Thursday, April 09, 2009

When You Miss the Launch

I had the good fortune of having "When Thunder Rolled" reviewed in the Wall Street Journal about a month after it was released. Within 24 hours the book sales were in the top 100 at Amazon. By 48 hours it was in the top 10 and peaked at #8. Sales remained in the top 100 for a month. The influence of a full review in the WSJ can't be underestimated.

So, being a regular reader as well as a part-time computer junkie, I caught this item today:

Rocket Assist to Stardom

That looks like something I need to look in on. So, I fired up the old browser (actually the new browser--IE 8) and went to TrueSlant

The interface is slick, with the modern clean-page sort of Web portal look that is the current trend. Little pictures of contributors with links to their articles, snippets of recent pithy pronouncements, headlines, and an assortment of whiz-bang like RSS feeds and item tracking for the anal retentive.

The problem was that the experience was like showing up at a middle school pep rally. The "journalism" was adolescent, the commentary was self-indulgent and the entire page was apparently plagued with predominantly slow servers and bad links.

There was the predictable political trashing--a New York "baseball reporter" writing a pondering piece on whether President Bush might be booed in Dallas when throwing out the first ball at the Rangers opener. Is that stupid or what? Bush was the former boss of the Rangers. He now lives in Dallas. This is his home country. It ain't New York. And frankly we are glad of that!

For "entertainment" there was an embedded viddie of Eminem's latest mash-up. It convinced me once again that his musical genre is for primitives and his talent is for little more than gutter language and mouth-breathing sex jokes.

Other places, when I could get to them were similarly Twitter-ish or Facebook egotistical. The prevailing political lean (there always is one...) is New York Times with the constraints of actual responsibility removed. They are left, anti-gun, anti-talk radio, metrosexual, hip to the point of stereotypical and not worth a revisitation.

They might have gotten a big boost from the WSJ coverage, but at the current level they aren't ready for that audience. I doubt they will ever be.

No comments: