See update below.
Monday night, WGCL gave video cameras to a handful of Atlanta bloggers. For WGCL, the idea is to channel some of the buzz from the blogosphere to the station’s web site. The idea is evil genius. The bloggers knew better, but many couldn’t resist accepting the free loaner cameras. WGCL’s caveat was that the bloggers had to provide video snippets twice a week that are relevant to their blogs and their world. The blogger would decide the content. The pay would be zip.
This appears to be the first example of their effort, from Spacey G.
Spacey G was just playin’, of course. Bloggers tend to do that. But they also create the kind of word-on-the-street chatter that makes marketing folks salivate.
During Monday’s meeting, news director Steve Schwaid pitched a WGCL site called “blog stew” (hilarious misspelled as “blow” stew at one point during a powerpoint presentation). The site would be a table-of-contents for sites that WGCL considers to be the region’s best blogs. Some of those blogs would produce video that WGCL would put on its “stew” site and use in its newscasts if newsworthy. LAF declined the camera.
Schwaid handled the group knowledgeably and agreeably. This was no easy task. Many of them are suspicious of the “mainstream media.” A techno-geek at heart, Schwaid was comfortable with the terminology and the technology, and ably disarmed the crankiest of the bloggers. The effort earned him mostly praise from Spacey G, Buzz Brockway and the A-man, who’ve also posted detailed accounts of the meeting. A-man also has a snippet of video from the meeting.
Having bloggers inside the tent is a shrewd step. Unless WGCL manages to piss ‘em all off, this can only help its quest to build an audience. The effort earns a grade of A.
Update: As one might expect, some bloggers who attended are having some strong disagreements about the meeting. Some are playing out within the same blog! Below are mere excerpts; click the links for the full-scale rants.
- Here’s one: “Alas, a new idea couldn’t be found within 50 miles of Studio B last night, unless something was brewing on the Georgia Tech campus three blocks South. It was difficult to decipher the exact goal of the meeting, but it seems to have been a solicitation to provide free content to the station’s website — either passively or aggressively.”
- Here’s another: “So don’t give me any shit about how CBS’ idea is fatally flawed or that I have somehow sold out until 1. You can think outside of the box and see how to use it for our advantage and 2. Until it’s been tested and proven a failure. The problem with so many “new media” folks is that they automatically place on their “new media” tinfoil hat and look for conspiracies at every angle.”