Tag Archives: blogging

DailyFinance: Handpicked Media and the benefits of blog networks

The DailyFinance profiles Handpicked Media, an independent blogs network covering women’s fashion, beauty and lifestyle which has recently signed up new blogs and added Debbie Djordjevic, former editorial director at Hearst Digital, to its ranks.

Bloggers and the publishers get together every six weeks or so socially, and blogs keep 65 per cent of the revenue earned from their sites.

That revenue is generated because, as a collective with key opinion-formers and influential bloggers on its rosta, Handpicked can bring in more advertising and create more opportunities than any single blog, presenting agencies and advertisers with a single point of contact.

Full story on DailyFinance at this link…

How many US newspaper blogs are edited?

US media ethics project StinkyJournalism has done some digging into the issue of blogs on newspaper websites and whether these posts fall under the same editing process as other items on the site.

During the recent financial downturn, some US newspapers, including the Seattle Post Intelligencer and the Christian Science Monitor, have stopped publishing print editions altogether, opting for online-only editions. All major US newspapers have a representative internet presence and publish much more content online than they could fit into their print editions. Along with this change, social media as an integrated tool plays a role in the news landscape now more than ever. However, these changes also raise questions about ethics, legal issues and journalistic standards.

Therefore, StinkyJournalism thought it would be worthwhile to learn more about how newspapers manage blogs published on their websites. We looked at 10 major US newspapers and their 591 published blogs. We categorized the blogs based on their content and took notice of the blogs’ authors. Some of the results were unexpected, even surprising.

You can read the full results of the study at this link on the StinkyJournalism site, but some key findings were:

  • 404 of 591 (68 per cent) blogs published by newspapers were edited, according to the newspapers themselves;
  • Only eight of the 591 blogs – 1 per cent – dealt with traditional news;
  • Seven of the 10 newspapers studied said they edit all blogs.


Nieman Journalism Lab: How Gannett Blog works its niche

An interesting look at a media “watchdog” blog based in the US – Gannett Blog, run by former Gannett employee Jim Hopkins, is an unrivalled source of information on the newspaper publisher and media group.

Two things are striking about the description of Gannett Blog and Hopkins’ work in this article, firstly the description of working on a specialist subject:

Gannett, with its 80 dailies and 23 TV stations, “is like a small city,” Hopkins says, “and I’m a beat reporter. I can find things going on on a daily basis.”

And secondly, it’s “water cooler”, open comments feature:

An innovation on Gannett Blog, inspired by the fact that comments were getting more pageviews than anything else on the blog, is the open-ended “real-time comments” post that’s always at the top of the page. It simply says, “Can’t find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum.” Hopkins refreshes that post once a week; it often garners more than 100 comments – far more than his typical posts do.

Hopkins calls this the “water cooler” – a place to “come and see what other people are thinking about.”

Full story on Nieman Journalism Lab at this link…

Twitter clarifies guideline on tweet screenshots

On Friday, Twitter announced its new look as well as some updated guidelines. There was one guideline in particular that raised questions for online publishers.

Don’t: Use screenshots of other people’s profiles or Tweets without their permission.

But following requests from techcrunch.com for clarification, Twitter indicated that these rules are not aimed at the news media, in print or online.

This isn’t a new part of the policy and was stated in the guidelines before. This serves primarily to protect users from their tweets being used as endorsements without their knowledge. Public tweets are public. But if you’re going to use tweets in static form (e.g. in a publication), you should have permission from the author/user. For instance, if someone famous were to tweet about liking something and then it was used on a billboard.

This doesn’t apply to broadcast — there are separate display guidelines about that. Our policies also don’t attempt to control the appropriate use of tweets in news reporting.

Can journalism students blog their way into a job?

Having a job in mainstream media before the age of 25 is fanciful thinking for many aspiring journalists, but having a blog could help turn those dreams into a reality.

Just ask young journalists Josh Halliday of the Guardian, Dave Lee of the BBC and Conrad Quilty-Harper of the Telegraph, all of whom credit their blogs as being fundamental to their success.

Speaking at an event at City University London last night, Halliday, a technology and media reporter and Sunderland University graduate, said: “The most important thing I did at university, including my degree, was to blog and get online. That’s what got me the job.”

Lee, who also started blogging while doing his undergraduate degree at Lincoln University, echoed Halliday saying: “I credit everything I’ve got to my blog at university.

“There is no possible way that I would have been able to go into the BBC newsroom on the basis of my degree, or the basis of my freelance cuttings or the basis of my student newspaper. ”

While Quilty-Harper, a data mapping journalist, said having a good blog and presence on Twitter, which he could readily show to potential employers, was what got him his job after he finished his postgraduate degree at City University London.

The three online trailblazers yesterday revealed their experiences of how to “blog your way into a job”:

Build a brand

Using your blog to promote yourself correctly is essential. Halliday stressed the importance of “being yourself” and marketing yourself in a way that is “likable”. While Lee highlighted that you never know what part of your branding will be the most fruitful, so you must do it all.

Conversing, linking and networking
Linked to the above is the idea that you must be in active dialogue with as many people as possible to build a dedicated following. Part of this involves linking to people who are blogging about similar topics to you, to create a mutually beneficial relationship. However, do not forget that, as Halliday highlighted, it’s a “two-way street”. So don’t just push yourself, relationships – especially ones with journalists already in the industry – should develop organically. Use the net’s networks  appropriately.

Be patient

You won’t go from 20 to 5,000 twitter followers overnight. Cultivating a twitter following and developing a community takes time, so don’t get too caught up on this. Make content the driving force behind your website or blog and the community will come.

Find a niche
With an increasing amount of people entering the blogosphere standing out is harder than ever before, but what could really help is finding a topic that nobody else or very few people are writing about. Lee blogged about his experiences of being a student in the developing online media using himself as a “case study”; Halliday created a hyperlocal blog about Sunderland; and Quilty-Harper had a blog about gadgets and technology. All three were unanimously behind blogs having a niche, as Halliday highlighted “journalists are paid to cover a single beat, so just do that”.

Advertising
Increasing traffic to your site is one of the most difficult elements of blogging, but all three panellists deplored the idea of buying advertising space to this end declaring it a waste of money. Instead they advocated networking and conversing with the right people as the means by which to increase your popularity.

Rajvir Rai is a postgraduate journalism student at City University London. He can found on Twitter @R_Rai.

Iranian blogger jailed for 19 years

An Iranian journalist and blogger has been sentenced to almost 20 years in prison and a five-year ban on working in politics or journalism upon his release, after being accused of managing an “obscene website” by Iranian authorities.

Hossein Derakhshan, who has dual citizenship in Iran and Canada and reportedly previously studied in London, was convicted yesterday of “collaborating with hostile governments, committing blasphemy and propaganda against the Islamic Republic, and managing an obscene website”, according to a report by Al Jazeera.

Reporting on the ruling, press freedom group Reporters Without Borders said the sentence was the longest to have ever been made against a blogger in the country.

He is the victim of political rivalry within the government and the case against him was fabricated. We urge President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to intercede personally in order to obtain his release without delay.

Derakhshan defended the Islamic Revolution’s principles, supported Ahmadinejad’s policies and returned to Iran from Canada after being assured by people close to the president that he would not be arrested. Canada and the rest of the international community must press for this harsh sentence to be quashed and for Derakhshan to be freed at once.

Derakhshan can appeal the decision, according to reports. A petition has been launched calling for his release.

Mediating Conflict: Blogging and the curse of comments

An interesting look at blogging journalists and their relationship with commenters by Mediating Conflict, following BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew’s comments on Twitter that he stopped his BBC blog because of the comments left on it.

There seems to be something of a backlash against the value of comments on blogs at the BBC. Or perhaps it might be more accurate to say that existing reservations about comments on blogs are beginning to surface.

Only last month, the BBC’s political editor, Nick Robinson, described them as “the biggest problem” with his Newslog blog.

Now cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew has revealed he stopped blogging at the BBC because his posts were “always full of appalling comments“. Agnew now publishes a column on the BBC website instead and says he simply wouldn’t write a blog open to comments any more – “even with moderation in place“.

Full post on Mediating Conflict at this link…

Tumblr improves attribution process

Tumblr has announced an upgrade of its attribution feature which will now only provide attribution to original sources within the post content, rather than all re-bloggers.

In the announcement on its staff blog, Tumblr says the upgrade was needed to fix issues within its automatic ‘via’ system, such as links being dropped, credit being buried under re-blog links, frequent mistaken attributions and the resulting impact on post appearance.

Starting today, reblogging will no longer insert attribution into the content/caption of the post except to quote content added by the parent post.

The new feature will also enable authors to attribute content to a source outside of Tumblr which will then be attributed whenever the post is reblogged on Tumblr, while the entire reblog history will remain in the post notes.

William Hague and the power of the political blogger

David Higgerson, head of multimedia at Trinity Mirror, has posed some interesting questions on what the William Hague and Christopher Myers story means for the power, image and responsibilities of the blogging community.

The fact Hague felt the need to release the statement he did, and that Myers felt the need to stand down, shows the influence political bloggers have within the Westminster village. (…) Does Hague’s response suggest that he and his colleague over-weighed the true impact of what is written on blogs for the wider public? It’s certainly the mother of all statements, and there’s a danger it sets a new precedent for denying rumours. Will we now see a glut of rumours around the internet in the knowledge that a denial is likely to follow?

And, he adds, if recent events do show political bloggers are becoming increasingly influential, should we now be addressing the introduction of greater responsibilities for such a powerful online community?

See his full post here…

The Guardian launches science blogs network

The Guardian is launching a new science blogs network to get readers discussing and debating all aspects of the science world, from palaeontology to extraterrestrial life.

This is another step in the Guardian’s strategy to set up partnerships with bloggers, following in the footsteps of its recently launched law network.

The science network will comprise of four regular bloggers sharing their expertise on the latest in evolution and ecology, politics and campaigns, skepticism and particle physics. A fifth blog will act as a window into other discussions going on in the science world and will also host the Guardian’s first science blog festival.

The festival will showcase a new blogger every day and aims to put newbies at ease by offering lots of new places to start reading. The web world is buzzing with thousands of science enthusiasts sharing their knowledge and thoughts, but it can be very overwhelming for those not familiar with it, explains the introductory post from Alok Jha, a science and environment correspondent at the Guardian.

Readers can also share any posts that especially excite (or infuriate) them by using the Guardian’s WordPress plugin that allows bloggers to republish articles on their own sites.