Posting by Thomas Crampton
Time for some reflection after more than a month of blogging here courtesy of Joi.
For my part, I have found Blogs are different from journalism because:
Involvement: In blogging you engage and try to spark conversations, not lecture. You succeed by getting feedback, not by writing something conclusive. A successful posting is a work in progress.
Timing: Not so important as I thought it would be. When I blog about a news article that I wrote three days earlier, the conversation takes off as if it were new. In that way, Blogs are more like a cocktail party conversation.
Tone: Blogs are more informal and personal. You are forced the kind of self-references that most news organizations try to beat out of journalists from birth.
Opinions: Blog postings work best with strong opinions in them. This is problematic for a journalist because we are supposed to avoid that. You can often get the same effect, however, by asking sharp questions.
Length: Postings are never longer than a few paragraphs and often broken into bullet point style (like this posting)
Reporting: I have not yet done any primary reporting in order to write a Blog posting. The most I do is look up things on the web and riff off knowledge or experience I already have.
Simple and quick: Blogging takes far less time than I expected. Since it is asynchronous communication, you can log on once or twice a day or take part more actively. Very much enjoy checking in with old postings to see how the conversation has evolved.
These thoughts came yesterday in London while participating at a conference organized by Accountability on a panel hosted by Michel Ogrizek, vice chairman of Edelman, the other panelists were David Weinberger of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School and John Lloyd of the Financial Times.
The audience and other panelists raised many great points - some of which I have plaguarized above - and we could only conclude that the interface between Blogs and journalism is a hot zone that will be fun to watch.
Additions and critiques to this list welcomed!