My modem died right after the Telegram paywall went up; I ended up missing a back-and-forth discussion about it, and I like to think that I could have had something positive to contribute.  But, really, all I would have done is come up with silly ideas for new features.

Here they are, a few days late:

1) I was going to suggest that Albert Southwick sex up his column, but he’s already done that.  Can I recommend Grover Cleveland’s sex scandals for next week’s column?  (Actually, I’m serious about that.  Grover Cleveland Sex Scandal would be a great band name as well.)

2) Robert Z. Nemeth needs to do an about-face on his column topics.  Does anyone really want to read his opinions about NYT faux-trend pieces published a couple of months ago?  Of course not! 

Take a note from the most-talked about columnist in town (initials: RT) and spin a web of city politics, your personal life, and having your website taken over by a garage owner into what could be the most unusual column ever written for a Sunday paper.  I think a column that combines descriptions of various ex-girlfriends’ physical characteristics with a rehash of the Research Bureau’s line on most civic issues would be a pretty accurate depiction of life in Worcester.

3) I also foresee a possible collaboration between the web staff and Nick K. immediately before every City Council meeting.  Nick can tap into his inner Joan Rivers (or Steve Kmetko) and host T&G Live From the Red Carpet: Special City Hall Coverage every Tuesday night.

The vast majority of Worcester residents care nothing about what goes on at any given City Council meeting.  They might, however, care if the color of Phil Palmieri’s tie determined how long he might talk during a meeting.  Does Paul Clancy do something special to keep those blazer buttons so shiny?  Who makes Kate Toomey’s eyeglasses?  Konnie, is that a Le Suit or Kasper?

Trust me, all of this is more interesting and more relevant than most of the content of the meetings.

4) I’d also like to see choose-your-own-adventure editorials.  All roads would lead to some exasperated grunts and a couple more grey hairs on my head.

Because Victor’s blog has guilted me into saying what I liked about the Telegram today, I feel somewhat obligated to say that this is the kind of article I like to read.  Just in case you were wondering.  And I think I can speak for a good portion of humanity — hipsters and non-hipsters alike — when I say that there is no shame in liking (or even loving) Huey Lewis, but that Starship is something you should only listen to when Metal Machine Music is unavailable.

7 thoughts on “Paydirt

  1. Mike says:

    The one thing I don’t like about the “Lame ducks skip votes” article is that based on the info in the article, Spellane had good attendance until his political career fell apart. A timeline comparing each of the politicians, maybe including lame ducks from the last election, could be interesting.

  2. Sean says:

    Apparently real scrutiny only happens on your way out the door. Maybe in 2012 Nemeth will write something critical about Scott Brown….wait, with the Nemeth time warp, it will be 2014.

  3. Jim May says:

    Ok, so the Telegram goes online. It is a beta site for the NYT, the biggest newspaper of them all. That is great and it –momentarily–puts a spotlight on our little burg.

    12 years ago I contacted the Telegram about doing something more interactive with their product and the rapidly emerging online audience. (But they were not interested and the person iw as working with –Trimble just didnt have the kind of focus needed. That’s a longer story, but an interesting one I can tell someday)

    The problem with gaining online audience participation is that a website isn’t a concrete thing like a hard copy newspaper that I can hold in my hands, fold over under my arm and use it like an umbrella. At best, keeping eyeballs locked onto will work if there is “active audience participation”.

    That is why I can’t understand why the Telegram (or most any other paper worldwide) doesn’t more fully engage the social networking aspects and tools that are available today. (you’ll note I am not saying just Facebook; AOL could easily go the way of AOL. A company the size of NYT could easily build their social network site comparable to Facebook without the inherent annoyances and privacy invasions. Hint, hint,)

    What the Telegram has over local bloggers and the alter-newspapers in town is credibility and longevity. What’s going to make the place I “go to” in the morning with my first coffee to hear the “news”? And why should I go to the instead of a national (and almost always blander, less relevant) national news site? I might if my “friends and family” as well as the “news of the day” were all there in one, neat cyberpackage.

    The other thing that should be recognized in this day and age is that the FCC shouldn’t be so inflexible. I am talking about the rules that not allow the Telegram to own other media (radio, TV, etc) in a local market. Let’s talk about giving the Telegram (and other local papers and media nationwide) to engage in cross media partnerships to expand their markets and to better serve the communities.

    Thomas Jefferson didn’t envision what we have now. I fear it.

    PS–Nicole, with all due respect, I disagree with the red carpet treatment of our local elected officials. I like to think of them as “car mechanics”–not “Kar-dashians”– who take in my broken wreck, apply some treatment and send it back on the road in better shape.

    • Nicole says:

      Jim — First of all, you need to get your own blog, because all you do is come here and write more thoughtful comments than I do actual posts.

      I think the social networking aspects are interesting. I’m not sure how I feel about rules about newspapers owning radio stations, etc.; wasn’t WTAG owned by the Telegram for a great many years? Did that make us any better-informed? (And I’m really asking — I was a bit too young to notice…)

      My husband feels that the Kardashians reality show would be more interesting if they dressed up like Cardassians and went about their daily business. Bruce Jenner could be the token Bajoran, which I think accurately reflects his position in the family.

      (And how is it that everyone knows I watch that show? Victor said that MikeGermain was like Kim Kardashian to me…and now you mention them. I thought saying “Steve Kmetko” would bring in some old-E! cred, but I guess not…)

  4. john stewart says:

    use one of your ten free reads this month on the graffiti story this morning

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