- Steve Fox, author of the DC StyleSpot blog, is interviewed by TBD Community Host Nathasha Lim at a blogger meetup in July. (Photo: TBD Staff)
We're proud of the reporting team we assembled at TBD, but we won't pretend they can cover every corner of the D.C. metro area.
We also know there are a lot of people already doing great work covering our communities and interests. Instead of seeing them as competition, we believe they deserve attention and credit.
With that in mind, we created the TBD Community Network. We have 129 partners on launch day, and we think that number will continue to grow.
We sought to create a relationship with our network members that is truly mutually beneficial. What follows is an explanation on how we did that, and other details on how the network will work.
Who are these bloggers?
They’re people. They are you. We are them.
Most of them are just normal people who are passionate about something, whether it’s a sports team, yoga, fine dining or the neighborhood where they live. They generally want to share those passions with as many people as possible.
When and where will you link to bloggers?
All the time, and everywhere. We'll link to them when they've written something relevant to the areas or topics you're checking out.
We'll link not just to our network bloggers, but out-of-network bloggers and other news sources in the metro area. Anytime someone writes a noteworthy local story, we'll help you find it.
How many members are in the network?
As of today, we have 129 members. That number never remains accurate for long, though, as we are constantly finding more blogs, and more blogs are finding us.
If you go to our Community Network directory, you'll notice there are only 73 blogs listed. The reason: We had to design the page about a month ago. As soon as we get the chance, the rest of our network members will be added. However, all 129 blogs are being aggregated throughout the site, such as “Your News” on the home page, “My Community” and on our sports and restaurants pages.
Does TBD pay its network bloggers, and why would they join?
They’re not on the TBD payroll, but we do offer to sell advertisements onto their blogs and split the revenue with them. The smallest of the network bloggers can make a minimum of $70 per month, while the more established bloggers can earn significantly more than that.
Several of the network bloggers have decided to not accept our advertising offer, but still enjoy other benefits of the network, such as increased traffic, blogger training, exclusive community events and the potential to appear in TBD TV segments.
What control does TBD have over the network bloggers?
None. The bloggers in our network maintain full editorial independence. We cannot demand that they change their content or assign them stories. We might occasionally ask that they contribute to a feature, but their participation would be voluntary.
Is TBD worried that network bloggers won’t be concerned about accuracy or fairness?
Nope. We’ve spent a lot of time getting to know the network bloggers, and we’ve seen how important their own credibility is to them. When they make mistakes, their audiences hold them accountable by never returning, so they’ve got a major incentive to always get it right.
And forget your blogger stereotypes. Almost all of our bloggers write using their real names, and we often see them out in the communities they cover.
How will TBD respond when one of its bloggers makes a significant error or acts unethically?
If a network blogger is repeatedly careless with facts or refuses to correct errors, we will work with them by stressing the importance of accuracy and offering tips for improving their performance. If such problems continue with no signs of improvement, we could end their membership in the network. We don’t believe this will happen, but we reserve it as an option.
How can I join, or suggest a blog for entry into the network?
I've got other comments or questions.
Then we hope you'll leave them below. You can also join the community engagement team in a live chat from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Like everything we publish on the site, we consider this just the starting point for the conversation.