Monday September 18, 2006

The weeklies news

New kid on the block

Four months to the day after making this declaration,

There’s this thing that’s been invented. It’s called “blogging.” All the kids do it. Seriously, though, online journaling is so four years ago, kind of like Oakland Raiders jackets and Nike pool shoes. Stay away.

The Miami New Times eats its words and launches a blog. Predictable enough, but wait . . . what’s this? It’s a column in the regular paper, formatted like a blog. Hmm… are they excerpting the “best” of their blog once a week in the ink version? Nope—those articles don’t appear on the blog. Turns out that “Riptide” is the name of their blog as well as the name of an unrelated weekly(?) column. They also still haven’t quite figured out this linking business: All the links are hidden unless you accidentally hover over them, and the column version never quite links to the blog version (at the end it does link to two particular posts). They also quote White Dade(?!) and list his URL, unlinked). What a mess.

I think this is new, but we are now the honored recipients of City Link. A free weekly put out by the Sun Sentinel, Citylink is now being distributed in Miami. The classifieds prove it to be the regular Broward/Palm Beach edition, but there’s not too much local content in there anyway.

Meanwhile, the Sun Post continues to do interesting work, but their arcane website effectively removes them from the online conversation, since you have to wait a week or after an article is published to get a permanent link to it. Can someone please please have a little fireside chat with whoever’s running things over there?

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  1. Village Voice Vomit    Mon Sep 18, 05:53 PM #  

    No blogger in Miami should suckface with New Times. They were way behind an empowering and culturally-uplifting trend, so they were forced to openly and pathetically dismiss it. They did that AS IF they hold some genuinely local torch, simply because their corporate-knot wouldn’t allow them to launch one (oh, the months of prep work). Same reasoning for why their website is impractical and ugly as half their staff. But I’m sure New Times is also against reader-friendly and well-designed websites (until they launch one circa third quarter 07). They proceed to create a local blog-roll like they have the influence of a Heather in high school. Key: All of the local nerds with blogs rejoice (acceptance!). New Times get all excited over a half-arsed gossip blog, TheDirtMiami, because its predictably going to be self-referential and gives journalists with no lives something to waste their why-am-i-in-miami lives to. New Times does a trite disservice to journalism in this city as its done to the Village Voice in New York City. More gays kissing on the cover (what is this, 1980?) and more features by the affably not-hip Jean Carey on mandals (reportedly coined by rap artists circa 94). October should bring a partial solution.

  2. KH    Mon Sep 18, 06:15 PM #  

    I suppose that I can then revel in the fact that the Miami New Times’ Riptide 2.0 has (deliberately, I guess) NOT linked me.

    Fine. Heather hates me. Whatever!


  3. Omar Casinas    Mon Sep 18, 06:21 PM #  

    Nice post VVV.

  4. Franklin    Mon Sep 18, 07:28 PM #  

    I don’t envy the NT trying to maintain itself simultaneously as a corporation and an arbiter of cool. It’s a wonder it doesn’t find itself eating its words served up with a new condiment every week. Let’s not forget about Jean Carey’s first foray into blogging.

    Dear SunPost: Content. Management. System. With permalinks. Get on it.

    PS: All your Textile are belong to us (see attempted blockquote).

  5. J-J    Mon Sep 18, 07:32 PM #  

    What is the partial solution that you are alluding to? What’s going to happen in October? Just curious . j-j

    For the record I do like the Miami New Times. If anything we could use one more weekly, like in Seattle they have The Stranger weekly + the Seattle Weakly (New Times)...We also have Flavorpill opening a new Miami based on-line mag…So things are happening, but I guess is easier and more fun to remmain indignant.

  6. NicFitKid    Mon Sep 18, 07:43 PM #  

    What’s with the “2.0”? Hasn’t that bit of hip interwebtubes marketing been overdone? A little late to start trying to ride that dead pony.

    I used to like the New Times, but it’s been sucking hard for several years now. It’s been disappointing to watch the fall.

  7. alesh    Mon Sep 18, 08:01 PM #  

    OMG all day nothing, and then a flurry of awesome comments while I’m zipping southward in my OMGzmazing race car.

    Yes, i blew it on the blockquote. (ps The Books have a song called “All our base are belong to them.” I’m that way all the time)

    Yes, Nicholas—the 2.0 is quite possibly the dumbest aspect of the whole thing. Even my grandmother knows that 2.0 is a joke punchline at this point.

    J-J~ The quality of the New Times fluctuates, but nevermind: it’s worth a flip-through, and you’ll find valuable things in it from time to time. It’s just fun to poke fun at them, eh? There are lots of miami weeklies: The New Times, The Sun Post, The Wire, The Biscayne Boulevard Times, The Miami Today News, (now) City Link, and at least one more that I can’t remember right now.

    Franklin~ HA! Thanks for the link.

    KH~ Aren’t you writing for the enemy?

    VVV is basically correct. And let’s face it—TheDirtMiami is not particularly interesting, and it’s mostly nothing to do with miami.

    I still say MNT is worth a read, tho. And we’ll keep our eyes open in October, I guess.

  8. KH    Mon Sep 18, 08:27 PM #  

    Oh! Hey, Alesh. Good point!

  9. j-j    Mon Sep 18, 10:30 PM #  

    So what’s happening in October…

  10. KH    Mon Sep 18, 11:16 PM #  

    I think the Flava [code word!] is what’s happening in October . . .

  11. chuck strouse    Tue Sep 19, 10:26 AM #  

    Well, well, well…A lot of critics of Miami New Times out there. Thanks for the suggestions…We’re fixing the broken link and adding thenextfewhours. May change the name, who knows. Nothing es permanente in the Internet. I personally have always liked blogs. Never said anything bad bout em. Next we plan to kick ass and take names. So bring it on, suckas!

  12. alesh    Tue Sep 19, 10:35 AM #  

    Hi Chuck!

    Thanks for dropping in. I’m sure not looking for a fight with the New Times . . . be nice to me, I’m doing this for free in my spare time!!

    One thing: I don’t have a journalism degree, so I’m half-guessing here, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that since the items in the “best of” issue run without bylines, they’re considered to be in the “editorial voice” of the New Times. And since you are the editor, wouldn’t the quote above be as attributable to you as to anyone?

    Just sayin’ . . .

  13. The Bitch    Tue Sep 19, 11:31 AM #  

    Um, actually, though “best of” items are traditionally an example of Borg-like collective effort, let’s just say that the particular individual who wrote that item may have had some sense of self-deprecating revulsion/awareness in commenting on the production of blogs.
    And please, if you’re going to keep mentioning that item, it should be in its appropriate context: The “best of” in question wasn’t a wash on blogs, it was the award for best Website for
    When actual news happens—like a hurricane approaching for example—I know I want to see me some Doppler radar. Though you no doubt would have repudiated such recognition had it been bestowed upon, say, criticalmiami instead of the NBC affiliate, this distinction is relevant in your discourse because of the element of…is it the fox and the grapes? Foxes aren’t actually canines, so I don’t really know, but you might want to check out the 1996 film Ridicule in your spare time…it’s about the fairly severe consequences of not understanding sarcasm in the court of King Louis XVI.
    “Il n’epargne personne.”

  14. alesh    Tue Sep 19, 06:56 PM #  

    NOTE: insulting people and acting like an ass is discouraged, but acceptable. Making lame statements using other people’s identity is not.

    Comments deleted, particular IP’s put on the watch list.

  15. KH    Wed Sep 20, 09:14 AM #  

    I think Chuck Strouse is probably the coolest person associated with the New Times. The New Times should be revamped as The Chuck Strouse Show.

  16. KH    Wed Sep 20, 09:22 AM #  

    I wish that the New Times wit was as artful as that of the French Court—or at least that it was as artful as that of the movie Ridicule!

    Sarcasm is wit which has been crudely employed.

  17. Steve    Wed Sep 20, 09:38 AM #  

    Comment from “The Bitch” provides a representative sample of why I stopped reading MNT. I can barely figure out what the hell she’s talking about, but the more I try the more irritating her la-di-dah style becomes. It just isn’t worth the time it takes (or the money it costs, and it’s free!). I can find better, more tawdry images of naked people elsewhere, too.

    Besides, foxes are canines.

  18. Tere    Wed Sep 20, 11:14 AM #  

    I’m kinda with Steve on this one. There’s so much self-referencing, cross-referencing and supposedly-hip-and-obscure-things-only-the-cool-people-will-get-referencing that it’s just not worth it.

    It’s just too exhausting to get through the columns, sometimes even an entire issue. I can only imagine that it has to be just as exhausting to BE the people who write them.

  19. NewTimes, what a drag    Wed Sep 20, 12:36 PM #  

    Nice conversation. My take? NewTimes like reading a bunch of 30-year-olds who lost their shots to stand out amongst the better New York alterna-journalists of the early ‘90s and ‘80s.

    Regardless what they post on Critical Miami (that post from The Bitch was painfully nonsensical and faux-intelligent, if that was really her), NewTimes did in fact diss local bloggers.

    What I find ridiculous is that NewTimes’ coverage more and more parallels a general pop-culture blog like Gawker’s stream-of-consciousness.

    But they can’t even get it right.

    Their references and language are dated.

    I think New Times has really caught itself up. They are desperate for attention.

    I also agree, theDirtMiami is nothing but a local spin on all of this trash that populates the net. The sad thing is that most cities have stand-out papers that help cultivate good writing and thinking, before that type of shitted-out media becomes ubiquitous. Miami is not so lucky, but perhaps it wants to be a garbage disposal of thought. Perhaps NewTimes wants that as well, more readers. It’s all the rage.

  20. mkh    Wed Sep 20, 03:17 PM #  

    I’m not sure Miami wants to be anything. “Want” implies some form of sentience, of understanding and self-awareness. That’s all in short supply here.

    On the other hand, holding up NYC as a paragon of anything is a cop-out, and reminds me of the old women at Buns&Ammo tsk-ing over their knishes and starting every sentence with “Back in New York…”.

  21. NTWAD    Wed Sep 20, 03:37 PM #  

    mkh –
    hi. excuse me. i wasn’t comparing NewTimes to anything in New York currently. sorry for the misunderstanding. now that NewTimes owns the Village Voice in New York it’s almost a Catch 22.

    fully agree with your observations about Miami though. but isn’t that what the alternative press is supposed to be for? to offer that understanding and bring people together in conversation while driving home provocative pieces?

    NewTimes staff feels very sheltered, though i’ve only been here for a short period and i’m not familar with there publications in other cities. i’m sure they’re of very a similar format however, as much of the criticism of NewTimes in the media hints at this.

  22. J-J    Wed Sep 20, 04:45 PM #  


    “I’m not sure Miami wants to be anything. “Want” implies some form of sentience, of understanding and self-awareness. That’s all in short supply here.”

    Did you read today’s MNT? We are striving to be the new capital of porn! How self aware is that? We may be closer to NYC- which means putting up with former NY’ers’ tsk-ing about how “back in NYC, I used to ‘insert annoying comment here’-funny how they don’t ever reminisce about their 250sq feet NYC studio…but I digress.

    The point is that we are becoming a porn capital to rival L.A.! Which goes to shows Miami has come a long way, baby.

    Big ups to Manola, her Sex and the Beach blog was quoted in the Riptide 2.0 thingy that MNT is trying out.


  23. Dan    Wed Sep 20, 04:56 PM #  

    Hey, Crit. Miami!

    Just so you know, we landed in Miami just a few weeks back. I can’t speak for ad content, but editorial WILL reflect our new, expanded coverage zone, with ever-expanding coverage of the 305 over the next several months.

    For myself, this means a lot more interminably long, dangerously boozy nights at Churchill’s, as opposed to the interminably long, dangerously boozy nights at the Poor House. But, hey, we all have our crosses to bear.

    As for blogs, several of our staff have them, myself included (I linked to it with my name, but you can see a list of our blogs at our Web site, Basically, if a staffer has something to say outside of the normal, workaday existence of City Link, they can have a blog after minimal bureaucratic wrangling. That’s one of the joys of being a little cog in a gigantic, faceless corporation with nigh unlimited resources.

    Hopefully, the shitkicking and shame with which Miami greets the NT will not be transferred whole to our operation. You can’t really compare the two, though—we’re just not that smart.
    Dan Sweeney
    Associate Editor, City Link

    P.S. Hi Chuck! Kisses!

  24. mkh    Wed Sep 20, 06:59 PM #  

    Sorry for getting snarky about the NYC thing—I’ve just been hearing it way too damned much lately.

    Truth to tell, I don’t read many of the quasi-alts these days. I’m too anti-social to even hang out with angst-y loners, and most of what I could get from the papers I can get on-line. It’s a valid point about the role they should ostensibly play in the community. Of course, too often they end up the goat for the too-cool-for-school crowd, but even that serves a community-building purpose.

    I haven’t seen the new MNT yet—I hope Manola will forgive me!—but I’m surprised to hear we’ve just become the new porn capitol. I thought Bang Brothers had checked that off their to-do list a few years ago.

  25. Manola Blablablanik    Wed Sep 20, 11:33 PM #  

    MKH, where’s this Buns & Ammo store that sells knishes? Sounds like my kinda retail!

  26. mkh    Thu Sep 21, 06:24 AM #  

    It’s a bagel shop/deli on Biscayne around 100th (I think) that shares a parking lot with a gun shop. Early on Saturday morning it gets crazy with the pick-up trucks and Cadillacs fighting for parking.

  27. francisco alvarado    Thu Sep 21, 12:36 PM #  

    Geez, you all remind of the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons—always hating. For those of you who don’t speak Bitch, my dawg is trying to tell you that the “best of” item about blogs was written with underlying sarcasm, like many of the hundred trillion “best of” items we write every year. After reading the unsubstantiated trash talking by some of you anonymous posters it is obvious you don’t know anything about our news staff, who we are, where we come from and what motivates us to write about Miami. For the past three weeks, we’ve had three exceptionally written, thoroughly researched feature stories by Rob Jordan, Joanne Green and Calvin Godfrey. I recommend you read them so you all realize that this paper still has a talented stable of reporters willing to dig beyond the superficiality that permeates this city.
    Also, I haven’t heard anyone comment on the actual content of our blog, which is the real barometer of whether we will succeed in the blogosphere. So instead of channeling your energy telling us how much cooler you all are, why don’t you read what we post and judge us on that.

  28. J-J    Thu Sep 21, 02:59 PM #  

    Francisco has a point, the anonymous posters usually tend to be vitrolic and insulting…who knows maybe they work in a comic book shop :-)

  29. alesh    Thu Sep 21, 03:39 PM #  

    Bitch + Chuck/Francisco~

    (and sorry it’s taken me awhile to get back to this thread) I get it! You’re talking about you having “some sense of self-deprecating revulsion/awareness in commenting on the production of blogs,” or, more specifically, one particular blog—the whole thing of which to Franklin links above. Good times.

    But the item in question (and I linked to it, so the statement really couldn’t be any more in context) did more then just name the “best website”—it made an attempt to justify not having a “best blog” category. I didn’t realize until just now that the reason stated (ie “blogs are silly and played out”) is NOT the REAL reason you guys didn’t want the category (that being: “blogs are a somewhat touchy subject around the NTM office right now”).

    None of that is particularly troubling to me. I just thought that the occasion of the launching of the New Times’ official blog was a good time to bring it up. There is definitely at least a slight tension there.

    As for having both an online blog AND a print column with the same name but different content, in who’s wild and feverish imagination is that not confusing???

    For the record, though I think the blog is a good thing. And I don’t hate the new times—far from it—i read you guys every week, and I agree with much of Francisco’s statements about the quality reporting.

  30. gansibele    Thu Sep 21, 05:20 PM #  

    a bit touchy, those New Timers, no? If bloggers are so insignificant and/or irrelevant, why the thin skin?

  31. agree with gansibele    Thu Sep 21, 05:25 PM #  

    seriously. i can’t believe they’re so concerned with us little bloggers. don’t cry New Times!

  32. conductor    Thu Sep 21, 06:10 PM #  

    I like MNT and they have done some great investigative pieces but my big problem is that I have attention span of a gnat and all of their feature articles are something like 5,000 words or more when they could probably be 2,500. I’m 36 and if my attention span is that short (I don’t even play video games) then I don’t see how a lot of the even younger audience of MNT can stick with an article through to the end.

  33. KH    Thu Sep 21, 09:55 PM #  

    I can’t see their content for the advertisements.

    [Forest for the trees. Paper edition.]

  34. mkh    Fri Sep 22, 08:01 AM #  

    I know what you mean, KH. Sometimes it looks as though MNT is the large format edition of The Flyer. But if I ever want to get breast implants that’s where I’ll go to find a surgeon!

  35. Manola Blablablanik    Fri Sep 22, 11:19 AM #  

    Alesh, this week’s edition of Riptide is pretty much the same online as it is in print. The only thing missing online is the comment from Miami Beach 411.

  36. 305nightlife    Fri Sep 22, 10:03 PM #  

    MNT seems very full of itself. I haven’t seen one story that grabbed me in ages. Didn’t know they had a blog now. Weird.

  37. Biscayne Bystander    Sun Sep 24, 12:09 PM #  

    For the record Riptide 2.0 is not the first time the New Times entered the fray of blogging. I’m sure the Bitch is still licking her wounds over corporate’s last visit due to her in house bashing of co-workers. I’m still pissed that she’s responsible for having a hand in some of their best writers leaving.

    As far as hailing Chuck as “Mr. New Times,” I wouldn’t go that far… His predecessor is still responsible for the last great cover story penned by Francisco (aka Last Man Standing) and timely released hours before brain matter was splattered across the Herald’s lobby.

    Am I the only one that remembers EVERY blog in Miami was up the New Times ass that month?

    Alesh: Please get off the “I do this for free on my spare time” soapbox. It’s your fault for launching a blog without a profitable business model. I’m sure you’ll sing another tune when you inevitably (or hopefully) sell out.

    Biscayne Bystander (aka Mr. Cotter)

  38. alesh    Tue Sep 26, 06:34 PM #  

    You’re spot-on, BB: I do need to relax with that particular line. Unfortounately, I’ve no illusions: there’s no big payday in line for me, at least not because of the blog. Bummer, there.

  39. NicFitKid    Wed Sep 27, 03:50 PM #  

    Well, I for one appreciate MNT’s long format 5,000 word articles, at least when they address otherwise unreported or overlooked news (and I game, too, so why do I still have an attention span? Weird). It just seems that lately those haven’t been the top priority at the paper, which would rather run covers about Don’tDateHimGirl, Mandrals, and the local porn industry.

    The last long article I can recall that really grabbed me was a piece on the construction workers buried in concrete at that Bal Harbour condo construction site. The story rocked because it focused on Florida’s construction industry and just how easily they can sweep all kinds of infractions and accidents under the rug while taking advantage of immigrant labor.

    Go for the underbelly of politics and business, MNT, there’s plenty of it in this town. If you have to cut some of the gossip fluff to do it, so much the better.

  40. Not the Bitch    Fri Sep 29, 11:42 AM #  

    Appears that Miami New Times’ #1 Bitch (jean carey) is in for a beating at The Dirt.

    Karma’s a bitch, jean.

  41. J-J    Fri Sep 29, 11:45 AM #  

    OMG-will this hate filled thread ever die…

  42. Felina Luna    Thu Oct 19, 05:12 PM #  

    Hey! Miami New Times ROCKS why are you people so jelous??? let people live and be happy =) smile!!! is you don’t like it don’t read it.
    No one forces you to do it?? and anyways.. I think you read it because you love it… Face it!

  43. Felina Luna    Thu Oct 19, 05:18 PM #  

    ohh and by the way… I love Rob Jordan stories…