Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency / Mindy McAdams 3
links in the sidebar. This blog has one.Almost
blog has one. Try a blog out before you add it to Google Reader. Beselective. Your time is valuable.If you want a place to start sampling, tryBest of the Journalism Blogs
2. Start a Blog
Today’s topic might seem mundane tomany of you, but I always say that writinga blog with commitment, on some kind of regular schedule, makes you smarter.The advantage for a journalist who needsto catch up, who needs to learn new skillsfor a digital and online world, is that having a commitment to a blog drives theblogger to search out new information.It’s kind of like taking a college course forcredit instead of auditing the course. If you’re just auditing, when the rest of yourlife gets busy, you’ll just quit going to theclasses. Some people abandon their blogs,of course. But those who make acommitment and stick to it soon find that the blog connects them to newdevelopments and kindred spirits in waysthey had not anticipated.Now, before I get to the nitty-gritty, thekey to having a blog that makes yousmarter is
. A blog should not be seen as a soap box for your personalposturing. Blogs are great vehicles forsharing information and knowledge, and
travels in two directions.A blog is one node in a giant network of nodes, with a human being behind eachone of those nodes. Your blog gives you away to see and be seen—but
if youuse it with a spirit of sharing andconnecting.These two practices are essential:
That is, link to other blogposts. Not just blogs, but individualposts. This makes you visible to otherbloggers and also (via trackbacks)to
other blog readers.
Comment on other people’s blogs.
Particularly blogs with subject mattersimilar to yours. In the comment form,
type your real name and yourblog’s URL in the boxes provided—this allows anyone who reads yourcomment to click your name and go to
blog, bringing more readers toyou.Your blog posts can be short. About 300words is plenty for most blog posts. Right now WordPress is telling me I’m at 372words (whew!), so I’d better insert asubhed.
What to blog about
You can blog about your beat (if you haveone), but if you’re reading this becauseyou want to boost your online skills anddigital tools savvy, I suggest you choose amore personal topic. Here are someexamples:
Multimedia Reporter:Ron Sylvesterwas a 40-something courts reporterwhen he started this blog to chroniclehis own learning experience in onlineand multimedia. Although he quit