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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 21, 2005 12:16 AM. The previous post in this blog was What Earl Blumenauer told Randy Gragg. The next post in this blog is Another guy I used to know. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, June 21, 2005


A short while back, we declared that The Oregonian has the world's lamest website, or words to that effect. This hyperbolic comment was not meant to cast aspersions on the people here in town who produce the local content for that site. I've met some of them, including the Big Velveeta; they're smart people.

The organization for which they work, however, and the restrictions that are placed on their operation are an entirely different story. The mere fact that the news stories completely disappear after a few weeks, for example. That is unforgivable. Blogs without comments -- it's right down there with it. In that kind of environment, one does the best one can.

Comments (15)

Agreed. I've had a bunch of conversations with good, hardworking folks at the paper - and they are just as frustrated with as we are.

But, the grand poobah of all things Advance.Net, Jeff Jarvis, is gone now. So, will the website operation finally get off the ground? Or did he leave because no one else there gets it?

Trying to figure out the corporate mentality of the Newhouse folks (a.k.a. Advance) is a hopeless task. I do believe they're wasting some real opportunities, but then again, they can afford it.

The simple fact is that traditional media outlets, the so-called "legacy media," just don't get it when it comes to the Internet generally and blogging in particular. They are fully accustomed to the near-absolute control that they enjoy over their product, and they have adopted a defensive posture, seeing the Internet as a threat to that. They are then blinded to seeing the upside and benefits of the new technologies, let alone actually embracing them. The idea of enabling comments that you mention is an excellent example. Newspapers are used to having the complete unfettered discretion to decide which letters to the editor, if any, to print, and then on top of that they even further reserve the right and freedom to edit those letters before printing them. Enabling comments from the readership blows that whole concept right out of the water.

And it isn't just newspapers. In some ways radio seems to have done a good job of integrating the web into what they do. You can check out what their programming is, and often you can even stream it live from their sites. But when it comes to online interactivity, forget it. For example, take a look at the site for KEX, and find for me anywhere on that site where you, the listener, can give online feedback or ask them questions about their programming. I've looked, and I can't find it. It's not there. They don't want my feedback or questions. In fact, they clearly go out of their way to prevent it. What other business does that?

I've come to the conclusion that to the legacy media the Internet represents too much communication, too much free-flowing two-way communication, and the legacy media isn't ready to handle that.

While we're at it, can I say just how much I hate their stupid requirement that you provide them with your zip code, age, and gender when you want to read a story? I know they want to know the demographics, but c'mon. As a compulsive freak when it comes to keeping my computer clean of viruses and whatnot, I delete my cookies and cache (using Safari's nifty "reset Safari" function) every day. So every time I go to the OLive site, I've got to enter that damn info again. They must wonder about that 103 year old woman from New Hampshire who keeps reading all their articles, though.

As a content producer at a local media website, I can tell you that people on the old media side, be it print, radio, or TV are very resistant to the Internet, or what online media is capable of. But, remember, the best thing about the web is that you are not restricted to any ONE source of information. Commercial media outlets are going to continue doing what they do, how they do it, because THEIR way centers on promotion and advertising dollars.

The new way focuses on content. Bloggers, podcasters, SMALL outlets are the new media. The big guys will realize this when the rug is yanked out from under them. And its coming. Fewer people are dependant on TV, radio, and print for news. People are seeking out content from a multitude of sources online. Just look at search advertising. It's mentioned as the #1 threat to traditional media advertising.

Want proof? I know for a fact that one of the biggest magazine publishers in the country has a budget of nearly a half-million dollars just for pay-per-click and other search advertising. Why?
Because traditional advertising in other print vehicles is not working.

But if you are a passionate blogger, you probably know this.

I don't know that it matters about the cookies; I am asked for my info every time I go there, and I don't delete cookies. (Although I do use non-IE browsers.)

But maybe my 104 year old female reader from Antelope is related to your reader in N.H.?

From a recent wire service article: "One in five Web users who rely on newspapers for news primarily go to their online editions rather than read articles in print, a new study finds." (

For about 20% of us (including me, today I'm a 47-year-old female from Mollala :-) the web site is our primary experience of the Oregonian. I don't think they get that yet.

Maybe there are just a lot of fish to wrap in Portland.

For about 20% of us (including me, today I'm a 47-year-old female from Mollala :-) the web site is our primary experience of the Oregonian. I don't think they get that yet.

Oh, I think they get that, there are just two problems: 1) Their website doesn't generate much revenue, and 2) the nicer they make it, the less it will generate (ie., the more people it will take away from the print edition).

Has any major US newspaper figured out a way to make their online presence a viable source of income--and by viable I mean enough to compensate for a decline in print revenue? I don't think so, and I don't think we'll see much innovation until someone figures out how to do it.

The mere fact that the news stories completely disappear after a few weeks, for example. That is unforgivable.

I think they are embarassed of their paper so they don't allow archived access. Studying their stories, endorsements and predictions over the last decade might turn up some interesting trends.

For example, they've backed almost every major PDC spending idea I can remember.

The New York Times website is great. I don't know that the site itself "makes money" by traditional accounting standards, but it contributes to a strong brand name that I believe is running well in the black. To me, the print version of the Times (which I have bought every day for decades) is even better knowing that there's a strong website behind it.

When the time comes, I no doubt will pay for the web version of the Times and give up the hard copy. I can't say that about the O -- definitely not with what they've got posted right now.

To me, the print version of the Times (which I have bought every day for decades) is even better knowing that there's a strong website behind it.

Good point, which gets at the main problem behind the Oregonian website--the people who run it are not at all connected with the Oregonian. I've heard some pretty amusing stories about reporters who just drive themselves crazy trying to have more control over what happens to their stories on-line.

I think jaybird's "just don't get it" characterization is a bit of an exaggeration. They're learning to get it!

The LA Times experimented last weekend with a user-editable editorial. The Washington Post has frequent live online chats with their columnists. The main part of OPB Radio's site is a blog, comments enabled, with daily statewide news wrap-ups from April Baer. Willamette Week has commenting built into their online story posts, though no one seems to use it. The Mercury is going to be launching an expanded blogs and forum section in the near future. And on and on.

So give them a chance. They're catching up to the web.


I don't think so The LA Times venture lasted two days, tops. It was poorly designed, and they weren't prepared.

And, yeah, it's true, some (a few) are trying to do some things now. But then, they have to. Circulation at all major newspapers is in a freefall. Viewership of network television news likewise. People get their news online. You gotta go where the consumers are.

So I stand behind my statement that legacy media doesn't want and isn't invested in the paradigm of two-way free-flowing communication. That's not the model they understand, let alone feel comfortable with. And they really show no sign of changing that.

But maybe at some point they will, and they do have enormous resources at their disposal, but they are so far behind the curve now that, well, ....

.... Let's just say that they've lost a lot of ground that they'll never recover.

I would not disagree that the OregonLive site is fairly terrible, and I use it as a 103 year-old woman in Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado. Their demographic collections must be nothing but faex.

I do believe, though, that OregonLive is a separate entity contracted by the Oregonian to run their website. I may be wrong on this, but did recently notice (aka "" running an identical site for some small Michigan papers, with the identical information collection system for non-cookie users. A quick search, however, indicates that there is no equivalent in Arizona, or Ohio, so it is not an entirely national phenomenon.


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Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
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Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
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Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
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Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
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Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
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Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
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Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
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Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
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Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
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Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
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Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
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Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
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Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
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Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
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Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
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James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
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Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
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Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
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J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
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Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
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Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
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Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
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Keith Richards - Life
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Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
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Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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