09 Feb 2010   3340 News Blogs
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09 Feb 2010 3340 News Blogs

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UNT Professor Neil Foote's course notes

UNT Professor Neil Foote's course notes

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09 Feb 2010   3340 News Blogs 09 Feb 2010 3340 News Blogs Presentation Transcript

  • Role of blogs University of North Texas Department of Journalism Online Journalism 3340 February 9, 22010
  • Today’s class
    • Tool of the day
    • Blogging
    • Homework Due Thursday
  • What is a blog?
    • A Blog (a contraction of the term "Web log") is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.
    Source: http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/
  • What is a blog? Cont.
    • The Blogosphere is the collective community of all blogs.
    • Since all blogs are on the Internet by definition, they may be seen as interconnected and socially networked.
    • Discussions "in the Blogosphere" have been used by the media as a gauge of public opinion on various issues.
    Source: http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/
  • Blogs defined…
    • Blurring lines between what is a blog and what is a mainstream media site become less clear.
    • Larger blogs are taking on more characteristics of mainstream sites and mainstream sites are incorporating styles and formats from the Blogosphere.
    • In fact, 95% of the top 100 US newspapers have reporter blogs (see The Bivings Group).
    Source: http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/
  • Source: http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/
  • What is blogging?
    • A truly global phenomenon: Technorati tracked blogs in 81 languages in June 2008, and bloggers responded to our survey from 66 countries across six continents.
    • Integral part of the internet
      • Bloggers have been at it an average of three years and are collectively creating close to one million posts every day. Blogs have representation in top-10 web site lists across all key categories, and have become integral to the media ecosystem.
  • Who’s blogging?
    • Not a homogenous group: Personal, professional, and corporate bloggers all have differing goals and cover an average of five topics within each blog.
    • Savvy and sophisticated: On average, bloggers use five different techniques to drive traffic to their blog. They’re using an average of seven publishing tools on their blog and four distinct metrics for measuring success.
    • Intensifying their efforts based on positive feedback: Blogging is having an incredibly positive impact on their lives, with bloggers receiving speaking or publishing opportunities, career advancement, and personal satisfaction.
  • Source: http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/who-are-the-bloggers/
  • Source: http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/who-are-the-bloggers/
  • Source: http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/who-are-the-bloggers/
  •  
  • Future of blogs
    • “ The future of blogs will have arrived when you check your favorite blog for sports news in the morning, instead of your local paper.”
    • Richard MacManus, Founder / Editor, ReadWriteWeb, www.readwriteweb.com
  • Journalists & Blogs
    • ‘ I was surprised at just how much these journalists felt their work had been changed by the simple act of blogging.’
      • Paul Bradshaw, When Journalists Blog: How It Changes What They Do, Nieman Reports, Winter 2008 ( http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reportsitem.aspx?id=100696 )
  • How blogging makes a difference
    • “ Cutting out the middleman”
      • No guessing on who the readers are:
        • They’re reading the reporters’ blogs
        • Sources are going directly to reporters
          • Diminished role of public relations professionals
      • Blogs generating story leads
        • Creating a greater variety of sources
        • Fueling debate on hot stories
        • Readers as integral parts of the story development
  • How blogging makes a difference
    • Blogs generating story leads
        • Creating a greater variety of sources
        • Fueling debate on hot stories
        • Readers as integral parts of the story development
        • “ Putting a call out” for information
        • Reporting a “two-way, on-going” process
        • Collaboration/crowdsourcing
        • Ability to gather more information than you need
    • “ On hot-button stories where our readers are asking a lot of questions, we post updates every time we make a phone call. For example, [a company] declared bankruptcy and the new owner wouldn’t take the previous owner’s gift cards.
    • “ Our readers were peeved and hounding us to do something. The corporate folks weren’t saying anything so we didn’t have any new information to report. Because we didn’t have any new info, we didn’t write anything in the paper.
    • “ But on our blog, we would post updates at least daily to tell people when we left a message and if we had heard back yet. We eventually scored an interview with the new CEO and posted it in its entirety on our site.
    • “ Another reporter saw it and called us. We swapped info. Our readers also post links to other stories on the topic from other news orgs.” (Respondent 63, US, newspapers)
  • How blogging makes a difference cont.
    • More stories, quicker
      • “ Speed, depth, informality” (Matheson, 2004)
      • Ability to post shorter stories as the story is evolving – why wait for a “deadline”?
      • Aggressive coverage of a story while integrating relevant links:
        • “ Covering what you do best and linking to the rest,” Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine.com
      • Stories have more legs, more voices
      • Stories as conversations
  • How blogging makes a difference cont. Source: http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2008/10/15/blogging-journalists-pt2-blogs-and-news-ideas-the-canary-in-the-mine/
  • How blogging makes a difference cont.
    • Stories just don’t die
      • No limitations due to space, deadlines
      • No constraints on distribution
        • “ Everybody is a paperboy/girl.” (Bradshaw, 2008)
      • No more “file and forget”
      • Once published, there are comments
      • Follow up, new leads, new information
      • Add, correct information
    Source: http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2008/10/15/blogging-journalists-pt2-blogs-and-news-ideas-the-canary-in-the-mine/
  • Changing relationships with audience
  • What’s this mean?
    • Audience becomes more familiar with reporter
    • Journalists feel:
      • More accountable
      • More exposed
      • More obliged to interact, respond, talk to audience: No more hiding for fear of being called out
  • Overall impact blogs & journalism
    • Hugely positive
    • Increased SEO: Search engine optimization
    • Increased site traffic
    • Greater interaction with audience
  • “ Beat Blogging”
    • “ Rolodex 2.0”, says Patrick Thornton, editor, beatblogging.org .
      • Find out what people are thinking
      • Generate ideas
      • Constant updating
    • DallasNews.com :
      • http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com /
  • Key Terms
    • Permalink
      • A direct link to your post
    • Trackback/Pingback
      • Allows bloggers to follow you
      • Attracts spam
    • Vlog: video blog
  • Making blogs work
    • Link, summarize, analyze
      • Get to the point
      • Be sharp, precise, poignant
    • Write strong, catchy headlines
      • Avoid cutesy
      • Preview, tweak, hook
    • Speak with authority & personality
  • Attracting viewers
    • Become a student of the subject
      • Read, read, read similar sites
    • Write daily
    • Respond comments
    • Use photos, screenshots
  • Creating Interactivity
  • Attracting visitors
  • Generating revenue? Source: http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/blogging-for-profit/
  • Generating revenue? Source: http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/blogging-for-profit/
  • How much revenue? Ad Costs? Source: http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/blogging-for-profit/