A funny thing happened at 30 Rock last night.
The Conan O’Brien studio audience seats were filled with about 130 bloggers as local news anchors, correspondents, the news director and other NBC brass stood on the show’s set and soaked up the bloggers’ wisdom and perspective, acknowledged ignorance about the most basic of Web concepts, and encouraged — no, entreated — the bloggers to send every little tip and scooplet and news break they had.
NBC feted the bloggers — everyone from former city parks commissioner Henry Stern and Wall Street Journal “Opinion” editor James Taranto to Red Gallery‘s Brian Van Nieuwenhoven and Sean Risley of My Body Story (who said he makes a living from his body art blog by getting speaking gigs and other assignments) — to a gnoshfest of pastries, sandwiches, cheese, nuts and soda (no liquor — FCC rules, they said), and seemed, in our estimation, surprisingly open to this whole Web 2.0 thing, while acknowledging that while they were the first in New York to reach out to bloggers like this, other cities such as Nashville and San Francisco have already done the same.
There was more than a whiff of skepticism. A lot of the bloggers scoffed at local TV news’ penchant for “if it bleeds it leads” stories about fires and muggings and robberies.
“How many people here have WNBC on your lists” when sending emails about scoops asked Sree Sreenivasan, newly minted tech guru for NBC’s local news shows after jumping from ABC. No one raised a hand. News director Dan Forman asked how many in the room wanted TV local news to go completely off the tube and for the company to spend all those millions putting it on the Web. About half the audience raised their hands. It would have been more, but a significant portion of the attendees were NBC people. Forman also acknowledged complete ignorance of what blogging software is, even as Six Apart founder Anil Dash sort of tried to explain.
Continued below: “MSM doesn’t mean metrosexual male.” Pictures, names, blog links and more quotes.