Blogging 101

A place to start: blog lists, blog search engines, metablogs, award-winning blogs, beat blogs, and past student work.

Term = web + log
Basically it’s an online journal or diary.
Began about a decade ago. Bridge the gap between email and web pages.

Common Components:
-online journal with postings in reverse order
-post or entry
-links (be a source of useful information, even if it is not on your page – think yahoo vs. google)
-time stamp
-blog roll
-it generates an RSS feed
-But the content can be whatever the blogger wants it to be.

A Feed
A feed is constantly updated information of what has been posted or commented on your blog. It’s the text without the design.

When you post on your blog, you are creating a feed. To see the feed for the class blog, type in

WordPress offers a nice description of feeds.

For a free, web-based feed reader, try Bloglines or Google Reader.

BoingBoing – a directory of “wonderful things”
Lifehacker – making life more productive
Mashable – online tech stuff
Drudge Report – political news and gossip
Huffington Post – political news and opinion
Post Secret – people’s secrets on postcards
i howd – how to do things
TMZ – celebrity gossip
PerezHilton – celebrity gossip
Deadspin – sports gossip
Gawker – NYC media gossip – political commentary (left)
PowerLine – political commentary (right)

More obscure, but still influential blogs
Overheard in New York – random conversations
Chocolate and Zucchini – French food blog
I Love Typography – fonts, typefaces
I Can Haz Cheeseburger – cute cat photos
Said The Gramophone – sampling of “good” music
Up in Alaska – “Alaska journalist who likes to bicycle in horrendous conditions and eat goldfish crackers and Pepsi for breakfast. ”
Confessions of the Pioneer Woman – 30-something ranch wife with literary flair
TV Newser – cable tv news
TVdecoder – cable tv news

Aggregators – ie Medlogs
Blog swarms or mob blogs
Group blogs – ie Consumerist
Photoblogs – ie
Vlogs – ie YouTube,,, and Brothers 2.0
Microblogs – ie Twitter and how it was used in Mumbai

Technorati – “what’s percolating in blogs now”
Technorati’s Top 100
Google Blog Search

The Bloggies

For this class, I am asking you to take a particular approach which has been called “beat blogging.” defines the term as “any blog that sticks to a well-defined beat or coverage area, whether it is the work of a single person or a team, whether it is authored by a pro or an amateur journalist.”

“Content-wise, a beat blog presents a regular flow of reporting and commentary in a focused area the beat covers; it provides links and online resources in that area, and it tracks the subject over time. Beats can be topical (like, which is about natural resources and the environment) or narrowly geographic (West Seattle blog) or both (Atlantic Yards Report) or activity-related (Family Life, which is about “raising a family.”)

When beat blogs are part of a pro reporters work, the best ones are not incidental to the reporter’s work but an integral part of it; sometimes the blog is the main platform for the beat.”

Explore a beat blogging approach on the blog list

Explore some local New Jersey blogs with blog list and

Painted Philly – Philly street art
Buzz Around the Boro – Things to do in Freehold
Backyard Buzz – Do it yourself beekeeping
For the Record – Everything from tubes to turntables in Southern NJ
Twenty-Something and Starving – An American girl’s quest for world cuisine
Cross Keys Scene – Reporting on the Cross Keys corridor development
Motion 2.0 – Parkour/Freerunning news, views, and all things that run, jump, climb and move
Garden State Prose and Cons – A review of literature from and about New Jersey
The South Jersey Rialto – South Jersey community theater
A Flash of Light – Lightning awareness in NJ
Rediscovering the Grove – A historical perspective on Pitman, NJ

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