Saturday, November 29, 2008

The NYT's Baghdad blog and their awful blog software

The NYT has a blog written from their Baghdad bureau. I finally noticed a link to it tucked away on a news page I rarely visit (I read by feed and by the top article list).

They've probably had it for years, but I can't tell because there's no obvious way to browse past posts. Judging by the comments, it has some very keen readers.

I've added the blog to my reader subscriptions. Unfortunately, as fine as this and several other NYT blogs are, they also show how weak the gray lady as she runs out of cash and prepares for sale.

These blogs should have links to a central index of NYT blogs. The comments need their own page. The blogs need an archive index, organized by month. They need a bit of marketing. Hell, why are there no Google ads? I thought the NYT needed revenue.

Great content, lousy presentation, no monetization. No wonder the NYT is running on fumes.

Update: I've discovered that if you click on the title of a NYT blog you get a pseudo-archival view with URLs that look like this: You can substitute for the page #, as I did here, to find the first post, which for this blog appears to have been 12/28/2007. It's followed by "who's who" post dated 2/27/2008 and revised 11/26/2008. The bureau's chief has had an interesting career ...
James Glanz is the Baghdad bureau chief for The New York Times. Originally working as an astrophysicist, Mr. Glanz joined The Times in 1999 as a science reporter. In 2004, he became a Baghdad correspondent for the newspaper, and he was appointed bureau chief in August 2007.
I very much hope some Google bazillionaire buys the NYT as a gift to his bride or somesuch. It needs a wealthy overlord with some geek skills.

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