John Kroll, Director of Training and Digital Development for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, issued a call on January 15, 2010 for bloggers and Twitter users in Northeast Ohio, USA, to register with Cleveland.com, The Plain Dealers website. According to Kroll, “Northeast, Ohio, has a thriving online community, filled with creative and thoughtful bloggers as well as lively Twitter users.”
Some of the best political blogs I’ve ever read are produced by Ohio bloggers. I think The Plain Dealer is smart to try to aggregate bloggers in its circulation area, so readers will get to them by going through Cleveland.com. I wanted to know what The Plain Dealer expected to gain, so I emailed Kroll on January 17, 2009. He responded within an hour, with the following:
One of the the traditional roles of newspapers is to create a common ground for the whole community. We want to bring that online. Cleveland.com is the region's biggest and most popular site, so it just makes sense to host community-wide projects like this.If you want to read Kroll’s entire Plain Dealer post, see “Northeast Ohio bloggers and tweeters: Register with us to reach a new audience.”
The more we can make Cleveland.com a community resource, the greater the likelihood we can continue to sustain the reporting that digs out the truth and shares the good news. To do that, we have to acknowledge that we're not the only source of news and commentary. (This is one of several moves we're making. Another is to increase our use of outside links to supplement our stories; the directory will help us find alternative voices.)
And, finally, we want to know what we're missing. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of interesting, well-written, informed blogs in the area. But most of them exist in bubbles, invisible beyond their small audiences. We would like to expand our knowledge of the talent in Northeast Ohio, and we think our readers would, too.