Tag Archives: blogs

Social Media Report: Gator Golf

19 Apr

While writing my ’90s blog, Gator Golf, I tried to use as many types of social media (that I actively used, at least) as possible. By doing this, I think I definitely had a higher readership than I would have without it.

I actually wrote my blog entries through the Independent Florida Alligator. I decided to blog for the paper this semester, and when I found out that it could tie in with my editing topic blog, it worked out really well. One of the pluses of blogging for the Alligator was having an editor look over my entries. Jillian was great to work with, and she would modify the headlines I wrote, which was great for SEO, and used tags that would most likely turn up in search engines. She did a lot of that work for me. In addition, the Alligator blog site had a share button through which I could immediately link to my blog through many types of social media.

Through the share button, I initially used Facebook. That is the social network I use most frequently, so I figured that would be the easiest way to promote my blog among my friends. I would always post the link with a one-sentence description, followed by a “read my blog” sentence. Many friends of mine would “like” the posts and then comment on whatever I wrote about, from Power Rangers to Furbys. I felt great that my blog created discussion.

I also heavily promoted my blog through Twitter. (Here is a Storify I created of my various promotion tweets throughout the semester.) With the Alligator’s “share” button, I was allowed to use a “bit.ly” link, which also allows you to track how many people view your link (however, I never did get to sign up for bit.ly and use this feature). A few of my followers would tweet back to me.

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Another great thing about having an editor at the Alligator was that she would email us bloggers every week with our stats. Because of the Alligator’s advanced technology, I had at least 100, sometimes over 400, views per week. Many of these were total strangers, which was awesome.

I didn’t promote my actual WordPress blog that I made for this course, since I mainly wrote through the Alligator blog. However, I did end up making a Tumblr of my blog as well, and through my use of search-friendly tags like “’90s nostalgia,” “childhood” and “toys,” I had readers liking and reblogging many of my posts. Tumblr users could track tags included on my blog also.

Overall, my use of social media to promote my blog worked out well for me. If I continue blogging on ’90s nostalgia, I will keep using these methods and maybe even move on to other networks, including Delicious and LinkedIn.

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Blogging may replace news stories, detail still important

25 Jan

Blogs are the future of journalism.

I don’t think there is any set definition for a blog. This article clearly shows that no two websites mentioned have the same meaning. The important thing about blogs is that they get information on pretty much any topic imaginable to hundreds of thousands of people in just a few brief paragraphs. With the creation of the Argo Project about one year ago, radio stations were able to spread information on a variety of topics to an average of 400,000 people. It’s pretty incredible to think that a news story filed in separate, incremental updates can be more effective and impactful than a single article. In fact, just yesterday the Argo Project created a Project Argo toolkit for creating niche websites using WordPress. The best part? It’s free. Tools like this are making it so much easier for journalists to spread news and spark discussion.

If a project like this could help inexperienced reporters use Twitter like pros and help them become expert bloggers in a time when social media wasn’t huge yet, imagine what Argo could have been like if it had started this year! Now, news is spread much more through tweets, Facebook statuses, Google+, etc. However, I do still think long entries like blogs are invaluable to the journalism industry, since they provide a good amount of detail and information. People do still want to get all of the facts in a story. I also agree with Matt Thompson, who said blogging partnerships are essential. Although this blog entry mainly concerns pet blogging partnerships, it is a good example of how stepping out of your niche and helping out other writers can be beneficial. In addition, since blogs could very well be replacing newspapers, any good blog needs strong editors just like newspapers do. Even if a reporter thinks his or her work is flawless, he or she usually needs a second eye to look things over. Good editing means good credibility.

Blogs definitely help in developing a large news story by breaking the story up into smaller pieces. If we had blogs back in 1994 when the O.J. Simpson case was going on, people probably wouldn’t even have to be watching the trials every night on TV. There is a dilemma when considering whether blog posts or a longer news story would be more effective in recounting events. I think blog posts are more helpful when there is a developing story; each part can be explained in great detail and space would not have to be saved.

Nowadays, there really is no set way to tell a story. Frequent updates and blog entries are what people depend on. Although some people may see this as a decline in journalistic storytelling, I see it as a way to merely improve storytelling. More people are getting more up-to-date information, and a lot of it is pretty accurate. It will be exciting to see if the Argo Project sparks other blogging projects as well.