My Thoughts On Blogging

If your ears were burning, that's because I was talking about you this afternoon.

Below in

completely raw form are the notes that I used to talk to education

writers and public affairs folks from education organizations today in

a presentation about blogging that I did with Kent Fischer from the

Dallas Morning News. [I'm in Chicago but I'm in a hotel room.]

Chicagoeloldma022208I tried to explain why blogs are worth tracking, what they

offer, why they're so popular, how to track blogs without getting

overwhelmed, and how to get noticed in the blogosphere without starting

a blog yourself.

I was much funnier live than you will think from this. Or at least

I like to think so. Thanks to EWA and everyone who was there for

letting me talk. More on Kent's presentation (which was much better

than mine).

EWA Conference Talk To Associates April 24 2008

How many of you track blogs for work related purposes?

How many have blogs or podcasts?

How many have a competitor or similar organization with a blog?

Are considering them?

Blogs – Why Bother?

 small but highly engaged and influential readership

 a filter for journalists who follow and expand

 increasingly legitimate part of MSM

 fulltime mainstream education blogs to come

What Makes Them So Addictive/Popular?

 Getting the news first (however inaccurate or unconfirmed)

 convenience of having news and links gathered for you

 mix of serious news, commentary, and humor (gossip)

 connection to current events and popular culture (not just education!)

 nuggets and gems you don’t find elsewhere (new Yorker)

 newspapers replace lost ad revenues from classified and print readers

 Narrow, specialized community (by topic – politics – or geography (Chicago)

 Knowledgeable readers commenting (D299 especially) -- INTERACTIVITY

How Can I Track Them Without Being Overwhelmed?

 rss feeds (free subscriptions sent to home page or email)

 email alerts (google, technorati) tailored terms

 aggregators and roundups (TWIE,, etc.)

 weekly, daily email options

 cull out emails and subscriptions that you don’t reed

How Can I Get Noticed By Blogs?

 Track them (or have someone do it for you)

 put them on your media list for events, invites, releases (including non-Ed!)

 send them tidbits gossip inside information

 write comments on their posts

 complain or criticize

Should I Start My Own Blog?

 No. it’s too time-consuming and risky to start (many are ignored)

 particular voice and combination of knowledge and opinion

 group vs. individual if you have to do it (AFT blog, Flypaper)

 contract outside (SmartBrief, someone like me)

 Start a FaceBook group instead

 Use TypePad for software (like writing an email), and Bloglines

 Blogger courtesy – credit, linkrolling, etc.

Tidbit: Mediashift, Cyberjournalist, and OJR are good resources for trends

Best New Blogs: DISD Dallas Morning News, Eduwonkette, KDR DED Reckoning

Favorite Blogs Right Now

 Detention Slip

 EdBizzBuzz

 Michele McNeil Campaign K12

 Kevin Carey at The Quick And The Ed

 Dana Goldstein at TAPPED

What My Blogs Are All About?

 Daily roundups of morning news and best blog posts of the day

 Industry gossip (job changes, rumors, new contracts, sightings)

 Media criticism (calling bullshit on lazy journalism)

 Contrarian political analysis and petty arguments

 Fun and current events (Hot For Education, Power Couples, Etc.)

 Interviews and in-depth stuff (HotSeat interviews)

 Original documents and the occasional scoop

What’s It Like Being A Blogger?

 Fun and easy (always loved gathering tidbits and gossip)

 Not particularly technical (like emailing and reading websites)

 Mix of content knowledge, political background, and journalism

 Getting paid now (Catalyst and Scholastic are sponsors)

 Consult and give talks about online media and education

 Part time work plus longer reported pieces (Slate, etc.)

 Direction things are going – mainstream papers and TV stations

Alexander Russo April 24 2008 EWA Conference Chicago

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