Saturday, January 17, 2009

The View Just Blocks from the White House: If You Haven't Yet, You Probably Won't

Seth Godin asked the other day "when newspapers are gone, what will you miss?"

I'll won't miss the out-of-touchness of the "old" media.

Case in point: yesterday, The New York Times ran a slew of articles on Washington, D.C. in honor, one could say, of the upcoming Inauguration/Revolution, which carried news that was weeks if not months old and tips that were covered on Web sites starting in November 2008.

If you waited until yesterday to investigate the possibilities of being in D.C. this weekend and counted on the Times to guide you, you'd still be sitting at home, wherever you are.

In "Take Patience and Good Shoes" we're told "The 240,000 tickets for the hourlong swearing-in ceremony are long gone" and "Pretty much all of Washington’s 29,000 hotel rooms are booked, not to mention hotels in suburban Maryland and Virginia and even parts of West Virginia."

Thanks for the update, but we knew that weeks ago.

The profile of D.C.'s 9:30 Club - "The District Will Rock: Line Up Early" - was not early enough. A quick trip to the club's Web site yesterday showed that "one of the best nightclubs in the world" (according to the Times) has not a ticket left for everything but one event. And they don't even talk about that event - Saturday night's gigantic gay dance party known as "Blowoff."

So, you'll have to come back some other time to "this place where Bob Dylan, a favorite of the incoming president, has been known to play unannounced shows, where Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü fame occasionally spins records, the kind of joint that will warm up the night before the inauguration with a double bill of, get this, the Beastie Boys and Sheryl Crow."

And finally, The Times sneaks its snooty provinciality into "Plenty of Options for Washington’s Hungry Visitors" noting first that "There are many reasons to make a special trip to the nation’s capital...But, truth be told, restaurants are not exactly on top of the why-to-visit list."

The article then lists a few places to eat. It doesn't mention whether or not reservations are still available, or even whether or not the restaurants will operating at full capacity. Employees all over town who have to work are juggling schedules and some are setting up cots in establishments as the public transportation system will be taxed and roadblocks start on Saturday.

Granted, it's tough to go from the "print" mindset, where you have one chance to get things right, you have limited space and time to make your points, and you treat a publication as an event, to the online world, where change is by-the-moment and anyone can post information as soon as they get it.

But we've been getting our Inaugural info, ever since that night in November when Obama was announced as the next president, from the sites The Times lists at the end of "Take Patience and Good Shoes."

Sorry NYTimes, but you're Days Late as you and the established fourth estate find yourself Dollars Short.

No comments: