By Kevin Rector
Dave Barry doesn't think of himself as a "pure blogger," but he's been using the medium to interact with his fans ever since he retired from the Miami Herald in 2003.
The former syndicated humor columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner says he liked the idea of having a blog because he's "always thought the Internet is where we're going."
A year after he launched his blog, editors at the Miami Herald were having the same thought. They were looking for ways to increase traffic on the paper's Web site (www.miamiherald.com), Barry says, so he offered them his blog.
At first, there was confusion. "The Herald didn't have any blogs or know what blogs were when I approached them about putting it onto their site. They didn't really know what I was asking. They had to look into it," Barry says. "It was pretty funny. I think they thought I was trying to put something over on them."
But Barry, now 60, says he knew his blog was something the Herald, where he worked for 20 years, could use. "They were trying to get their site going, and I said, 'Well, my blog gets hits if you want to put it on there.' "
The editors agreed, and Barry's blog, which consists mostly of funny headlines slapped on top of links to other stories, was transformed in March 2004 from davebarry.blogspot.com to blogs.herald.com/dave_barrys_blog/.
Today, the famous funnyman's blog is one of the Herald's most popular, a reality that seems only fitting.
After all, it was Barry's personal blog that started the Herald's foray into blogging – an endeavor that now includes more than 30 editor-checked blogs responsible for attracting 1.5 million hits to the Herald site in March.###