Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday | Nov. 13 | Got news, or a question?

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122 comments:

  1. Time to start a new comment thread!

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  2. What's the news from Nashville? Buyouts or not?

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  3. Jim: How about starting a thread where we can talk about how the digital operations work. at my place the news side of it is staffed Mon-Fri., basically 10 a.m -6 p.m. Print people squeeze it in among deadlines the rest of the time. does not show much committment to the future if it is not going to be staffed 24/7

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  4. No matter Nashville to New York when management cant admitt mistakes, its hard to corect the mistakes. Take the news out of newspapers and its hard too sell them huuu! Not atractive for advertisers when there are no readers lets cut the paper down more and drive the newsprint expence higher and make the paper harder to see then when they dont sell say the internett is the wave of the future lol

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  5. GCI could save big bucks shipping all that interactive crap to India and getting back into the news business, IMHO.

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  6. Want to share your story and get paid for it?

    http://www.journalismjobs.com/Job_Listing.cfm?JobID=994851

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  7. An open letter to CEO Craig Dubow:
    PLEASE download this file, fill it out, and send it back to the Treasury:
    http://www.ustreas.gov/press/releases/reports/applicationguidelines.pdf

    PLEASE get us on the Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TARP) Gravy Train!
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/theworldnewser/2008/11/want-some-gover.html
    We deserve this as much as the banks, mortgage, insurance and auto companies.
    We've been in the USA longer than any of them.

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  8. Hallelujah! Now that the vastly overrated Hollis Towns has left us (Cincy Enquirer), we are finally free to ignore one of most time-wasting policies I've ever seen in a newsroom - no jumps in mid-paragraph. This forced us to break up copy or combine grafs in weird ways. I know the reporters hated it and I couldn't disagree with them. Has he imposed this foolhardy rule on Asbury Park yet?

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  9. 10:45 - never heard of that one. when I was designing pages you were NEVER supposed to jump on a graph. the idea was to jump mid-graph so reader would go to a page with an ad on it. Maybe newspaper editors really are trying to kill print.

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  10. I think it's time to lighten GannettBlog up a little bit. Last year corporate sponsored a contest and asked papers to create spoofs of well-known movies or television shows and relate them to the company. The winner's video was shown at some top-dog meeting. With layoffs looming, what would you do for a video if you were to create one now?
    The most obvious suggestion:
    The Terminator [ "I'll be back ... for your job!" ]

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  11. I'd choose Matlock. Only the older generation watched it, there never were any real surprises, the series died a slow death, and the guy in charge thought he had the answers.

    Problem being that people actually like Andy Griffith, but every analogy breaks down somewhere.

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  12. I'd choose that American classic Hud, with your local EE as the title character played by Paul Newman. The scene at the end, where he's left alone with the ranch, because his destructive attitude has run everyone else off, is the consummate metaphor.
    But for the opening act, I'd choose Office Space, of course.

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  13. Who is the point of contact regarding the pending Teamsters contract in Cincinnati?

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  14. 922 p.m., I'm an editor responsible for monitoring comments and I also write, edit and produce a volume at work that would be unreasonable even if online wasn't part of my responsibility. Editors originally were assigned from every shift, but there are only two of us working between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. who seem to do it now. I don't know if other shifts don't do it because they too have too much other work, or because they were laid off in the last round (I know at least one was).

    Mondays are hell trying to catch up to weekend posts that violate TOS. I once came in to 200 abuse reports to clear, and a few times more than 100. Often posters report abuse to annoy us or because they are mad at another poster, so it's important to read these and not just "delete all," or else people will use the "report abuse" button to manipulate threads and cause us even more problems down the road.

    My bosses in meetings always say online is priority, yet day to day, my boss tells me my writing, print editing and page production work are the priority.

    When my boss assigns me yet more print work and I tell him I cannot possibly get it all done, he tells me to stop monitoring the online comments. Yet, several times a day he asks me questions related to what's going on in those chats, obviously expecting me to be reading every one and tackling problem threads as they happen.

    We typically get about 1,000 or more posts on stories just during my shift. Our forums are very active, too.

    I've tried to tell my boss what my online work entails, but he doesn't seem to understand or retain it.

    For example, one overlooked value added is that readers see mistakes when stories go up online and comment on those. For typos or headline errors, I go into our production software and fix it without involving anyone else. I pass comments with news tips and fact issues on to the reporter and/or their editor.

    The online reader comments are a vital editing gatekeeper, if we use it right, but I feel like there's 0 appreciation for that factor. In fact, I feel like I'm a target for this next layoff. The bosses say online is priority, but they don't staff it as if it were.

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  15. Does anyone know if there are any established policies or practices for Gannett layoffs?

    We've never figured out how the last round was determined, and people are on pins and needles about this one. Laid off workers found out by getting stopped by security as they walked in the door, so, naturally, we're panicked about coming to work Dec. 1.

    At Gannett pay scales, few of us have been able to save a nest egg or could pay the full cost of medical insurance, so getting laid off will devastate our lives.

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  16. According to a story in the Cincinnati Enquirer, seven former KY Post carriers have filed a lawsuit against Gannett. They seek damages based in part on claims that the Enquirer interfered with the performance of the business contracts between themselves (carriers) and their respective newspaper customers.

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  17. 7:59AM - Found the answer:

    Eeny, meeny, miny, moe
    Catch a tiger by the toe
    If he hollers let him go,
    Eeny, meeny, miny, moe

    Sorry... :)

    Truthfully, no F*$&*$ing idea.

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  18. My self-valuation is due in December. Any buzz words to avoid or use? Is it true it's better to overevaluate your own performance rather than being painfully honest?


    This may be moot if I'm cut before I turn it in.

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  19. 9:31 AM
    I'd use some of the same (hollow) action words you hear all over Gannett. These seem to keep the higher ups employed.

    -transformed.
    -innovated.
    -executed.
    -deployed.
    -carried out my duties in a platform-agnostic manner.
    -monetized.
    -broke down silos.
    -crowd-sourced.
    -collaborated.
    -cooperated.
    -localized, localized, localized.
    -hyper-localized.

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  20. Not to be a Dubow enabler or anything, but lest anyone forget that this is not just a Gannett problem, you have seen:
    The 7% solution at employee-owned Omaha: The World-Herald reduced its work force Wednesday by 51 employees, or about 7 percent of its employment base. (OWH)
    The double 7% solution in South Bend: The South Bend Tribune is reducing its staff by nearly 14 percent this year, cutting 56 positions through retirements, voluntary and involuntary severance packages and by leaving some open positions unfilled. (AP)
    And the they're not sure how much of a solution at Booth papers in Michigan: My former co-workers at The Ann Arbor News were told in a meeting this morning that most copy editing, page design and graphics jobs were being moved to The Grand Rapids Press and the Kalamazoo Gazette, as well as some advertising and support jobs. Similar announcements were made at other Booth newspapers in Michigan.
    (papertigernomore.blogspot.com)

    Besides the changing economy and the changes in ways people get their news and other information, we are suffering from legacy decisions that initially ignored the internet to more recent attempts to play catchup but aren't catching on monetarily.

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  21. There was some bashing of USA Today in a recent thread. The two biggest problems in the newsroom as I see it:

    1. Inability to fix things. As an example, take a look at page 1A. Remember the task force that took many months to issue a report on how to improve 1A, its staff and various workflows? Well, fast forward a decade or so and you will see the problems have only worsened. There are countless examples of far simpler things that never get fixed because there are just too many layers upon layers of decision-makers who aren't on the same page and who, frankly, shouldn't be managers. They might have other journalistic talents, but they are not visionaries who can communicate well with people.

    2. The newsroom is like a high school. Cliques are abundant. If you aren't part of one of the popular groups, forget about having your ideas heard or feeling truly connected to the brand. I would advise any new employee to find a clique and get into it as quickly as possible. Like in prison, your clique is your protection in this place. Popularity is more important than talent here. And if you're a longtime employee and not in a clique, don't fool yourself. You'll never be accepted into one of the gangs. They'll pretend to welcome you and your ideas, but they will always protect their own first and throw you under the bus if need be. Not trying to be overly dramatic. It's just reality. This is a place of petty territorialism and childish loyalities and betrayals.

    I think these two things -- inability to fix things and rampant cliques -- are the poisons that will eventually sink the flagship.

    As for some of the other stuff I have read on here about USAT, yeah, I find most of it to be fairly accurate. It's a damn country club for some and a sweatshop for others. You can guess who the defense comments are written by. If I spent two hours a day in gym, could work from home whenever I wanted and was paid obscene amounts of money to come up with horrible ideas, I guess I would defend the place...

    As for those who ask why don't the unhappy people leave... well, please. That's an overly simplistic question/suggestion probably asked by the same people who come up with the parochial proposals in the office. We all have responsibilities. College tuitions for our kids, medical issues, elderly parents to care for, etc. We all know there are things in life we simply have to absorb in order to protect other things/people in our lives. Most of us aren't 22 and carefree enough just to quit. Jobs are drying up. Older folks are being laid off (yes, age discrimination is alive and well in America). We stay because we want to eat and we want our kids to go to college, and we even reserve some hope that things can change if we speak up occasionally. But that doesn't mean we have to like or ignore what is happening in the workplace. There are major problems and injustices that need to be addressed. But first they need to be heard, and thankfully this blog helps get out the ugly truth.

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  22. 7:23 am
    Are you refering to the mailroom or pre-press?

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  23. One of the two job postings today for US Publishing is for someone to sell cars.com products, looks like.

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  24. Does anyone know if any highly paid OC members offered to take paycuts. These so called managers make $120k plus on average.

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  25. re: 10:09, Your comments are excellent. I quote you, "...and we even reserve some hope that things can change if we speak up occasionally."

    Sadly though where I work (Phoenix), we are no in the "snide remarks from management" phase. When a problem is brought up, say, a broken piece of equipment, it is more likely to generate a comment from a manager that entails a personal dig of some sort. I do feel for these managers however, because Gannett in their 10% cut is turning them into fuming volcanos. At one time it was "Focus on the problem, not the person." Now with shortened deadlines, significantly reduced crews and increased workload, we who are left bear the brunt of these manager's personalities and ire. Gannett Corporate remains aloof as to just what their cuts devolve into, but I think they know exactly what they are doing.

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  26. If I were to come up with a movie I would pick Evita with Craig and Gracia standing on the balcony singing Don't cry for me Gannett.

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  27. @7:46am and @10:09am--GREAT posts.

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  28. Yes, 10:09 really nailed it! Bravo!

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  29. 7:49 asks a great question. Does Gannett have a layoff policy or plan?

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  30. Jim,
    I heard that you are NOT going to get a response from Tara Connell because she is being removed as the head of Gannett communications. Rumors have surfaced that she is taking on a new role in a lower level capacity working for the DIG.

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  31. 10:09 has it right on the mark in my view. The layers of review of any new innovation are mind-boggling, and deliberately set up to thwart change or improvements. USAT is in desparate need of a dictator to clear out the ranks of paper-shuffling middle managers. Ask these people what they do each day, as I have, and you will hear how exhausted they are dealing with the barrage of emails coming from corporate and from below. Instead of paper-shuffling, it is really nothing more than email shuffling. Many emails contain demands for immediate reponses, and so emails can't be laid aside for a couple of hours to do real work, but have to be constantly monitored. But they are just talking to themselves about problems or thoughts that have nothing really to do with the future of USAT.

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  32. 10:09. I work at usat. Sit in on meeting after meeting where very little ever gets solved. When someone finally does make a decision or rolls out a plan, it's almost always a disaster that leads to confusion, frustration and even anger. Remember 3G? You are right on target in saying this is a newsroom that doesn't know how to fix things let alone make bold transitions in the way we do business. Yes, I remember the page 1 task force (from the mid or late 90s, right?) and I am still waiting to see some sense of logic with how that page operates. How many people does it take to put out one page? I remember many other grand plans and motivational speeches too that went nowhere. It's been like this for years. It's made worse by corporate thinking gallup polls and usat u's can help. It's rearing its ugly head more than ever in some segments of the newsroom as the blending of print and online is beyond description in terms of how bad it's going. This is such a wasteful operation, from the flat screen plasmas that no one watches to the ridiculous building we're in. It takes three people to perform the simplest task, yet some other poor slob is doing the work of five people as cuts and realignmets are made, apparently without any foresight. I know life isn't fair, but this newsroom is so out of whack that it may never recover. Just hoping to survive a bit longer. This will all just be a bad memory soon, I hope.

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  33. 7:46 a.m. - I wonder if we work at the same paper.

    Our bosses seem to be constantly sending mixed messages when it comes to the web. One week it's a priority, the next week we are told to ignore it and focus our time on the print. God forbid writers and photographers end up with a minute of overtime in a week every once in awhile.

    These layoffs have spread newsrooms to thin. One can only do so much in a 40-hour week. Some editors put in their 40 hours and do little with print or online, others are forced to put in 60 to keep the ship afloat.

    Meanwhile, the man at the top sits in his office with no clue as to the real time it takes to conduct interviews, shoot video, edit video, write a story, post to web, layout paper and then sneak in a blog.

    Gannett needs to decide if it's in the print business or online business because at this rate, they no longer can do both with all these layoffs.

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  34. Meantime, GCI slips into the $7 level in early afternoon trading. Anyone else note that the stock now offers a 20 percent dividend, meaning you could get all of your money returned in five years buying GCI right now. That's assuming GCI is around in five years. Since the stock is still collapsing, there has to be prevailing opinion out there in the financial world that GCI won't make it.

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  35. Wow, GCI just sank to $7.

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  36. OK, you business experts, answer this: If Gannett's stock price continues to free fall, won't somebody buy the company and just sell all the parts individually? I mean, the buildings and land have to be worth SOMETHING, don't they?

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  37. Meetings. You just said the magic word. God do they love meetings. Planning meetings, pre-meeting planning meetings. What should I say at the meeting? meetings. Should we have a meeting meeting. I don't know what we should do so let's have a meeting meeting. Can we have a meeting about that? Can't deal with that right now because I've got a meeting. Why are managers in these meetings all day?

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  38. Has a Gannett board ever demanded a shake-up at the top? If so, when and on what basis?

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  39. Meetings give the people who can't communicate effectively in writing something to do with all that extra time. Truly tragic for a communication company.

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  40. Takeover question: At the current price, someone could make a serious run at buying GCI by coming up with $1.8 billion. That is the current value of all of its stock, and there are hedge funds that have that cash available.
    But what do you get for your money? Real estate? Who wants to buy buildings with a honking huge hunk of iron in the basement. Newspaper buildings were built to house presses, and few other industries need a huge three-story high room unless you are thinking of some car assembly plant or something like that. Plus the buildings are largely located in unattractive inner-city neighborhoods not in favor in real estate circles.
    Buy and break up? That's what Corporate is currently doing consolidating printing into nearby groups. Not much savings there.
    Buy and cut management bloat. This has some possibilities, but it has taken Sam Zell more than 10 months to attack Tribune management bloat, and he still hasn't touched the surface.
    Ask yourself why bother. Just take your $1.8 billion and invest in some beaten down financial stock instead. You will double your money in two years.

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  41. 1:08 p.m. - you are right, and editors need to hold a meeting to plan ways to cut down on all the meetings. D'oh!

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  42. Bridgewater has been having closed door meetings all day and no one knows why, but we can certainly guess!

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  43. So whose behind those closed doors 1:24?

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  44. Check out what kind of comments people on posting on the CareerBuilder forum.

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  45. E&P confirms the Palladium-Item will be printed in Indy come January.

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  46. @1:38: Can you be more specific -- i.e. which forum?

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  47. http://www.streetinsider.com/Press+Releases/Gannett+acquires+social+media+provider+Ripple6/4158501.html

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  48. 1:24, word is that the paper's failures are being blamed on the five reporters they have left in Bridgewater. That is scapegoating if I ever saw it. The real problems there are with several department leaders, who really should be responsible for the mess, but of course they blame the worker bees. One cannot be an effective leader or manager when one is unwilling to take responsibility. Sad, sad, sad.

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  49. No closed door meetings here. All the OC members in Springfield, MO are at a retreat at the Editor's house.

    Guess we will find out soon what the plan is.

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  50. November 13, 2008 2:07 PM EST
    Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) has acquired Ripple6, Inc., a provider of social media services. Ripple6 will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Gannett and will continue to offer social media technology and analytics not only to Gannett but also to an array of top tier marketers and Web publishers.

    Terms were not disclosed.

    Using the Ripple6 platform, publishers can offer their users advanced social networking capabilities, while generating incremental revenue through Ripple6's proprietary social marketing innovations. Ripple Analytics will also help publishers better understand how their users interact within social networks by offering a true word of mouth measurement and mapping capability.

    As part of the transaction, the 10 percent share of Ripple6 owned by Chris Saridakis, senior vice president and chief digital officer of Gannett, was bought out completely by Gannett. He did not participate in the sale negotiations.

    DOES THE LAST PARAGRAPH SEEM FISHY TO ANYONE?

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  51. Amid all this carnage, and don't get me wrong, it's the workplace equivalent of a machete job, here's news trumpeting the latest Gannett acquisition, the next savior, straight from the desk of Craig Dubois. Gosh, I wonder how many positions this cost the newspaper division???

    Mr. Dubois (excuse me, Dubow) said:

    Today we are announcing that Gannett has acquired Ripple6, Inc. (www.ripple6.com), a leading provider of online social media services. Ripple6 will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Gannett and will continue to offer its best of breed social media technology and analytics not only to Gannett but also to an array of top tier marketers and Web publishers. Ripple6 currently powers Gannett’s MomsLikeMe.com sites and also powers social media properties for Procter & Gamble and Meredith Corporation.

    Ripple6 provides the technology platform for our MomsLikeMe.com sites, and from the start of our relationship we realized that Ripple6 brings tremendously innovative solutions for users, advertisers and publishers. Through its proprietary solutions for marketers, which were developed through Ripple6’s work with Procter & Gamble over the past two years, Ripple6 can change the way social media is offered and monetized online. Ripple6 will join our other enterprises in fueling the rapid growth of our digital business, which seeks to apply innovative technology and content solutions to the needs of all our customers.

    Using the Ripple6 platform, publishers can offer their users advanced social networking capabilities, while generating incremental revenue through Ripple6’s proprietary social marketing innovations. Ripple Analytics also help publishers better understand how their users interact within social networks by offering a true word of mouth measurement and mapping capability.

    Ripple6 also offers unique opportunities to advertisers and marketers. Among the innovations are offerings that make it possible for marketers to effectively engage in online social networks. Cloud Communities™ enable marketers to participate in their customers’ existing social networks by creating and syndicating communities across the web. With Social Insights™, marketers can conduct ongoing research within the private spaces of social networks. Both solutions include Ripple Analytics for access to meaningful metrics and insights beyond page views and visitors, while still protecting the privacy of the individuals interacting with the platform.

    As noted above, Ripple6 will continue to operate as a standalone business that supports clients outside of Gannett. However, Ripple6 provides a truly unique solution for social media, and we will seek to integrate the Ripple6 technology into relevant areas of Gannett’s existing web sites and new products. Gannett’s sites will be able to provide cutting edge solutions for users and advertisers, thereby growing audience and revenues in ways we could not have done before.

    Gannett is a company that is striving to be innovative, customer-centric, and nimble. By adding the people and technology of Ripple6, we are continuing to fulfill that vision as we move forward with Gannett’s transformation.

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  52. When I was younger, Ripple was our wine of choice because it was so cheap at 60 cents a bottle. Still is, I think, among some of our less fussy citizens who choose to live outdoors most of the time. Used to be a rhyme: "What's the price, 30 twice." Now it can be "What's the price, -30- twice."

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  53. Stupid question: If so many people block ads, whey does Gannett keep buying all that stuff that supposedly delivers wonderful ads?

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  54. The Ripple6 company is really cool. The founder of the company was at our offices with Saradakis and you can tell he is quite intelligent. Early indication from our MomsLikeMe sites is that this is a platform that will help us build our communities so we can attract the larger advertisers.

    I am proud that Gannett is starting to be aggressive in their acquisitions. We should not sit on our hands and wait to die.

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  55. Ripple6 and MomsLikeMe, give me a break. Here is a little taste of what is on MomsLikeMe on the Westchester site: Join the heated chat on guys who float the boat.

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  56. 3:32--In answer to your question----Because everything they touch turns to crap. Just ask the Journal News folks about the " Patent Trader."

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  57. So now gannett owns pluck and ripple6, which both essentially do the same thing.

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  58. 1256 wrote: "Meanwhile, the man at the top sits in his office with no clue as to the real time it takes to conduct interviews, shoot video, edit video, write a story, post to web, layout paper and then sneak in a blog."

    Damn, I think you're at my paper, too! Somehow everything should come together in about 5 man-hours, and we're just diddling around the rest of the time. Ha!

    How can people be so clueless?!?!

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  59. Is this the same momslikeme software (Ripple6) that enables users to share porn on the sites?

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  60. You can deliver an audience to advertisers, but you can't make people buy.

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  61. Yep, same operation that links together Cincy moms who like to give BJs, discuss other activities. Gee, I wonder if these people realize how closely they are being traced and tracked? I.E. do they know this Web site can be used to trace and stalk the originator of a certain message?

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  62. If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
    And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
    Would you hear my voice come thru the music,
    Would you hold it near as it were your own?

    Its a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,
    Perhaps theyre better left unsung.
    I dont know, dont really care
    Let there be songs to fill the air.

    Ripple in still water,
    When there is no pebble tossed,
    Nor wind to blow.

    Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
    If your cup is full may it be again,
    Let it be known there is a fountain,
    That was not made by the hands of men.

    There is a road, no simple highway,
    Between the dawn and the dark of night,
    And if you go no one may follow,
    That path is for your steps alone.

    Ripple in still water,
    When there is no pebble tossed,
    Nor wind to blow.

    But if you fall you fall alone,
    If you should stand then whos to guide you?
    If I knew the way I would take you home.

    La dee da da da, la da da da da, da da da, da da, da da da da da
    La da da da, la da da, da da, la da da da, la da, da da.

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  63. These people have lost their minds.

    http://blog.ripple6.com

    "First, we’ll continue to operate independently. That means the nimble, innovative culture that drives a start-up can continue."

    Say goodbye to your independence, as you've been Gannettized!

    "We still get to (and need to) run a successful company."

    ... but unfortunately you sold out to Gannett. Time to get to work on that next startup.

    "...we’ve got the support and resources of a Fortune 500 company to back it up."

    Huh? Did you actually see GCI's share price hit $7 today? Which Gannett property actually has the necessary support and resources?

    "Sure, that means peace of mind to a lot of people..."

    What people? What sane person would have "peace of mind" knowing that you are now owned by the biggest loser in the media world?

    "We’ll have great synergies with Gannett..."

    Synergies with Gannett = Epic Fail.

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  64. 4:10---Positively a Brilliant post !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  65. Gannett does not own Pluck. And for all of you website neophytes, Pluck is totally different than Ripple6's technology. Come on, if you are going to post on this blog and rip on new innovative technology, then at least get your facts straight. Afterall, aren't you all journalists and should you get your facts straight.

    I, for one, have installed both Pluck and Ripple6 on our site and they are a world of difference. Pluck is T-Ball league. Ripple6 is the real deal. The major leagues.

    I would have never expected Gannett to buy Ripple6, but I can see the vision.

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  66. No, not all of us are journalists - some of us just work at a newspaper. :)

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  67. 3:21 PM
    Yes. I had to read that twice.

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  68. What's the word on the 30-40 GCI McLean people who were let go yesterday?

    Are these the ones over 50 with at least 10 years' service who got word weeks ago to take a package or face the consequences?

    Does anyone know which departments were affected?

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  69. 4:10p...Clearly you are a bitter Gannett staffer. Maybe you should go back to putting the paper in the printing press.

    I am not a big fan of the way Gannett has been managed for the past few years, but the reason why this blog gets such a bad rap is because of the bitterness from employees like you.

    The rest of us actually have a responsibility to help this company survive because it will help me and my family. It will help me pay my first and second mortgage and the school tuition for my two daughters. I hope you can appreciate that we are all in this together. Companies like Ripple6 will hopefully help us all.

    Why don't you embrace and ask how you can pitch in and help instead of finding a reason to complain.

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  70. 4:17, it's staggering how far Gannett is behind the times. Gannett crowed about Pluck just like they're crowing about Ripple6 today. But it isn't innovation. It's just another payday vehicle (like Pointroll) for Saridakis... read the press release:

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081113/gannett_ripple6.html?.v=1

    And here's one of the Pluck press releases, where Gannett sang its praises:

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/pluck/media/prweb572669.htm

    Give it a few months for Saridakis to invest in some other startup, and Gannett will probably eat it up, too. Who knew the DIG was all about buying Saradakis investments?

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  71. Well said Anon 4:35p. Thank you!

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  72. 4:35 and 4:38---Wake up and small the coffee---Don't blame the poster---Blame Gannett who has kept inept management at ALL levels---I only know the Journal News---But the 85 papers are ALL the same. Gannett should have eliminated all the directors and managers in White Plains YEARS AGO !!!! The circulation is positively ridiculous----I HOPE CORPORATE READS THIS BLOG---ENOUGH NONSENSE---GET RID OF THE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS---BY THE WAY WHO WAS RELEASED BY THE APP---GET RID OF THE TRANSPORTATION LEADER---SHE SHOULD GO BACK TO TEACHING---AND FOR GOD'S SAKE BRING YOUR CIRCULATION ABOVE 99,000---ESPECIALLY IN THE NEW YORK MARKET.If the Daily News sold 99,000 they would execute the managers ---IN PUBLIC !!!!!!!!

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  73. 4:35 I also have children to feed and put through collage, and seeing the company I work for piss away untold money on another half-ass Web product makes absolutely no sense.
    We are in the middle of laying off a goodly number of newspaper staffers while Corporate dreams up some get-rich-quick scheme to try and make a few cents. Yes, I'm a paper feeder, and I know how much money GCI makes from what I do. Look at the quarterly report and tell me how much these fly-by-night Internet upstarts produce in terms of long-term revenues.
    We have heard this all before. There was the investment in Yahoo-related advertisements that was supposed to be the company's savior, and we hear nothing about that now. Then there was CareerBuilder.Com, and a local entertainment site. None produce any measurable revenues that can offset what newspapers produce in good times, or what they are producing now.
    Now we have an effort to kick up the usage of MomsLikeMe.com, another disaster of a GCI product rolled out to counter Facebook and other successful social sites. They get some use, but hardly the readership of any daily. So yes, I'm a print person, and remain to be convinced otherwise.

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  74. "As part of the transaction, the 10 percent share of Ripple6 owned by Chris Saridakis, senior vice president and chief digital officer of Gannett, was bought out completely by Gannett. He did not participate in the sale negotiations"

    Yeah right?
    Pointroll and now Ripple6, is Chris sharing his big payday with Craig? People are losing there jobs left and right and these two are getting fat from these deals. No wonder Craig took a small pay cut, he and Chris will make a killing off this one.

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  75. Anon 4:51...You really are stupid. Please take the buyout, you are dead to this company. Go home and tell your family about how proud you are of the work you do everyday.

    Good luck and happy holiday's. Maybe President Obama will bail you out.

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  76. Dear 4:35 p.m.:

    Clearly there are some apologists on the blog today, the corporate goody two shoes and fat/(un)happy USAToday staffers whose jobs are all apparently safe while those of us out here on the front lines of this war are getting machete'd by our own troops.

    He may not be a bitter staffer. He may just not be a staffer anymore, or about to be not a staffer anymore, hence the bitterness. Who could lay blame for that?

    Gannett is becoming more and more inbred, purchasing companies from its own officers? I guess when you lead a company like this, you get to do all kinds of obscene things with no oversight. Didn't they have to sign the ethics form?

    4:35, I hope I don't see you out there on the breadline one of these days. But the way things are going, the whole company may end up going down for the final skydive. In that scenario, I have no doubt that some of the parachutes will be golden, but probably not yours. Best of luck to you, and I do mean that.

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  77. Did I read where the company also bought Pearls, some kind of online nursing credential site?

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  78. Honestly, I think Saradakis has done quite well before selling his company to Gannett. After he took Doubleclick public, I believe he was able to retire for a few lifetimes.

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  79. I love Ripple6. Great company, smart people. I hope others have an opportunity to work with them like I have. It's about time we raise the level of intelligence in Gannett.

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  80. From today's Jackson Sun

    November 13, 2008

    Gannett South Group Publishers meet today

    The Gannett South Group Publishers are meeting today and Friday in Nashville. Gannett is the parent company of The Jackson Sun/jacksonsun.com.

    The meetings focus on moving the needle in today’s business environment and embracing the new media landscape.

    Those Publisher’s attending include Carol Hudler (Ft. Myers Florida), Ellen Leifeld (Nashville), Leslie Hurst (Lafayette, Louisiana), David Petty (Monroe, Louisiana), Ed Humphrey (Alexandria, Louisiana), Pete Zanmiller (Shreveport, Louisiana), Cheryl Lindus (Montgomery, Alabama) Larry Whitaker (Jackson, Mississippi), Skippy Haik (Hattiesburg, Mississippi), Andrew Oppmann (Murfreesboro and Clarksville), Patrick Dorsey (Tallahassee, Florida),Kevin Doyle (Pensacola, Florida), Mark Mikolajcyk (Brevard, Florida) and Roy Heatherly (Jackson, Tennessee).

    Also attending: Julie Lusk (Brevard Florida), Kim Robedeau (Brevard Florida), Mike Monscour (Ft. Myers, Florida), Matt Petro (Ft. Myers, Florida), Bob Sutherland (Ft. Myers, Florida), Deb Waller (Ft. Myers, Florida), Blake Spivak (Lafayette, Louisiana), Judi Terzotis (Jackson, Mississippi), Dave Gould (Nashville, Tn.), Stacey Martin (Nashville, Tn.), Bob Faricy (Nashville, Tn.), Tasoula Gaddis (Nashville, Tn.), and Members of the Gannett Digital Corporate team and digital affiliates: Dan Donaghy, JC Chang, Jason Charlin, Diane Christopher, Katie Haddad, Mark Kennedy, Lisa Beck, Michael Page, Heather Rattin, Laura Breit, Katye Michaud, and Beth McKiernan.

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  81. 4:58, you're a douchebag!

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  82. Is it common for a company to purchase something from one of its officers?

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  83. Anon 5:08...it said Saridakis only owned 10% of the company, so since he was a minority shareholder, I am not sure they were purchasing it from him. The people who own the other 90% are the ones who sold the majority of the company. Sounds like Saridakis was kept out of the deal, so he probably went along for the ride.

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  84. About that meeting, if they're talking about embracing the new media landscape, why didn't they hold the meeting using new media technologies? It would have been cheaper.

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  85. 5:06p...You kiss your mother with that filthy mouth? Go dig a hole and crawl in it. You are an embarrassment.

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  86. 5:15p...You go girl!

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  87. 5:15 AND 5:21--Thank you for identifying that you are from the Journal News---Girls gone wild----Stupid as all hell---but gone wild!!!

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  88. I have never before seen a company buy something from one of its own officers. This really smells and deserves an investigation by the SEC or someone. Talk about insider trading. He gets information from Corporate, then steers GCI towards a company in which he has a large interest. Yes, 10 percent is significant. A 5 percent stake requires notification to the SEC if it is a publicly traded company.

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  89. Further to my 5:24 Post---That includes you Tony---Girls gone wild !!!! You go Girl !!!!

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  90. Attention Gannett Employees: Your Company Is Now Making Money. But You’re Still Being Laid Off.

    http://tinyurl.com/6d2fzt

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  91. Attention 5:41 p.m. Do you care to explain why you left out the rest of the story?

    "The principal reason for the significant increase in the quarter and, to a lesser extent, year-to-date digital revenues and expenses is the consolidation of CareerBuilder and ShopLocal. Digital revenues increased from $17.2 million to $77.6 million for the third quarter and increased from $46.6 million to $111.5 million year-to-date. Digital expenses increased similarly, from $11.1 million to $71.5 million for the third quarter, and from $34.6 million to $101.7 million for the year-to-date period."

    http://biz.yahoo.com/e/081106/gci10-q.html

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  92. Lookie here: Anyone know that Gannett now runs its own healthcare group. It has to be true: look at the Gannett ownership slug at the bottom of this Web site.
    http://www.nurse.com/
    The Gannett Healthcare Group seems to have been set up without notification of stockholders and other interested parties. Anyone have any information on this secretive group, and if Gannett is getting into healthcare, why are the employee costs for health coverage going up next year?

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  93. Gannett's long-term strategy is becoming clearer. It's bailing out of content generation in favor of the "Get Published" model of providing blogs, message boards, and other mechanisms for comment, press releases, self-submitted "news," photos and video. Gannett sites will serve as a coffee house of sorts for communities and leave news and traditional content generation to others. Oh, they'll have a few reporters on board as quaint reminders of the old days, but those reporters will be running ragged covering bulls--t festivals, crashes, shootings, and public events, like TV reporters do. Investigative reporting will go the way of "Got Published" blow-job tutorials.

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  94. I think that healthcare group is that magazine for nurses.

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  95. Re: Gannett Healthcare Group - see http://www.gannett.com/news/pressrelease/2006/pr103006.htm

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  96. 5:41 p.m. just got pwned.

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  97. The Grateful Dead Ripple post was lovely. Too bad it wasn't posted at 4:20 p.m. if you know what I mean.

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  98. I see Todd is still unemployed and without anything better to do than show up and here and beg for attention. It's embarrassing dude. With your lack of judgement and ethics, you will be unemployed for a very long time.

    I'm sure you are also single and without children because who the hell would want you as a husband or a father.

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  99. As part of the transaction, the 10 percent share of Ripple6 owned by Chris Saridakis, senior vice president and chief digital officer of Gannett, was bought out completely by Gannett. He did not participate in the sale negotiations.

    DOES THE LAST PARAGRAPH SEEM FISHY TO ANYONE?

    You betcha! Gannett resembles more and more "Peyton Place". After the workforce is slashed by the hundreds and "savings" tried to be aquired by all means the Executive Suite makes sure that everybody gets a piece of the pie (re. Gannett). Any seconds, anybody???

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  100. What will Ripple6 add that Gannett doesn't already have? Is it a Pluck replacement.

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  101. Quote:

    Gannett South Group Publishers meet today

    The Gannett South Group Publishers are meeting today and Friday in Nashville. Gannett is the parent company of The Jackson Sun/jacksonsun.com.

    The meetings focus on moving the needle in today’s business environment and embracing the new media landscape.

    Those Publisher’s attending include Carol Hudler (Ft. Myers Florida), Ellen Leifeld (Nashville), Leslie Hurst (Lafayette, Louisiana), David Petty (Monroe, Louisiana), Ed Humphrey (Alexandria, Louisiana), Pete Zanmiller (Shreveport, Louisiana), Cheryl Lindus (Montgomery, Alabama) Larry Whitaker (Jackson, Mississippi), Skippy Haik (Hattiesburg, Mississippi), Andrew Oppmann (Murfreesboro and Clarksville), Patrick Dorsey (Tallahassee, Florida),Kevin Doyle (Pensacola, Florida), Mark Mikolajcyk (Brevard, Florida) and Roy Heatherly (Jackson, Tennessee).

    Also attending: Julie Lusk (Brevard Florida), Kim Robedeau (Brevard Florida), Mike Monscour (Ft. Myers, Florida), Matt Petro (Ft. Myers, Florida), Bob Sutherland (Ft. Myers, Florida), Deb Waller (Ft. Myers, Florida), Blake Spivak (Lafayette, Louisiana), Judi Terzotis (Jackson, Mississippi), Dave Gould (Nashville, Tn.), Stacey Martin (Nashville, Tn.), Bob Faricy (Nashville, Tn.), Tasoula Gaddis (Nashville, Tn.), and Members of the Gannett Digital Corporate team and digital affiliates: Dan Donaghy, JC Chang, Jason Charlin, Diane Christopher, Katie Haddad, Mark Kennedy, Lisa Beck, Michael Page, Heather Rattin, Laura Breit, Katye Michaud, and Beth McKiernan.

    Unquote:

    So where was Greenville and Asheville? Probably working on there merger. Shhh it's top secret.

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  102. 6:56PM......... What a stinking comment. Don't know Todd, but he always makes sense and tells it like it is. You, on the other hand, sound like a mere Gannett suckup who just may not be saved by your stupidity!

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  103. Really 6:56, what is wrong with You - dude?

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  104. On the Saridakis 10% ownership of the company GCI bought issue: Can you imagine someone in government doing this and getting away with it. He's not only enriched himself in this deal, he gets to continue working with the company he partially owned before he came to GCI.
    This, to me, is just another example of the slide of GCI into a kleptocrisy. We are losing our grip on morality. Firing people earning $35,000 a year while enriching vice presidents by buying out their ownership is not right. We know the financial implications for the $35,000-a-year employee, but we do not know how lucrative this deal was to GCI moguls. Simply outrageous.

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  105. No, 5:06 p.m., I'll kiss your mother with my filthy mouth. Put that in your pipe and suck on it.

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  106. 6:56: Yes Todd might have some anger issues, but who are you to judge him so harshly. And if you work for Gannett do not talk about, lack of judgement or ethics. You too might be unemployed soon.

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  107. Jiiiiiiiiiiiiiimmmmm!
    Where are you JIM?
    The kiddies aren't playing nice!
    Jiiiiimmmm. Make them stop!

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  108. I am about to express my contempt for Pluck and instruct a key approach that Gannett would be wise to adopt.

    First, who creates a blog program that does not function like the blogs that most people in the world read and use? Typical blogs, like the one we're on now, read from top to bottom. You can actually SCROLL DOWN and read several entries at once.

    Pluck only allows readers to view one post at a time, so you are left to click on every entry that you want to read and wait for the SLOW site to load, which brings me to another issue - WHY ARE THE SITES SO SLOW?

    If the page load is delayed using high speed Internet access, can you imagine how long it's taking people who still have dial-up connections? Someone needs to seriously fix this problem.

    OK, back to Pluck. Blogger has set the standard for blogs, so if you cannot come up with something that either matches or exceeds it, don't bother.

    And that is really one of the major problems I see with Gannett's approach. If you want to do something well, you have to see who is doing it best and try match or exceed it.

    If you lose a good employee, hire a new one who either matches or exceeds the abilities of the last and you'll always have quality.

    To create a great newspaper and website, look at the top papers and their sites as examples. Steal some of their ideas.

    If you are trying to implement a social networking site, spend some time looking around Facebook and MySpace, two of the most popular.

    If you are trying to implement a blogging program, look at Blogger, which has tons of features that make blogging fun instead of a chore.

    And finally, if you really want to know what direction you should be headed in, get the input of younger staffers who actually live online. They just might have an idea or two.

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  109. Todd seems like a low life to me.

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  110. Sheesh. You'd think with all these layoffs ahead and corporate secrets to uncover the children of Gannett would play nice and work together. You know, join forces to overcome adversity. Instead we're all sitting in the playpen throwing Lego blocks at each other. Not very nice.

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  111. RIPPLE 6: A horrible economy... A stock that dives from 90 to 8.50. In the middle of it all, an acquisition that benefits--more than GCI stakeholders--one of its new division heads. The guy who puts the deal together, pushes harder than all other deals, reports directly to the guy who gets a big pay day.... Even the Gannett legal staff is not "comfortable" with this one.

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  112. @7:18, Greenville and Asheville are no longer in the South Group, that's why they are not in Jackson.

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  113. I meant Nashville!

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  114. 1256 p.m.: A frustration I have with the mixed messages about online vs print is that the bosses can't see or judge effectively what we do online, as they can with print work. The format is new, for one.

    But because the two of us do manage the online conversations effectively, it must appear to everyone else as if online is just a piece of cake, that people converse civilly for the most part. They rarely see the outrageous crap we have to read and delete, or the constant volume, or the complexity of the dynamics between anonymous personalities. Some of it's quite disturbing, and distracting.

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  115. Ripple6, which GCI just bought at an undetermined price, is a software technology that tracks people online and builds associations of their activities. What I cannot understand is why any marketer would be interested in finding the social connections of women discussing BJs, as they did on the Cincy Mommy site. Maybe a condom business would be interested in this data, or perhaps Altoids, but how is GCI going to make a business out of extracting this knowledge from the Mommy site?

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  116. Simple: blackmail

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  117. 12:08am
    Like the Blackmail show on Monty Python?

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  118. 1159: Monitoring the forums is like baby sitting. Just look at this thread today. If only the higher ups monitored the forums more, then maybe they'd understand.

    There's a reason I require comments to be approved on my blog. Yes it discourages comments but I'd rather keep out the garbage and have a few patient, intelligent posters than a thousand idiots.

    This Ripple6 purchase sounds fishy but hopefully it will give us better software for our forums and blogs. Pluck is useless.

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  119. I realize these threads sometimes get long and kind of out of control. But I really do moderate each one, and I read every comment. I err on the side of not deleting comments because this is the only site where employees can speak freely; I don't want to do anything to discourage that.

    In the end, I'd rather have all those comments here, instead of the way it was before -- cluttering up posts where the comments (generally) stuck to a single subject.

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  120. Regarding the comment by 11:59 p.m. "and the frustration I have with the mixed messages about online vs print ... "

    I am guessing that if you asked publishers what their online staff does during the course of a day, they wouldn't be able to tell you. That's not because the online staff isn't working hard, it's just that their efforts, while critical, labor intensive and difficult, are often invisible. A hell of a lot goes into running a G04 site, but the publishers are by and large not techies. I hate to say they're ignorant or uninformed, but that's what it amounts to.

    This lack of understanding or awareness of what it takes to make the site "sing," the way we used to pride ourselves in making the newspaper "sing," actually pits factions of newsrooms against one another.

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  121. 8:54 p.m. wrote: "Pluck only allows readers to view one post at a time, so you are left to click on every entry that you want to read ..."

    I think you just answered your own question there, bub ... it's all about number of clicks and time spent on site. Convenience for readers is not a driving factor.

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  122. Well, bub, readers are not going to stay on or revisit a site if it's not convenient.

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Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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