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The Telegraph's MyTelegraph

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Give me a second to suck the oxygen back into my lungs. I’ve just been submerged in ‘MyTelegraph‘, the newspaper’s new online service that allows its users to write blogs and form blogging networks. I say ‘submerged’ because after you’ve delved through a few bizarre, stacato, non-linear, largely incomprehensible conversations you start to feel as though you’ll never get out (some of Phil Slocombe‘s audience seem particularly nonsensical and yet prolific).
This is terribly judgmental since the service has only just launched. Once it matures and its community of active bloggers increases I’m sure it will become less introverted.
But is this the future of newspapers online? The service has some nice features, like being able to add a blogger to your network easily, giving you the opportunity to agree or disagree with each blog – then showing the level of agreement and aggregating these in ‘agreement indexes’, as well as allowing you to navigate by most viewed, most commented etc.
And, if Telegraph readers want to talk to one another and express their views this could be a great way of making them more loyal to the newspaper’s website, of finding out what they’re thinking and even using them as news sources.
Yet the mytelegraph section, despite the consistent branding, seems oddly separate from the rest of the paper. You would have thought that once you’ve set up your page, you’d be able to feed stories in from the paper, tag them, save them, comment on them and recommend them to others in your community. Or even that you could tailor your page to include the features you most like from the paper. But right now mytelegraph bloggers are definitely considered a subspecies and cordoned off from the rest of the content. The closest you get is a top tab to Telegraph journalist bloggers – although they too are effectively walled off.
I think I can see what the Telegraph is trying to do, but if wants to get closer to what Jeff Jarvis called ‘networked journalism’ and see ‘stories as a process rather than a product’, it’s going to have to work out a way to make those walls more permeable.

Written by Martin Moore

May 31st, 2007 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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