Sunday, March 12, 2006

More on Blogging

I've gotten some mixed feedback from journalism students (some posted, some in class) on my previous post on blogging, where I quoted newspaper executives at the recent Rethinking Journalism Education summit who said they'd give bloggers an edge when it came to hiring.

Some students view blogs as online personal diaries that are of little value to news audiences. Sure, there are lots of "online journals" out there, but many savvy media writers and media organizations are also experimenting with blogs in interesting (and, I would argue, valuable) ways. Here are a few examples:
  • The Editors Weblog, published by the World Editors Forum, offers "editorial solutions for the newspaper renaissance." It covers trends in news reporting, editing and news coverage worldwide.
  • NewMediaMusings, a blog by J.D. Lasica, former editor of the Sacramento Bee and now a writer, blogger, media consultant and director of, a grassroots citizen media project.
  • VisualEditors blog, the news editing and design network, offers comments and links to news on the media.
Public relations practioners and marketers are also figuring out the value of blogging. Here are some examples:
  • AdRants, a blog/website that combines commentary on advertising, marketing and media trends with "a pinch of attitude."
  • Church of the Customer blog, an informative (and self-promoting) blog by two marketers, Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba, on the effects of word of mouth on customer loyalty and "customer evangelism."
  • Micropersuasion, a blog by Edelman Senior VP Steve Rubel that "explores how new technologies are transforming marketing, media and public relations."
  • PR meets the WWW, a blog on public relations, communication, and the World Wide Web of new technologies, by Constantin Basturea, founder of NewPR Wiki and co-organizer of Global PR Blog Week.
You might also want to check out this recent PR Week article, Blogging becoming an asset in agency eye, by Keith O'Brien, who notes that PR agencies are hiring top bloggers. Here's an excerpt:
Has blogging changed from a liability to an asset in the PR job market?

During the nascent days of blogging, when both emerging and large corporations were firing staffers for blogging-related offenses, the jury was out on whether blogging was a nefarious habit, to be hidden when applying for jobs, or a positive career move.

The recent ascension of two high-profile bloggers - Steve Rubel, formerly of CooperKatz, and Jeremy Pepper, formerly of his own firm Pop PR, who were hired by Edelman and Weber Shandwick, respectively - suggests the negative valence of blogging has turned positive. Indeed, today's more pressing question isn't whether you can get a job if you blog, but, rather, whether you can get a job without a blog.

Well, the short answer is yes, but it's more complicated than that.... (direct link to the rest of this story)

It's still possible to argue that blogging is just the "fad du jour," but I think it's getting harder. I think blogging is a significant emerging medium. In fact, you could say blogs are to the World Wide Web what cable TV is to television. (Of course, you might argue that blogs are like HGTV and the Oxygen channel, not ESPN, HBO and MTV...and I'd probably agree.)

Let me be clear: this doesn't mean I think everyone should run out and become a blogger. That wouldn't work. My point is that we ignore emerging technologies (and new mediums) at our own peril.

The media world is changing and we've got to change with it...or be left behind.

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