My Ego Might Just ‘Splode

About seven months ago I wrote a post called "My Hometown Newspaper" that got a little attention here in Winston-Salem and in neighboring Greensboro.  The post was basically about how, because of staff blogs at the Greensboro News & Record it felt more like my "hometown paper" than the Winston-Salem Journal, despite the fact that the Journal was delivered to my house every day.

I heard from folks at both papers and a guy named Jay Rosen, an influential figure in the news business, wrote about it on his "Pressthink" blog.  The experience was more than a little surprising for me since I wrote the post in what I thought was a vacuum.  I didn’t think anyone read this blog except for me and my family, and then only after I begged them to.

Well it was an even bigger shock today when I was reading Steve Rubel’s MicroPersuasion blog and saw this paragraph on his post Listen, Learn, Lead to Succeed:

Palmer gives yet another example of two newspapers that get it. Earlier
this year, North Carolina blogger Jon Lowder made a quiet complaint
about his hometown paper, the Winston-Salem Journal, and compared it,
unfavorably, with the Greensboro News & Record – which is some 30
miles to the east. Both papers responded to Lowder’s original blog
post. In the Winston-Salem Journal’s case they also went ahead and
created an RSS feed just days after Lowder’s original post.

Gulp!

So I click through to the article he’s referencing and find myself described thusly:

What happens when smaller fries harp online? Does corporate America listen?

Most of the time, probably not, but it’s interesting to watch when a
blog post actually catches a company’s attention. That occurred earlier
this year, when a North Carolina blogger, Jon Lowder, made a quiet complaint about his hometown paper, the Winston-Salem Journal, and compared it, unfavorably, with a newspaper 30 miles to the east, the Greensboro News & Record.

Okay, so being described as a "small fry" shouldn’t boost anyone’s ego, but I’m vain enough that I’ll take whatever I can get.  After all, I’m being compared to Jeff Jarvis who is one of the biggest bloggers out there, a true "A-List" blogger, so being a small fry in his company is kind of like being the wimpiest guy at the Mr. Universe contest…right? The article goes on to say:

 

Part of the post read, "I live in Winston-Salem. I have the
Winston-Salem Journal delivered every morning. But I don’t feel like I
know anyone there… I get all the N&R blogs via RSS. I don’t get
their paper… yet. But I still feel closer to the N&R."

There are a million and one wistful comments like this on the web,
but somehow this one got traction. For one thing, it was quoted by
NYU’s Jay Rosen, the author of the PressThink blog, a widely read site.

For another, both the Winston-Salem Journal and the Greensboro News
& Record responded to Lowder’s original blog post. Indeed, the News
& Record’s top editor posted a brief reply.

More remarkable still, though, was what happened at the
Winston-Salem Journal. Not only did the paper respond to the post and
supply contact information, but it went and created an RSS feed just
days after Lowder’s original post.

Now that’s customer service.

That last part is great, because the Journal was responsive, especially a guy over there named Joe who seemed to be the driving force behind their RSS efforts. (Joe has his own personal blog at http://www.joewrite.com).  I’m thinking that Joe should get a bonus or something since he’s getting his employers some pretty positive online exposure right now.

Finally, I’m once again bowled over by the power of blogs.  Think about this: the guy who wrote the article never interviewed me. He got a substantial part of his story from something that I wrote, so he didn’t have to interview me because my thoughts were out there for the world to see.

And think about this: something written seven months ago by a guy sitting in his home office in a pair of sweats has impacted two public companies, in whatever small way, over a seven month time span.  Now multiply that by however many thousand of people who are out there writing away and you have a very interesting phenomenon. 

 

9 thoughts on “My Ego Might Just ‘Splode

  1. Joe

    Hey John, thanks for the mention and congrats on the continual thread your original post has inspired … ideas whiz across the world every day, few last very long. Yours totally has.
    To be clear on the RSS, my coworker Adam and I both built it. Adam has a blog at http://www.webjillion.com .

    Reply
  2. The Editor's Log

    A pair of sweats trumps pajamas

    The power of blogs and a lesson in responsiveness from our friend — even though we’ve never met — Jon Lowder. Finally, I’m once again bowled over by the power of blogs. Think about this: the guy who wrote the…

    Reply
  3. John Robinson

    I’ve used your original post in many of the talks and interviews I’ve given about blogging and the News & Record to illustrate the power of blogs.
    I’m glad you’re famous outside your circle of family and friends. Seems like you deserve it!
    And the Journal did exactly the right thing. I hope that we’d act the same way.

    Reply
  4. The Editor's Log

    A pair of sweats trumps pajamas

    The power of blogs and a lesson in responsiveness from our friend — even though we’ve never met — Jon Lowder. Finally, I’m once again bowled over by the power of blogs. Think about this: the guy who wrote the…

    Reply
  5. The Editor's Log

    A pair of sweats trumps pajamas

    The power of blogs and a lesson in responsiveness from our friend — even though we’ve never met — Jon Lowder. Finally, I’m once again bowled over by the power of blogs. Think about this: the guy who wrote the…

    Reply
  6. Jon Lowder

    John,
    I know for a fact you guys would have done the same thing because I think you’ve been doing it for at least 13 months (as long as I’ve lived here).
    On another subject, I’ve been meaning to write and say I think you guys are making good progress on the site re-design. I don’t know if it’s that I’ve adjusted to the new navigation or that your designers have done some tweaking, or both, but it is definitely easier to find things now.
    See you at Converge!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s