Does the San Francisco Chronicle Get Blogging?

Laughing Squid — Violet Blue: Open Source Sex Over the course of the past year or so I’ve been really impressed with the direction that the San Francisco Chronicle has taken with regards to blogging. Rather than run from blogging and see it as a threat to their newspaper business, the paper has instead chosen to accept blogging and even have their staff start blogs of their own through a group blogger thing at SFGate.

I read The Tech Chronicles (one of their blogs) a lot and especially like following the stuff Jessica Guynn puts out. I caught up and talked with Jessica a bit down at Mike Arrington’s TechCrunch 7 party and I really liked her approach and the fact that she really goes all out for her stories.

Another SFGate blog I like is the SFGate Culture Blog where my good pal John Curley also publishes. It’s also nice, especially on the culture blog, that they seem to have a nice blog roll. It includes local bloggers like Scott Beale at Laughing Squid, Metroblogging SF, as well as a hodge podge of popular culture blogs like Blogebrity (you guys should add Valleywag on there as well), Engadget (heh, like they need the link love), and Post Secret (no Thomas Hawk… yet… wink, wink).

But here is something that I don’t get. For all the forward thinking about blogging at SFGate it seems like they still are missing some of the important ways to work with bloggers. Scott Beale blogs over at the Laughing Squid about Violet Blue’s new Open Source Sex column (innagural column here) at the Chronicle and is saying that the Chronicle made her take out all of her links in her first blog post, even the link to her own blog.

What? This is worse than only self linking, this is no linking.

While I can see how the Chronicle might want to keep blogging and columns very separate, I think they are still missing an opportunity. By sharing the link love, Violet, her column and the paper will become more popular. Look at how many people I’ve linked to in this blog post. Each of them will likely see this article. They will see it because they check Technorati or they might see an inbound hit come in on their traffic stats software, or whatever.

By letting your columnists link out, you will get traffic back in. Give and take, ebb and flow, it’s how this whole blogging community thing works.

The Chronicle should embrace outbound links from their paper and their columnists as they so choose. By becoming more open than closed they will gain both respect and readership in the blogging community.

For more on Violet Blue and Open Source Sex, check out this video that Ryanishungry did of her. Coincidently, it was great catching up with Ryanne last night at the Laughing Squid Web Hosting Party. Ryanne is working on editing Robert Scoble’s new PodTech show and we’d been trading emails all week about the photographs that are going into the show that Robert and I did together Photowalking with Thomas Hawk. I think the first of four episodes or so is going to be out on PodTech next week.

Also Scott points out that a group of pranksters have been putting up fake advertisements for Violet’s new column (see the photo above).

Heh, and who said sex doesn’t sell.

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2 Comments

  1. Eric in SF says:

    I find it ironic that you didn’t link to Scott’s column in this sentence:

    “Scott Beale blogs over at the Laughing Squid about Violet Blue’s new Open Source Sex column[…]”

  2. Thomas Hawk says:

    Ah, yet another place I could have linked. Good call Eric. Of course Laughing Squid is linked elsewhere twice in the article itself including the lead link.