Friday, August 19, 2011
The Coronation Street Blog and me
You may know I run a Coronation Street fan website at the Coronation Street Blog. It's popular, it's successful and it's a not for profit site. There are a few Google ads on there as I wondered if putting Google ads on a website made it go up the search ratings any and it seemed to do the trick and so the ads stayed.
There's a team of us Corrie fans working on the site, I'm the editor and it's 'my' blog if you like but I can't take the credit for making it as popular as it is. I just steer it and guide it and encourage Corrie fans to join in if they can write well and take the blog in a direction I like, as its founder and editor. It's irreverent, funny, sometimes scathing about the show we all love but we never disrespect Corrie and love the show to bits.
But because the Corrie blog is now so popular, and its feed goes out to as many places as I can possibly send it, it's being used as a news source itself. National online media companies and tabloid newspapers are using us as a news source without giving us credit. One hugely popular soaps writer with an enormous following online emailed me once to say thank you for the blog; without it she couldn't write her monthly soaps column for a national paper. And the soaps editor of the UK's most popular entertainment website emailed me to say the blog was so brilliant, he'd be mad not to use it a source for Corrie news.
Yes of course I'm flattered. But it rankles. All they, and others who use the site as a news source, have to do is put a link from their work to our blog.
Less of a problem (because it's so poor) but something else that rankles nonetheless is that a for-profit Corrie blog run by a limited company keeps their eye on us too, following our lead, trying to do what we do. They're not a fan site but pretend that they are, they're set up to make cash, a business, but have no acumen apart from rising from bankrupt ashes yet still owing their bloggers hundreds of pounds. They're also good at copying and pasting and stealing ideas, and not just from us. Shame on them.
Anyway, we're not asking for payment from the media who use the blog as a source. I don't need the money and I don't want the Coronation Street Blog to be ripped full of ads. I've always thought that if there's an ad on your site and a user clicks on it, you've failed. The job of a website editor is to keep the user on the site, keep them informed, entertained, interested not clicking on an advert for a new phone. I joined the internet back in 1993 in the days before adverts, before commercialism took over online. I was a riotgrrl and there's a part of me that still is.
There's a certain flattery I guess in being used as a news source, it confirms what we know - that we're good, ahead of the curve and that's what makes us so popular with Corrie fans worldwide. We have up to half a million views per month, so I know we're doing it right. I also know ITV keeps their eye on us and allows us to exist in the way that we do. We're like an online Coronation Street fan club and I love what I do. I just wish those who used us, took advantage of us, had the decency to admit that they like us too. As I said above, all they have to do is put a link in to the blog from their online or printed work.
It's easy to remember, we're the Coronation Street Blog.