If you are just starting a blog I think Blogher is a good way to gain readers. For people that would rather take an individualistic approach, then blog networking may just be a short term option. I find the website to be a mix of just about everything, which I think is more of a negative than a positive, if someone is just looking for one specific type of blog. However, you can find just about whatever you want to read on Blogher, if you are interested in reading multiple genres without having a variety of sites to go to. Blogher’s real intention is to be a starting point for people looking to gain a readership base. And it’s like a social networking site for bloggers, though couldn’t Twitter essentially be the same thing? If you really think about it, themed blogs such as sports and cooking with multiple authors operate as a blogging social network, the only difference being that most are established authors and bloggers. I don’t really prefer this type of blogging because attention can easily be drawn away from your own blog post with the multitude of different bloggers, some with and some without the same subject that you are writing about.
Pedley, Paul. International phenomenon? Amateur Journalism? Legal Minefield?: Why Information Professionals can’t afford to ignore weblogs. Business Information Review, 2005. http://bir.sagepub.com/content/22/2/95.full.pdf+html
This article argues that there are certain areas of information professions have many uses for blogs, while others don’t. For librarians and informative professions, blogs can be important for disseminating information that isn’t necessarily related to current events–more historical based events. For current events, a blog is updated as the event is happening, maybe good for a quick reference or to understand what is going on, but not to critically analyze historic events. That begs the question of how much time in between posts determines whether the blog can be used for informative or critically analyzed uses. One of the weaknesses of weblog journalism is the amateurity of the author. The author may have a particular bias and omit or alter facts to fit the audience who the blogger is writing for. Cataloging blogs makes them useful for current affairs to compare to with past events, because the blog is updated often. There are also legal implications from blogging such as workplace etiquette and journalistic integrity issues, leading blogging to become less like journalism. But Pedley argues that because corporate companies are now using blogs, blogging is becoming more mainstream journalism.
JD Lasica – Nieman Reports, 2003 – socialmediaclub.pbworks.com
In this article, J.D. Lasica asks if blogging has anything to do with journalism if it doesn’t follow journalistic standards. Lasica details so called “random acts of journalism” of people who either record video or take down live events with words. Lasica believes that micro-content delivered to niche audiences is news and information. The concept is an accurate one. Certain groups of people enjoy certain types of news, and they rely on a variety of sources to get that information. A whole new news and entertainment market is opened up through blogging. Lasica describes it as a new media “ecosystem”. Readers also become part of the news process. Lasica even argues that web blogs influence journalism–by pushing the envelope on important or interesting news stories, enhancing the reader’s trust, and by giving journalism a personal feel along with a professional one in blogging. While all blogging isn’t journalism, Lasica believes that weblogs are important to the journalistic world, and even further the journalistic process.
Linearity in writing is an interesting concept. We tend to write like we talk, and often find ourselves making grammatical and stylistic errors. I think we tend to talk in a stream-of-consiousness mode, and that is how we structure our blogs. I think Lupton idicates that linearity is a distinct and concrete form of writing, and that each writing format has its own style. In my annotated bib analysis, I found an article with classified blogs into certain levels of journalistic writing rules and I think that it can apply to blogs as well. I think Lupton also indicates linearity as being a stripped-down writing style, as she categorizes tables of contents, footnotes, abstracts, indicies etc. as moving away from the linear format. Essentially she is characterizing the actual writing content as the linear form, and the additional sources and infomation lead the reader away from a linear format. I think the blog is in a linear form, as Lupton suggests. The writing is the centerpiece, and there are no additional sources or notes added to the writing, keeping the blogging form stylistically original. I think linearity also means simplicity, and that a blog is perfect representation of how to keep writing simple yet informative, and also stripped down.
Domingo D and A Heinonen – “Weblogs and Journalism: A Typology to Explore the Blurring Boundaries”. Nordicom Review, 2008 – jclass.umd.edu/classes/jour698m/domingoblogs.pdf.
Singer, Jane B. “The political j-blogger”. Sage Publications, 2005. http://jou.sagepub.com/content/6/2/173.full.pdf+html.
The first article deals with the perceived “blurring of lines” journalism and blogging. The authors believe that blogging is a new form of news communication, and can be treated as journalism. They classify various forms of blogging in “institutions,” categories of communicative effectiveness. The relationship in how people receive media has changed, they argue, and change the traditional rules of institutionalized journalism.
In the second article, the author follows the development of political blogs as a force in determining the outcomes of elections. The author cites the first use of the internet in political campaigns by Vermont Governor Howard Dean as a revolutionary force in changing the outcomes of elections. Blogs became a form of political participation, and viewed in a more journalistic light. The author refers to this phenomenon as a j-blogger.
The Triangle is a sports blog from sports writer Bill Simmons on his sports and pop culture website, Grantland. The writing quality of the blog is excellent. Each of the writers that contribute to the sports blog offer insightful analysis of sports. The writing is specific, usually assessing the costs for teams in their personnel decisions as well as analyzing any future outcomes for the teams. The writing is very focused, and the title of the piece usually reflects the focus of the piece, so readers know exactly what they are reading. Each writer has his own take on what happened in the sports world, and occasionally the writers will banter back and forth over their opinions. The site makes use of whitespace, and a large picture. The site is neatly organized, so the reader doesn’t get lost in the previous day’s posts and articles. There is even a tab for what the reader missed that dates back several weeks! The site also has minimal ads. The writing inspires debate amongst the readers, and communicates effectively towards them. The voice of the writers mixes between formal and casual, but since there are some many writers, you never know how they will write, unless you follow them regularly.
Nude media is how it sounds. The embellishments are stripped down, and the information is the primary focus for media displayed in this way. For people looking for strictly information, and not wanting to get bogged down by the layout of the blog, nude media posts are a quick and easy read. Lauren Dicioccio’s paintings are a good representation of new media. While the color representing the text can be considered an embellishment, the painting is put together in a simple formatting. There are no pictures, no banners, and no other layout techniques for her paintings, just the paint in a simple construction. Her painting layouts resemble newspaper or online articles stripped of their layout features. Nude media article says the stripping down of the work represents stability for the author’s content, and poses almost no distraction to readers. Whereas an article from CNN might include multiple commercial advertisements, colors, slow loading time, and maybe even a video or multiple pictures. However, the stripping down of commerical signifiers may confuse a reader, or lead them to not knowing the source of the information. Goldsmith does point out that any information posted on the internet will always be subject to manipulation and reconstruction, further removed from their own sources. Dicioccio’s paintings echo that idea, and we didn’t see the images posted on her site, then we would have no way of knowing they were hers.