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The Audit of Broo: An Internal Dissection By Its Own Members

Credit: Mark Klotz
The Truth Behind The Audit of Broo

A SWOT analysis is a tool to audit an organization and its culture. So, how did Broo fair with an audit performed by its own members?

So, hoping to have some additional information from one of the owners of Broo, Tony Berkman I set this information aside for a few months. To be fair, a businessman's day can often be unending.

The questions that I sent his way were many and he mentioned that he looked forward to providing me with his feedback. I will consider this reply as Tony is planning to provide his feedback soon and I may even have some of the information by the time this article is posted.

So, enjoy the findings of a SWOT analysis on Broo and be sure to stick around for some even more insightful information on Tony, one of the people behind the electronic curtain at Broowaha and find out some things you may have always wanted to know but never got around to asking!

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The Definition of a SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is a tool for auditing an organization and its environment. It is the first stage of planning and helps marketers to focus on key issues. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors. Opportunities and threats are external factors.

SWOT as taught is today’s business schools is little more than Scientific Wild Ass Guess (SWAGs) according to Cranfield’s Professor Malcolm McDonald. He makes the point that many threats are the same regardless of the business environment that is being audited.

The SWOT Analysis of Broo

Strengths

-Talented writers

-Nice format/look for an online newspaper

-A fairly deep library of published articles

-Good and growing traffic

-Members/writers offer constructive criticism, generous comments and strong opinions without attacking the writer.

-This venue opens the door for writers in a very diverse arena, so there is always something of interest to read and none of us is forced to write within a single category.

Weaknesses

-All published articles are not reviewed and corrected for spelling errors and grammar issues.

-Communication with management is not always available on a timely basis, with days going by and no communication about a question/concern.

-The name of the newspaper is BrooWaha. Majority of members seem to call it Broo. Is there any value in continuing with the full name?

-There is no way to save messages one writer/member sends to another.

-Lack of openness. It is rarely clear who is really in charge. At times different members of management respond to complaints or situations. And other times no one does.

-A group of dissatisfied users who often work to undermine management and create dissent and division among the membership

-It does not seem feasible to have a full-time editor, so it might be useful for an author to have an edit button for their own articles and comments. I do understand that writers should write, re-write and re-write again. It is our responsibility to a large extent, though organizations do have editors for spelling, punctuation, etc. I know that several times I have cringed after something I have written and submitted is published, and I think, yikes, that sentence sounds awkward and I wish I could change it. Many of us have blogs so our time is divided with those, along with BC, FriedEggs and Broo. Being able to self-edit would be helpful.

Opportunities

-Increased readership can happen, which builds Broo, as a whole with increased page views and increased ranking.

-Increased readership/ranking provides realistic opportunities to contact businesses about being advertisers on Broo.

-I much prefer the name "Broo" to Broowaha, which is awkward and does not symbolically signify what Broo is. The term Broo also conjures up the image of thoughts brewing and is more intriguing and therefore may be more marketable.

-Better management could greatly increase participation and enthusiasm.

-It seems to me that the possibility to focus members on learning to promote their articles would be a great opportunity for individual members and for Broo as a whole. I believe that this could result in significant traffic increases, particularly as authors create fan bases who return regularly to see what they have written.

Threats

-Has a nasty past/history with Reno Broo

-Former Reno members and possibly others have blamed new ownership as a reason why Broo is not successful ranking wise and page view wise.

-Accusations of changing words in an article that have nothing to do with typos is still online to read.

-Personal attacks happen on and off again.

-A strange personal attack appears to be a part of a published article, which may have needed to be screened and edited prior to publishing. (The comment could be a joke between writers, however.)

-I believe that some way needs to be found to make peace with the dissatisfied Reno crew. At one time I thought that I could by writing about the situation make that happen. I stopped when it became clear to me that I was reaching neither side with my articles.

-If problems already identified, including lack of consistent copy-editing, lack of openness, etc. do not get corrected within a reasonable length of time these issues will tend to decrease participation which of course will definitely impeded traffic and other signs of growth.

-There should be zero tolerance for threats, veiled or otherwise and regardless of gender. Threats diminish us as a society and certainly a venue like Broo is diminished by such behavior. The 'boys will be boys' attitude is demeaning to women and to Broo as a product. Great discourse makes for interesting reading. Threats do not. They actually make some writers, who would otherwise be good contributors, shy away from a perceived hostile environment.

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Finally, one response from 'Glenn T' provides some great possibilities in developing/adding something new. Would management consider this? Do you think this is a good idea? Read on and voice your opinion. Nothing can happen without communication. And I would say this idea has a lot of merit to it.

"Broo needs to add COLUMNS & COLUMNISTS to its "Back Page" or even its own section. Broo is lacking the "personality" it had, and while every newspaper (or other news source) has its basic, stock news - it REALLY gains it's loyal readership through its opinion/personality pieces (ask Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC how this works).

There are 10-12 top writers here that could definitely support their own column - and I know Jen & Tonic, Bill Friday and me are already writing our own, separate blogs. Why not capture that here? Writers want an opportunity to brand themselves - and not simply be lumped in with the unwashed masses who submit a piece every six months.

Until they do this - Broo will always be an ancillary place to publish your work."

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So, what's next? The rest is up to you, to management. Have something to say? Don't hold back now. And thanks to everyone who provided such honest input.

And Tony, I am looking forward to hearing from you soon. :)



About the Writer

BusinessLife is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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6 comments on The Audit of Broo: An Internal Dissection By Its Own Members

Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By BusinessLife on February 18, 2011 at 06:51 pm

The best part of a great article is when communication comes from various places. I think it's important to know some of the 'ugly' that is in the past and hopefully will stay there. We can't learn what we don't want any more of if we don't recognize what we don't see any more. Additionally, I am excited to see a plethora of different writers coming through. I note new writers by new avatars showing up in the newsroom and next to new articles posted.

Then, the most exciting of 'what's next' may very well be on its way from Tony, who promises to answer quite a long list of questions when he can set aside the time. And if you saw the long list of questions, you would understand that it might require a part-time job just to get through the answers needed. Just what has happened? What is happening? And what is on the way for Broo? Expect change. Why? Because change is constant. And the level of creativity in words is showcased everyday. The best is yet to come. But don't stop thinking and considering what you may want to see happen. The more Broo finds its true niche, the more the readership and the growing list of writers will grow, grow, GROW!!

Special thanks as always to such great communicators as Cher and Melody. :)

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Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on February 18, 2011 at 09:38 pm

you brought up great points here that im sure alotta people question about including myself. i really dug broo when i joined in mid '07...it was a solid site, and still is...or i like to think it is.

why ruin a good thing? bring it back the way it was and improve on it...simple.

this site punched its way to the top, now its gotta make a comeback and keep punchin' to stay at the top! simple!

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Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By Theresa H Hall on February 19, 2011 at 04:49 pm

I'm Telling! (about you're looking) :P

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Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Angie Alaniz on February 21, 2011 at 06:30 pm

@Melody, thanks for the kind words as always.

@BusinessLife, thank you for this detailed report and especially for not sending me the questions. : D

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Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By BusinessLife on February 21, 2011 at 07:55 pm

Broo has a lot of cool factor possibilities. Broo is a buzzmaker while at the same time a buzz kill. Why? How can you help grow positive buzz if you don't provide communication and answer or fix little hiccups that get in the way of the Broosters?

Owners:

Let's hear what's up. You guys have brought a great online resource to the globe. So, share your insight, answer some questions and provide the value that also places you as an expert in your field.

Owners:

Consider Glenn T's columnist ideas. Those who make things happen with good content that is viewed the most get their own column. If they abuse the ability to publish, they lose their column. It works just fine through examiner.com And you actually can get paid a couple pennies here and there through examiner.com The difference here is the freedom to provide provocative thinking.

Owners:

Stop clogging the pipes of confusion and misperception that you can't or don't know how to fix the page view count problem. Make this issue a story on Broo and share the reasons of what is going on.

Owners:

Consider offering a page/link that allows Broosters the ability to help promote themselves. Give folks maybe 5 to 10 useful and simple ideas. It helps Broo gain ranking and then page views and helps each Broo writer with their own page views.

Cmon!!!

There's much more unnecessary clogged up hairballs standing in the way than is at all necessary.

Let that Lion 'Ed' roar with his own column. There's Mean Mike and Glenn T. and Cher and Melody and Bill Friday, if he ever decides to write a few words together into a real sentence. (Yes, Bill that's my dig at you to get off your limited backside, if you have one because it, along with any words from you have been missing far too long!!) Where's a Friday Report on the Rantings of Whatever?

Let's have some fun but let's have some communication!!

Far too much time is being wasted and money is not being made. You want money? Incentivize your readers/writers. You want interest/excitement? Empower the top writers and those who want to get to be top writers to have certain publishing privileges!! Broo on or better yet, Broo FRESH and OFTEN with intensity, passion, rantings and he said/she said newsworthy debates...like is American Idol much cooler without Simon? ;)

Cmon!!

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on February 21, 2011 at 08:47 pm

WOW! well said champ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thatll be cool to have a column under my name along with the others.

KEEP PUNCHIN'

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