Insider Louisville got an email Friday from Courier-Journal “gizmo” editor Ric Manning, notifying us that CJ executives had decided to recognize our greatness by stealing our content.
In so many words, Manning’s little epistle said “bloggers” should be delighted to learn that executives at a dying newspaper brand saw fit to extend their glorious endorsement to the next generation of digital media by sucking out all the content they can no longer afford to generate.
Now, we would all be under the Courier-Journal “502 Blogs” brand. Literally. They sent us a little logo we’re supposed to add to our site!
Here’s the email, complete with a misspelling.
This is a note to let you know your blog has been added to 502 Blogs, a new online service from The Courier-Journal.
502 Blogroll is a syndication service that brings together news, opinion, features and ideas from the active blog community in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. We have collected RSS feeds from more than 65 area blogs and organized them by topic. Each topic is updated with fresh posts every hour.
We created this collection of Louisville-area bloggers in order to increase communication in our community and to spotlight local writers and topics of interest. And we thought your blog belonged in this select group. We alse think your blog will benefit from being part of the 502 Blogs community. Newspaper websites in Nashville and Cincinnati have created similar collection sites and bloggers there say the increased visibility is bringing them more visitors.
We hope you will consider posting a link or a small graphic on your blog to tell your readers that your blog is part of the 502 Blogs community.
My reply via my iPhone was: “I don’t want to be IN ANY WAY associated w/Gannett!”
Well, that’s the reply that I can reprint here because the rest were full of expletives.
Why am I angry?
- Because we at Insider Louisville are building an iNews brand for the Digital Age. The last thing we want to be associated with is a newspaper.
- Because CJ executives are lying. This isn’t about “increasing communication in our community and spotlighting local writers.” This is about money, and the CJ executives’ naked attempt to cut their per-unit cost of content. Stealing content rather than hiring writers is a pretty easy way to do that. Stealing content from websites that already have dedicated followings and high traffic volumes such as ours is a quick way to ramp up the number of impressions the CJ gets, and by extension, Google revenue. And getting bloggers to link to the 502 Blogs site increases the CJ’s incoming links so crucial to SEO.
- Because we’re not a blog. Insider Louisville isn’t one man or woman toiling away aggregating news in a room as a hobby or as an ego exercise. We’re a news network. We have a staff of professionals who do primary-source reporting, reporting that’s very expensive. So expensive that Gannett Co. Inc. chain newspapers such as the Courier-Journal do less and less of it. To create Insider Louisville, we’ve spent months developing a wide network of sources and contributors.
Some bloggers are going to be thrilled to have CJ executives steal their posts because they might see increased traffic to their sites off the Courier-Journal page.
Some of the blogs the CJ is stealing from are quite good news sites. Insider Louisville executives have approached some of the people who own them with profit-sharing offers, offers that were declined.
What we never considered was just stealing their content, a most condescending and cynical move by corporate executives who have no consciences.