When discussing OJR, we shouldn’t forget Layne and Welch

There continues to be lots of chatter about the closing of Online Journalism Review.

I used to work with Robert Niles at E.W. Scripps.  He’s a fine person and did an admirable job with OJR given the resources he was given.  So no slight intended here …

I’ve been an OJR reader long enough to remember what it was like under the stewardship of my friends Matt Welch and Ken Layne.  Now there’s an era of OJR that is bygone and worth lamenting. (Lots of history in this Google search link.)

Too bad Annenberg couldn’t stomach an online journalism review that was lively and provocative.

I just had to say that because in all the hoopla about OJR closing, the great work of Welch, Layne and the other writers of that era seem sadly to have been forgotten.  It’s an angle in Mark Glaser’s piece that seems to be missing.  If OJR is worth saving, it’s worth remembering what it was like in the Welch-Layne era and maybe trying to recapture that spirit.  Online journalism could use some free-spirited iconoclasts now more than ever.

I don’t think Niles was ever given the opportunity or the resources to continue on in the tradition of Layne and Welch, which makes it all the more vital to remember the golden era of OJR if there’s going to be any talk of bringing back.

Sean Blanda’s search goal: Beat the other Blanda

Sean Blanda is out to own Blanda.  I wish him well. It will be a tough task. (Note on those links: There’s two of them.  The first to his post; the second to help his SEO by linking his root domain to the word he wants to own).

I’ve never set out to own “howard” or “owens” in Google.  I score very poorly in both (I gave up on each after going five pages deep, so I may not show up at all).  My friend Ken Layne used to be the #1 Ken on Google.  That’s like, wow!.  Then he stopped blogging on his personal site for a long time, and even now his blogging is light on the links in and out to other bloggers.  Result: he’s fallen to #6.

Previously: Owning your name in search, variations and nuances