When you’re bad, mediocre looks good: Dayton Daily news attempts at social

I had a talk with Ron Rollins last night at the Sideshow X. Ron’s an artist, and the editor of the “Opinion pages” of the Dayton Daily news.

He assured me that the Dayton Daily news was not for sale. I think that decision is way above his paygrade, but, I’m glad he’s so sure.

In the world of journalism, there had always been the struggle of keeping the journalism and the business/ad side separate. With the advent of the internet and the free sharing of content news organizations got scared. Very scared. The first and biggest enemy was Craigslist- where their bread and butter money maker- classified ads- went flying away too. Instantly.

Craigslist isn’t perfect. They have a real problem with spammers- especially in the personals sections (the benefit of these spam ads has never been obvious to me, same way spam email never made much sense either). But, the prospect of free for a listing to hire your new office manager or to sell your crib beat the hell out of $7 a line of micro type for a day on the non-searchable, version the newspaper provided.

Hence, newspapers love to run stories about Craigslist killers, thieves and scams.

The real issue of the “newspaper” was never the news part- it was the “paper” part. Taking the electron bits that were used by word processors, digital cameras, page layout programs, etc.- and converting them into physical atoms- was and is expensive. It’s also stupid. For the price of a bad tablet- you can rent subscribers a digital version much cheaper than the cost of printing a paper, and distributing it across the region. The brainiacs at Cox built the state of the art buggy whip printing facility (in Warren County) just about the time the Internet was about to take off. They try to put frosting on the pig by calling it a “Print Technology Center.”

In an everlasting quest to make a buck- they follow other models blindly and think they know what they are doing as page counts go up- which means ad showings go up. This was what Ron was so proud of last night- and I’m just laughing.

Besides being a pain in the ass to Dayton, with this blog, my real job is owning a small ad agency. The reasons it’s small, and in Dayton are because of personal choices I’ve made as the only son of two amazing aging parents that I have to take care of. Although I may bitch about it sometimes, I can’t think of anything that makes me happier than to have them across the street from me- and for me to be able to give them back the time they spent raising me.

All that said- my ad agency isn’t like the others- it’s called “The Next Wave” for a reason- and the main one is that I’ve always been ahead of the curve on where the industry is headed- first with a Mac for Desktop publishing and direct to film print prep, digital video, open source content management, organic SEO, customer relationship management systems, social media, and now working with sophisticated marketing automation.

Advertisers no longer struggle with finding space to run ads- online there is an almost infinite supply of ad space to buy, and while it’s easy to sell ads to the unsophisticated locals who still think they know how to buy ads and make them on their own, the real money in advertising these days is going to companies that can directly target very specific customers- which is why Facebook is cashing in beyond it’s wildest dreams and Yahoo is not. Note, the Dayton Daily had a partnership with Yahoo for a while.

In order to directly target customers for advertising, there are a couple of keys online: very specific content that is accessed by a distinct URL, with very little chance of inadvertent clicks (meaning ads that you are trying to navigate past to get to  more content- don’t count as clicks when most of them are accidental) and that the content can’t be accessed without a click- meaning the whole paper as a picture on an iPad that can be scanned- isn’t worth a damn for generating targeting data.

Facebook is fighting click bait like crazy- the idea that you post content that forces a click with teasers is bad in their book- because it makes you go off their site to another- and this is the main way that the DDn is driving views and thinking they have a “social strategy”- they don’t.

Social media has been co-opted by idiots who think it’s a one way platform to foist your content and ads onto people. That may be 95% of what social is by current day practitioners- but it’s not. Social is two way – with hosted, moderated conversations- like the comments on this site. Where social discussion takes place. Very few old media have figured out the power of subscription to comments either via email or RSS- but, it’s what makes Facebook so powerful- example in case I’ve lost you- you comment on a friends post, every time someone else comments, you get a notification asking you to come back and comment again- that’s social strategy.

I could write an entire book on the strategy of effective social marketing- but instead I’ve been teaching my www.websitetology.com seminars since 2005. No one from the Dayton Daily news has ever taken the seminar- and it’s too bad- they might have learned something.

The Dayton Daily thinks their launch of www.Dayton.com is somehow a success. Rollins even thinks the clown posse they hired to help them with the marketing of it know what they are doing. Of course, when you’re bad, mediocre looks good. The reality is, adding more properties to manage isn’t the answer- launching good ones is. We’ve seen them try this before- and I mocked it then, anyone remember MeetFred.com?

The reality is that most of the people in journalism still don’t know how the internet can make their content gathering and curation so much easier and more powerful. You wouldn’t believe what I can learn in advance from this site and its web-stats. I know when almost anyone in the public sector is job hunting- or been naughty, before you’ll ever read about it in the Dayton Daily news. And just remember, this is the hobby site of one person- they have an entire paid staff doing theirs….

The real question is- and I ask this of my readers who’ve taken the time to read this, if they call, how much should I charge the people at Cox Media to tell them how to save their sorry “media empire?”

 

Scabies and the Dayton VA

In today’s Dayton Daily news, the leading non-news story was about failures at the Dayton VA. Not statistically relevant failures, not showing a real systemic series of failures (like the very real story of the dentist who was failing to properly sterilize his equipment and spreading hepatitis) but, just random whiners about their perceived lack of care.

However, one thing caught my eye:

Darrell Rodin …The self-employed handyman also claims the VA misdiagnosed a scabies infection.

via ‘They blew my trust’ | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

My father contracted scabies a few years ago- and it went misdiagnosed/mistreated as well. For almost a year, he and my mother, both struggled with the horrible itch of scabies. Considering they don’t get out much- the question of where he contracted it is still in question. He thinks a visit and overnight stay at the VA caused it, and here is another veteran complaining of the same thing.

For those of you who don’t know what scabies are-

Scabies (from Latin: scabere, “to scratch”),[1] also known colloquially as the seven-year itch,[2] is a contagious skin infection caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. The mite is a tiny, and usually not directly visible, parasite which burrows under the host’s skin, which in most people causes an intense itching sensation caused by an allergic response. The infection in animals other than humans is caused by a different but related mite species, and is called sarcoptic mange.

Scabies is classified by the World Health Organization as a water-related disease.[3] The disease may be transmitted from objects, but is most often transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact, with a higher risk with prolonged contact. Initial infections require four to six weeks to become symptomatic. Reinfection, however, may manifest symptoms within as few as 24 hours. Because the symptoms are allergic, their delay in onset is often mirrored by a significant delay in relief after the parasites have been eradicated. Crusted scabies, formerly known as Norwegian scabies, is a more severe form of the infection often associated with immunosuppression.

Scabies is one of the three most common skin disorders in children, along with tinea and pyoderma.[4] As of 2010 it affects approximately 100 million people (1.5% of the world population) and is equally common in both genders.[5]

via Scabies – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

It’s not that common in older people.

Scabies is contagious and can be spread by scratching an infected area, thereby picking up the mites under the fingernails, or through physical contact with a scabies-infected person for a prolonged period of time.[15] Scabies is usually transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact. It can also be spread through contact with other objects, such as clothing, bedding, furniture, or surfaces with which a person infected with scabies might have come in contact.[16] Scabies mites can survive without a human host for 24 to 36 hours.[17

via Scabies – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

My question is are you a veteran, who has received care from the Dayton VA over the last 3 years, who has contracted scabies? The question of reporting of infectious disease to someone like the Center For Disease Control (CDC) is being followed by the VA and if scabies is one of the tracked maladies is something I think would be useful information.

I had asked Director Costie if there had been an outbreak of scabies at the VA- and received a prompt reply of no. And while two misdiagnoses of the same illness don’t make it news- if there were a lot of other cases maybe social media via this blog can bring them out.

Please respond in comments- or by contacting me: david at elect esrati dot com

Thanks

What brings people to esrati.com?

One of the advantages of having a website with a ton of content about Dayton, going back to 2005 is you can sense what’s going on by seeing what people are searching for- and bringing them to the site. I check my stats almost daily, and if I see a lot of searches for someone, or something, usually it means something’s up.

Google does the same thing on a macro scale with their zeitgeist. One of the best definitions of Google is that it’s the “database of human intentions.” We google about things we’re about to do- see a movie, invest in a car, vote for someone etc. This is all part of what I teach in my monthly seminar, Websitetology.

My stats have told me when various people were interviewing for a new job (people thinking of hiring a school superintendent, city manager, police chief etc) or when someone changes jobs- like Commissioner Williams leaving Chase Bank, or when there is something about to happen with a local company.

Almost always- my post about the cost of three stitches at the ER comes up- it’s been one of the most popular posts for years.

But today’s seemed pretty diverse- and I thought I’d share:

watch planes take off in Dayton
what money could you get for a broken finger and three stitches
jesse huff vet
er stitches cost
midmark bicycle
dayton daily news opinion garden station
how much do emergency clinics charge for stitches
ohio license plate stickers cost
ballad of the green berets “died in grenada”
bill nuti
states of america
floor plan for miami valley sports bar ohio
brian higgins dayton ohio
davion lyons
ohio liquor laws
trash can art
the foundry dayton ohio
architectural screw ups
stuart patterson recreation center
why wont congressman mike turner hold a town hall meeting
ohio laws for bars serving alcohol
francis mcgee cromartie
francis mcgee cromartie
richest people in dayton ohio
is open carry legal in Ohio
shery oakes
how much do they for stitches on finger
niggers ruin salem mall
yamaha 180 scooter fuel starvation
ohio open carry law

This is just one reason I feel I’m more connected to the community than other candidates- as I have a unique window to what people are thinking about and talking about in our area. No other candidate for office in Dayton has anything like this.

I’ve not seen a bunch of searches for Frances Mcgee Cromartie lately, so don’t assume since you see her name twice, that something is up. For years, “Bill Nuti, divorce” has been high on the search meter- but, since he’s taken NCR to Atlanta and helped devalue the company, I don’t follow up or care. Each of these links is answering a question for someone. Was it you?

How to organize your neighborhood online: NextDoor.com

In South Park we know our neighbors. It’s one of the incredible things about living in this neighborhood. Not only do we know every neighbor on the block, we know their cars, their kids, their pets. And even blocks away- we all know someone. Tonight, we’re having one of our famous Porch, Patio and Deck Parties- or PPD’s in the local lingo- where we start at one house, potluck- and then move to another. We buy beverages, the door charge is $5 a head- and everyone is welcome.

However, getting the word out requires a bunch of work. We have a neighborhood website done in WordPress, we have a listserve currently running on PHPlist and then there is a Facebook group. We also end up printing flyers and having block captains deliver them door-to-door. Some of these work better than others, but all have pluses and minuses.

Recently, I ran across Nextdoor.com which is a really great intra-net solution for neighborhoods. The reason I say intra-net is it’s really built for knowing your neighbors and only your neighbors. It has real privacy controls and doesn’t require Facebook membership as so many other sites do (but it does work with a Facebook signin).

The beauty of NextDoor is that it’s based on real geography, with verification of members by your actual residence. Taking info from several sources, it verifies identity and geo-maps you to your neighborhood- which a group of you can define the boundaries of. It allows for notifications like a listserve, discussions, classified ads, recommendations and makes it easy to connect neighbors without worry of it showing up in search.

In less than a two weeks, our stats: “28 neighbors (25 of 1111 households) have joined Nextdoor South Park.” What is even cooler is that it also allows you to share info across your neighborhoods borders to your next door NextDoor neighborhoods- so we can reach out to Oregon, St. Anne’s etc and they to us. Apparently Oregon has had theirs up and running a little longer.

As a tool for helping neighborhood organizations in Dayton, be they neighborhoods, block clubs, watch clubs, or even what’s left of the priority boards, NextDoor is a free tool that helps you connect with everyone- without them having to be on Facebook.

The one thing that’s missing is how to invite honorary external neighbors – like our Community Based Police officers, or neighborhood champions/developers like Theresa Gasper who would be registered by NextDoor in Beavercreek. NextDoor is on it-

We are planning on creating a way for public safety officers (and potentially other nonresidents with an important role in the community, like HOA management company staff) to have access to NextDoor websites if the Leads in the neighborhood agree. However, we don’t yet have that option developed.

Until then, with the approval of your NextDoor neighborhood Leads, you can invite the community leader and have them register using your address. Then, they should add a message to the bio section of their profile to explain who they are.

I’m also thinking about how to turn it into a way for elected leaders to effectively be included in conversations- in the future.

This could be a powerful way to improve communications between voters and candidates.

Please try NextDoor for your neighborhood- and see if you can build critical mass and create an effective forum and report back in comments.