Saw in my feeds this morning a post from the Bay Area Business Blog at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Was going to mention to Bay Area commercial lawyers as a way to further enhance their reputations. You know, comment on relevant posts, get to know the reporter, get to know other commenters. Great way to get known for what you do by influencers in the Bay Area.

But the whole set up for this blog is lame. One, I didn’t see any RSS feeds. How could one follow posts. Second was pop up ads. Third, and most offensive was that before you could comment you needed to register. Registration required the typical newspaper demographic junk like date of birth, where you live, and your gender.

Newspapers, who are experiencing declining revenues, have a golden opportunity to become more relevant with readership. It’s through interacting with bloggers. Bloggers referencing your online newspaper content on their posts and commenting at your blog are going to drive traffic to you.

To take advantage of this opportunity, newspapers cannot set up all walls that say ‘we do not want you bloggers, go away.’ But that’s exactly what newspapers are saying when they set up special ‘blog rules of their own,’ by having no RSS feeds, pop up ads, and requiring demographic info to comment.