How will TBD.com, the Web news startup in the D.C. area, work with the more than 90 independent bloggers in its network? The TBD blog has some details, although I don’t notice any huge surprises, just good common sense in the post by Community Engagement Director Steve Buttry.
For example: “We will provide headlines and links, sending TBD visitors to the network members’ sites if they want to read the full story…
"When a network member posts an article, photo, graphic, video or any type of content worthy of top-story play on our home page, we will feature that contribution as a top story, just as we would if a TBD staff member had produced it."
Home-page feeds for home or work locations of interest to readers—note the plural "locations" since you’re not limited to one—will include geo-appropriate items.
Ideally TBD will team up with independent affiliates to encourage in-depth coverage of individual communities, via such sophisticated tools as databases, not just traditional methods alone. Meanwhile TBD’s systematic distribution of affiliates’ offerings—on the Web and through social media like Twitter—will be a nice start. I also like the use of GrowthSpur to help the affiliates learn how to sell ads. While I doubt that the typical affiliate bloggers will end up with heaps of cash, I am rooting for enough money to come in to help them maintain their interest.
An aside: Kudos to Steve for his fight against paywalled obits. Hey, Steve, I’ve been on this one since 1996, and in a related vein, I complained earlier this spring about the S.F. Chronicle’s death notice gouges. Keep up the good work!