For those who would like to start blogging or individuals who have a blog currently, blogging is an essential part to the information highway because of how many individuals can access the information instantaneously. The conversation of any topic becomes more inclusive and changes the traditional dynamics of accessing information from print or a television format. Blogging has a unique place in the journalism environment in that it does not have to be a whole entire story within a certain time frame. The story can either have as much detail as possible or it can just display the most important parts of the story that the blogger feels will grab the reader’s attention. Some problems can occur when the blogger is creating content for a live blog and the information can change hour by hour and keeping readers up to date with the most recent details is tricky. As explained by Matt Wells in “How live blogging has transformed journalism” he makes some really valid points as to some of the problems if you decide to do a live blog. “They require careful, continuous signposting to guide the reader to the story’s main points. When comments run into the hundreds, they need curating and managing. If done badly, they can descend into a mishmash of tweets and comments without context.” I believe that if you can keep up with a certain issue going on the in current news cycle then it should not be a problem making sure that each post is updated and reflecting what is going on by the minute.
The essentials of what makes a blog a blog is that it has a voice and particularly a voice that keeps readers hooked and wanting more interesting content. If the content is not written in a format that can grasp the reader and also provide them with information that they are expecting on your blog which depends on what niche you would like to get into. As explained by Joshua Fields Millburn in How to Start a Successful Blog Today “You needn’t have a niche, but it helps. What are you passionate about? Running? Cooking? Being a parent? Have you found your passion? If so, whatever it is, write about that.” If you do offer a unique perspective on a subject, then you should by all means go ahead and write what you are most passionate about. Other things to consider is also the theme of the blog. You want to make sure it portrays exactly what you expect your readers to obtain from reading and following your blog. This does not mean that you can’t go off topic for a some of your blog posts, but constancy is the key to keeping the audience you are trying to reach.
Journalism absolutely has been changed by blogging because of the fact that both bloggers and readers can jump onto a computer and find a topic they are most interested in. The ability to filter out what you don’t what and to focus on what you want to read is an excellent option given to us because of the creation of social media and blog sites. The information is at our finger tips making the content more fluid in that you have people who are directly experiencing a particular event or story and those who are linking to it because they feel that their readers would benefit from the story. The “old” or “traditional” ways of journalism are declining because news is not centralized from a couple of news formats is is now broadcast and in this case blogged out to the masses.
This goes back to earlier in the discussion about blogging being important and I would say yes it is very important. It provides different points of view with the ability of readers to also engage the blogger and also other readers with comments on what they feel about the information presented. Bogs serves a purpose by providing a platform for those who have a passion and a perspective that they could provide because of their own personal experiences. Also because there are many blogs that will most likely be in the same category as your own blog, you can research and read other blogs and sources that can complement your own writing. Another great point about blogs is that you have the option to keep the conversation simple without too much emphasis on different parts of the story. This way you can keep what you feel would distract the reader and place the most important parts at the beginning of the blog. A great point explained by Joshua Fields Millburn is “No need to place superfluous advertisements or widgets all over your site; stick to the basics and remove anything you don’t need, remove anything that doesn’t add value.” Making sure the blog is not only easy enough to read but also making sure readers can access the content at a later time also lets your audience know that you can keep a structured blog.
Comments for your blog is also a great way to keep track of what your readers love the most about you content and what they don’t enjoy so much. You may get visitors who will try to get a response out of you with actually reading your content, but that is kind of expected when creating a blog. Don’t let this type of comments distract you and prevent you from keeping your voice and what you are passionate about when writing. Social media is a great way to link with those visiting your blog and also linking with other bloggers. This should not be your main priority because you could get too focused on updating social media accounts instead of your blog. If you have the theme and passion down, then make sure you do have a long term goal for your site. Having a sense of what you would like to see down the road for your blog site is a great way to making sure that readers can depend on seeing the same type of content years later.