I don’t know what people think about my posting the various press releases that I do, in the case of Thanet District Council I see no option as they just don’t seem to know how to handle news on their website.
Come to think of it some of the local papers don’t do as well as they could either particularly when it comes to feeds, what this is about is spreading the news so that people will come and read what you have written.
This is an area where blogger is streets ahead of what most newspapers seem to manage, the recent posts on other blogs on my sidebar is what I am getting at here, there is something ironic about the fact that I can include Bertie Biggles, Eastcliff Richard, Simon Moores et al on my sidebar and pretty much as soon as they post something new it appears there, but I can’t do this with the council’s news web pages or any of the local papers, I can’t even do it with The Times national newspaper.
With blogger one can even expand this to show the latest comments on other blogs as I have done on http://thanetblogs.blogspot.com/ joined up thinking is what it’s called.
Now over 50% of the people that visit this site come because they have clicked on a link on another site and nearly of the links that they click on are the live links generated by feeds, I can give you an example of how important this is by comparing two popular Thanet blogs. Eastcliff Richard has a live link and in the last month 903 unique visitors came here via it, Thanet Life has a static link (in other words it doesn’t move the websites that are in any sense alive to the top of the list) in the last month 2 unique visitors came via this link.
Now I can only infer from this that both the council news pages and the local papers are missing out on half their web traffic because of this lack of understanding about the way the internet has developed recently.
The other big problem is that neither the council nor the papers seem to have grasped is that nowadays ordinary people with virtually no technical expertise can publish to the internet so to a greater or lesser extent they are turning their news into olds.
To give you an example of what I mean Thanet District Council have only just managed to get their Easter Back in Thanet story on to their main news page that I published on this blog on 24th March and sometimes their press releases take as much as a week to appear.
Having been fairly critical of TDCIT I should point out something that they have improved greatly is the part of their website where they publish council documents http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/ieDocHome.aspx?bcr=1 they have even got a part showing what they put up most recently http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/mgWhatsNew.aspx?bcr=1 what is unfortunate is that once again there are no feeds, so I can’t just add it to the recent posts but have to do a post linking to the documents when something important is published.
The trouble with the newspapers however is that in these harsh economic times is that they have to grasp the nettle of the internet properly or they won’t survive, my feelings are that much of this is to do with retaining unnecessary jobs in IT departments.
There really is no discernable reason why the council couldn’t use blogger and the person writing a press release or the minutes of a meeting could publish it as soon as they have typed it.