Listening to the news last night, Fox9 here in the Twin Cities was talking about their new website, myfox9.com, and the offerings of a free blog to everyone. Not being one to pass up an opportunity to check out new blogging software, I signed up and made my first post. To say the least, it’s lacking so far.
Missing are quite a few key features. Title tags, customizable categories, PINGing and auto detect RSS feeds are just a few of the bigger missing features. Granted, this may be under heavy construction as quite a few parts of the new site is.
The biggest downside to the FOX blogs is that everything must be approved. Upload an image, it must get approved. Change your blog name, write a post, even signing up must be approved. Approval takes up to 24 hours but I think I was approved in minutes. This works fine for now, but what about when you get a couple hundred users? The lag time between posting and it going live, could be to much for some users.
This isn’t just a Twin Cities feature either. I expect to see FOX stations across the country hopping on board. I know the Chicago site exists, but it’s not up and running yet. The New York community seems to be going strong, so they must have started this before the Twin Cities.
The opportunity is great. Create a local blogging site that allows users to report what’s happening in their community and increase the amount of local, really local, stories the news site has. Done correctly, this could be a great opportunity for any local news site.
The FOX blogs are something new and they are trying to bring blogging even more mainstream. Everyone watches the news, so they are reaching a whole new demographic that might not have ever blogged before. However, in their current state, the blogs leave a lot to be desired. They are lacking in some of the blog basics such as customizable categories, immediate posting, PINGing and unique title tags. As they evolve though, they could become a great local blogging portal. Time will tell.