Saturday, March 24, 2007

Gateway to Loudoun Editorials

Leafing through the Loudoun mailrags, my previous assertion (that there's probably one too many printed publications in this area covering a finite set of interesting information) was proven outright. Seems as though the papers, starving for decently-written and cloaked but highly-suggestive accusations from readers, jump at the opportunity to publish such a missive when it arrives in the editorial inbox. We've seen this from a few delegates or officials, publishing the same letter to multiple papers, but this is the first time I've seen (recently) an apparent resident (a Mr. Rees) offering the exact same counsel (regarding appropriate taxation in next year's budget) in at least 3 different papers (Independent, Connection and Easterner). I read it once, then a second time, and by the third time had to flip over to the Middleburg Eccentric for a soak in the parochial good life (and therefore vicariously exist for 15 minutes entirely out of touch with the rest of the county, and possibly the entire world).

Would that this editorial had come our way; we could have given it the appropriate Web 2.0/SEM sendoff - spinning into all the direct and syndicated online content outlets you could think of, starting with the most obvious online aggregation point for this kind of material (at least this side of Leesburg), Dulles South Online.

So here's our offer, as a win-win-win-win to budding editors, content-starved newspapers, the local blogosphere and those that soak up the output. An online editorial market!

You, the cub reporter, create the wonderful prose fragment, infused with all sorts of juicy political or social innuendo. We, the marketplace liaison, accumulate, sort, edit, redact, catalogue, tag, package, judge, price and promote the material for consumption by on- or off-line readers. Or maybe just post it here. (We get this role because we know how, plus we thought of it first.) For a ridiculously insignificant fee (to the newspapers, but not to us nascent bloggers of course), we manage a bidding process among registered supplicants (the newspapers) for the best material. The winners include the newspaper that snags the best "exclusive" material, the readers who don't waste their time with repetitive drivel among the weekly 3 lbs of print, and the cub reporter, who not only gets a cut of the bid payment (we get the other and more aromatic cut, of course), but also gets to submit their content into an online aggregation/syndication machine that (for free!) elevates their online reputation and noteworthiness to the heights of wikipediadom.

Note the blogosphere benefits as well; more content coming into the network(s) from latent writers previously "off the grid", for us all to comment on, mash, repackage and find ways of leveraging (for personal gain) without outright copyright infringement.

Loudoun newspaper readers: send all your editorial submissions to us, not them! College costs are increasing, and the state's not fully funding higher education as it should!

In other news, even South Riding 5th graders can spell "cuneiform", defined as "that from which the Loudoun rags apparently eminated". Go Little River!

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