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Pedro And The Watcher: Is The OC Register The Only Paper That “Gets” Blogging?


Maybe we’re biased (actually, we’re definitely biased), but we think the brand-spanking-new Pedro and the Watcher blog may be one of the few examples of a newspaper getting a blog right.

We love the LAT’s Homicide Report because we’re kinda ghoulish that way. And Gold Derby is often indispensable.

But we feel like a good newspaper blog should be filled with the kind of Web-only flotsam you can’t get in print.

Enter Pedro and the Watcher, the brainchild of Peter Larsen (Pedro) and TV critic Michael Hewitt (The Watcher).

The site is as fun to read as, say, Big Action!, but it’s slightly more focused — only slightly.

We’ll let Pedro explain:

Q: How did this all get started? Did the paper just want to harness all your fucking-around energy constructively?

A: A few months ago, we’d decided to have me do a pop
culture blog — using all that hard work you so rudely described to
entertain readers, or maybe allow them to waste more time productively on our Web site. Basically to provide a place for all those links I e-mail or IM to people while keeping my mouse finger to the grindstone.

While waiting to switch from moveable type to word press for our blogs here we decided to combine me and the Watcher.

Q: What’s the goal?

A: The goal of it is of course to provide more online material for readers, duh! Ideally, some of it will flow back and forth between the paper and the blog. If you look down at the first post I put on there, it’s about a book on rock and roll landmarks. That might run as a raft — you remember the briefs on the cover of Life — with a tag line that says, for a Q and A with the author, go to the blog, etc. So it’s a way to blur the line between something being online-only and something being newspaper-only, if that makes sense.

It’ll also be used for breaking news or to post stuff faster than it could get into print. For instance, a week ago Wednesday I went to the White Stripes show at the old Tower Records, came home, wrote a review, and posted it by 1 a.m. on the Sound Check blog (mostly Ben Wener’s domain). It beat all the other reviews online and in print for that show — so ideally drew more page views to us — and then appeared in a slightly shorter form in the paper on Friday.

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