Today is Saturday, May 11.
This image above is a screenshot of the SPJ homepage this morning.
See the section that says, Catch up with the latest SPJ Blog Entries? Click on any of those, and you’ll notice something weird…
Latest means 12 to 24 days ago. Put another way, latest in mid-May happened in April.
Even weirder, I’ve written four blog posts since then, and none are mentioned. I’m not pouting, just pointing out…
• My first post in that time span, about two students valiantly fighting for public records, had 521 views its first day, according to SPJ’s own metrics. That’s more than any other SPJ blog post from last week (which are the only metrics available to me).
• My latest post was yesterday, about two students who fought their schools and landed their first-choice journalism jobs. It got 772 views Friday.
That 772 is more than the Top 4 SPJ blog posts from last week combined (a total of 763 views). Here’s what’s so sad/funny about that…
None of SPJ’s most popular blog posts from last week were actually written last week – and most weren’t written this year. Or even last year.
Here they are…
1. Using Windows Movie Maker – 495 views (January 1, 2011)
2. How to Get a Press Pass – 137 views (November 11, 2011)
3. Singapore arrests journalist – 77 views (July 27, 2010)
4. TVU: Trend or Sign of Broadcast Times – 54 views (April 29)
5. On “fundamental” rights – 48 views (April 30)
Of course, if you don’t give a crap about blogging, you’re corneas are glazing over right about now. But it’s a big frickin’ deal to me.
We’re the largest journalism organization in the country, although our membership is slipping. We have a lot to offer, but if you judge us on our web presence – as most folks will, since they haven’t met us personally and don’t realize how charming/attractive we are – we don’t impress.
Here are some meta-questions to ponder…
1. If SPJ doesn’t have any “latest” blog entries, then why say we do? Just get rid of that section. Who decides these things, anyway?
2. Shouldn’t the nation’s largest journalism organization have some latest blog entries besides mine? (It’s previously been established that I have no life, no kids, no hobbies, no friends, and an understanding wife. But even those with well-rounded existences would surely contribute something if asked nicely.)
3. At the last national board meeting a few weeks ago, someone – Carl Corry, maybe – suggested SPJ’s blog goal should be getting on Jim Romenesko as often as possible. Do we ever contact him?
My own posts have been mentioned on Jim’s site because I ask him. The last post on the site you’re reading now got Jim’s attention – as did my SPJ blog post yesterday…
Even just getting mentioned in his Morning Report meant 355 views.
My final question…
Why wasn’t my latest blog post tweeted from the SPJ Twitter account? Shouldn’t every official SPJ blog post be promoted by our official social media?
I’ve served on SPJ’s national board twice now, in two different roles, and I’ve witnessed more debate about inactive chapters than an active web presence. But if we want to reverse our membership numbers, it’ll take more than personal phone calls from the president. (Which we’ve also spent more time discussing than our web presence.)
By the way, I’m not taking shots at any individual, and this post you’re reading right now is hidden. (You can only get to it if you have the URL.) Not trying to take anyone down. Just saying if we don’t make this a priority, we’ll end up like all the print publications whose demises we now lament.
Or you can write me off as melodramatic. But I’ll conclude and insist…