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ODE Starts Blogging; Hilarity Ensues

Facing decreasing ad revenue and increasing production costs, the ODE, like many papers around the country, is slimming down it’s print content and moving online. As part of its new strategy, the ODE is finally forcing its staff to blog. Prognosis: delicious!

For example, check out the glorious prose of “Partygoing gets treacherous as weather gets cold” by Opinion Editor Anastasia Strgar in “Our Words,” the ODE opinion blog (emphasis added):

I went to a party on Friday night. It was themed and at a frat [!] just down the road from my apartment. Quite convenient, I figured. It wouldn’t be too long of a walk in my scanty little dress that I’d bought earlier that day at the street fair for only five dollars- what a bargain. As I sexified myself [!!], I danced to loud music in my room and pre-gamed it with my roommate and some friends who would be accompanying me. They were in similarly scant outfits and we were ready to party!

Reality hit us hard across the face [?!] as we stepped outside into the bitter cold of the early October evening. It had begun to get cold just a few days before. Fall seems to do that. We all could feel it, but all the same, walking to class when it’s cold in jeans and a sweatshirt isn’t quite as extreme as going in dresses meant for hot, sticky summer nights.

We made it to the party only to find that as soon as we stepped inside, we’d entered the haven of a hot, sweaty college party. Relieved, we threw ourselves into the orgy that is a frat party [!!!] and instantly, our goosebumps disappeared.


Even when it’s pouring rain and we have to risk our hair getting wet, college girls will almost always choose to party. Because getting dressed up, dancing, and making out with cute college boys is worth it.

In completely unrelated news, Strgar is hereafter invited to all future Commentator parties.

P.S. In fairness, the sports blog and photo blog have a lot of potential, and I’m glad the Emerald is finally getting a handle on this whole “Internet” thing.

  1. Michelle Haley says:

    Silicone based lubricants tend to cause urinary tract infections for female users. I’d suggest Wet brand Platinum because it is water-based, but works well in aquatic environments. I’d say, if you can only bring one lube to Sea World, Wet Platinum is the one!

  2. Timothy says:

    Hey, man, I’m just trying to share my light with the world. Don’t hate, appreciate.

  3. T says:

    Timothy & Gsim: Dudes, overshare much?!?

  4. Timothy says:

    Astroglide is also crap, gets tacky, no good in aquatic environments. It’s really about the SystemJO silicone based stuff.

  5. Gsim says:

    Tim – You’re so on about the KY jelly. As I’m sure you’re well aware of its all about Astroglide!

    No kidding, right?

  6. Jake says:

    I think the other thing, too, is that the Emerald is also probably the biggest real-world-esque learning experience these kids will have before trying to make it in the real world. I learned more in my three years at the Ol’ Dirty than I did in any of my classes. While newspaper readership is declining, the world still needs good newspaper people — and the Emerald was a great place to learn.

    So what are they learning now? Will it be more valuable in the long run? I don’t know, as online writing/design is something you can by yourself or with tons of organizations, but not everybody can put together a newspaper as that requires a team.

    Just my two cents…

  7. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Yeah, you did miss something. They’re slimming down their print content and moving towards a bigger internet presence, not moving completely online. Read the first link in the post.

  8. Ghost of Shakra says:

    I may have missed something, but I’m wondering how putting blogs on the ODE Web site is an indication that they are planning to go online-only. This would be disastrous because online ad revenue would not get even close to sustaining the news operation, and I know for a fact that the people in charge of crunching numbers are well away of that. I doubt very much that moving completely online has ever seriously been considered.

  9. Vincent says:


    I’ll try to do better (worse?) next time. For what it’s worth, I was going through the print version today, and I was finding errors left and right, much to my annoyance. That’s what I get for proofing the thing on the computer at the last minute, instead of having a printed version to mark-up.

  10. Betz says:

    In response to Olly: Thats the only reason I picked up the paper: Sudoku and crossword (I had to keep my busy with something…) It would be interesting to see how common this trend is with students: Do students pick up the paper more for the ‘lighter’ side of newspapers (comics, crosswords, puzzles, etc.) rather than ‘news’?

    Timothy: I always knew readership on the OC blog was high, but I never suspected 15K a month. (wasn’t it voted something like the nation’s #2 college publication for 2007, right behind Dartmouth’s blog? I want to remember this little tidbit from somewhere, but the exact details are hazy…). As a recent alum, even I’m surprised to find myself still reading this, as campus news isn’t entirely relevant to me. Regardless, good work!

    P.S. KamaSutra > KY … silicon beats water-based anyday.

  11. Timothy says:

    Olly – We’re running an average of about 15,000 uniques a month so far this year. That’s up over last year a little bit, and roughly three times what it was when I graduated in 2004. It’s not, you know, DailyKos or anything but it’s very respectable for a college publication.

    It should also be noted that this Anastasia Strgar person knows very little about lubricants if she thinks KY is useful for anything other than medical use.

  12. The real Jake says:

    Ossie, it’s like you have a vested interest in newspapers remaining in print or something. What’s up with that?

  13. Ossie says:

    Let’s not forget that half the students who pick up the ODE do so to have Sudoku and/or the NYT crossword in class.

    Vincent: Speaking of copy, I was disappointed to see so few errors in BTTB and regret making you Copy Editor. You’re killing the OC appeal. Get out the Nov. 1985 issue and read the article by James R. Young.

  14. Carly says:

    OMG you guys please dont make fun… haven’t I told you my pen name is Anastasia Strgar?

  15. Kai Davis says:

    I’d really suspect its low % of the paper readership right now. That isn’t a negative, they’re just starting this process and while they’re getting their feet wet with the software and the idea of blogging, they don’t want a huge ton of people.

    Plus what % of students see an advertisement for web content and transition to the web readership?

  16. Olly says:

    Yeah, I agree with a lot of the previous comments. The ODE has a tremendous territorial advantage on-campus, and their distribution system has always been top-notch. Once they move online (and, god forbid, away from hard news) they’re just another bunch of random undergrads.

    The use of AP wire to fill space is pernicious, but much worse is the campus wire service, which leads to random student op-eds being reprinted around the country to the bemusement of all. Once I even saw a particularly pointless Pulse article (lede: iPods are popular!) reprinted in my local student newspaper. (Full disclosure: my local student newspaper makes the ODE look like the New York fucking Times.)

    Related to Betz’s comment: can someone tell me how many unique visitors the OC blog is getting these days? Please respond in public if the number is exhilaratingly high, and in private if it is embarrassingly low.

  17. Vincent says:

    In case you haven’t had your fill of hearing about Anastasia Strgar’s sex drive, direct your attention to “Love Triangles Are A Risky Business” in today’s Ol’ Dirty. Money quote:

    When triangles are built withfeelings [sic], the end result is often a sticky, gooey mess akin to being dumped in a vat of KY Jelly.

    One can only wonder what she knows about being dumped in a vat of KY Jelly.

    Ms. Strgar could also probably stand to consult a copy editor once in awhile.

  18. Betz says:

    Despite the difficulty of costs and labor required to produce a daily newspaper, I can guarantee that readership of the ODE will plummet if their medium transfers online.

    Its a great idea in theory: it saves natural resources, and eliminates (or, in the case of this plan, reduces) the manual production costs of physically creating and distributing the paper. But honestly, most people read the newspaper because it is accessible on campus in hardcopy form: it can be found on just about every street corner, or oustide of every academic building. It is just there. Occasionaly the newspaper reports some interesting news, but I believe that most students read it simply because it is there, and requires little effort in finding the media. (I think in J-school terms, this would be a form of “push media”.)

    This scenario of just being there poses a problem in that its reader base is not very loyal, and I think this would be obvious if the paper moved online. The OC blog has a very loyal reader base (myself included, but just review the commentators of the past 10 articles … I think I can only count 10 or 15 unique authors). Compare that with the ODE comments section for articles and editorials, and they are virtually nil.

    This metric of ‘# of comments’ might be a poor indicator of readership, but I truely believe that students won’t actively seek ODE content if it migrates online. Online journals and blogs are only successful if the readerbase is there, but I for one am not certain that one exists for the Daily Emerald. If I might make a suggestion to the editors of the ODE: if you do move onto an online platform, make sure that you have some quantifiable measure of readership; number of views an article recieves, online news polls … this data will be extremely helpful to review and see if moving online is an effective new form of medium for other campus papers across the country.

  19. Chris says:

    Agreed! The wire news is available everywhere….how is the ODE unique? Oh, wait.

  20. Timothy says:

    Wait, the ODE is down to 8 pages…so two broadsheets? Dang. How much of it’s AP wire these days? That might be one way to curb costs and still publish more content – hack off the wire.

    I know it’s a hard thing to produce a paper five days a week, and I know sometimes there’s going to be want of content, but given the cheapness of the labor and the number of people who want to work there it’s always seemed to me like the ODE could’ve done without the wire and published more campus/eugene relevant stuff.

  21. Kai Davis says:

    I think its cool that the ODE is pursuing web based publishing options in a world of rising costs for a print newspaper, but the current ODE is losing its edge on campus reporting. Its 8 pages are featuring less and less interesting campus news. Shrinking content only puts more focus on the ad content which magnifies the smaller amount of reporting.

    Cutting content from the print edition will not draw new readers to the website and if the ODE isn’t presenting captivating content in its print edition, how will it draw readers to the site?

  22. Ossie says:

    Sorry for playing the outdated old-guy role here, but God forbid the Emerald focuses on producing talented journalism and instilling a respect for the newspaper tradition. Times are tough for newspapers, but college papers like the Ol Dirty have a huge advantage: cheap labor (soooo cheap) and a bit of help from incidental fee money (I know this is a small amount; actually I’m not 100 percent sure they still get it, but I think it’s in the 100K range). The Internet is probably the future of journalism for now, sadly. But it is even sadder to see academia

  23. Drew says:

    twitter always makes for a more compelling arguement

  24. Wow, I wish the Daily Emerald had this depth of conversation on our blogs (and haha, I’m not sure whether that’s sarcasm or not).

    “Strgar” is spelled correctly, although I too don’t know how to pronounce it. These changes, and the whole online content thing, will keep coming as long as I’m around, even though the staff may feel otherwise. And check out CoPress, which I’m hoping is our College Publisher savior. Platform for innovation College Publisher is not, but that I’m planning on changing soon.

    Don’t even get me started about the magazine, though.

  25. Vincent says:

    Probably just like it’s spelled.

  26. CJ Ciaramella says:

    I’m at a loss as how to even begin to pronounce “strgar.”

  27. T says:

    Oh, and I cannot trust Ms. Strgar, or her columns, because anybody with a name that has such randomly assigned consonants is inherently untrustworthy.

  28. Kai Davis says:

    “Relieved, we threw ourselves into the orgy that is a frat party.”

    I nominate this for the best sentence ever.

    “Either it

  29. T says:

    Wow, I was pitching the magazine idea when I was there, as it’s an interesting idea in theory. Then you remember who typically writes for the ODE.

    The blogs have typically been disasters because the writers write too fucking much crap initially — stuff no rational person wants to read (Yay! It’s unedited) — and then they get burnt out. It’s all impenetrable walls of long-form text with nary a hyperlink, followed by weeks of inactivity.

  30. Kenneth says:

    I got a copy of the Emerald magazine they were handing out today, and it was two lists that pretended to be articles and then several pages of ads. I wasn’t impressed, but I was happy to get the free cup they gave out with it.

  31. Andy says:

    From her writings she seemed like a solid 8…but her pics reveal a hopeful 6…

  32. Vincent says:


    The bit about Emerald Magazine caught my eye, too. If the money is barely there to run a decent newspaper, where is the money going to come from to put out a (presumably monthly or bi-monthly) magazine? Either it’s going to be so paltry as to make the Weekly Enema look like a treasure trove of good content or it’s going to be basically a platform for more advertising.

  33. Olly says:

    They try this once every couple of years or so. As usual, best of luck to ’em, but what has generally ended up happening is that they come up with a wonderfully ambitious design for the site and then rapidly run out of content for it. Perhaps scaling back on the actual paper will make web content more viable than it has been in the past, but apparently they’re still doing zany things like this:

    “A brand new product, Emerald Magazine, is a lifestyle publication for students and the University community. Emerald Magazine launches in December.”

    Good lord. The only way this could have greater potential for comedy gold would be if they brought back an all-star cast of former Pulse editors to run it.

  34. Timothy says:

    If I recall, this is the third or fourth ODE foray into blogging. If the past is any indication this will all end in weeping.

  35. Drew says:

    Carrie Bradshaw and Myspace blogs haveset back journalistic integrity for females decades.

  36. Jake says:

    Wow — they’re finally kickin’ in and doing more online-only content — something I tried to push on them back in the late 90s when I worked there. I really provided most of the online exclusive content with my tech columns (which were blog-like) that I wrote (which, now that I look back at them, are mostly crap), and it’s taken them quite a while to fully embrace it (which, my guess is because they’re using somebody else’s content management system that they have little to know control over).

  37. Haha, thanks for the coverage!

  38. Vincent says:

    Ms. Strgar seems to have a fixation on cold weather and sex. She has also produced a PowerPoint slideshow entitled “Baby, It’s Cold Outside: A man tries to convince a woman to spend the night with him because it’s too cold for her to go out.”

    It’s fairly unsatisfying, given the title.

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