Blogging for Publishers
Blogging may have started as a gateway for "regular people" to publish their thoughts and ideas on the Web, but it has transcended into a legitimate form of journalism being used by publishers anxious to increase traffic on their Web sites.
Blogging for journalists is different than that employed by the regular Joes of the blogging universe. And those who do it, say writers need both focus and time to write a successful and sustainable blog. "I think the most important thing is to have a well-defined point of view," says Tom McLean, who has written a Weblog on the comic book industry for Variety.com called "Bags and Boards" for the past two-and-a-half years.
Though it may seem elementary, McLean says having a focus is the crucial to the beginning the blogger. "You need to have something to say, that’s the only way you’re going to develop any kind of readership," he says. "There’s lots of sites out there and you do have to compete with them for readers."
Once you have that point-of-view, coming up with ideas isn’t as hard as it may seem, says Jon Udell, the lead analyst and blogger in chief for InfoWorld and InfoWorld.com. "The more information you put out there, the more information you attract," he explains. "I think there’s still a lot of journalists that have not experienced the benefits of working this way."
Udell, who began blogging for the now-defunct Byte magazine back in the 1990’s, has established his InfoWorld blog as a must-read for the tech industry. His secret, Udell says, is one that many other professionals use and simply involves chronicling the ongoing research he does as a "technology practitioner." "It’s basically working out the ideas that used to end up in print," he says.
Although he does a lot of his own news gathering, Udell also relies on the people who read his blog to provide fodder. "As you begin to accumulate a corpus of documents, you become aware of the effect they have on people and the interest they generate," Udell says. "A lot of information comes to me and a lot of personal contacts arise that wouldn’t have, if I didn’t have the blog. It’s a miraculous thing."
For more on blogging read Folio:’s September issue