1. Advice to the Grey Lady

    brian on 2006.01.27
    at 03:32 am

    The other day, I came to the end of my rope.

    I enjoy reading David Pogue’s work. I was happy when he announced a while back that he would be beginning a blog at the New York Times.

    It has thus far been so-so. David’s a pro writer, so I suppose I expected more, but I suppose since he’s a pro writer, he writes so much stuff all over the place, there isn’t much left over for the blog. The tid-bits that fall through to this his last bastion of word and thought though, are enjoyable.

    I thus subscribe to his RSS feed. This is where my frustration began. His feed supplies only a title… not much to go on when deciding whether to click through to the piles of advertising that surrounds David’s work on the Times’ site. Annoying.

    But when you arrive and want to actually stay and read his blog, well, they make that difficult, too. Say I follow one link in. Then I want to get to the main blog page, or the next or previous entry.

    No links.

    Maybe I’ll hack the URL, and just shorten it down to the section’s root.

    Nope – the URL string is a dynamic fake.

    I was upset, so I sent David an email. I figured if other readers were annoyed, eventually something would change.

    “I’ll pass this along, Brian. All of this is way beyond me, but I will admit that I get a lot of complaint mail along similar lines!”

    It was really nice for David to write me back. Even if it didn’t change, a little human touch goes a long way.

    But, I may have had more influence than I had hoped. A day or two later, David writes again,

    “Hey Brian, your email has lit a fire under some people at the Times. These are only baby steps, but they wrote…”

    and there was a little more. Basically it says they were addressing the concerns I raised in my original email. Now, as soon as they roll out, I’ll feel like a feedback loop from your average Joe all the way to the most respected news organization in the world is beginning to become more responsive. Excellent.

    Posted in: Media · Web


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