Join 3,431 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


That's a Wrap
October 12, 2010 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Today, The New York Times' Idea of the Day Blog announced that is is officially out of ideas.
posted by Scoop (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Funny headline, but not too much to say ... newspaper publishing is a biscuit of an industry right now?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:14 AM on October 12, 2010


Arguably the greatest print news source in human history can't figure out a way to run a blog. Unreal.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:15 AM on October 12, 2010


Was this blog ever important?
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:15 AM on October 12, 2010


About Idea of the Day Blog:
“Idea of the Day” is a blog by Tom Kuntz and other editors of the Week in Review highlighting the most interesting writing we’ve come across lately on the Web. We’re generalists, so consider this a thinking person’s grazing buffet.
So, they failed where other "interesting stuff on the 'net" blogs have continued on? Given that it might be a shade harder to stick to interesting writing and leave out the weird videos and cute photos, I'm still surprised.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:18 AM on October 12, 2010


There was a proliferation of NYTimes blogs over the last couple years, to the point where the vast majority of the written words by Times authors were blog posts. I get the sense that they're finally getting serious about their blogs, which requires a bit of pruning. The blogs that remain will likely be seeing more resources at their disposal. The trade-off is fewer blogs.
posted by .kobayashi. at 11:18 AM on October 12, 2010


"The blog’s end is a result of limited resources in a medium where any number of worthy projects are possible, and where new priorities continually emerge."
As good an epitaph as was ever written.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:22 AM on October 12, 2010


the "Idea of the Day" blog culled controversial recent articles and essays from other websites, and gave them prominence and spin for NYT readers.

teaming up with Husbandry terms is little weird.
posted by clavdivs at 11:22 AM on October 12, 2010


Awesome. The New York Times can't figure out at all how to do what members of this site do about a hundred times every day.

Hey there Gray Lady. Here's a shroud and a penny for the ferryman. We'll take over from here.
posted by felix betachat at 11:23 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


(Also, your comment moderation sucks.)
posted by felix betachat at 11:24 AM on October 12, 2010


Never, ever read it. Also, what is up with the dark background on the linked blog? They need an idea too.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:27 AM on October 12, 2010


I seriously have trouble comprehending the concept that the New York Times is "out of ideas" for its Idea of the Day Blog. That's just weak.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:58 AM on October 12, 2010


"The blog’s end is a result of limited resources in a medium where any number of worthy projects are possible, and where new priorities continually emerge."

I don't see how "limited resources" is a euphemism for "us being out of ideas".
posted by 23skidoo at 12:09 PM on October 12, 2010


They just need to smoke some weed (no-one said they had to be *good* ideas!)
posted by symbioid at 12:09 PM on October 12, 2010


Sounds about right for 21st Century America.
posted by SirOmega at 12:12 PM on October 12, 2010


I don't see how "limited resources" is a euphemism for "us being out of ideas".

Well, more likely the decision process was: "It's not generating any dollars, and we can't find anyone cheap enough to do this for us to justify the return."

Which raises the question of how much they were spending on it. It was a one-post-a-day, five-day-a-week blog.

My wild, unsupported speculation was that they had a $100K a year staffer spending 100 percent of his/her time on it. Another exec to manage the staffer. And a copy editing pass. And some time with a content-management system. For a blog. A one-post-a-day, five-day-a-week blog.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:18 PM on October 12, 2010


NYT isn't out of ideas. It's out of time and money (Times x money...) to blog everything on Earth, good, bad and mostly indifferent. Stop the irrelevant blogs, and e-NYT might return to the worthy read it once was.
posted by drogien at 12:27 PM on October 12, 2010


I guess they needed to get some other ideas...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 12:29 PM on October 12, 2010


We’re generalists, so consider this a thinking person’s grazing buffet.

And yet, somehow Arts and Letters Daily struggles on.
posted by Sparx at 12:33 PM on October 12, 2010


Here's an idea: Parimutuel cat races with capuchin monkey jockeys.

They're just not trying hard enough.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:48 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Disingenuous bullshit.

When they go behind their paywall, they want you to subscribe, not think about the great free blogs you could read instead-- blogs they helped you discover with Idea of the Day.
posted by jamjam at 1:47 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cool Papa Bell: "My wild, unsupported speculation was that they had a $100K a year staffer spending 100 percent of his/her time on it. Another exec to manage the staffer. And a copy editing pass. And some time with a content-management system. For a blog. A one-post-a-day, five-day-a-week blog."

I'll take the other end of that bet and say they had a $10K a year staffer spending 40 hours a week on it, designing the theme and whatnot, and couldn't find anyone to replace them when whatever idiot thought that was a good way to break into the field went bankrupt and moved back home with their parents.
posted by pwnguin at 2:10 PM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


If the New York Times thought idea mattered, it wouldn't give a platform to Thomas Friedman.
posted by Yakuman at 2:11 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I subscribed to the blog's RSS feed. About once a week I'd click through because something was interesting, but recently it wasn't even that often. It was getting tired; if they hadn't canned it, I think I would have unsubscribed on my next round of pruning feeds.

Arts & Letters Daily tends to annoy the crap out of me after a week or two by running some conservative academic who makes me want to tear my hair out or worse, praising one, so a good alternative was nice. Sadly, this was not it.
posted by immlass at 3:17 PM on October 12, 2010


When they go behind their paywall, they want you to subscribe, not think about the great free blogs you could read instead-- blogs they helped you discover with Idea of the Day.

I have to agree with jamjam.

It's the old, boring argument of whether or not to include "best of the (rest the) Web" links on your site.

Pros: "free" or reduced-cost content (repackaging other sites' stories); SEO; an extra page view or two

Cons: users navigate off your site, perhaps to an indirect competitor; you expose your level of coverage (i.e. all the stuff you don't cover well)

For a non-commercial site, it's a no-brainer, imo.

However, every commercial site I've worked on has transitioned from including outside content to removing it later. In most cases, it's a decent method of padding a thin content site, but the powers that be always kill it one way or another.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:09 PM on October 12, 2010


I'm fairly sure from what I know of the NYT's online operation that the complicated commercial theories here are unwarranted. Like .kobayashi. said, they threw a huge number of blog ideas against the wall, and now's the time where they're seeing what stuck. The LOLOldMedia comments here seem particularly inapt since this kind of exuberant experimentalism is precisely what the Jeff Jarvises of this world are always urging traditional outlets to try.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 4:18 PM on October 12, 2010


« Older Fox orders Napoleon Dynamite toon series....  |  Gays vs. Straights. OkCupid do... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments