10 Early Observations About JimRomenesko.com, Journalism’s Newest Destination Site (@romenesko)

In the wake of his expedited departure from Poynter late last year, Jim Romenesko has established an eponymous independent site that has been passionately embraced by many in the journalism community.  Even with his high-profile name recognition, the rapidity of the site’s rise in popularity and influence is startling.

Below are 10 early observations about the roughly two-month-old JimRomenesko.com:

1) Romenesko is blogging with a vibrancy and candor that was missing from his latter days at Poynter (when, frankly, he had all but disappeared).  He seems to be inserting more of his personal voice into posts, including periodic giggly headlines and other dollops of dry wit.  While occasionally veering too much toward informality, the writing overall is indicative of a man who is clearly enjoying what he is doing.  My guess: That enjoyment is being shared by readers like me.

2) Reader interaction is up, up, UP.  He is basing numerous posts on interesting reader emails, inserting lots of site and Facebook comments in ‘reaction’ posts, and including lots of tweets and other web chatter from the newsy masses.  The result is a site seemingly more attuned to the news media sentiments of the moment.

3) Romenesko is fast becoming a social media machine.  He tweets, posts and interacts on Facebook, and has made Vadim Lavrusik a happy man by utilizing Facebook comments on all posts along with regular site comments.  (His Google+ presence is barebones at best.)  One of my favorite regular posts is the daily links rundown of what he’s tweeted but not blogged about.

4) He also appears to be morphing into a weekend blogger.  While not yet establishing a reliable rhythm to his Saturday and Sunday routine (some weekends it’s been very light or basically nonexistent while others it has been quite steady), he does seem to be slowly embracing the 24/7/365 blogging mentality.  If nothing else, it is one more way to gain an edge over his previous employer/current competition.

5) The site is fun to look at!  Romenesko has begun featuring images in earnest– a mix of logos, screenshots, headshots, Creative Commons standbys, and primary docs.  It adds liveliness to the scroll-and-browse proceedings.  Only slightly disconcerting observation: unattributed headshots are popping up evermore as of late.

6) His value is evermore as a primary source.  His email-for-a-reaction-MO was entrenched at Poynter, but he is definitely reaching out much more regularly to the individuals and outlets he blogs about– and receiving subsequent responses at a surprisingly high rate.  And it might simply be circumstantial, but the responses have been more interesting!

7) Ads are beginning to appear.  Some scream bush-league, interspersed with a few biggies such as AT&T.  Bottom-line curiosity: Is he making any money at all, or anything close to what he was pulling in at Poynter?  Doubtful, but of course he’s still in the scrappy insurgency phase.

8) Three things I personally don’t like: the headlines pushed to the side; the muted mellow blah gold/mauve headline and hyperlink color; and the lack of posts available for scrolling on each page (Poynter’s MediaWire doubles Romenesko’s posts-per-page count).  These are all minor complaints.

9) There is still an inside-the-castle-walls feel to the whole shebang at times, based on what he writes about and who he sources.  (Apparently the “new Romenesko” will “cast a pretty wide net . . . [that includes] community media, ethnic media, overseas media, blogs and online publications.”)  But Romenesko is noticeably writing more about student media and journalism education issues.  I do recommend expanding the reach to more of the blogosphere and social media realm.

10) The site’s tagline states boldly: “A Blog About Media and Other Things I’m Interested In.”  I have yet to determine what else he is interested in. :)  At this point, everything he’s blogged about is focused squarely on all-things media.

Lingering Question) Prior to the Poynter plagiarism-charge craziness, Romenesko had stated he was planning to move on from daily journalism news aggregating.  Is that still the short-term or long-term plan???


A Strange, Sad Day in Journalism: Romenesko’s Resignation

2 Responses to “10 Early Observations About JimRomenesko.com, Journalism’s Newest Destination Site (@romenesko)”
  1. ppeemm says:

    Re: other things he’s interested in.

    Fast food.

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