Austin American-Statesman To Feature Bloggers (“Citizen Journalists”) on Site

With help from the Austin company Pluck, the Austin American-Statesman has now integrated a blogging service into its site. Though the newspaper has featured staff bloggers on its site for a few years, it’s now teamed up with Pluck, this will be the first time its allowed the general public (which it terms “citizen journalists”) to blog on its sites.

From the Pluck press release:

The new and allow local citizen bloggers to build content and post photos around Austin events, sports teams, schools, news, and politics. The online venue enables Central Texans to take part in the reporting process, helping to build unique and compelling content for their neighborhoods and the greater Austin area. Blogging is initially categorized across 12 different topics, including the upcoming Austin City Limits music festival.

Though it’s a great first step, the blog feature does seem to have a plugged-in feeling at the moment. According to the service’s FAQ, only users designated by the staff will be allowed to post photos. The staff will also choose content that it deems relevant to feature alongside news stories. However, at the moment, I haven’t noticed a “Post to Blog” button alongside stories or the ability for users to feature American-Statesman photos in their posts. The current blogs seem like islands unto themselves with no aggregation of posts other than a narrow frame featured on the front page. That means that discovering interesting news will be difficult for now. Hopefully, they have plans for an editor start a FlickrBlog-like main blog to compile the best posts of the day. I’m sure as the site develops there will be alterations to these policies.

Update: There are also blogs on this ACL Festival page.

Update: Ian’s music-oriented blog is the best one I’ve found so far.

2 Comments so far

  1. wae (unregistered) on September 15th, 2005 @ 10:35 pm

    Metblog friend Adam is intimately involved with the AAS blogging initiative. He’ll be posting more inside scoops on the project in the coming days and weeks. If the Statesman project goes well (or maybe even if it doesn’t), he and Pluck will likely be involved in similar efforts as various sites look for a quick turn-key solution to this whole blogging / citizen journalism / interactive marketing thing.

  2. omit (unregistered) on September 15th, 2005 @ 11:10 pm

    That’s great (Congratulations, Adam, if you’re reading). I know I had a few criticisms, but I think it’s great that the Austin American-Statesman has embraced the blogging movement.

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