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The art of the blog

Posted by: | December 3, 2009 | No Comment |

How about this for irony? Writing a blog about the art of blogging.

The word ‘blog‘ comes from the phrase “web log.” It is one of the newer forms of journalism, and it will forever change the way journalists work, and how their field will be conducted.

According to Mitchell Stephens, who authored “A History of News,” … “The blog took journalism by surprise and by storm in the years after turn of the millennium.” He notes that blogs are often reported, written, edited and produced by just one person. 

Professor Klein, who has his own cycling blog, said that blogs give everybody an opportunity to be their own publisher. Stephens doesn’t disagree, but he does however argue that everybody having the ability to publish for themselves is both good and bad. Good because we can be our own journalists, but bad because people who are blogging are often times respected as journalists — even if they are just spewing rumors.

Some blogs are trustworthy enough to be credentialed to White House events. The Huffington Post, which calls itself the ‘internet newspaper’ is one of these blogs. Additionally, some blogs are terrific at breaking news accurately. Take, for example, the Drudge Report, which Stephens calls “the first notable blog.” The drudge report, run by Matt Drudge, gained it’s initial notoriety for being the first news outlet to break the news that Bill Clinton was having an affair.

Stephens points out that bloggers are, “free with opinion, free with rumors and speculation, and often early with important analysis and facts.” Stephens says that blogs can reach everybody, because we can all have them. “Porn stars, students, even journalism professors,” he said. By 2004, bloggers — some well researched and others who knew nothing about what they were writing about — were having a great impact on Presidential elections.

One important aspect of a blog that Stephens didn’t call attention to is the idea that readers can leave comments to the author. That interaction between the writer and the reader is something that newspapers cannot provide as instantly as online publishers can.

This is the part of my blog on blogs, where I should give you a few tips on writing for the web: 
   A) Short paragraphs, indented by double-entering rather than tabbing over
   B) Using many links, pictures and videos … because that is what makes a blog different than a newspaper story
   C) Tagging topics to make searching for subjects easier

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