Andrew Grant-Adamson thinks my assessment of the Independent’s half-hearted blogging effort was “almost too kind” and neatly summarises the long-running debate about the purpose of mainstream news sites’ blogs into five tests for newspaper blogs to help editors avoid similarly poor results.

Before launching any blog, Grant-Adamson writes, editors should ask:

  1. Does it do anything which cannot better be done in another section of the site?
  2. Does it develop the paper’s interaction with the readers?
  3. Does it gain a valuable audience? (A particular niche, readers who are new to the paper etc)
  4. Can you give the blogger sufficient time to blog successfully?
  5. Have you chosen a writer or writers who have the aptitude to blog successfully?

If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, it is unlikely to be successful.