Advanced Blogging- Chapter 2 Mark Briggs

17 02 2011

To sum up this chapter, today an aspiring journalist needs to have a blog. You need to be able to keep up with all the media outlets, Twitter, Facebook and all the other web pages that are making news travel at the click of a button. Blogging is the art of keeping up an online conversation. No longer are we forced to go out and make connections first hand, because now we can turn to our cell phones, ipads, or laptops to find out what we want at any time.

  • A blog is a simple form of communication, because they’re fast, interactive, and allows you to further illustrate your story with links, videos and pictures. Blogging can help you cover a beat and build a loyal band of followers whose interactions contribute to your coverage.

 

Briggs “Blog Basics” include three characteristics that define a blog:

1. It is a frequently updated Web site with entries displayed with the most recent posts on top

2. Each entry, a post, has a headline and a body. Entries can contain links to other sites, photos and videos.

3. Most blogs allow the readers to comment on these posts.

The simplicity of the blog is what made it so popular today. You don’t have to spend hours hunched over the computer going cross-eyed staring at the screen trying to figure out how to make a web site by computer code. Nowadays, creating a blog is almost as easy as sending an email.

  • Becoming a blogger: READ OTHER BLOGS. Go straight to Google and find blogs about topics that interest you. The blogs you read, the more acquainted you become with the language and the format. Note what you like about the blog and what you would never want to look at again. I go to about five everyday, all of which are either music blogs or food blogs, but still I’m at least getting out into the world of blogging.

 

 

  • Customize your blog. Now don’t go crazy and put flash animation with sparkling pink fireworks all over the place, and please don’t add a little icon that follows your mouse around the screen. Those are quite frankly annoying. Make it appealing and use basic CSS to customize the style and feel of your blog. For an example, you can do this by uploading your own header image, the picture at the top of your blog. Customize it to reflect something about you or the topic your writing about. Widgets are also something to add personality to your blog. They are small applications that can be added to any Web page, for example a search bar, or an RSS feed.

 

  • Build an audience for your blog. Post early and post often, so people can rely on you to get fresh news daily and at the start of their day. Know what your reader wants, by looking at comments and your most popular posts. A good blogger knows how to keep their readers interested by knowing how to clearly communicate and idea, news or analysis quickly.

If you’re looking for any inspiration, check out TIME magazines best blogs of 2010 here.


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