Monday, April 03, 2017

I don't visit the Times Union's website as often as I once did, mostly because the screen seems to now be optimized for phones or tablets, and I only use my devices for email and social media or rarely, a google search. But I do visit by clicking links in Facebook when I am using a desktop computer. Today while I was there reading about a college student who died after a pancake eating competition, I looked at the list of "most popular" stories and noticed one about the TU's integrity, or rather, lack thereof. It was a post from the blogs section (from a lifestyle blogger I've never read before). I read it, and laughed. Not to dismiss what seems like the blogger's genuine outrage, but it was re-hashing the same tired subject that has been visited and re-visited numerous times over the years, about the unfairness of TU policies regarding non-staff, community, unpaid bloggers. That history was not detailed (and possibly is not known by the current crop of volunteer bloggers), but having read the TU blogs quite a bit years ago and every so often more recently, I would need more than ten fingers to count off the number of times the situation has arisen. The TU does something to offend such as edit or delete, a group of bloggers cries foul, one or more depart (willingly or unwillingly), other bloggers defend the unfairly treated blogger(s), and commenters also defend or sometimes fight each other. URLs to the new blogs of the departed are shared. The controversy gets a lot of attention for a couple days, generating clicks on the TU website. The TU will eventually recruit and promote new community bloggers who are naive and flattered by the offer of the TU platform. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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