Blog: man’s best friend

In my History and Issues of Journalism class (a.k.a. “The Past, Present and Future of News”), we’ve discussed news in America as it has traveled through newspapers, radio, TV, Internet news, and, today, blogging.

We heard a professor refer to blogging as “participatory journalism”–the future of journalism is a move away from the “lecture” style of reporting and more toward a “seminar” style. That means that regular people like us can just report whatever we want and be our own journalists.

Is my blog journalism? I write it more for entertainment rather than education, and I assume that’s why you read it.

The professor asked our class of 200 future journalists who keeps a blog, and maybe four or five people raised their hands. That surprised me. Why don’t more people–especially journalists, but everyone else too–keep blogs?

You don’t have to write about the news. Write about your life (but no details that could get you in trouble…), write Seinfeld-esque observations, write your opinions on anything. If you have something to say, why not say it?

People my age are searching for unique ways to get their news (loosely defined) and to be entertained. We’re looking for things to do online when our friends have not recently updated their Facebook profiles, when our instant messaging buddies are all away, and when we’ve exhausted our online news sites.

Fill the gap for us. Entertain us. Talk to us.

Blog to us.

If you’re a writer, a blog is a great way to practice your writing abilities and more clearly define your writing style. Are you funny? Satirical? A complainer? All or none of the above? Explore your voice.

Not a writer?
-Speak through photos.
-Or write in bullet points (illustrated here).
If you have something to say, you’ll find a way to say it.

Convinced, but technologically challenged? I’ve been satisfied with Livejournal’s level of user-friendliness–you need not learn HTML. There’s also Blogger, WordPress, and other blogging sites. It’s not rocket science.

When I start writing papers but don’t quite know where to begin, my dad always has the right advice for me: “Just start typing.” Type, and see what comes out. Chances are someone will listen.

(To my friends who already blog–you’re great. Keep doing what you’re doing.)

I’ll stop talking and let you start. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Ready, set, blog!

Editor’s note: When I spell-checked this entry, the words “blog,” “blogging,” “online,” and “Livejournal” were all considered to be misspelled. Gotta love the Internet.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Blog: man’s best friend

  1. I’m surprised that this is the first time you’ve said something along these lines. Did you just come to the realization that blogging is a form of journalism? Or were you waiting for someone to back up the claims?

    The Houston Chronicle utilizes blogging and bloggers by having a “Voices of Houston” section on their website. (It might be in the paper too, but I don’t have a subscription.)

    CNN and Fox News have also both started using bloggers for news stories. Often, bloggers get where others cannot, and, without expecting payment, broadcast their findings to the world.

    Livejournal is easy to use, but it’s far from good. In fact, the only reason I continue to use it is because so many friends do, and it’s very good for interaction (ie. friends page.)

    Blogger is a far better tool, even allowing free audioblogs via telephone. WordPress is by far the best tool that I have found for free, and I will be using it for my Nativ blog. The preliminary setup (as it is so far) for my Nativ blog can be found at http://nativ.nathan-miller.com. Of course, it still has work to be done, but I’m experimenting with stuff.

    And to conclude, I agree with you fully. More people should blog – it’s a low-maintenance, low-bandwidth medium with a large potential audience. But of course, it’s also important that blogging doesn’t become low-level as well.

  2. Lia, I took your advice (uh, wait, it was MY advice!) and I just started typing.

    How are Blogs and Dogs similar? How are they different?

    Blog: Must be maintained daily.
    Dog: Must be maintained daily.

    Dog: May deposit filth on the carpet.
    Blog: May deposit filth on the Internet.

    Dog: Must be kept on a leash.
    Blog: Authors are totally unleashed.

    Dog: Can be warm and furry.
    Blog: Can be warm and fuzzy.

    Dog: Has bad breath.
    Blog: Might have bad ideas.

    Dog: Can be taught to fetch a newspaper.
    Blog: May eventually replace the newspaper.

    Blog: Short form of “web log.”
    Dog: Reverse form of “God.”

    Dog: Your comments are incomprehensible to him.
    Blog: Your comments are incomprehensible to the whole Internet.

    Dog: When he has a bowel movement, you clean it up and there is no evidence it ever existed.
    Blog: When it has a bowel movement, it can foul up the Internet forever.

    Dog: Biting.
    Blog: Biting wit.

    Dog: Can rescue you in an avalanche.
    Blog: If you survive the avalanche, you can write about it in your blog.

    – Your Dad

  3. I’m just not quite sure if my blog is “journalism.” Is it “journalism” to write about silly stories I’ve heard and to make up non-existent classes? Maybe the world will never know.

  4. You’re just itching to get your own blog. ITCHING. Come on, scratch that itch! Just start typing…into a WordPress Web site or something and call it a blog. It’s fun!

  5. It certainly is more of journalism than this is:

    (found at the “recent posts” on livejournal.com) http://zophar.livejournal.com/ – My favorite line: “I love you Becky, if you’re reading this.” Good to know his loyalty only extends as far as his readership.

    Anyways, most of what we write doesn’t fit under the usual definition of journalism, but some of what we write can indeed be so classified.

    Whenever we document something that occurs in the world, it’s journalism. When it occurs to someone else, and we observe it, it’s even more so. When we quote someone else on the topic, it rounds out to a regular NY Times article!

    Here are some recent examples from your journal and mine which I consider journalism. (Actually I picked both because I liked them especially, but many others qualify as other types of journalism too!)

    -Nathan!

  6. Mr. Lehrer/Jonathan (Lia is unsure what I should call you. I said Jonathan because I’ve met you. She said Mr. Lehrer because it’d be polite. All I know is that my mom likes to be called May, since that’s her name.) –

    I think that you should get a blog too. I have outlined the reasons why:
    You are amusing. (Most “bloggers” are not. Bor-ang.)
    I would read your thoughts (or thoughtlessness… I’m not picky!)
    You already have your own domain, on which you can easily install WordPress. (It’s very simple. Then use a subdirectory.)
    Seriously, what could be more fun than knowing that a bunch of college students read your thoughts everyday? I submit that there is nothing.

    -Nathan

  7. I too would read your blog. This is mainly because it would be well written and filled with puns and Jewish/music humor. However, it is also because if I did not read your blog, your son would ask me if I had and be disappointed that I had not and then pull it up on his computer and have me read it. So yes, I would certainly read your blog.

    And that is reason enough not to have one. Just ask Lia.

    Rachel

  8. Reason enough not to have one? Just ask me? What?

    And is that what Michael does with my blog–forces you to read it?

  9. Heehee, its not annoying to have me constantly reading about your life? That is good to know – I would hate to be a nuisance!

    And Michael doesnt FORCE me to read your blog… but he does constantly ask me if I have, causing me to read it by habit in order to preempt his asking me.

  10. No, it’s great that you read about my life! I wish you kept your blog so I could read about yours. Instead, I have to rely on your (sometimes cryptic) away messages.

    I had no idea Michael was such a big fan of my blog!! Wow. Thanks, Mike!! You rock.

  11. Well I make no promises that he actually LIKES your blog, but he does read it. 😉

    And I happen to like my (often cryptic – and with good reason!) away messages.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s