Rochester Insider/Talk

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2005-08-08 14:08:16   Much Better. Not perfect, but much better. —FarMcKon

2005-12-14 13:16:21   I think it strives too hard to be hip, as if the writers have a list of "hip lingo" from which they pick and choose. But I'm way beyond the target demographic, so what do I know? —TomMaszerowski

2005-12-14 13:30:54   I agree with you. Falling within the targeted demographic range (20-30 somethings), the catch phrase 'Rochester Remixed' is one of the more insulting marketing ploys I've ever had pushed at me. —RobertPolyn

2005-12-14 21:37:46   IMHO, filling 4-6 pages full of face-shots of people events is a cheap ploy to get people to pick it up, for the off chance that they see themselves 'In the paper'. I've been in a bunch if places where there is _no reporter_ but there is an annoying Insider photographer asking every singlel person walking in 'can I take your picture for the insider?' —FarMcKon

2006-02-28 14:20:13   How is "Rochester Remixed" insulting? Lame, yes. Insulting?...hardly. Also, to FarMcKon...what is it about the person taking pictures that irks you so? I doubt they are wandering up and asking you more than once in a night, so what do you care if they are asking other people? Honestly, how is this a hindrance to your enjoyment of the evening? Complainers. —LaraEaves

2006-02-28 15:58:17   Lara: You find it lame. Meanwhile, I find it insulting. That is my opinion, and in my experience it also seems to be an incredibly widespread one. How is it insulting? In attempting to be a publication [WWW]communicating in their voice, their tone, and to their needs. Provide solid content and there is no need to fall back on one-fits-all-marketing-shtick. That isn't to say it fails as an advertising vehicle, [WWW]your ads reach an underserved and most desirable local market segment, but a significant portion of the people that could potentially be interested decide against picking it up at altogether because of the condescending tone. I was interested to see a new publication when I first came across it, but then quickly lost interest. It resonates within me with all of the force, character, and charm of a Pepsi advertisement. If you're involved on a local level, then I give you credit. I have no idea how internal operations work, but I can't imagine that local staff is entirely in control of what makes it to publication. I give you credit for the interesting and well-written content that occasionally makes it to press. If I wasn't interested in seeing more from the Insider, I wouldn't take the time to voice my opinion... and by the way, you registered an account and have made a single contribution to this site in the form of a comment complaining about complainers? Well played! If you'd like to carry on this conversation, feel free to contact me through e-mail address listed in my profile. —RobertPolyn

2006-02-28 20:39:37   While it's not an absolute guide, Google shows no hits for a "Lara Eaves". Do I smell a ringer? —TomMaszerowski

2006-02-28 22:19:28   I was completely turned off to it when I saw their article on how to make smores. That's right: MAKE smores. It was a giant photograph of Wegmans' products with an actual article documenting the process of heating marshmallows to sandwich between graham crackers and chocolate (I hope I'm not violating their copyright.) I figure, if you're too dumb to make smores from a list of ingredients (and maybe "toast the marshmallows") then you're too dumb to read. Writers are actually paid enough to go there, but it just goes to show that money does not equal good. —JasonOlshefsky

2006-03-01 15:38:26   When I moved in to my apartment here and had a "getting to know you" conversation with one of my new roommates, she said "Oh! You're from Rochester! I have a friend who moved there to work on a newspaper... do you know of the Insider?" Yes, roommate, I do know of it. But I cannot say more without jeopardizing our fragile, new relationship. I guess its not that the Insider is a bad, bad newspaper that deserves to be beaten, but rather that there aren't very many better options when it comes to free monthlies or weeklies, making it more difficult to avoid when sitting at the laundromat (though there's always "AutoMart" and "ApartmentFinder"). Maybe RocWiki should start up a free weekly print zine thing... make a page where people can contribute throughout the month, then print it out and distribute around town. RocNews. —HeatherYager

2006-03-01 20:07:51   If there were a group blog for RocWiki, I'll bet some of us would contribute. That would be a start. —RottenChester

2006-03-01 20:13:42   Agreed. But it should be less political than the City, less commercial than the Insider. —JohnGormly

2006-03-01 20:16:00   So, kind of like Craigslist? (kidding) —RottenChester

2006-03-01 20:18:24   So a lack of google hits on my name is Tom's evidence that I'm not real? Great sleuthing...internet validation is the ONLY validation. Heh. I came on here looking for information about the distribution sizes of all the free weeklies, and I read them all fairly regularly. I can now understand how Robert sees the tagline as insulting, in the sense that it is pandering without a real sense of the intelligence level of people reading it. I think my view of it was a more naive "they're clueless...oh well". I guess I feel that the insider is fluffy entertainment, and City provides the political/social content and depth, so I guess I'm just not sure what type of thing you'd have the insider feature... wouldn't it be just as offensive if they tried to encroach on City's territory and be all political and heavy? And I'm still curious about FarMcKon's beef with the photographers (I saw one in action, he was fairly unobtrusive). —LaraEaves

2006-03-01 21:54:40   Anybody interested in some kind of group blog for rocwiki contributors, read what I wrote at and comment or email if you're interested. Thanks. —RottenChester

2006-03-02 00:50:16   Lara, in your own opinion, how do you think Insider could be improved? —RobertPolyn

2006-03-02 03:39:48   The reason I posed that question here is because all I saw was un-constructive criticism... nobody's offering solutions (other than "let's make our own!") I'd ditch the attempts at delivering news headlines, they're a week old anyway. And the other filler that I flip by in the first and last few pages. I don't like the posed nightclub pictures at all, but I do like the actual event pictures like shots of the musicians, etc. I think having some kind of community voice beyond letters to the editor is a good idea. "What I'm into" is a start, but it's just a voyeuristic "see how cool I am?" type of thing. (But then again, you look at the proliferation of blogs and all that self-important wankery, and get the sense that that's all people want, a platform upon which to sing their own praises). I'm nearly out of space, so that's it for now, but keep in mind I actually find the insider entertaining. So it's really up to those of you who really don't like it to say what you would do differently. —LaraEaves

2006-03-02 23:52:01   Lara, with respect, I think you're mistaken in calling the initial four comments "un-constructive" or nobody "offering solutions." Think of it like a movie review. Typically, a movie review states what works or doesn't work in a movie, and why, or whether or not the movie succeeded in what it set out to do. Reviews don't usually go on to say that if the lighting director had used blue gels instead of red, maybe the movie wouldn't have sucked. That's why it's a review, and not a drafting and revision session. In a lot of cases, the wiki comments serve as little mini-reviews, which is the beauty of the wiki in my opinion. And, yes, describing what things the Insider could do better has its merits, but so does spending some time describing what you like or don't like about it (which in some ways is essentially the same thing). Having those sorts of discussions are how you get to the point where you're thinking about how to change the things you don't like (as evidenced by the arc of the above conversation). It's not "complaining" to state one's opinion. —HeatherYager

2006-03-03 00:14:35   Additionally, I can comment on the photographers since I too dislike the ploy... it seems to me (OPINION!!) that the point of the random around-the-town photographs is simply to hook people into glancing through the paper, to see if they or anyone they know are appearing in the photos. The pictures don't add any valuable content, since they are just photos of people around town (ie. something you can see by walking into any bar), so it makes me wonder if it is simply a space-filler? A "look at me, I'm in the paper for going out to a bar!!" sort of feature. I find going to bars fun, I do not find looking at pictures of people in bars fun. —HeatherYager

2006-03-03 12:20:52 LaraEaves, Sorrry for the long reply. Other projects, (like Ant Hill Cooperative) have been filling my time lately, so RocWiki has not seen much of me. First, I'm glad RocWiki is doin it's job, and opening some communication around here, and letting people voice their opinions, pro & con.

To the issue: For me, the problem is not the photographers, but the lack of a reporter. When I read a paper, I'm looking for a review of the event. I'm not looking to see 'Jon Doe, 34, and Jane Doe 31' were there, I want to know how the band was, how long they played, if it would be worth going out to catch another show when they come to town. I have to agree with H, that it seems to be a hook tactic (to me).

Also, I hope our communities comments would be constructive, and I'm sorry if it they are not, or if they are not coming across that way. 2 free weeklies are better than one, and I would like to see The Insider grow and change, rather than go just away or something.

I'm planning to setup another wiki event (like the Very Wiki Christmas) in a month or so. I'd encourage you to come to it, and we can talk face to face, and maybe you can give us some feedback on problems RocWiki has :)—FarMcKon

2006-03-03 13:45:22   I'm with Heather, the beauty of the wiki is that it's not just a bunch of dry facts but actually contains some real person's opinion. In some cases the opinion is more in the article than in the comments, but the Wondefulness of Wikis is that you can edit the content! That said, there's some irony in RocWiki (a web site) being a place to try and improve Insider (a publication created primarily because people are reading newspapers less). Not that it couldn't do that, but I believe there may be a better place to do that. Like in Insider itself. If the editors are reading this, that's a challenge to open up your policies to some real discussion. —TomMaszerowski

2006-03-06 03:18:39   Hey, I'm with you on not liking the bar pictures... I don't know if it's a ploy to get people to pick it up or if it's an attempt to prove that rochester has an exciting-looking nightlife. Why don't any of you write to try to encourage them to address the things you would like to see changed? It couldn't hurt. I think the paper has a lot of potential, but you also have to wonder how much of the content is dictated by gannett... —LaraEaves

2006-04-21 01:15:08   I am in the latest Insider in a story about blogs. They listed nothing about the wiki or rocwriters so a post will appear on my website tomorrow about and to list all of the places they missed. This is the first Insider article that I actually read. —JasonWilder

2006-04-21 10:34:02   Same here — JayceLand is in the Insider article too. My only real qualm is that they said they "interviewed" bloggers when in fact they just had me fill out a few questions: to me, an "interview" would involve some kind of interactive contact (in person, phone, or even instant messenger.) —JasonOlshefsky

2006-04-21 12:12:26   I thought that article was pretty good, actually. —RottenChester

2006-04-21 16:45:20   From a snarky co-worker: karan.jpgJasonWilder

2006-04-21 16:54:43   To add with what Jason O. said, I was e-mailed too. No one talked to me, except for the photographer, who was surprisingly interesting. Everything else was done by one e-mail. —JasonWilder

2007-04-01 08:51:34   The Insider is an abortion of journalism. Everytime I read a "hip" article I get just a little bit of vomit in my mouth. I hate The Insider with a passion rarely matched - it's culturally ignorant, has no apparent standards of journalism, and does nothing to help the city. The last three articles I happened to read were on doughnuts, blogs, and shoes. City is not exactly a bastion of exceptional journalism but at least they continually feature local businesses and promote the city's large number of cultural resources. —RochesterGuy

2007-04-01 10:07:56   To Rochester Guy; I disagree. The Chamber of Commerce, not Insider, is in charge of promoting local businesses. The Arts Council, not Insider, is in charge of promoting our cultural resources. Insider is under no obligation to shill for the city; in fact, its target audience stretches beyond Rochester. It is simply a general-interest publication geared toward supplying entertainment listings and local items of interest to a readership that generally doesn't pick up the Democrat and Chronicle — or any other more traditional print pubs, for that matter. There's no Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism to be found in there, but some of the writing is actually interesting, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive calendar each week. (Full disclosure: I'm a Gannett employee. Actually, a soon-to-be ex-Gannett employee.) —JohnMoriello

2007-05-06 10:58:00   John, thanks for your honesty and perspective. I didn't know that the Insider's reach went beyond Rochester, and that explains some of their decisions (although I'm now further confused by the addition of Rochester next to the word Insider). The calender is fairly comprehensive, but I can get that information from other sources that I feel don't assault me with so much advertising. —RochesterGuy

2007-05-06 13:12:10   Rochester Guy: It's kind of funny, but Insider's original target audience was the 18-to-29 or 18-to-35 age demographic, with the hope that having 40,000 young people attending colleges in the seven-county region would be the foundation for stability. But their own reserch tells Gannett that the average readership age skews older. So they've ended up with a publication that sometimes, out of necessity, has fuzzy focus. I still like it more than any other product that the D&C puts out these days. As for the calendars, advertisers really do want to be on those pages because users (in print and online) are borderline rabid consumers of the information. Maybe the listings section is too popular for its own good. —JohnMoriello

2007-06-26 12:55:52   I actually kind of like the insider. Not of course for any real intelligent value, but it's kind of fun to flip through and see what's going on and what new places to eat have opened. I usually pick up City at the same time and I think Freetime is kind of boring. Insider is kind of the People magazine equivalent for Rochester's young people. It's kind of trashy but is there really any harm done? —SaraChristine

2008-06-23 16:59:45   I like Insider, it is what it is. It is one giant advertising section with a few articles thrown in. Sometimes the articles are interesting, others are worthless. I get lots of great restaurant coupons in Insider and learn about stuff to do. Its a time filler, online or in print.

I dont think anyone at Insider is going for a pulitzer prize, they are just there to entertain. If you feel you are above it,then I dont think you get the magazine, shouldnt pick it up more than once.

Freetime is great to find something to do in a very ugly format.

City Magazine is great to learn something about the city, told to me by an angry author who hates normal people and likes to be "different" just to be difficult.

2008-06-24 09:49:06   MrRochester are you the same MrRochester that I see in the insider all the time on that page where they ask locals "What are you doing this weekend?" —KimBee

2008-06-27 13:35:19   That was me. But that section was cancelled, so my social life is no longer on display. —MrRochester

2008-12-10 21:56:34   The Insider reads like a collection of Myspace blog posts that were whipped up, last minute. The last time I read it, I was treated to one of the contributors talking about how depressed he was over a recent breakup. There was no overarching point of the article, just the guy talking about how sad he was and how he took some pills to ease the unbearable pain. Needless to say, I haven't picked up a copy since. —BatGuano

2008-12-10 23:05:23   This Rochester Insider/Metromix comes off to me as a poor man's "Here's where to go to get drunk" manual. I think its a horrible addition to the D&C Website. —PeteB

2010-04-23 10:24:42   Their website automatically tries to download and install Real Player Scheduler in IE8, and it caused problems (would not open) because of (my) security settings until it was approved. - Firefox worked ok. (Windows 7, IE8, default settings, April 2010) —JackGreenky