What makes a good blog? From print to online

Bloggers block isn’t a problem I ever thought I’d experience but it has taken me two weeks to write about Adam Tinworth‘s lecture on the art of good blogging. Rather ironically he said a blog should be written contemporaneously – as soon as possible after the event – to have maximum impact.

So, am I a bad blogger for blogging about his lecture two weeks late?

Perhaps. But after I had been told what was good and bad in the blogosphere, I was too scared to write in case it was bad.

Tinworth gave a rundown of the most simple and sophisticated kinds of journalism blogs. At the bottom of the chain was a link to another site, moving up through a photo, a video, any of those with context, then a discussion, and finally an opinion piece.

Although an opinion may be more sophisticated, he said: “Writing an opinion is just lecturing, and people won’t be that interested.” This point is as relevant to blogging as it is to good journalism in general.

David Randall said in The Universal Journalist: “Individual classified advertisements have done more to change the world than all the billions of words of blustering newspaper editorials in history […] Indeed, it is very hard to find a single case of a newspaper comment actually changing the world.”

As for J Blog, the most popular blog so far has been the digital narrative. It has had the most views and the most comments, probably because the format is as interesting as the story.

A symptom of blogger’s block is excessive, unnecessary internet research in the hope of finding something to clear the problem. There were a few pieces of advice here, and the most useful was dark room.

Dark room is a program, which makes the computer screen look like an old Amstrad. i.e nothing but a black screen with green writing, so there are no distractions. Among the hubbub of internet action, it’s a quiet and calming program; a kind of sanctuary for bloggers.


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