I’m a bit late to this one, with Charles Arthur, Andrew Grant-Adamson, Martin Stabe; and Roy Greenslade all drawing collective gasps and stiffling laughter, but just in case there is anyone interested in the UK media that reads this blog but none of those above…
My god The Independent doesn’t get the Internet.
It has started – yes *started* – some blogs. Well, one collective blog. And it is, frankly, like an embarassing Dad getting up at a wedding and trying to show the kids that he’s still got life in the old legs yet.
Not only is it updated incredibly rarely but the quality of stuff actually posted is dreadful. “Hey! I’m on the Internet. I’m going to be writing some stuff here as and when it occurs to me – but in the meantime have you seen this hilarious video on YouTube. No, but seriously, if you want to know more about this really great thing, here’s a link. Just click on it and you’ll be taken to their website automatically. Amazing, isn’t it?”
What is all the most incredible is that The Independent – a not-insignificant media organisation – is actually using a Typepad account to host the blog. I’m not sure you can actually get any more unprofessional than that. What are they thinking? Do they have no-one in their entire organisation who knows how to install bloody WordPress on their servers?
This is what I think: the Indy has outsourced its entire website to a third-party and as a result that have absolutely no control and no idea what they’re talking about. I think they are being tied into some rip-off contract out of pure, stupid Luddite ignorance.
It would certainly explain its frankly bizarre website that uses proprietary technology to control content so they can work alongside the BT charging system – although I note with interest that it appears to have dropped the charged-for content. They used have little “P” buttons on virtually everything. Clearly that hasn’t worked out. Who would have guessed?
Anyway, have a look at the end of any Independent webpage and it ends with the very strange “.ece” file format – that’s the sure sign of some proprietary technology right there. I remember despairing about the Indy’s revamped website a year ago. They killed all previous URLs – utter madness – and although I see now I didn’t bother to go into much detail, I felt at the time it was a tragic mistake.
I think that point is rapidly becoming clear: by not having any interaction with the Net, The Independent is building up no knowledge or understanding of the Net – an absolutely fatal situation. Sooner or later they are going to have to buy in some talent – but who would take the job? Why build a Net culture in the UK’s smallest newspaper from scratch when you can leap in with one of the big boys?
Maybe this will finally herald the end of the The Independent‘s always-difficult existence.