Tips for journalist bloggers

It’s time for some short-takes: stuff I find interesting around the blogosphere for journalist bloggers:

Blogger tip — be alert: I’ve visited this topic before, but it warrants repeating. You can’t blog in your niche well unless you’re reading what others are saying and know what’s going on in the news. One way to do that is to set up alerts through Google. I’d recommend an alert for your name (you want to eavesdrop on what’s being said about you) and your niche. Darren Rowse, at ProBlogger, offers some great reasons why you should do this, and he gives a step by step how-to.

Beatblogging: Great post at BeatBlogging that explains that a journalist with a blog isn’t necessarily a beatblogger. Beatblogging requires a two-way communication with the reader — through comments, through e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, you name it. I love this post because it points out that the interaction has value on its own — not just as a means to bump up blog hits. Yes, interaction may do that; but the value is in conversing with readers.  The post also gives great list of best practices for beatblogging. (Full disclosure: The post mentions my Family Life blog as a beatblog.)

Online first:  Martin Langeveld  blogs at the Nieman Journalism Lab about how newspapers must change themselves to become online-first.  Among his suggestions:  blow up the organizational structure, connect with readers on social networks they already use (like Facebook);  rethink work flow; outsource the irrelevant. I’d add one more: Build on existing online applications that work, rather than create your own. That way — you go to the reader, rather than force the reader to come to you.

Be you: As I’ve said many times before, blogging is a personal medium. It’s not a news story online, although beatbloggers will report news. Blogs need to have personality — your personality. So how do you be you online? The Daily Blonde has some great tips for doing that. Best takeaway: “People want real.”

Using social media: Mashable reports on the Colonel Tribune, the Twitter face of the Chicago Tribune. Daniel Honigman, Tribune Interactive’s  social media strategist, told Mashable the colonel was created last year because the Tribune realizes people were conversing outside its Web site, so the colonel is a way to join the conversation — be the voice on the Web. I like this idea because it uses social media to join a conversation, not just to drive up Web hits. The colonel has become so popular he holds regular tweetups (in person gatherings of people who met on Twitter.) Cool idea.

Gina

7 thoughts on “Tips for journalist bloggers

  1. Thanks for the (digital) ink on the Col. He’s become a great way for us to uncover and create new audiences, but also just to meet folks we never would have met otherwise.

    The fact is that 99.9% of any given conversation about your news story is not on your site. Why not be a part of the conversation there? It makes no sense not to.

  2. @Daniel

    I really like that approach. It makes so much sense. Wish every paper thought that way.

    I actually “met” Colonel Tribune today on Twitter. (I retweeted one of his links, and we “conversed” on Twitter.) Kind of neat.

    – Gina

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