DCIST IS DYING

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but not all is well in the land of DC blogging.

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Since their peak in March, traffic has been declining each month. This is bad news when you are owned by a company that claims it has “only just begun to grow!” With over two dozen staff members, I doubt they are making much money.

I wrote about the site way back in May 2005. Almost nothing has changed since then: they still regurgitate news from the Post, post weather updates, and feature local bands that no one wants to see. They are irrelevant in all matters related to DC blogging (DC Blogs eclipsed them long ago). I’m not really sure what they are supposed to be about.

It’s easy to bitch about something but hard to provide solutions, so I’m going to help them out. Here are five ways DCist can become a better blog:

1. Fire everyone, including the editor. They’ve gone through something like five editors in the past year and the site is getting progressively worse. That should be a hint to stop promoting from within. If your staff is sucking up the page, don’t pluck one to helm a sinking ship. Replace everyone with hippies who have interesting opinions.

2. Get rid of the classical music agenda. It’s nice you are trying to lock up the highly coveted over-70 crowd, but my grandfather does not read blogs.

3. Hire writers who have goals other than reaching a certain word count. Most posts are fluffy and can be halved without losing any meaning.

Bad writing: We know that many of you are skeptical that worthwhile culture could somehow bloom amidst the barren asphalt expanse of suburbia. But for those of you willing to maintain an open mind about such matters, we propose an evening raid of three of Annandale?s cultural gems in a series of lightning strikes that will enable you to get in, get out, and be back in your Mt. Pleasant basement apartment just in time for Charlie Rose. (76 words)

Translation: Surprisingly, there are places in the Annandale suburbs that are worth visiting. (12 words)

Also, don’t hire people who tried but failed to make it on the stand-up comedy circuit.

4. Write more about DC nightlife. You can easily kill the sorry Going Out Gurus by hiring two or three club rats who post pictures and write reviews that complain about attitude and service. Settle down with all those restaurant reviews; I don’t know anyone who eats out that much.

5. Dump the “continue reading” links. I know you need those to increase your page-view count for advertisers, but no one is going to click those if your lead is uninteresting, which is the case 100% of the time. Your olive branch has no olives.

Who would have known that DCist was at its best back when I first hated on them last year. It was under Mike Grass then, and other than the strange use of bold type, his one-man army is embarrasing a huge team of resume padders. Unfortunately, DCist has been reduced to nothing more than a vehicle for wannabes hoping to get a real journalism job.

19 thoughts on “DCIST IS DYING

  1. Sally

    #6. Push all DCist commentors in a deep, dark, Baby-Jessica-style hole. Call it “gentrification” and then go eat a delicious salad bar at Ruby Tuesday’s at the Tivoli. HAHA!

  2. Sally for Prezzy

    It wasn’t a hole, it was a well. Duh. At least you got it right that RT’s has a delightful salad bar.

  3. Eugenius

    This chart looks like the North Korean Nuclear Test chart….same result = everyone ends up hating them…

  4. Spaniard

    Like a true seer, you prophesied their mediocrity since the beginning. Well written post, I dig it.

  5. RCR

    The Ruby Tuesday is really undermining Columbia Heights’ hipster cred. I love it.

    You have to admire Gothamists’ business model though – start a company where 90% of the work is done by volunteers. It’s like a pyramid scam.

  6. Chris.

    dcblogs is unreadable. If a site is poorly designed, nothing will sell. There are well over a thousand clickable links on the main page – a nightmare for someone who may be vision-impaired. Everything seems to be an excerpt with two-line paragraphs. Awkward image placement continuously interrupts reading. Various yellow highlighting, tool tips indicating the popularity of a link, aaahhh! Horrible. How can dcblogs “eclipse” other sites?

  7. Anonymous

    I dont know what you’re talking about Chris. I think DCblogs is a great site. DCblogs live as well.

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  9. urbancowgirlstinks

    AFter reading dcist’s response to DCB’s comments, it seems they don’t take criticism too well. Oh well, let them rott in their geek-fest decay while the world moves past them and realizes they can read Washington Post for themselves.

  10. Joe T.

    I don’t know whether DCist is dying, but it’s definitely racist. Of the 26 “staffers” pictured here:

    http://www.dcist.com/staff.php

    there’s only one discernable person of color, a woman of South Asian extraction. Other than that, EVERYONE is white, on a blog that supposedly represents the cultural milieu of a city with a significant African-American (and Hispanic) population. What gives, DCist?

    Remember folks, you heard it first here on DCB from ol’ Joe T, former Hill and DNC staffer. Once word of this gets around, they’ll belatedly do damage control and start hiring minority staffers. All because lil’ ol’ me blew the whistle on their bigoted asses!

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  13. Andrew

    It looks like the graph is pretty steady over the year, really. Maybe people read more blogs in the summer, who knows?

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