Archives for category: Blogging

It’s frustrating as all get-out that NBC isn’t providing live coverage of the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics. I’m sure I have that in common with millions. But three news outlets’ live blogs are giving us what the network refuses to provide.

These are my three favorites at this moment in case you just can’t wait to watch tonight:

  • The Guardian: The place to look for thoughtful and cheeky commentary and vibrant photography. Location: United Kingdom.
  • New York Times: Look no further for a rapidly updated streaming photo gallery coupled with meatier posts by a variety of NYT staffers. A classic American new media approach to the Sochi Winter Olympics.
  • Wall Street Journal: It’s terse. It’s rapid. It’s informative. Feels more like a microblog (which is what Twitter is for), but concentrated in one place. Seems more optimized for maximizing hits for WSJ.com than for fitting the audience’s needs, but hey, it’s a business! And WSJ is all about the Benjamins (well, more like the Salmon P. Chases), yes?
  • NPR: National Public Radio’s live blog from Sochi is wonderfully descriptive and quickly updates. The emphasis is more on writing that appeals to the senses than photography. It feels very much like radio voices translated to text, and it works. I’m constantly telling my reporting students the advice Charles Kuralt’s blind editor early in his career gave him: “Make me see it!” NPR’s writing embodies that advice.

Let the Games begin!

My Multimedia Journalism students have written about some dynamite photo galleries and slideshows for their First Mandatory Post assignment of the semester. In this assignment, I’ve asked them to find three photo galleries from online journalism sites that inspire them and to critique their content in terms of journalistic value and other factors. Their writing and ideas are pretty awesome! Yet some didn’t take advantage of all the features that make blogs easy to find, easy to read, and interesting to look at. This post provides reminders on how to do those things.

Beloved Multimedia Journalism students, here are some things to add to your repertoire next time you do a blog post:

Break up long paragraphs: Long paragraphs fatigue the online reader’s eye. They make even the most excitingly written content appear long, ponderous and dull.

Use bold in posts to signal the transition from one section to the next: In a blog post critiquing galleries about wine, for instance, you could do that for each of the galleries you critique. It can be a subhead or just the first three to five words of each critique. Here’s how make words boldface in WordPress: http://mcbuzz.wordpress.com/2007/10/25/wordpress-tutorial-how-to-add-bold-italics-and-color-to-text/

Link back to the sources you write about: Do this to make it easy for your readers to find more interesting stuff. But you also do this in order to attract traffic from those sites via linkbacks. That was the case when I linked back to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution from my Snowpocalypse post. Not only did I send readers to AJC.com, but the linkback on the AJC post I linked to sent me some readers, too.Here’s how link back to your online sources:

  1. While editing your post, highlight the name of the source (e.g., the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times) or a few key words pertaining to the content you cited from another blog or website.
  2. Click the chain icon in the tools bar above your post (the same place where you would click to bold, underline or italicize type). This should summon a popup box.
  3. In that box, paste the URL for the blog or website you referred to.
  4. Click the blue “Add Link” button.

Add tags and categories: Tags and categories help boost your SEO ranking in search engines, making your content easier to find and driving more traffic to your site. They also make it easy for a reader already looking at your blog to find content related you’re written previously on the blog.

Do these things, and your posts will be readable, easy to look at and easy to find. You’ll also attract more readers.

I used to think it was laughable how two inches of snow could paralyze the cities of the South. That was before I moved here in 2007. The Northerner in me just thought people here weren’t tough enough to deal with icy weather. Toughness has little to do with it, as I have learned from a number of blogs by observers in Atlanta and Birmingham who are providing the view from Ground Zero of the Snowpocalypse.*

Preparedness is the key. The lay of the land and a relatively warm climate make ice and snow so rare that the infrastructure for clearing the roads, such as ice and sand trucks, county snowplows and abundant independent contractors with snowblades mounted on the fronts of their pickups, simply does not exist. As a result, we’re about to have our third snow day at Auburn University, where students flocked to campus for snowball fights and the novelty of tossing flying discs in snow. The cancellations are wise. They demonstrate an abundance of caution that was absent in Atlanta, where ice-induced paralysis has become a national news story. Among the stories in the blogosphere about the Deep South’s slow-motion transportation disaster:

Meanwhile in Alabama, which the national news media have overlooked, bloggers told our stories:

These writers are helping us make sense of our current paralysis and revealing the stories of everyday heroes. They are connecting us to one another, and they are explaining us to the outside world. Things will thaw in a few days, and we’ll be back to normal again. When disaster strikes, we pull together and help each other out, and we give each other consolation and comfort.

Folks in the Kansas countryside where I grew up did (and do) the same. Our geography is different, but maybe deep down we’re not all so different after all. Here’s hoping the spirit of connection this storm has sparked in us continues past the thaw.

* Question: Should it be the Snowpocalypse, Snowmageddon, or some other label? I’m going with Snowpocalypse since its namesake, the Apocalypse, is foretold to bring natural disasters as well as the Four Horsemen of conquest, war, famine and death. That contrasts with Armageddon, the site of the gathering of armies for the final battle during the End Times in which Christ triumphs over Satan and his followers. But I digress.

Temps right around freezing left a bit less than a quarter-inch of ice on cars Tuesday morning in Auburn. Come afternoon, the snow started to fall, hiding the danger from drivers.

Temps right around freezing left a bit less than a quarter-inch of ice on cars Tuesday morning in Auburn. Come afternoon, the snow started to fall, hiding the danger from drivers.

Melita Garza

Melita Garza’s work on Latin American culture in media

Rahul Mitra

Resilient Institutions and Sustainable Environments (RISE) Lab @ Wayne

Sarah Day

author and artist

Hemingway Run:

PB: (10K 47:15)(HALF 1:52:43)(FULL 3:59:15)

Auburn Baseball Blog

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Overriding Ordinary

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Ed Mooney Photography

The official blog of Ed Mooney Photography. Dad of 3, Photographer, Martial Artist, Gym Rat & Blogger. Exploring the historical sites of Ireland.

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participation2011

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MulinBlog: A digital journalism blog

with free online courses

The Buttry Diary

Steve Buttry, Dearly Departed Husband, Father and Grandfather. Former Director of Student Media, LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication

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Auburn Campus Trends

The latest trends around Auburn, from fashion, to hot spots, to food.

Trending In Bama

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Project Light to Life

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Scott Priz, Dog Reporter!

Reporting on the important things- The Dogs I meet!

SSND Live

Updates from the College News Design Contest

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A Taste of the Plains

Taking a look at local restaurants in Auburn and Opelika.

A Foreigner on Your Own Soil

When "y'all" meets "youse guys:" An exploration of why Northerners and Southerners don't coexist in sweet tea bliss

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Derencz's Corner

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Joy Mayer

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ACADEME BLOG

The blog of Academe magazine

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Spirit, Word, Art

Lectionary-based creative spiritual direction

Eric Anthony Grollman, Ph.D.

Researcher, Educator, Activist

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