Blogging Basics

A place to start: basics, blog lists, blog search engines, award-winning blogs, beat blogs, and some advice from JournalismNext

 WHAT IS A BLOG?

Term = web + log
Content-wise a blog can be whatever the author wants it to be.
Common Components:
-online journal with postings in reverse order
-headline
-post or entry
-images
-links (be a source of useful information, even if it is not on your page – think yahoo vs. google)
-time stamp
-permalink
-categories
-blogroll
-it generates a RSS feed

feed is a constantly updated information of what has been posted or commented on your blog. It’s the text without the design. When you post on your blog, you are creating a feed. To see the feed for the class blog, type in http://mbgjournalism.wordpress.com/feed

WordPress offers a nice description of feeds.

For a free, web-based feed reader like Google Reader.

COMMON TYPES OF BLOGS
Individual blogs, Political blogs, Aggregators, Group blogs, Photoblogs, Vlogs, Microblogs (ie Twitter)

SOME BIG NAME BLOGS
Technorati’s Top 100
BoingBoing – a directory of “wonderful things”
Lifehacker – making life more productive
Mashable – online tech stuff
Drudge Report – political news and gossip
Huffington Post – political news and opinion
Post Secret – people’s secrets on postcards
i howd – how to do things
TMZ – celebrity gossip
PerezHilton – celebrity gossip
Deadspin – sports gossip
Gawker – NYC media gossip
DailyKos.com – political commentary (left)
PowerLine – political commentary (right)

BLOG SEARCH ENGINES
Technorati – “what’s percolating in blogs now”
Google Blog Search 
Blogdigger
Blogs.com

SOME AWARD WINNING BLOGS
The Bloggies

SOME PHILLY/NJ AREA BLOGS
Philly.com blogs
NJ.com blog list
Philebrity
uwishunu
215 Magazine
Beer Lass
Beerleaguer
Broad Street Review
Broad&Market
Cheap Eats in Philly
Citizen Mom
City Girls World
Comic Vs Audience
Daily Candy
Design-Phandesignphiladelphia
Drink Philly
First Person Arts
Foobooz
Free Library Blog
Geekadelphia
Independence Visitor Center
Irish Philadelphia
Jefferson Square Park
Head TV
Kitchen Play
Leslie McDermott
Mac & Cheese Review
Malcolm X Park
McDuff’s Food & Wine Trail
Menu Pages Philadelphia
Metroblogging Philadelphia
NFT – Philadelphia
NMAJH Blog
Not For Tourists: Philadelphia
Oh Joy! (local finds)
Phawker
Philadelphia Bicycle News
PhilaFoodie
Philebrity
Philebrity TV
Philly Future
Philly Nightlife Gay
PhillyBlog
phillyskyline.com
PhillyStyleMag
Savvy Grouse
Straight From The Farm
Streettalkin
The Art Blog
The Clog
The700Level.com
TheIlladelph
Unbreaded
Urban Vegan
Used Wigs

BEAT BLOGGING
The type of blogging I am asking you to do is journalistic in nature. Again, I’m requiring something called beatblogging.org, which has been defined as “any blog that sticks to a well-defined beat or coverage area, whether it is the work of a single person or a team, whether it is authored by a pro or an amateur journalist.”

“Content-wise, a beat blog presents a regular flow of reporting and commentary in a focused area the beat covers; it provides links and online resources in that area, and it tracks the subject over time…. When beat blogs are part of a pro reporters work, the best ones are not incidental to the reporter’s work but an integral part of it; sometimes the blog is the main platform for the beat.”

EXPLORE SOME EXAMPLES OF NEWS BLOGS
NYTimes.com blog list
Philly.com blog list
NJ.com blog list

From the 2011 OJAs
Doctors Behaving Badly: Shedding Light on Poor Doctor Oversight by Medical Boards – William Heisel, ReportingonHealth.org
Ecotrope: Fresh Ideas on Nature and Community – Oregon Public Broadcasting and NPR
MindShift: How We Will Learn – KQED and NPR
OpenSecrets.org
Persian Letters – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Casey Anthony Extended Coverage – WESH
Nancy Leson’s All You Can Eat blog – The Seattle Times
The Closing of the Sahara – Las Vegas Sun
Ward Room – NBCChicago.com
CNN Belief Blog – CNN Digital
How Are Local Municipalities Impacted by The Great Recession – Will Alden, The Huffington Post
SciGuy – Eric Berger, Houston Chronicle
Social Media Coverage – Helen Popkin, msnbc.com

SOME ADVICE FROM JOURNALISM NEXT

“Every college journalism student should have a blog.”

“A good blog is a continuing conversation.”

“Blogs are not magic. Be warned: writing a successful blog takes dedication and determination.”

A blog can be beat journalism at its core.

“You have to read blogs in order to write an effective blog.”

“Learn the language:
-Post
-Permalink
-Trackback
-Blogroll”

“Determine the goal of your blog.”

“A good name, a short catchphrase, and a mission.”

Learn how to use blog software and content management system. For this class, I suggestWordPress.com. Explore. You won’t break it.

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About Nick DiUlio

My name is Nick DiUlio, a freelance writer and editor from New Jersey. I have been passionate about the craft of writing since I was old enough to spell, and this love has led to a successful career in journalism and creative nonfiction. As a freelancer, I have covered a wide range of topics and personalities, as my published work has focused on everything from profiles of artists and important political figures to hard-news stories with both national and local appeal; from restaurant and beverage reviews to tips on fashion and finance; from health and wellness pieces to celebrity Q&A’s. My work has appeared in several local, regional and national publications—both in print and online—including Philadelphia Magazine, Slate.com, Miller-McCune, New Jersey Monthly, Eating Well, and Delaware Today. Additionally, I am the South Jersey Bureau Chief for New Jersey Monthly and an adjunct journalism professor at Rowan University. To be sure, the broadness of my body of work seems only to be matched by my boundless interest in almost every subject imaginable (except Warren Zevon). Check out some of my most recently published work here.
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