editor on the verge

Online musings from the newsroom and beyond . . . by Yoni Greenbaum

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Is there good traffic reporting online?

November 22nd, 2007 · 1 Comment

Does online traffic reporting work for you?

While broadcast cable news spent most of Wednesday talking covering the situation at local airports and, in the case if CNN, highlighting the road traffic data available either through Google Maps or traffic.com, it wasn’t typically until the early afternoon that newspapers got on the bandwagon.

Most newspaper websites chose to feature in their center or lead position the regional or national story written by the Associated Press. Occasionally the story appeared with a photograph of a line of airport passengers or car traffic or some weary looking traveler also taken by the Associated Press.

Well, that doesn’t work for me!

  • Why can’t newspapers offer current traffic updates via Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku or just text messaging?
  • Why don’t newspapers let readers send photos from the airport or file a brief audio report via twittergram.com/phone? Why does user generated content have to be limited to sports, entertainment and disasters?
  • Why don’t newspapers deputize their readers and create traffic watcher groups whose members can cover all the prime routes and hubs? These groups will provide focus groups for future adding additional return on investment.
  • Why aren’t there places on newspaper websites to share travel tips or ask for suggestions from fellow travelers? Got a great tip on how to avoid traffic driving to the airport, share it here.
  • Why don’t newspapers that aren’t able to provide better traffic reporting themselves, partnering with groups that can? Yes there is Traffic.com and others, but you have local TV and radio as well.

Here is a great place for news organizations to experiment and innovate and gain online readers. So get experimenting and start innovating!

Tags: Industry · Innovation · Local Newspapers · Online · Traffic

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 patrick // Nov 23, 2007 at 10:10 am


    Can newspapers really use twittergram.com/phone ? How would we feed all the audio over to our twitter accounts… or keep track of all the contributions?

    Looks like we should customize something… with a local number for starters – then collect all contributions and feed them to twitter with usernames/passwords relating to our own accounts…

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