I appreciate that Albany Eye was called “influential” in Mark McGuire’s blog post about anonymity on the web, but I don’t think I agree.
At the time of its implosion in 2006, Albany Eye had about 1000 readers a day. That’s very, very (very!) small in a market of this size. So where does this idea of influence come from? That’s easy. The blog had a big following among those who work in local media, so it’s easy for them to assume Albany Eye was widely read by the general public. It was not.
It was created to be about the local media and read by the local media, and the truth is that it barely spread beyond that original mission. I have met few people who did not work in TV, radio, newspapers, or advertising that ever heard of Albany Eye. No, mostly the readership was made up of media insiders and a tiny contingent of local webizens who were more tuned in to the blog scene than normal people.
What’s that, like being the area’s most influential CB radio operator?
If there was one place that Albany Eye was influential, it was inside the Times Union newsroom. They helped Albany Eye breakout from unheard of to obscure with mentions in the paper by none other than Mark McGuire and editor Rex Smith. If it weren’t for them the audience would have remained even smaller than it was. Sorry if I never thanked you.
Not complaining, though! I love that people took the time to read Albany Eye, but just between you and me, it didn’t change anyone’s viewing/listening/reading habits, never swayed an advertiser’s media spending, and had no impact on the local news or entertainment product. But other than that? It was deeply influential.