What’s going on online

1. From Googler and avfl reader KD:

Have you tried [Googling] the trend for Singing News? Very sharp spike right about the time they announced their new logo. Then, a sharp decline when folks realized they still can’t get into the website without a login and password.

Yes it is too bad there’s still that content block on the SN’s site. Which brings us to:

2. Lotsa questions lately about the difference between the SN’s “Stories” and their “Wire” page. I don’t need to recover the ground already traveled here. But I will add that it’s a baffling (non)distinction. The only news niche the SN really has cornered is the death watch and sickbed beat. They really should find some way to collaborate with somebody like Chuck Peters, who could give them real daily news for the website. Whereas the SN often goes days at a time without a new news post (and then it’s usually just some press release that’s already made the rounds or an update on some sg performer’s relative whose health condition is deteriorating or improving), Peters has daily news … by which I mean NEW news.

3. You’ll have noticed by now the announcement that sogospelnews has launched a sghistory site … the day after David Bruce Murray launched one of his own (you’ll recall some flirtatious overtures in this direction a while back). Of course sogospelnews owners, the Unthanks, pretend it was their plan all along to launch the site the DAY AFTER DBM launched his. Back on planet earth, the sogospelnews history site, like most of its other products, tries so hard to shoehorn everything Unthankable onto the page that the website teeters vertiginously on the edge of uselessness (I mean for cryin out loud the DAILY NEWS items on sogospelnews.com have been pushed off the main page … what thuh?). So I’ll focus on DBM’s site for a second.

It would be nice if his group members list included the years that each person was with the group and what part they sang or played. Similarly, the discography really minimally needs to include the year each album was released for the lists to be of much real use, and even better would be a list of songs for each album. I realize all this could be coming in later phases, but it’s the kinda thing that should be the primary focus for any new content that comes online, since there’s no way to ever reach a place where you can say “well, yup … we’ve listed every group member and every album in sg so NOW we can start making that second pass through the data.” One way to speed this kinda thing up is to push out the content in wiki format so that readers could update and tag the information and add new info rather than just noting corrections or additions or whatever in the comments section. SG is the kind of niche subculture about which a vast oral history is just waiting to be put down in writing … and an sgwikipedia would be the perfect way to tap into that resource. Sounds like a job for John Crenshaw, unless Bill Gaither is already doing it. Update: DBM writes to point out that I overlooked some of the very functionality at sghistory.com that I was pining away for in the post above (especially project dates and the positions that group members filled). I did do a quick fly over obviously … Strange I should miss so much. But the depth of my impercipience seems bottomless. Anyway, the more I think about it the more I think that my point was that a real sg wiki would be super cool (DBM says there are some plans to make the site more interactive, though it doesn’t sound like a full blown wiki is in the future of sghistory). At any rate, go look at the sites yourself.

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