Post-journalism blogging

Blogging has come a long way. There was a time when it was the bastard child of writing — totally beneath the realm of novel writing, a step below harried dignity of newspaper journalism, not quite to the standards of freelance writing. After the muckraking and so-called yellow blogging years of Drudge Report-tidbits of salacious news (he’s not a blogger, yet everyone groups him into the group of bloggers), it seems that authors and journalists, and of course, freelance writers, find having a blog is as big a must-have as a personal website.

Now that journalism as we all know it seems to be on its deathbed (which I actually don’t believe), old school journalists are turning to blogging (finally) as if it could be their saving grace. Could you go from buy-out to being the boss of your own work via a blog? That’s the eternal question. The latest asker is a former Orlando Sentinel food writer. And this is what he found:

Blogging is not for everyone. You have to be self-motivated, and you have to be writer, editor, copy editor and, to a small degree, layout artist (those photos don’t get on the website by themselves). Take a look around at other blogs, make note of the things you like and the things you’d do differently. You can start by visiting my site, which uses a Typepad platform that has been tweaked by a website designer I hired.

The phenomenon of journalists all of a sudden becoming fans of blogging and becoming bloggers is amusing to me. Remember, I was still an editor at the Daily Titan, writing in an online journal coded in simple HTML to an Earthlink-hosted website, being asked incredulously, “I can’t believe you write that online — won’t you get sued for libel?”

A lot of what I know now is by instinct and by being continually interested in what other bloggers are doing, how they’re doing it and how I can learn from them. Besides photography (I’ve been an obsessive picture-taker since high school), blogging is the only hobby I’ve done continously for more than 10 years. Shoot, even Trinity hasn’t been in my life that long. Heheh.

At any rate, it seems I will be in demand more this year when it comes to my experience with blogging and WordPress (which is minimal, seriously). In February and March, I’ll be teaching a beginner’s and advanced class on WordPress for journalists. (As opposed to WordPress for Dummies?) And my buddy Belinda just sent me an email tonight, asking how she can design a site in WordPress.

Heheh. I guess I should have seen this coming.