Creating the buzz

Blogs and Journalism Need Each Other by J.D Lasica

This link takes you to an interesting artcle from the Fall 2003  Nieman Reports. Though it may be a little outdated and was discussing blogging when it was fairly new, it raises some insightful points on journalism and blogging and how the two can work hand in hand. Lasica holds the view that niche blogs commit random acts of journalism without even realising it. As the ABC or CNN’s (the article is American) target audience is the general public it may not allows want to cover or feel it is approriate to cover an event, issue or occurance that is only of interest to the small minority. Bloggers therefore become a way for people to access information that is relevent and fresh to them. It makes the consumption of news more personal, giving people more choice and variety over what they want to see and what they want to know. So often we will flip channels at 6pm to see the headlines of every station reveal the same stories. Blogging becomes a way of conqueroring this, and allows things that traditionally haven’t been seen as newsworthy to editors and producers be thrown into the mix for news consumption.

Personally, I’m interested in photojournalism and world issues and I’ve discovered the website Mediastorm  which I believe uses the multimedia of the internet to its full potential. The aim of the site is to publish diverse narratives that speak to the heart of the human condition. The site takes you on journey through the combination of text, still life images, video and sound, demonstating how much impact the internet can have if used correctly. The wide range of stories vary from life in rural Iwoa, drug addicts in Manhatten, the aftermarth of rape during the Rwandan Genoide, the war in the Congo, to animation, and to the story of two men whose lives intersected one day at Walmart. Each tale is a very high standard of production and tells the story of today’s world  in an in-depth manner from documentry to personal essay to purely artistic. 

The site is simple and beckons you to explore it. It is very interactive and engaging. Your mouse becomes your tool for exploration, your ability to seek and discover new things. The site also uses social networking techinques to attract and interact with their viewers. As a viewer you have the ability to become their friend on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, subscribe to their updates, add comments on the stories and their blog, you can share their videos via email, listen to podcasts and get updates on your mobile.

This site allows us to touch on the inter-related use of websites and social media networks that Gemma Crowley discussed in From the expert. From this I have come to the conclusion that social media that can be used seperately or in conjunction with other medias. But it is only powerful if used correctly. The way you use social media will impact upon the power and effectiveness of your online communication.

There are three words to remember: Listen – Create – Engage

  1. Listen: whether you’re dealing with Twitter, Facebook groups, blogs or forums, the first step is to listen. Listen to what people are saying about your company, brand, issue or topic of interest.
  2. Create: create content. If there is nothing interesting on your Facebook page, Twitter account, blog etc. you can’t expect people to come back regularly to the site. 
  3. Engage: this is crucial. Without interaction, your social media tools simply become another broadcasting mechanism. Invite people to discuss, reply to comments, ask questions and get to know people. When speaking face-to-face with someone, no one appreciates someone who talks constantly and won’t let the other person get a word in. This is same online!  

If you get these three things down pact, social media can be a powerful communication tool and the opportunities and benefits are endless!

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