Like George Motherfucking Will

July 13, 2010

Who, btw, is a dumbass. Just so we’re clear on that. I cut my political teeth in part by reading that guy’s column in the local paper. It was amazing. Each and every freaking time I would read through it, nodding along with most of his points. And then right at the end he would reach a conclusion that was 90 or 180 degrees off from where his chain of evidence and logic brought me. It took me quite awhile to catch on to the Republican strategy of talking points. Of saying wtf-ever that either made sense or didn’t just so long as they hammered the talking points at the end. Heck, they probably hadn’t fully cottoned on to what they were doing back then.


Let’s return to the fact that I read his column, and Erma Bombeck and Doonesbury and a whole bunch of other national content, in my local paper.

How? The power of syndication, right? An Op/Ed content provider in the heyday of print newsmedia dreamed of going into nationwide syndication. They started out as local blovitards of some sort and if they caught sufficient attention, other newspapers around the country would want to reprint their stuff. If you lived in the hinterlands of the US, you didn’t have to subscribe to BigCityPaper and have it delivered a day late in the mail or some shit. You could access that content in your local, preferred venue.

Whatever passes for web syndication is not this. Or at least, the dead-tree model of Op/Ed syndication is not a default goal of the bloggers of my acquaintance. In the science / medicine areas anyway.

There is at least one fence-sitting blog friend of ours at DM that is absolutely perfect for old-style Op/Ed syndication. I wonder if it is on this person’s radar screen that this is the perfect solution? Is there a mechanism for this? One thinks not. The only paying blog-collective gigs I’m aware of in the science-y arena are still on the old model of in-house talent. They are not overtly on the model of paying for a post from a high-profile blogger that will appear on websites everywhere. Like George Motherfucking Will’s column.

Who knows. Maybe I should have asked Bora. Maybe this model does exist and I’m just unaware of it. I wonder if my blog holmes is aware of any such?

7 Responses to “Like George Motherfucking Will”

  1. Not aware, but found it an interesting idea….gotta think about it, not exactly sure how that would technically work.


  2. drugmonkey Says:

    There are some folks who do something like this. Albeit in a very small way and without being paid from all the places their blog entries appear. And there is always a sort of apologetic “I’m cross-posting from that other place” included.

    So there is a possibility there. Pay could be by the post or by the traffic. That tech exists. All about a demand and the about making it efficient for lots of people to syndicate their content. That’s down the road though.


  3. Stephanie Z Says:

    Who were you thinking? I don’t read all of the “life in science” blogs (limited applicability), but I’d hate to miss someone mixing it up well.


  4. drugmonkey Says:

    I was thinking of PalMD.


  5. Very interesting thoughts. If I had a budget to pay for posts on the Guest Blog, I would definitely “syndicate” regular weekly posters. This way, for free, I cannot be demanding. But I have my Guest Blog “regulars” who are more than happy to write a post there a couple of times a month. PalMD is a fascinating choice for this – trust me, I have been thinking about Pal since my first day at the job, and still am – he is the best medblogger out there and I am wondering what to do that would be best for him as well as something that is in my powers to do. But is Pal interested?


  6. drugmonkey Says:

    Definitely still a ways to go on this. I think the past year, particularly the past month, is a significant step. Bloggers are more confident about spreading their work around and double posting. Or at least cross promoting. If any paying hosts are demanding exclusivity, well, the more alternative examples exist, the weaker their case.

    Pal, specifically? Well I think he took a new job or something and that downgraded his blogging. Stuff happens. But there will always be folks for whom syndication would make a ton of sense..


  7. Our bloggers (both on network and Guest Blog) are free to cross-post their stuff elsewhere with a 24-hour delay (which we sometimes waive if needed) and link-back to the original. Everyone’s happy that way.

    I am always on a lookout for Guest Bloggers who fill niches that network does not fill (even 42+15 people cannot cover every area of science, every discipline, every angle), so I am always interested in new voices. We start with one post, and if that works some more posts. And then it can turn into a whole blog. Two of the current network blogs (Anecdotes From The Archive, and Assignment, Impossible) started out as weekly features on the Guest Blog, then twice-weekly, then separate blogs on the network. Such things can happen again.


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