Online Journalism

Mandy Jenkins Visits COMM 361

February 14th, 2011 · Comments Off on Mandy Jenkins Visits COMM 361

There’s a famous saying that the harder you work, the luckier you get. This saying holds true for Mandy Jenkins, director of social media for TBD.

Coming from a town in rural Ohio, Jenkins has always worked hard. She wanted to be a part of the media world; however, she discovered that her career path would not go the same way as past journalists. She would have to come up with something new.

She discovered Twitter back in 2007, when no one had even heard much of it. Not even Kanye West or Ashton Kutcher. Writing up a creative plan, Jenkins became the first social media coordinator for a newspaper in Ohio. Along with tweeting, Jenkins discovered blogging, Facebook and other social media websites.

When Jenkins arrived in my COMM 361 Online Journalism class, she spoke regarding the evolving state of journalism due to the fast development of the Internet. She gave a few details about her job that I found interesting and would like to share with you:

“90 percent of the work I do is reading and researching,” – Jenkins

Being a social media editor is not all about tweeting and using Facebook. One has to know what other people are talking about in order to keep up.

“I always do my best to respond to those who message me, even if they didn’t have anything nice to say,” – Jenkins

Responding to your followers is a nice way to keep them interested into following you. Even if they say inappropriate things, it is sometimes better to just address it in a nicer way. Just because someone is stooping low, doesn’t mean you have to stoop down to their level.

“I met my employer through Twitter,” – Jenkins

Although this is not the most traditional method of getting a job, it worked for Jenkins. The media world is rapidly changing and even Twitter can land some a decent job these days.

Happy reading.

Tags: Comm361 · social media · Student Blog Posts

Ch. 2 ‘Advanced blogging’

February 14th, 2011 · Comments Off on Ch. 2 ‘Advanced blogging’

“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. That drive was always in me as a beat reporter, but a blog elevates that to a much higher level.” John Cook, co-founder of TechFlash

In Mark Briggs’ second chapter of “Journalism Next,” Briggs talks about the many advantages of having and maintaining a blog.

  • Blogging helps develop community with readers or viewers so they can test ideas, receive early and direct feedback and publish or broadcast in the timeliest manner.
  • Can help build an audience as a college journalist.
  • Helps establish deeper relationships with readers and can help broaden coverage.

One of the interesting things Briggs points out is that with blogging, their isn’t as much of a sense of competition because people are more willing to share information online. In some blog posts, people link to other people’s sites or blogs and compile info from other resources online to establish their content.

How popular and powerful are blogs now? According to a report done by Technorati, “blogs have more total unique visitors than either Facebook or MySpace.” Blogs help motivate journalists and organizations to be #1. As Joel Achenbach mentioned in his article from “The Washington Post,” journalists are motivated by page views; in this case being a highly viewed blog is a great feeling.

Briggs then outlines some of the jargon associated with blogging, some of the boring stuff.

Then he outlines some tips for how to build a successful blog:

  • Put the reader first
  • Organize your ideas
  • Be direct
  • Be the authority, with a personality
  • Wait 15 minutes after writing to edit yourself dispassionately.
  • Make your posts scanable
  • Link, summarize and analyze
  • Be specific with headlines
  • Have a good attitude
  • Use photos and screenshots
  • Post early, post often (at least once a day)
  • Participate in the community
  • Comment on and read other blogs
  • Link to other blogs
  • Use RSS feeds

As you can tell by these guidelines, a lot of these tips apply to traditional print journalism. That’s because blogging is similar to traditional print journalism, but it can be updated more often and it is more connectible to the audience than a newspaper is.

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Chapter two: The basics of blogging

February 14th, 2011 · Comments Off on Chapter two: The basics of blogging

In Mark Briggs’ second chapter “Advanced Blogging,” he focuses on the essentials of blogging. His main points of the chapters are summarized as the following:

  • Good blogs are a continuing conversation: If you write a blog, it is necessary to create a reader’s base to get some feedback. This enables you to continue the conversation and write more!
  • Blogs aren’t magic: This basically means that blogs are not going to do the work for you. If you want a successful blog, you have to be on your guard constantly, posting, updating and working your butt off.
  • Read blogs to write blogs: Go to Technorati and scan the top 100 blogs to see what interests you. Writing about what other people write isn’t wrong as long as you credit them and write with your own spin.
  • Know blog language: Trackbacks, posts, permalinks….what do they all mean? And what the heck is a vlog and moblog? Sounds foreign? Check out this website for definitions.
  • Customize your blog to fit you: Using basic CSS is okay for most blogs. However, if you really want to turn on your future employers, create your own themes, widgets and other elements to spice things up!

Say what?

Happy Reading!

Tags: briggs · Comm361 · Student Blog Posts