Inside the tent…

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.”
This entry was posted in schwaid steve, WGCL on by .

About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

20 thoughts on “Inside the tent…

  1. spaceyg

    Schwaid did good, but he did anything but handle the group “knowledgeably.” He had no freakin’ idea WHO made up the group, and admitted as such.

    So who’s going to tell him that he just handed out free cams to a roomful of utterly partisan political operatives? LMAO!

  2. Mario Page

    The mainstream media is pimping, or at least trying to, social media and citizen journalists into getting free footage. It’s just as bad as ads on Craigslist, asking for videographers to shoot video for “no pay,” and only get “on screen” credit and/or a copy of the finished product. SUCKS!!!

  3. Tessa Horehled

    I am really looking forward to seeing how much they listen, whether they follow through with all of the execution necessary for this to not flop and the videos that are created in the process. 😉 Working on my first this evening at the tweetup!

    *Goes to read discussion over at Blog For Democracy*

  4. steve schwaid

    Ok folks –

    I’ll post a longer response later about the various comments regarding our blogger event last night. First I’d like to have dinner with my wife. (No , she doesn’t blog.)

    However, let me leave with these thoughts –

    Despite the various conspiracy theories some of you have come up with there really is no ulterior motive. Honestly, we’re looking at all different ways to reach the viewers and users we serve. We also thought and still think our proposed site will be on value to bloggers out there. (And why are so many of you angry?)

    We all want people to read our content online. We would like to be a central place/portal where people can get content about Atlanta.

    The concept is really simple. We promote our site on-air.We can reach millions of people a day. We tell people to find comments, suggestions, ideas and feedback written by folks in the market about the market by searching with our blog aggregator.

    After they do a search it will pull up the first couple of lines from the relevant blog sites and the viewser can link to the sites – possibly your site. Again, they will read the content on YOUR site.

    Conspiracy? I don’t see it, but then I believe Lee Harvey fired three bullets in rapid succession in an old bolt action rifle.

    The cameras? Well, I thought it would be a parting gift/attempt at working with bloggers to try something new. Foolish me. (Again, why are you so angry?)

    If it offended you, sorry. Just don’t be so angry.

    For those of you shooting video, thanks.

    For those who want to help us develop a new concept drop me an email.

    And for those of you who thought we wasted your time…Well, did you at least eat some pizza and try the brownies? The brownies were pretty good.

  5. spaceyg

    Any institution handing out brownies and free electronics is off to a roaring good start in SpaceyG Land. Then again, I’ve been known to end-up in some really weird places because of “free” shiny stuff too, so best I withhold too much eagerness for the time being.

  6. Pingback: Better late than preggers: wrap-up of CBS46 blogger summit | Rusty's Blog

  7. Prophet Ezra

    Dear Mr. Schwaid,
    We here inside the Institute for New Holistic Thinking of Young Harris find your posts amusing. You are blogging, speaking at press forums, and delivering a litany of self serving dribble. Unlike most of us who have worked in broadcasting, you were blessed with opportunity, connections, smarts and success. Now in your late 50’s, you are a news director at a wreck of a station, working for a man who has 1/30th of your resume, and yet your bluster remains as though you are running a network group. We at the Institute see you as the local tv version of Michael Keaton. A man who was once an A- List actor who has been shuffled to a cameo in “Herbie the Love Bug Fully Loaded.” Please refrain from posting here and take thoughtful personal inventory.
    Prophet Ezra

    1. live apt fire Post author

      Through much of the life of this blog, I’ve deleted comments that are off-point and ring of personal attacks. I make exceptions for such stuff when it’s clever and fun. No doubt, Mr. Schwaid has made some enemies during his career as a TV news director. Prophet Ezra obviously has an axe to grind. But he’s grinding it cleverly. Welcome Ezra. Mind your manners.

  8. Jim


    Welcome to the blogosphere. As you can see, about 10 percent of these people are oxygen wasters. Just don’t let them get to you.

    Thanks for at least trying something different. As long as you’re not firing photogs while you’re asking for free video, it’s all good.

  9. Steve Schwaid

    Bloggers –

    I’m gonna use this as a place to post some updates from the meeting. I will put together an email DL for those that were invited and attended to keep you up to date.

    We’re working on the embed issue you raised. It may take a little time.

    Until then you suggested we create a youtube channel for the video, so here it is:

    We will start a process to post video you may want to link to, comment on, etc.

    We’re working on other ideas you have suggested.

    Also we’ve received our first video from a blogger. We’re creating a page so we can post the videos – hopefully that will be up soon.

    stay tuned.

  10. kimfettig46

    OMG, as the kids say! I blogged! I blogged about the bloggers! No Tessa, I don’t know anything about blogging other than I write some stuff and then I link to other folks blogs. But I did it… I penetrated your world and blogged! Just stop yelling at us.
    I was really proud of my boss! I had a blast watching Aman work and enjoyed many of you in the room and was thrilled to see Doug. But for the two ladies on the left side of the studio. Stop Yelling!

  11. Build A Better Broom

    Oh that’s priceless, Kim. An agitated, hyped-up, ruthlessly aggressive news wench like you, one who’d run over your own mother to get your powdered cheekbones on TV (any one will do as long as it has a red record light flashing) tells a blogger to stop yelling. LMAO!!!!!!!!!

    Run away now like a good little talent type from our (text-based) world and go holler in front of a microphone a little louder. Maybe one day someone will ask you for an autograph if you YELL loud enough on-cam for someone to fetch you some Starbucks.

    I look forward to laughing hardily at your blooper reel at the next Gorilla Ball.

  12. Build A Better Broom

    It’s Amani, BTW Kimmy The Royal Butt-Kisser. Not that your attention span would allow for actual conversation and noting of people’s names.

    Still snorting at the thought of a local TV news wench telling someone to stop yelling. Priceless!

    Next you might even say we should have worn skirts and pantyhose and let the men speak first.

    1. live apt fire Post author

      Damn, “broom,” what’d Fettig do to piss you off? Talk about an over over-reaction. I hadn’t noticed any yelling until you weighed in.

      Btw, Amani does call himself “A-man” on his blog. You should pay closer attention.

  13. Crazy

    Broom you can’t ask Kim to do Somethime that you don’t already do yourself. But you just run behind a computer and bring out big words to make yourself feel good. Kim is at least getting into the cyber world and is looking at growing herself all around. But hey at least you have the Internet to yell at them and laugh at them. On top of telling all six people who read your blog and they are family so they don’t count. But hey you still have other peoples blogs to try to make your point since no one is reading yours. Go back and have another drink and pull your tight little panties out of your …

  14. Just Like The Other One

    Doug, as you seem to be struggling to find those often elusive high notes ‘o humor in many of your blog posts/comments of late, let me suggest Jeff Justice’s writing workshops. They are intense, contentious, and potentially life-changing. (The latter depends on the user, of course.)

    Doug Monroe recommended them to me. Hollis Gillespie and Royal Marshall have been through the program. I’m a Level II grad myself, and if Jeff offered a Level III I’d be there too.

  15. Pingback: The swag store « live apartment fire

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