The "my" in myRecord apparently stands for "my press release collection"

OK, confession time. I didn’t really read a physical copy of the Record yesterday. I just skimmed the website real quick, which isn’t my preferred method of finding shit to write about but I didn’t have any quarters on me when I was near a newsstand and I was way too lazy to head to a store to buy one. I got my grubby little hands on a copy today (of yesterday’s and today’s papers), and for once I’m glad I did. Why? The Record is blessing us with a preview of myRecord!

Undoubtedly you’re wondering “What the fuck is myRecord?” Well, the Record announced a little while ago that it was revamping it’s website. Ok, I wish they were revamping the entire website. Really it’s just a revamp of the previously useless “interactive” tab so it includes more user-generated content (a great idea, wish we’d thought of it. Oh wait, we did.)

Before the closest recordnet.com got to UGC was reader-submitted photos. Those are still around, but now they want you to send backstories with them and apparently they’ll be printed on the bottom half of the LENS section or something. Apparently that’s the sole place to find them as the myRecord web-section doesn’t seem to have any of the stories that have appeared in the preview so far (stories in the paper that are difficult to find on the website? It must be on recordnet.com!). You can also submit events and browse the events calendar for upcoming shit.

Wait a minute, opportunities for aspiring local writers, events calendar, Ian Hill in charge, this all sounds vaguely fucking familiar. If I didn’t know better I’d say it sounds like the Record is folding 209Vibe into it’s website in an attempt to absorb it’s traffic. Although, the writers for 209Vibe actually got paid. As far as we can tell myRecord is just offering you a chance to get published, which is very craigslisty of them.

Of course when you open up publishing possibilities to just any ol’ yahoo with a digital camera and an e-mail account you’re going to get a lot of press releases about local events. You know, like both “articles” in today’s preview. One of them is actually the minutes from a motorcycle club meeting. Riveting stuff ain’t it? (Note to Fitzy: the motorcycle club met at Taste of Brittany because, as the picture shows, the members of the club are the Record’s key demographic. Old white people. Actual bikers wouldn’t be caught dead there.) (Wait, how the fuck did he find that story on the website? Is my computer blocking some sort of unneeded fancy gadget they’re using to list the story when regular ol’ html would do just fine? And why is it under the “news” tab in that link when the URL clearly says “interact”? Why can’t anything on recordnet make some fucking sense!? At least it links to the other myRecord stories in the linkbacks section. Man, this thing is just oozing with our suggestions.)

Perhaps the most interesting part of these stories/ads is the bylines. Those motorcycle club minutes? “By the Port Stockton Motorcycle Club”. That’s right, apparently the entire club wrote it. We’re not saying that that’s out of the realm of possibility, most of these posts are a collaborative effort. But then, you know, one of us has to actually write them. Does this mean we can write for myRecord and turn it in as “Reclaiming the Title” in hopes of getting free advertising? Don’t worry, being journonerds we wouldn’t write about ourselves due to obvious conflict of interest issues. Not that myRecord seems all too concerned about conflicts of interest. All 3 stories that have appeared in the preview have been written by the groups they’re about.

Hopefully that will change now that people know myRecord is accepting stories. When we suggested the Record try and include more user-generated content, press releases that are normally featured in the Local section wasn’t really what we had in mind. Sadly, if myRecord is going to feature daily user-generated stories as they claim they will, it will probably feature more of these kind of useless boring stories which are really just pictures with extended captions. Because, and you can trust us on this one, writing daily stories for free is kind of tough. But if anybody wants to give it a shot, our site might be the better option. We’ll give you lots of space to write more than a paragraph and we won’t even require a photo to go with it. We do have a staunch “No articles about events/groups you’re directly a part of” rule though. That’s right, RTT has higher journalistic standards than the Record. Surprised? Me neither.

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~ by Slick Diaz on January 6, 2009.

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