money to go to Atlanta and cover the appeals hearing scheduled for Dec. 9 in Atlanta.
One way or another, we will be there to get the story. Can you say that about many of the corporate, chain newspapers in Alabama? I challenge anyone, Democrat, Republican, or independent, to compare our coverage of that day to what the Associated Press produces.
Thanks again for reading and for your support.
Editor and Publisher,
© 2008, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.