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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Violet Blue Quits SFGate -- Was it Good For You?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 4:15 PM

click to enlarge Violet Blue
  • Violet Blue
SFGate moments ago confirmed what erstwhile sex columnist Violet Blue fired off to her Twitter followers yesterday: She's quit her popular column on the Chronicle's Web arm.

"It's her call. We liked having her as a columnist," said Vlae Kershner, the news director for SFGate. "We wish her well." SF Weekly's e-mail to Blue has not yet been returned.

In her e-missive, Blue claims "SFGate won't fix their offensive changes to my archives or promise not to alter my work. SF no longer has a sex columnist." Kershner wouldn't go into details, but did say "It's a standard way the archives are being treated. Her archives are not being treated any differently or altered in any way differently than anyone else's."

A Chronicle source explained to us what appears to be the source of the indignation.

After SFGate articles become several days old, they are formatted differently in a scheme aimed at bringing more Web traffic and ad revenue to the site.

Those searching for Blue's articles -- or, say, Carl Nolte's -- from Google or another outside search engine will come across articles looking like this or this. In addition to being broken into multiple pages -- more page-views! -- these articles are interlaced with sponsored Web links and Web ads. If you had searched for either of these articles from within SFGate, however, you would find versions that read like normal articles, sans multiple pages or sponsored links.

When asked why this was objectionable, the SFGate source said "You'd have to ask her." We noticed, however, that the standard versions of SFGate stories have hyperlinks to outside sites of Blue's choosing, while the "offensive" versions do not.

Blue hasn't had an article appearing on SFGate since Jan. 28. Here it is in the "offensive" formatting, and here it is standard.

Photo   |   Joi

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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