Monday, October 17, 2011

Everything that is wrong with online publications.

OK, not everything. But something that is rampant and unchecked on many esteemed online outlets.

Done right, cross-promotion can be a service to the reader: you're surfacing content that they would also be interested in.

Done wrong, and it's just like those students standing on the sidewalk with clipboards hawking some cause: it makes you cross the street to avoid them, going out of your way to go where you want to go.

I usually use the Huffington Post as the hood ornament on which to hang my criticism, and it would be an appropriate reference here. But they're not alone.

So this time, I highlight the Hollywood Reporter:

This is ridiculous. Every paragraph of this otherwise nice report has a cross-promotional link shouting at me. It's in the same size and typeface as the original article, only screaming at me, bolded and bright red. Worse, only two of the four really has anything to do with the article at hand, about a prominent movie executive's memories of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The rest are just shameless Apple-related plugs for content you already know isn't worth reading. (Because really, would you have run a sidebar to this story in print about Apple products in TV & movies? Really?)

Reading content on the Internet is different than print publications; that much is true. But too many publications embrace the worst habits of the medium.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

I found your blog by searching "journalism blogs" hoping to find an intelligent person who can offer his or her prospective on journalism today. I am a former newspaper editor, but I left my job to make my living through blogging, dog walking and pet sitting. Best choice I've made yet!