The Latin “Blogito, Ergo Sum,” is the title of chapter seven of Brian Carroll’s book, Writing for Digital Media. When translated, this title means “I blog, therefore I am,” an obvious play on Rene Descarte’s similar famous words “I think, therefore I am.” In this chapter, Carroll intrigues readers with his depictions of the way blogs can enhance human identity and establish important connections. He provides many insights into the world of blogging, complete with a brief history of blogging, his take on bloggers as journalists, and various types of blogging.
Since I’ve already discussed the controversiality surrounding the bloggers vs. journalists debate, I’d like to focus on his explanations of corporate blogging, news blogging, and live blogging. He claims that all of these methods of blogging, when used properly, don’t have to replace, but instead enhance journalism and other forms of media.
Blogs provide ways for corporations to become “humanized” and can establish dialogues between the corporate world selling a product or a service, and the consumer looking to buy a product or service. Carroll states that a successful corporate blog does not try to merely sell the reader, but “has something to say,” something of substance that intrigues readers and compels them to return to the corporation’s blog. Transparency is also key in corporate blogging because readers will quickly see through hidden advertisement tactics and falsified “I love my job, I love our products” jargon. Check out a Kate Spade blog to see an example of a blog that seamlessly interweaves their personal style with related topics of interest to readers.
Similarly to corporate blogging, news blogging provides a more natural and emotional spin on the usual cold, hard facts of news. Carroll demonstrates that blogs can complement traditional forms of news by providing further detail into already covered stories and continuing to cover this news with follow up stories and information. The best forms of news blogging, in my opinion, combine factual information with a witty style and scannable text.
The Skimm, as implied by the name, enables readers to “skim” daily news in a matter of minutes. Throughout the news, staffers include pop culture references and witty comparisons to keep readers engaged.
Carroll concludes with a discussion of the recent phenomenon of live blogging, the act of commentating online about an event while it is occurring. Live blogging leads to immediate reporting, but also frequent mistakes and incomplete information. However, live blogging is ideal for certain situations. For example, if you watched the Miss America pageant on TV last night, you likely saw girls following the hosts around with their phones. Surprisingly enough, these women were hired to make live posts throughout the night updating readers and viewers on the status of the pageant. Looking back on their social media sites, viewers can see Instagram and Twitter updates as the night progressed, including this post-crowning selfie!
I’ll leave you with some questions:
How much wit and humor should news blogs include?
What are some ideal situations for the use of live blogging?
Until next blog,