January 13, 2009

Rick Green weighs in on Mike Schroeder

Hartford Courant columnist Rick Green has a nice piece today about our soon-to-be publisher, Mike Schroeder, and his plans to pump some life back into The Bristol Press.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Rick Hancock said...


Why are you and Rick Green trying to pick fights with me? During the entire “save the newspaper campaign” you didn’t hear near a peep from me.

Your comment on my blog came across as sounding pretty cocky there, Steve! What? Now that you are “saved” are you bored and looking for a new fight?

I’m game!

What you and a lot of old school folks fail to realize is that the web trades in “linked capital.” In fact, I’m surprised you haven’t figured that out yet. I’m sure your blog, BristolToday saw a tremendous growth in traffic during the effort to find a buyer for your newspaper. You and your blog were picked up and linked by news organizations and bloggers world wide. At any point did it cross your mind that you could, and maybe still can, trade that traffic for say, money!

Sure, if somebody wants to pay me to use one of my blog posts on their site, great, I am a business man after all. I’m not sure what they pay freelance bloggers at the Bristol Press, but I’m sure it would be chump change! Pay me in links instead.

If I grant that you know more about newspapers than I do, please don’t get your feelings hurt when I tell you that I know way more about the web and web commerce than you do. When it comes to the web, the only payment that really matters when it comes to blogging is the link. Whatever the Bristol Press wanted to pay me wouldn’t match what I can earn for myself in the long run by continuing to grow the number of people that visit my blog on a regular basis. I would gladly write for free if it meant attracting more people to my blog. Increased traffic means increased opportunities to market and grow the site. In fact, for several months last year the Hartford Courant did run excerpts from my blog on its site. The traffic to my blog from the Courant was fantastic. I picked up new, and now regular, readers.

It’s because of the increased traffic that I’ve been able to secure financial investments that have allowed me to upgrade my blog, http://www.ricksrss.com. I now have on my blog a revenue generating, customer service staffed, best in the online industry job board. Also I’m in the process of hiring an online sales rep and if you didn’t see the announcement that I posted to my site, I just hired one paid staff blogger and I will be hiring a second staff blogger in the very near future. Not bad growth for a blog that I started just nine moths ago!

This is why I blogged at the end of 2008 that I couldn’t be bothered any longer with these dumb debates about “how things use to be.” I decided many years ago that I wasn’t going to wait, as you told me back in December, for a “White Knight” to swoop in and save me from the future. First, White dudes in robes and masks and riding on horses kind of scare me, if you know what I mean. Second, I figured if I was going to bust my ass for the sake of journalism, I want to the one that benefits from it most financially, not the White Knight.

Steve, you’ve just traded one master, JRC– Journal Register Company for a new one, MEC - Michael E. Schroeder.

I’ve been part of two newsroom downsizings in my career. Fool me once shane on you, fool me twice, shame on me!

Don’t you be fooled Steve! Your new owner is in this venture to make money. Everyone in your newsroom needs to understand you guys aren’t out of the financial woods yet. More Job cuts are almost guaranteed.

As for the bloggers who don’t want their posts to appear in the new newspaper; there are just plain foolish. That’s free advertisement!

Steve Collins said...

Great comment! I'll have to respond with more care than I can muster before 7 a.m.
By the way, everybody, Rick does have a great blog and a lot of provocative, interesting things to say. He's out in front on the idea of moving the news online and beyond, racing into the new century. I admire that even though I'm lagging behind!

Steve Collins said...

That "pay me in links" ia truly fascinating idea,too.