Reading response #2

Here’s what we’re reading for next week:

The readings all relate in some way to connecting with sources and audiences. What ideas resonated most with you? What do you think you can apply to your own blog?

Post a response as a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, February 7.


12 thoughts on “Reading response #2

  1. All the readings from this week connect in that they all relate to technology and social media platforms. The Associated Press Stylebook explains how the methods of newsgathering and delivery have changed drastically by the ability to spread the news at a fast rate. Specifically, they all discuss the evolution of blogging and its advantages for journalists. One of the readings also discussed how Twitter is similar to blogging. In the textbook Journalism Next, Briggs exclaims, “All journalists should have a blog. And a Twitter account. Period.” It is made very clear that these two particular forms of social media are on the rise in journalism. Journalists should become very familiar with blogs and Twitter as they serve as a huge audience. As journalists, we are urged to have a conversation with our audience through such platforms. Blogs and Twitter are a great way for journalists to voice themselves.


  2. The readings this week were extremely helpful to me because I am currently working 2 blogs for two different classes. I wish I knew about Thompson’s 10 Questions To Help You Write Better Headlines when I was writing blogs for my previous internship and also in an English course I took. I was always so indecisive about what would make a great headline. The headline is the initial point of contact
    between the reader and writer and most times it determines if the reader will continue reading. In addition, Briggs made a good point when he said that blogging is continuing a conversation. I think that is really important that the audience is engaged in the article and they are able to have their questions answered while reading a blog post. By having a conversation you can set the tone as being formal or informal depending on the topic and type of article. That is really important when separating a factual blog post from an opinionated blog post or feature story . I plan to use both of these methods from Briggs and Thompson while writing this semester.


  3. Sophomore year of college is when I began blogging. I learned how to utilize WordPress by creating an account. After that, I’ve been using this site to blog for different companies and myself. I realized that it is hard to produce a larger audience, but the chapter helped with giving me the pointers to enhance my blog posts. The chapter explained how you can improve your blog by “Organizing your ideas; Be Direct; Be the authority, with a personality…” Those are the points that I have been struggling with on my blogs. I try to organize what I am writing so it is clear to the reader. Working on being direct would probably be the hardest for me. I have had trouble elaborating on an idea and having a steady voice. Headlines have always been a tough one for me. It is always the last thing I do once I have written a post. In the reading by Thompson, it says ““Omit needless words,” and I say that every single time I try to come up with a catchy but clear title. I really think Matt Thompson’s tips of writing better headlines will definitely help. Reading Clarks article, I agree that there is not much diversity within the newsroom and cultured based beats could stir some things up. I wrote a post on the LoHud blog title “An African American Living in a ‘Confused’ America” and the comments I received were astonishing; some were very negative and some were positive.I hope that these tips and this course will help improve my voice and writing style.


  4. The reading this week was especially informative and helpful. This is the third class I have had to keep a blog in. Inbelieve the best element I found in Briggs was “A good blog is a continuing conversation”, I believe that is true and key to maintaining a successful blog. I follow a few blogs on the side and after reading the chapter I found that that was why I kept referring back to the blogs. It kept my interest in a one-sided conversation. The blogs I follow make me feel as if there is a personal connection within them which relates back to the statement Ben Mutzabaugh stated
    in the chapter, “Readers are our friends”. I also agree with Briggs that blogging is the way of journalism now. Many sites use blogging and micro-blogging to reach their audience and keep them updated almost always instead of waiting for a printed paper. Micro-blogging also keeps interaction with the audience, Twitter allows for comments, and I also found that on my past blogs on tumblr that interaction can be good, you can know what a reader may want to know and have interest in. I felt this chapter was very useful since we are just starting out blogs and it helps us to find ways to be successful in them.


  5. The readings all tied together and resonated the evolution of technology. Specifically, blogging and how to draw in readers. Briggs states that blogging is an essential. It allows us as journalist to “distribute journalism and cultivate sources”. Social networks, like blogging and twitter are dominated by the people, our audience, knowing this, we as writers must allow it to be out instrument to build a relationship with them. While Briggs is right by saying “blogs are not magic”, its in using them the right way that gives them purpose, it just takes skill to “detection and determination” to make it work for you. This depends on the audience one wants to reach of course, yet, its ideal to try to keep your audience as wide as possible. Blogs allow personalities to show a little because their more relaxed, and attaching media can keep viewers interested. Blogs have to encourage viewers to participate, if not its just simply existing. Catchy headlines can bring in viewers, ones that are clever and original and are attached in some form to the blogs content (10 questions to help you write better headlines). They can benefit the blog greatly even though it seems like such a simple thing to do. I think this is what my blog needs, witty headlines to draw in that relate to the following text. Twitter is also an important outlet, one in which I will have to find my way into. I had never deemed twitter important enough to create, yet I can see the importance. Every outlet has a purpose when reaching your audience, its not about what makes me comfortable its about reaching where the people already are like on twitter. This is something I have to work with as well, then I can inset twitter quotes I have participated on my own blog.


  6. This week’s readings were very interesting and provided a variety of things. The main purpose of those articles were to teach us about attracting our audience and this is especially noticeable in the headlines reading. Matt Thompson showed how a headline could either break or make a story and this helped with creating my headline for a post. Instead of using a vague headline with more detail, I decided to use a question in order to engage my audience. This will allow them to challenge my point of view and show me their own perspective. In addition to the headline article, Briggs discusses the importance of microblogging and blogging to journalist. He brings in many good points about the connection to the reader and how it makes a journalist a better writer overall, which I agree with. When it comes to blogging, the writer becomes an open book. We take in the criticism from different people and that helps us grow. So I agree with importance of blogging because it allows journalist to explore a different a form of writing. Another great point that Briggs make is the power of tweeting. Twitter is a great social media tool which allows access to great stories. This allows journalist to get to the news first as well as promote their own story in a matter of seconds. So when it comes down to tweeting, I think it would be a great idea to add it to my page because I can hear from the readers. The readers would have an easier time of contacting me as well as giving me new topics for the blog too.


  7. The readings provided a lot of good insight and advice, for lack of a better word. Blogs are definitely the next step in journalism and are very useful in delivering information. Briggs touched upon it, but I’m a firm believer in the idea of blog stories being separate from the writer’s newspaper articles or website articles. I believe that’s the quintessential way of keeping an audience, which Briggs liked to point to when it comes to the reason of creating a blog. I think it depends more on the beat of the writer to deliver completely different coverage on a blog versus their main medium. For example, a sports beat. If you’re writing for a paper maybe you cover a meet/game and then on the blog you write a small profile on an important person that’s linked or explains the initial story. I can understand those ideas of the blog. I also don’t think it’s bad if you do just reproduce what you wrote somewhere else on a blog, but as we’ve seen in journalism history it comes at a loss.
    Briggs chose John Cook, a business reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, to explain reasons for blogs. “The great thing about a blog for an old-fashioned beat reporter like me is that it is journalism at its core—pounding the pavement looking for the next scoop and making sure that you stay two steps ahead of the competition” (47). On personal experience, Cook’s statement is more than just true it’s ironic. I get that it’s to stay ahead of the next reporter, but at the same time it can feel like you’re competing against yourself. You, the journalist, are looking for another story on top of looking for your initial story.
    The questions that I thought of as I read surrounded more about the journalists. From professors/professional journalists that I’ve talked to, a lot kind of oppose or opposed blogs. Is it hypocritical for journalists to criticize blogging when it has easily become the next medium to deliver up-to-date information? I’ve run a blog for another class and did somewhat ok with it. Personally, I write for the school paper and (like most students) balance 15 credits. A blog sometimes seems like overkill. My question is how do you balance it all? Allocate time?


  8. Alexsys Grishaber
    Reading response #2

    I thought the Briggs reading for this week was really great to read as we begin working on our individual blogs. There were a lot of elements in the chapter that I previously learned about in other classes and some that added more education to the topic. I agreed with Briggs when he said “a good blog is a continuing conversation”, I think that is a good way to look at how an individual should want their blog to be. A blog should be something personal yet conversational that continuously has the reader asking questions. Also, Briggs stated that a blog is not another traditional news cycle. To me, a blog is a way for any type of journalism that has a specific focus or variety beat. Blogs can attract too all kinds of readers because it can cover a wide range of topics. Whereas a newspaper or media medium may only provide a minimum range of interests. I sometimes look at blogs as fancy, newsworthy feature pieces but only because the different posts represent the writers interests and usually some up some type of information. Blogging and microblogging are now required skills for anyone seeking a career in the world of communications.
    One more thing, I really enjoyed the list of the 10 important questions to ask yourself when creating a blog. I think it’s important to keep them in mind when trying to attract an audience and gain a following.


  9. Although these readings differed in multiple ways, they wee just as similar as they are different. Thompson’s “10 Questions To Help You Write Better Headlines” focuses on what you can do to grab the attention of a reader. He emphasizes the importance of a catchy headline and makes a good point about asking yourself if the headline works out of context. “If someone were to see this headline on their twitter or Facebook feed would they get what the story is about?” He emphasizes that your title must connect and speak to your audience if you want them to listen. This ties into Clark’s article on ‘Black Twitter’ and the discussion on how different populations are connecting and interacting through twitter and social movements such as #blacklivesmatter. Recent movements such as #IfTheyGunnedMeDown and #CharlestonMassacre has allowed the medium to tell the story in their own words through social media platforms such as twitter. This is what Briggs refers to as microblogging being an instant messaging journal. I have always called platforms such as twitter, snapchat, or instagram social media, and have never referred to them as an instant messaging journal. Although I understand the point Briggs is trying to make I don’t think, at least in my generation, you can refer to social apps as instant messaging journaling. The term sounds a little dated and is not commonly used, if used at all. It is true in all the reading that we can connect with diverse audiences in ways we never have been able to before. With trending topics, hashtags, and local and national stories on snapchat it is easier than ever to connect with people around the world to hear different thoughts and opinions, which works to your advantage in every way. I think all of the readings made good and thought provoking points that all related to each other and are relevant to current day topics


    1. In my own response to thoughts on the “Black Twitter” article, I think it separates us more than unites us. What about “this is what everyone on twitter is saying” disregarding their race? In a society that thrives so much on equality, this is not showcasing it.


  10. There were a handful of things in Briggs’s reading that I thought were notable. One of the first things he says is, “if blogging started as an online journal, think of microblogging as instant messaging journal” (54). I thought this was an interesting way of describing twitter or other microblogging platforms since, at least personally, I consider the term instant messaging to be a bit outdated. Connecting to readers/audiences and sources is easier than ever. We have these new modes of communication that let us give and receive tons of feedback. I like that Briggs notes how twitter is not primarily meant for publishing but for connecting. In the past, I have heard, read or seen breaking news in some way and then I went to twitter to see what other people were saying. My question is how can we as a class use twitter to isolate or focus on the small area we are focusing our blogs on? Ironically it may be easier to target a larger area like New York or the Boroughs. One thing I will apply to my blog is the encouragement of comments. Getting feedback from readers is the only way you can know what people want to see. I am also going to try and use some of the tips Briggs brings up about changing up the formatting. Blogs are a bit looser in terms of structure so I might try doing some listicles or photo heavy posts to supplement more wordy/newsy posts. The Poynter post about headlines had some cool tips as well. The last point, about certain keywords, is something I strongly believe catches readers attention.


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