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How Can The San Diego Union Tribune Compete Against Bloggers? Build SDBackyard.com and Invite Them To Contribute

SD Backyard.com is the San Diego Union Tribune’s answer to competition from citizen journalists.   I get the majority of my news from the internet but the local fishwrap does a nice job on the obituaries.  I’m a serial obituary reader (I love people) so the U-T is my Sunday companion on the beach.

I damn near jumped off the blanket this afternoon!

This mainstream medium invited the bloggers into the big tent.  Editor and Publisher magazine reports:

The paper plans to reverse publish some of the content of sdBackyard into community publications.

“sdBackyard.com embraces the growing trends of user-generated content and social media by giving users the tools to create and share content online, with the added benefit of reverse publishing some content into a print product,” George Bonaros, marketing director for the Union-Tribune, said in a statement. “The unique geographic targeting allows small businesses, nonprofit organizations, clubs, and other community groups opportunities to promote themselves in print and online.”

Maybe it’s a content grab but I think the quid pro quo is more than tilted to a business blogger.  Needless to say, I set up a profile, uploaded a ton of video content from Bloodhound Unchained, published a blog post, and keyworded everything.  Like Home Gain Blog, the platform will be shared with the established, stronger home website (in this case, SignOnSanDiego.com) so the “find-ability” via SERPs should be strong in 3-6 months.

It’s too early to tell if the “Community Editors” will go overboard by limiting content but I’m enthused about the possibility SDBackyard.com offers.  Oh, here’s the other cool part; it’s free ! If you thought about building a hyper-local weblog, this very well may be the platform you seek (as long as you back up the content).  I expect that I’ll see Don Reedy in Oceanside, Sean Purcell in La Mesa, Kris Berg in Scripps Ranch, Jeff Brown talking about investment real estate, and Dan Melson talking about mortgages, in the not too distant future.

This is a new project and I’ll be reporting back how the mainstream media embraces its local citizen journalists.  The courtship was painless; let’s see how the marriage proceeds.

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  • 8 comments

    8 Comments so far

    1. Bawldguy Talking June 29th, 2008 10:13 pm

      This just in! It’s snowing in hell.

    2. Don Reedy June 30th, 2008 9:25 am

      Did they just let in the Trojan Horse?

      Thanks, Brian. Good catch. I got my footprint down already.

    3. Brian Brady June 30th, 2008 9:47 am

      “I got my footprint down already”

      I’m tracking you

    4. Eric Blackwell June 30th, 2008 3:01 pm

      Brian…amazing…

      for ONCE I saw something like this coming. (grin)

      http://www.bloodhoundrealty.com/BloodhoundBlog/?p=2499

      I chatted with the webmaster of a television station website today…you can expect MORE of this to come in the near future. His station turned down the proposal to create something like what you have their…but it is catching on. They realize the power of LOCAL and HYPERLOCAL user generated content to build traffic and loyalty and they are now getting “Web 2.0ey” with it. grin

    5. Vance Shutes July 1st, 2008 5:07 pm

      Brian,

      Let’s see – an admission that the world of print media is crumbling? Check. Giving more visibility to electronic media? Check. The death knell of another major newspaper? Priceless.

    6. [...] from a mini-social network. Have a look at the profile of mortgage broker Brian Brady (whose recent BloodhoundBlog post tipped me to SDbackyard.com) and you’ll get a good idea of all the information and content [...]

    7. [...] bloggers and MSM into this thing we call citizen journalists and citizen journalism IS HAPPENING. Brian Brady noted it at the Bloodhound blog. Take a look at the local Louisville paper. Does that not LOOK and feel like a blog with a newsfeed [...]

    8. Thomas Johnson July 5th, 2008 12:27 pm

      I wonder how many JOORnalists will be receiving their layoff notices. The fishwrap has international and national covered with AP, UPI and NYT syndication.

      Now local content will be covered by a syndication of local business bloggers. So much for the salaried leftist propogandists that populate newspapers today. Now the quality of newpapers has a chance of improving. We all know that anybody in this kennel writes better than those scruffy JOORanlists.

      Oh, I forgot-This is all a Bush-Cheney Capitalist conspiracy.