new media

About Catholic Car Wash

Catholic Car Wash is a video podcast started in 2010 by myself, Jeff Geerling, just before the start of CNMC MMX. This podcast focuses on small snippets of Catholic teaching, and typically lasts less than 3 minutes (the length of a car wash).

Toyota Camry and Catholic Car Wash

Other St. Louis-area Catholic Blogs/Bloggers

[UPDATE: I've posted a more comprehensive guide that I intend to keep updated here: St. Louis-area Catholic Bloggers/Websites].

I've come to the realization that many St. Louis-area Catholics have no idea how many excellent blogs are published by other Catholics in the area. Here are the ones I know of - feel free to leave a link to any that I've missed in the comments below.

  • Archdiocese of Saint Louis

    Obviously the main source of information for Archdiocesan events. I hear they're getting a site upgrade soon... more to come ;-)

  • Saint Louis Catholic

    A great blog about timely news in the Archdiocese, with a bit of a traditional slant. Often uses colorful and entertaining language when discussing the current state of affairs.

  • Rome of the West

    Blog by a Catholic photographer and explorer who has also helped with the publication of books highlighting the Catholic heritage of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Many beautiful photos from in and around St. Louis can be found on this blog!

  • Aeternus

    This blog has a more spiritual nature, and looks gorgeous (especially in its simplicity). It's nice to have in the feed reader for an occasional reflective post.

  • Southern Illinois Catholic

    This blog often reflects on the current political climate, liturgical advancements, and general Catholic goings-on in and around St. Louis and the Metro East.

  • Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

    Blog about Archdiocesan events, politics, and culture. Updated regularly.

  • OYM Blogs

    Blog posts from many individuals involved in St. Louis Archdiocesan youth ministry. Topics include humor, spirituality, prayer, youth ministry, sexuality, and the Church.

  • Snup's View from the Back Pew

    A very timely blog, where the author travels to a new parish within the Archdiocese every week and gives, quite literally, a 'view from the back pew' (along with some observations about the liturgy). Definitely worth subscribing, especially since you can essentially take an online pilgrimage to the parishes in the Archdiocese!

  • Homeschool Goodies

    Great blog about homeschooling run by a homeschooling mom from Northwest St. Louis County.

  • The Forum

    A blog by a local young adult with excellent and timely analysis of political news from around the St. Louis region, around the U.S., and around the world.

  • Archdiocese of St. Louis' Mission Blog

    Run by the staff and other contributors in the Mission Office for the Archdiocese.

  • We Need Faith, Hope & Charity

    Blog about saints and relevant situations facing Catholics today.

Any blogs I'm missing? Please add them below - I'd like to try to have St. Louis area Catholic bloggers a little more in-touch, instead of operating as little islands of Catholic bloggyness. Having a list of all the blogs would help this effort.

[EDIT] Here are some more blogs suggested by others:

Real or Not? Mass we Pray

The humor tag is only half true... I really really really really hope this is not real.

Rupert Murdoch: No More Google News?

After reading a few articles mulling over the implications of Rupert Murdoch's purported move to pull out all News Corp content from Google News, I thought I'd share a few thoughts, especially since the 'pay wall' issue is something I deal with from day to day with a local news publication...

Online Ads - a Faltering Art

With the popularity of Google Ads and other similar ad networks, where impressions are free, and clicks cost money, it's no surprise companies are hard-pressed to make any real money with this traditionally-based advertising medium. Heck, only 16% of Internet Users actually click on ads—that's not something the accountants and marketers are excited to hear, when all their business models are based on CTRs (click-through rates). Impression-based pricing is problematic, as well, especially considering the many different techniques people have for tricking ad-impression trackers.

There are a plethora of problems with online advertising metrics, and with revenue from online advertising. There are a few areas where online advertising is extremely effective (YouTube and other video sites have a successful pre-video commercial model, which works well). But for simple news and blog pages, the flashy, arrogant and often irrelevant ads that display in and around the content are largely ignored.

I don't propose any solutions to this huge problem—especially for news companies who, in the past, received more than half their revenue through advertising dollars. However, it's necessary to acknowledge the problem.

The Google Generation

Bing, Google, Yahoo - whatever the site is, online search and aggregation is the way of the future—I can count on one hand the number of people I know who have any particular website besides the three above (or one of their sub-sites) as their homepage. The fact is, people don't use the Internet as a replacement for the morning newspaper and bagel. People browse topics that interest them, then follow a topic around to different sources, and gather more information about this topic than was ever before possible in such a short period of time.

Google News, RSS feeds, and links from popular blogs are the main ways members of the Google generation receive news from around the web. If you cut off your content from these sources, your site will be inaccessible to the Google generation. (See another post of mine on this topic: Why Your Diocese or Organization Needs News Feeds).

You can create a 'pay wall,' but you have to be prepared to become a niche player. For certain entities, this is okay. I pay to receive Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Our Sunday Visitor, and the St. Louis Review (and their online editions/content), because all four of these publications give me access to a niche of news and information that matters to me. Heck, if Whispers in the Loggia or Mac Rumors became pay products, I might even pony up for news from these sites, since it's worth reading for me.

Crowd-Sourced News

"Mr Miller admitted News Corporation could not make the bold step alone but was prepared to lead other media companies in this direction. “We will lead. There is a pent up need for this. There has to be a resolution for the free versus pay debate otherwise we cannot afford to pay for things like news bureaus in Kabul.”

The problem I see is that, with the Internet helping remove many international barriers to communication (albeit slowly, in many areas), many people don't see why News Corp should need a news bureau in Kabul, when news from Kabul's local papers can be aggregated in the same place as news from Zimbabwe, China, Russia, and the United States. Translation issues aside, what's the point of a New York-based paper having an office in a foreign country, when one can connect directly to the foreign country online?

Crowd-sourced sites like Now Public are becoming much more popular, and, as the saying goes, 'content wants to be free.' Of course, niche markets and fields might be able to use pay walls to keep the revenue flowing—but even then, they have to be careful to (a) not lose relevance, and (b) remain the best in their field. The St. Louis Review is the best and most comprehensive Catholic news source inside the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, so they can afford to use a subscription model.

But is the New York Times the most comprehensive general news source on the whole planet? Nope. Why pay for it if you're living in Talahassee or Seattle? No news entity, in my opinion, can be a comprehensive general news source anymore, besides, perhaps the Associated Press (or similar agencies without a particular publication). The USA Today is the closest thing, but they are not really as relevant or as popular online as they have traditionally been in their print product.

Solutions?

If every general news source on the planet, including all the 'open' and 'crowdsourced' news sources, closed its doors to Google and set up a pay wall, that might work to bring revenue back into their idyllic gardens of journalistic endeavor. Even so, the second this happens, I would be the first to set up a new open platform for news sharing... even if it had the worst/most fallacious content on the planet, it would be read and visited, because people like getting something for nothing. Just stick a few Google ads on it, and I'd have a nice, free revenue stream :-)

It's time for innovation in news media. Solidifying niches, finding new ways to utilize subscriptions or micropayments, and considering alternate ways to increase ad revenue are certainly on the table. I, unfortunately, don't have any really amazing or groundbreaking ideas in this regard. But, for news organizations' sake, they should definitely keep this on the front burner for a while.

Catholic News Live - Public Beta

 Catholic News Live.com - Catholic News Aggregation

Catholic News Live - a little site I whipped up yesterday afternoon. Still in early, early beta. If you're interested in joining and helping sort items into channels (and maybe other perks sooner or later), please email contact@catholicnewslive.com.

Pages

Subscribe to Reviews Subscribe to Articles Subscribe to All Content Subscribe to Blog Subscribe to RSS - new media