April 16, 2014

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This Is Not A News Story!

Just to clarify that personal Blog entries are just that: BLOGs and NOT NEWS!

Something happened earlier this week that pointed out a problem in our computer system.

I wrote a Blog entry.

There's nothing wrong with that, in fact, management encourages us to do so. I have received some high praise for my frequent Blogging and encouraged to continue it just in the vein that I've practiced for the last several years.

But, when recently writing about my injured toe, something odd came to light.

As I walked out of the newsroom one evening, I teased a co-worker, "Wanna see something gross?"

"No, thanks," she always demurs, "I'm squeamish about things like that."  And so, I limp right on past, not forcing her to see the bruise or explain.  Except this night, instead of responding as we always do, she says, "That's alright, I've already read about it. I don't need to see it."

I'm feeling pretty good, thinking that she has hunted through our web-page, singled out the Blogs column, run down the listings, and clicked on MY BLOG, out of all the other options available to her. I'm pretty flattered about it.

The next night, I go through the same routine, but she says, yes, she's read it and so has her boyfriend.  He has a news-feed too.

I stopped in  my tracks. "What do you mean?"

"Oh, I subscribe to the station's news-feed, and so it popped up."

I start to get chills when I hear this. "Do you mean this blog appears as if it's a news story?" I ask.

"Sure, just like all the other postings."

The penny drops.  For the last year or so, every so often I get a poison pen letter from someone who complains, "This is a news story?" or "why is this news?"

This has perplexed me, cause I don't know why they seem to think that my Blog entries are!

At first, I thought maybe our website was being hacked, or stolen by a "mirror image" website that repeats everything as if it is their own work, or presenting my blog as their news content. (Horrors!)

Finally, the answer has surfaced.  The news-feed apparently sends out a notification of a new posting, provides a link and it appears just as if it is supposed to be a news story.  Those periodic comments suddenly make sense now!

So, I'm left with a few options:

1) Stop blogging. (But I don't wanna stop!)

2) Get the programmer to write better code

3) Get the station to stop sending my entries out. (doubtful)

4) Blog less regularly or about only news items. (Again, directly contrary to what I've been directed to do.)

5) Flag every one of my blog entries with a banner

So, I think I may have to start every one of my blogs with a banner, that says something like, "THIS IS NOT A NEWS STORY" or maybe "THIS IS A PERSONAL BLOG ENTRY"

Frankly, I would have thought that when every other line starts with "I" or "You know" or expresses ideas in a very personal, non formal, casual manner, that most people would catch on that this was not a news story.  The fact that some do not has me scratching my head.

But then, as President Kennedy remarked, "Why is it that there's always somebody who doesn't get the message?"

THIS IS NOT A NEWS STORY: IT'S A PERSONAL BLOG ENTRY!

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