Monday, July 18, 2005

NashvillesNews is broken

NashvillesNews is s new citizen journalism site that still needs a lot of work. I commend their efforts, but am dissapointed in their openness to getting feedback on what they are doing.

I tried to send them feedback, via the site feedback form, and got an email back saying you need to be registered with their googlegroup to send feedback. There is no indication on the form that you need to be registered.

I added feedback to their Wiki, it got deleted without a reply.

There is no contact info on the website. If there is, I'd like to know about it.

Since my feedback has been rejected, deleted and ignored, I'll post it here in hopes that it will be listened to.
From: Steve Garfield
Date: July 17, 2005 12:33:39 PM EDT
Subject: Feedback: - NashvillesNews linking back to me

-- The following message was sent using the feedback page --

Thanks for linking to me but I've got some suggestions.

Please take them in a constructive and friendly way.

1. Don't copy my whole post.
The way of the web and linking is to mention my post and provide a link back so people can come to my site and read the whole post. If you are going to link to me, you can use an excerpt of approximately 10-20%, but pleae do not copy the entire post.

2. Please provide a link back to my post.
You link back to my blog via a graphic, but not to the post that you have copied. Please copy the permalink and link back to that for reasons stated above.

Something like:
via [ Off On A Tangent ]
That way would be a lot clearer as to where you got the content from than just posting a graphic with no real indication where the content came from.

3. Don't use graphics that I am hosting on my site on your site.
If you want to use my graphics, make a copy and host them yourself. Linking directly to my graphic costs me money. Also, you are resizing the large graphic to a smaller size. Might as well resize it yourself.

Other things:
1. Here's the post I'm talkign about:

links for 2005-07-15 Grassroots the Movie : Howa...

Submitted by media feed on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 8:27pm.
links for 2005-07-15
I hope that someone from NashvilleNews gets to see this and improves the site.


  1. Anonymous4:59 AM

    Okay Steve. We hear you. Sorry about the confusion and the seeming disrepair. It should say up front we are testing the test and really won't be live till next month.(its supposed to say that but may not I grant you) I'm going to fix all of the items including the graphic link ASAP.

    As a side note we want to enable it so you can actually link your content yourself and have it display exactly how you like to see it using various simple RSS item tags etc. It initially was going to be for music but as you see we're working on video as well. The near goal is to make is so users get to vote and submit etc but also are given the option of having other users tip them -- i.e. micropayments again -- only this time through a super easy Pay Pal (no steps)interface that goes from user to content provider with nothing in between. Thanks for the heads up.


  2. Anonymous8:22 AM

    See if it isn't more to your liking. I left the teaser text in most of the links without the actual links themsleves. Also the graphic is now on our server and there is a link embedded in it as well. Again thanks for the heads up and sorry about the brokeness. :)

  3. You aren't linking to the permalink of the post though.

    What you want to do is say, hey steve has some cool links, go check them out, and then link to that post and not the main blog.

    And you are still posting the whole post. Not sure if people are going to be happy with you copying the whole content of their posts. Like I said before 10-20% copying is usually acceptable with a link back to the post.

    If you copied the whole article from the NY Times and posted it, they wouldn't be happy. It should live on their site with you making a pointer to it.

    Regarding the graphic, you only need the link at the end of the post, not really twice.

    Also, a break after the image , so the text link goes on the next line might look better. It's up to you.

  4. Anonymous4:07 PM


    Got it and will change the post to contain at most 10 to 20 percent of the orriginal. One thing I think may have caused us some confusion (I don't have time to verify this but will later) is that the entire post is or was comming through Blogdigger. Someone here has set up a million feeds in her reader and ... she thinks the post was comming through just like that. Its not important as we need to check the source more carefully. Look for this to be done in the next hour or so.

    I looked the post regarding bloggers over thirty.

  5. Anonymous5:23 PM

    Now take a look. Go the the front to see . While I'm not trying to be a pain I didn't just rake out 80% of the original post but instead have the content links all going back to your permalink. That way it serves both as a teaser for your content and a direct link to the full post permalink and your site. I just wanted your comments on this general concept. We can obviously do this programmatic rather than by hand if you think there would be a call for it from individual vloggers.

    I'll do it however you want from now on and will assume the 10% to 20% for the time being.

    Normally I would not be this annoyingly over accomodating and would have simply done what you prescribed. However since the only purpose of the site is to be overly accomodating to content providers in return for their cooperation and further providing content I thought I would be this annoying.:)

    Again the concept is to aggregate the best of the best and provide a user interface that is more than just a list of links -- i.e. graphics and descriptions -- and give the users a vote etc etc. Moreover and more importantly will be a series of one click buttons for tipping the content providers. These buttons would only be available to registered members because there is no other way to do it. However the content provider can choose to make their content available ONLY to registered members which means only to users who can theoretically tip them if they so desired.

    To bore you further we are contemplating another simple option that gives the user the ability to show their appreciation. A "watch this" button which would show the user a Flash or video. You can see what that would lead to and I suppose. After this post no doubt I'll receive some rotten tomatoes for trying to introduce commercials to vlogging. This is not the first time anyone has brought this concept up so the rotten tomatoes need to go somewhere else.

  6. What you've done now isn't right.

    You can't just redo the links for someone's post like that. Now it disses the original content makers.

    Please just remove that post from your blog.

    And I'd prefer it if you didn't post any more of my content.

    The 10-20% rule seems to be a standard in the news publishing area.

    For bloggers, the standard seems to be that a human being excerpts a portion of a post, maybe writes a little note about it and links back to the permalink.

    That is all.

    For a discussion of payment systems for bloggers, try the videoblogging group on Yahoo!

  7. Anonymous6:26 PM

    Last little annoyance. You can see a simple graphic example of what I mean by going to and looking at "Mock up of Micropayment Buttons" . Its really simple and others have thought of it but for various reasons its not been implemented properly. I'm not saying we will either only that we are going to try.

    I worked at HBO in the 80s (Manager, Special Programming) under Michael Fuchs. My job on one level was to purchase pre-produced non theatrical content (lots of comedy and circus acts back then).

    Additionally I got what was called interstitial programming or more precisely "filler" in between the movies and specials so that the programs would start on the hour. This "filler" was sometimes better than the films. Actually it was mostly better. This was a time when something called "video art" was emerging due to the overnight availability of hand held video cameras. As a result I was flooded with submissions of that sort. A notable example was William Wegman . I remember calling people into my office to look at this black and white videos of Man Ray and we would watch them over and over. There was no way to pay Bill or anyone however as it would have broken the business model which had emerged and become entrench end in about a two week period. There was allot of critical acclaim for our interstitial in the New York press however the research showed almost none of the subscribers cared one way or another. But still I argued for a sort of sponsorship opportunity [commercial] that would just go toward paying these video artists and therefore keep the content coming. The videographers were getting irritable as the costs of production were relatively high and our revenues were growing rather fast at that time. Some of them didn't think I was very funny when I suggested they somehow incorporate nude females into the content which I could then elevate to "special status" and put in the main schedule. Funny how history repeats itself.

    Finally the interstitial were replaced with promos for HBO programming for allot of reasons in addition to the headache factor.

    I'll dispense with the ancient history and cut to the chase. I believe that had the subscribers had a way to actually tip the content providers the history would have been radically different. Its hard to measure peoples reaction to material they will only stumble upon while doing other things. There would have been no way to sell people on the idea of watching a dog drop a golf ball into a tin can over and over but if you see it .. that's different Steve. I wanted to tip Bill. He wanted to be tipped and not really for the money as much as not wanting to devalue his work which was selling at that time as "art" for quite a bit actually. Bill could not create his own cable network to distribute his work and most vidoe bloggers are not going to get the kind of audience you have. However individual works will stand out and in an aggregated situation they will be stumbled upon. Regardless we have a chance to do that now. Eiher way its worth a try as long as I can keep from annoying the content providers.:)

    Sorry if this is out on a tangent.. heh heh.

  8. Anonymous6:31 PM


    Sorry, I've taken it down.