Saturday, November 12, 2011

SFGate.com City Brights ‘No-Edit’ Policy Is A Sham

This blogger felt it necessary to add a post regarding the issue of being blocked from posting at SFGate.com and, according to the emails and exchanges received, due to the Rick Perry blog posts, and the new SFGate.com Executive Director Alana Nguyen's fear that the take presented, and the way it was presented might "get them sued."   (And for the record, my blog posts and videos about LGBT issues have always been consistent and supportive of the LGBT political community.)

First, thank you to the many people who have chimed in with words of support.  The news is that there has been no impact on revenues generated by Zennie62Media properties in the wake of the SFGate.com action. Indeed, only 3 percent of total video view come from blog posts, and about half of the video views are from return visitors. And while the full list of sources of views will not be revealed here, of late, SFGate.com's impact has been minimal at best.

And for those who haven't seen it, here's my video on this issue:

Second, thank you to those bloggers who have joined Zennie62.com in the one day since the blocking action. We will be adding more bloggers, and I encourage SFGate City Brights bloggers to join Zennie62, where frequent bloggers will be paid for special assignments, and who's content and work will be honored and promoted.

Third, regarding what was posted this blogger was operating under this City Brights stated policy:

Editor's note: This is an SFGate.com City Brights Blog. These blogs are not written or edited by SFGate or the San Francisco Chronicle. The authors are solely responsible for the content.

That policy is a sham in my view, and for good reasons.

That appears on all City Brights blog post main pages.  It's a policy that, until the arrival of Alana Nguyen a few months ago, was followed by SFGate.com Executive Producer Kevin Skaggs, and by SFGate.com Director Michelle Slack - both are gone. 

It was also a policy respected by SFGate.com News Director Vlae Kersher and by <em>San Francisco Chronicle</em> Executive Vice President Phil Bronstein.   That written, this blogger has never activity tried to blog a post that would get SFGate.com sued, but has followed this supposed credo of City Brights:

City Brights are prominent local citizens and experts with a unique Bay Area perspective that is often enlightening, sometimes infuriating and always thought-provoking.

The "sometimes infuriating" part was what has came to define my work. At Zennie62 the idea is to take people on.  When Nikky Raney came to blog for our site, where she's now Executive Editor, she went on the march to uncover the truths behind the actions of reality TV show star Tila Tequila.  Nikky was relentless and I encouraged it.  But she never once insulted Tila, even as Nikky was the butt of intense online bullying.  Eventually, Nikky emerged from the effort with a lot of insight and an excellent work of blog posts. 

Still, the standard procedure at both SFGate and Zennie62 has been only to correct something that may be a bit too on the edge.  The practice for every SFGate.com manager has been to send an email or more often readers would send emails, and in both cases, the messages were addressed immediately.  It's outside of City Brights policy - see above for editors themselves to fix the bloggers' blog post. 

That's why Ms. Nguyen's claim to me in an email that her staff would have to spend too much time correcting my blogs, was way outside of City Brights' policy.  The staff had no business taking time to correct my blogs.  As I told Alana, and said in my video, I have a unique style of blogging designed to get search results.  I don't profess to be a "great writer" and I think such concerns are the province of people who don't get media today. 

I haven't the time for that. Moreover, I have not the slightest interest to ask SFGate.com editors to post on their site.  I don't even want to call them.

There are people who thought that I posted a lot for reasons having to do with the SFGate.com front page on that little site.   That some thing that shows how little they know about new media, let alone my focus.  My focus is content for search - period.   Regardless of what the SFGate.com minders did, it never impacted my search results - my high-level of visibility on the Internet never waned.  And I can certainly say that I'd carved out a unique role using my methods. 

SFGate.com should have been mine to run, not Nguyen's.  No disrespect intended, but I'm light-years ahead of her in this avenue. That's a fact. 

But it's too late for that. 

Developing the Zennie62Media network is my focus, and beating SFGate.com along the way is one of my objectives.  I'm declaring media war and will win it!

Herst Corporation has benefited from my efforts without publicly acknowledging them.  When Steve Schawrtz was head of the company's news division, he said that he would take me to dinner in New York as a way of saying thanks for the millions visitors generated during my time (which included an average of 65,000 unique visitors a day).  Never happened.

That's not a problem.  In fact, the blame is on me for taking my eye off the ball of developing Zennie62 - that's not a problem any more. 

To City Brights Bloggers - Be Careful

In closing, to those City Brights bloggers who think they can be a blogger on SFGate.com, you're really just unpaid content producers for the company.  You're not bloggers.  You're not really expected to blog, and if your name gets too big for them, they will try and cut you down.   

Better off jumping ship.  Come to Zennie62, where we'll make a star out of you. 

Stay tuned.

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