Friday, May 25, 2007

Big changes in store for this little blog

I launched Meeker On Media just over three months ago, to write about the people who produce news in this province, and create a forum for the discussion of local journalism.

Thanks to the kind support of other bloggers, who keep linking to my posts, and faithful readers like you, the site has grown quickly. It has also been the catalyst for discussion in other media outlets, which I appreciate as well.

But the blog is about to be elevated to an entirely new level. The Telegram is adding a blog section to its web site, and would like to get the ball rolling by hosting Meeker On Media. It will be the first of several local blogs to appear there. (Other print media have been adding blog sections to their web sites with some success. Check out Macleans Blog Central to see what I mean.)

That’s right, I am picking up the whole shebang and moving over to The Telegram’s web site. I will start migrating archived posts over the weekend, and should have everything up and running in a week or so. You get there by going to The Telegram’s home page, then clicking on the blogs section in the column on the left (though there is nothing up as of yet).

What’s in it for me? Well, they are going to pay regular freelance rates for my contributions, which is more than the blog is earning right now. More importantly, they are going to expose me to a much larger readership.

How large? Right now, I’m getting about 300 unique visitors on a good day, which is not bad for a new blog. The Telegram web site, however, gets an average of 20,000 hits per day. While logged on yesterday, I noted there were 900 people browsing the site at that moment, triple what I get now in an entire day. As a writer, I like to be read. And those numbers are what sold me on accepting The Telegram’s offer.

Such a large base of readers will also make for a more active comments section, which enhances the readability and value of the blog.

Is there a downside? Are there strings attached? Does this mean I start sucking up to The Telegram?

No, no and no.

I asked these questions of The Telegram and the reply (to paraphrase) was, ‘Your blog is a good read, and that’s what we want – just keep on doing what you’re doing.’ I asked them what happens when I criticize something in their newspaper, as I inevitably will, and the reply was, ‘That’s fine, we have broad shoulders. We can take it.’ They are giving me the same latitude extended to any other columnist – which is pretty much unlimited – except my content appears online, not in print. So I am satisfied with that.

The odd person might suggest that I am now biased toward The Telegram, because they are paying me to write for them. This is patent nonsense, of course. Firstly, my reputation is not for sale at any price. Secondly, this would mean by extension that all columnists are biased toward the paper in which they appear, a notion that no thinking person – including the columnists themselves – should accept. Furthermore, I have administrative access to my portion of the site and will do all posting myself, which enables full control over what gets posted and when.

There will be fewer posts here over the next few days, as I migrate archived material to the new site (not to mention keep up with some client deadlines). But I do have some interesting items on the drawing board, so stay tuned. A notice will be posted here when the new site is ready to go live.

I think this is good news indeed. You may think otherwise. Either way, feel free to express your point of view in the comments section.


Mark said...

Great news!

towniebastard said...

Congrats. I enjoy the Macleans bloggers quite a bit, so I'll be interested to see what happens with you and the Telegram.

I think what people miss when they make those kind of accusations about being "bought" is that they forget that very few writers in Canada making a living just writing columns. Normally it's just to make a few extra dollars on the side, because you enjoy writing, and you like engaging in public debate.

If you don't like how things are going with the person publishing you, or are feeling restrained, most can easily walk away and not take a huge hit to a writer's bottom line.

The Express paid between $50-$100/per column. No one is retiring off that amount.

And hey, if the Telly is looking for more bloggers to host, tell them I'm available...;)

Mike said...

Can't fault anyone for making legit money to keep a chicken in the pot and a roof over the head.

Good luck Geoff.

Geoff Meeker said...

Thanks all, for the congrats...

Mike, your profile is set to private, so you are anonymous. I know who you are so I will leave your comment up.

As for the chicken in the pot, I operate two businesses which take care of said roof, poultry, etc. This blog is mainly for fun, not profit, as Mr. Bastard (who I also know) pointed out. The main reason for moving is the increase in readership.

Glenn said...

Keeping it real will always keep a reader's attention. You do it very well.

Deirdre Greene said...

Congrats Geoff. Have a grand adventure.

Look out for the crowd over on Web Talk NL, though. They will start calling you out as a lackey for the Canadian media and federal government ;-)

MacArthur said...

Good show Geoff!

I will have to update the link on my webpage which sends me here on a 'regular' basis.

Live strong and have a nice day, - "Nil carborundum illegitimi"!
Mac -- H E L P the planet - Don't I D L E ! ! !
Over 1600 Links at Http://MacArthur.Funknstyle.Com
Pictures at

Sheena said...

You make a profit from your blog?