Life According to Krista

Feb 02

“Blogs have forever changed the way that information is shared in our society. They’re fast. They’re interactive” (Briggs, 42).

The second chapter of the Journalism Next book is all about blogging.

Mark Briggs recommends every college journalist start a blog, as it is great practice for the real world of journalism.

He says creating a blog is a great tool to:

  • Learn a new content-management system
  • Build an audience for your writing
  • Report and cultivate a collaborative community once you have an audience

Blogs are great tools for anyone to share their opinion with the world. They help show different perspectives, share ideas and quickly give out information instantaneously.

There are blogs on any subject matter you may be interested in. Go to Technorati.com to see the top 100 blogs.

There are different terms that bloggers use in their writings. Here are a few of the most common words that Mark Briggs found important:

  • Post: an entry on a blog.
  • Permalink: a link available to view a specific post by itself. Comments are also available for viewing on this page.
  • Trackback: a function that allows bloggers to see when someone has reposted their material through a link.
  • Blogroll: links the blogger posts to the side of their site. They help the reader see what sites the blogger may enjoy going to and find other useful websites.
  • Vlog: a video blog with room for commentary.
  • Moblog: blogging from a mobile device.

To begin creating a blog, Briggs recommends using a site like WordPress or Blogger. He says they are both fairly simple websites that offer tutorials on how to start your blog.

The next step for a new blogger is to come up with a creative name for their site. When doing this, the user will have to come up with a domain name for their blog as well as a title to go at the top of their page.

Finally, to finish the setup of a blog, you must choose a theme that is visually appealing and goes along with the type of blog you are creating. There are simple themes already set up or you can customize your page.

Mark Briggs then goes on to talk about gaining an audience for your blog. He says that it is imperative that a blogger “knows what readers want and can clearly and effectively communicate an idea, news or analysis quickly” (Briggs, 55).

Content and immediacy are key for a successful blog.

Here are a few tips Briggs gives when beginning your writing as a blogger (these can be found in more detail on page 60 of his Journalism Next book):

  • Organize your ideas
  • Be direct
  • Be the authority, with a personality
  • Make your posts scanable
  • Link, summarize, and analyze
  • Be specific with headlines
  • Have a good attitude
  • Use photos and screenshots

Mark Briggs also emphasizes the importance of posting daily to keep the audience coming back to your site.

He also says it is important for the content on your blog to relate to the audience, meaning you will have to investigate what is going on in the community. Nothing makes a person want to keep reading more than a story that they can easily relate to.

Lastly, to gain a larger audience, make sure to comment to other people’s blogs, signing off with your blog name. People who read the comments may be interested enough to go see what your blog is about. Link other blogs to your own posts; you never know if the author will repay the favor.

Happy blogging!

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