Game still on

Welcome to this week's Reno News & Review.

I went to San Francisco this weekend to a combined conference on digital media. They gave me a free room for a night and a pass to the conference, and all I had to do was talk about for 15 minutes.

I think I figured out a few things while I was there. I heard a lot of thought-provoking things.

So here's my big takeaway. In this post-modern world with its internet and all that, you've got to decide what you want to be, and be that. I heard a lot of talk about how I'm supposed to appeal to people of all shapes and sizes and ages, and I've got to be honest: I just don't care.

I don't care about catching them on Pinterest or on Medium or whatever the MySpace of the day happens to be. I don't care what made-up and irrelevant generational sobriquet they've been given. I don't care if they can read my long-form stories on their cell phone. I do care that they can access our online calendar on their phones, but the truth is, our site is so bad that there's nothing I can do to enhance their experience. I'm not going to put my effort into a race where I'm the only guy who gets his foot chopped off before the starting gun.

I've even given up on Facebook as a promotion for stories in the newspaper. Facebook's formula for moving things onto news streams is anti-local news. It's like this: If you have exclusive local content that nobody else has, it's not popular across the country, therefore, it doesn't move onto other people's news feeds. It's a losing proposition for those of us with a finite amount of time and resources.

I care about smart people reading our stuff. I've been playing this game for a while now, and I have never heard from someone I consider intelligent say, “I refuse to get information from newsprint.” The smart people I know get information anywhere they can find it—it doesn't matter whether they're young, old, a TV or internet junkie.

I'd rather throw the race than compete in one I can't win. Don't worry, I've been told many times I'm wrong about this. I've been told many times I was wrong about just about everything I've ever succeeded at.