Getting ready to start blogging

As Mindy McAdams points out, in order to write a good blog you need to spend some time reading good blogs. Because you will be blogging on a beat, it is important that you find and regularly read the best online sources of information related to your beat. Plug them into Google Reader so you receive updates all in one place.

There are many forms of blogging. You can use your blog for original reporting — not something you will do often in this class, but something you should definitely do sometimes. Some blogs are personal diaries — something you should avoid, although an occasional diary-type entry is fine.

The most common type of blogging, and one that you should concentrate on in following your beat, is aggregation and curation — that is, aggregating content from a variety of sources and curating it in the sense that you present only worthwhile content. You want to be your readers’ trusted source on whatever your beat happens to be.

Here are a few blogs that are worth studying and learning from. We’ll talk about them in class on Friday.

  • Universal Hub. A quirky look at life in and around Boston, told mainly through the eyes of hundreds of local bloggers.
  • CommonHealth. A news blog that aggregates and curates content from a variety of sources and makes sense of it for readers.
  • MetroDesk. From Boston.com. Breaking news, not a lot of linking.
  • JimRomenesko.com. Media news with lots of original reporting and lots of linking.
  • Andrew Sullivan. A leading political blog. Very little original reporting, lots of linking.
  • The Lede. From The New York Times. Tracking news from around the world through aggregation and curation.
  • The Burrito Blog. A Boston-based food blog. I threw it in to demonstrate how even the narrowest topic can engage in deep aggregation and curation.
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