Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sticky notes

Notes from the yellow pad on my desk:

* Those who don't like the advertising on our website need to remember how much it's costing them to view the news, videos and other information we produce. The answer is, zero. We don't believe paywalls are the way to go; they typically discourage reader traffic. We prefer having readers come to our site early and often at no cost. The more visitors, the more attractive the site becomes to paid advertisers. And with well over 200,000 unique visitors a month, we have an excellent story to tell our advertising clients.

* The Charlie Sheen saga is legitimate entertainment and financial story. But we're uncomfortable with all the rambling interviews and Internet clips the networks have been airing. Sheen is either the greatest actor since Olivier, or he's an extremely sick man who ought to be institutionalized. Most experts say it's the latter. Why feed into his irrational behavior by providing him a national soapbox? It's not too late for Sheen to take a route to recovery, a la Robert Downey Jr. But it will be if he doesn't get help soon.

* Hope you've been following the Freeman's series of live videostreams from local press conferences, hearings and the like. You also ought to sign up as Twitter followers of our reporters; they are breaking stories nearly every day via their tweets. Had you been a follower of Patricia Doxsey, for example, you would have received periodic on-the-spot updates last night from the public hearing on Golden Hill. Excellent stuff in the Digital First age.

* Speaking of Digital First, keep an eye out for the announcement of major national recognition for our new media guru Life Editor Ivan Lajara.

* By the way, renovations to the Freeman's Community Media Lab are just about complete. Hope to have some more events before long.

* Personal aside to blog reader Ellen Slansky (who reminded me I haven't been posting lately): The change occurred on I-95, shortly after leaving Greenwich, Conn. She'll know what I mean.

* I'm back on the Media Project this week on WAMC Northeast Public Radio. Typically I'm on every other week, but schedule conflicts and a week in California have kept me away for much of 2011. Hopefully we can stick to the regular routine for a while. Recording with me Thursday morning will be Alan Chartock and Rosemary Armao. Listen in at 6 p.m. Sunday or 3 p.m. Monday.

* There was a time when I wouldn't miss a word of newspaper coverage from baseball spring training. Now, I hardly read any of it. Does that say more about me or spring training?

* Actress Lorraine Bracco was sitting across the aisle on our flight from JFK to LAX. Most remember her as Tony Soprano's therapist. I said hello to her, but didn't feel the urge to burden her with my problems. Probably a good move.
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