I just finished reading this “Guest Op/Ed” by McGinn at Seattle Crime. It’s a good explanation of why the city went after The Weekly, and how McGinn thinks they can change their ways. Beyond the specifics, the fact that he went with Seattle Crime instead of The Seattle Times for this piece shows the respectability blogs are gaining. Especially ones like Seattle Crime that do a lot of on the ground reporting.
Of course, blogs have had elected officials guest post for some time now. HA has had guest posts by politicians before, and I think the trend is important. Where the issue is more general interest, the elected officials will probably stick with newspapers and their own websites. But it makes more sense for the mayor to run this story at Seattle Crime since they have been reporting on it more than anyone else.
While generally I think this sort of thing is good, one thing doesn’t translate from the paper form. And that’s the name Op-Ed. It literally means the page opposite the editorials. So for example in today’s New York Times the editorials are on page A20, and the Op-Ed is A21. When you close the paper they face one another. This physicality doesn’t exist in blogs, and I think we need another word or phrase. Here are my suggestions:
- Guest Post
- Guest Piece
- Opinion Piece
- Special To (whatever blog)
- Exclusive to (whatever blog)
- Written Thingamajig
- Guest Blog*
* I’m not a fan of using “blog” for “blog post” but people do use it that way, and it would still be an improvement over Op-Ed.