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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Blogs that shine

I Want to Subscribe Journey to Blogging, Now

Blog That Shine

If you really want to soup up your blog, follow the rules of journalism
By Serene Gohs

Every minute, more blogs are born than cockroaches. Perhaps the former might even outlive the latter.
Singapore's teens aged 15 to 19 are responsible for producing at least 120,000 of these, according to a study released by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) last week.
Researchers polled 1,000 Singaporeans, and found that more than 50 per cent of those in this age group treat blogs in the same way United States' teens might their first cars - as a badge of identity.
A blog's appearance says a lot about its owner, so teens spend a lot of time doing them up in tech decor.
They use blogs to air their views. They also post art, poetry and for-sale items. They dress them with fancy skins and outrageous visuals, upload exotic vodcasts and, of course, stream-of-consciousness podcasts.
Many are carefully meta-tagged and lovingly updated - all just begging to be noticed (let's face it: however 'personal' a blog is, there's no other reason for putting it online).
And, going by the excerpts from teen blogs sent to The Straits Times' IN magazine, the level of creative invention corresponds directly to age.
The younger the blogger, the more outrageous the accessories.
In fact, if doing up blogs was an MTV series, it might be called Pimp My Blog, a spin-off of the channel's programme in which rapper Xzibit overhauls battered cars with such over-the-top elements as fengshui fountains and fake fireplaces.
But what works for cars doesn't do the trick for blogs.
Because readers trawl blogs for opinion, honesty and consumer feedback, as Digital Life reported last week, slapping on the tech icing may just backfire.
Many articles have been written in newspapers, magazines and, yes, blogs about blogging being the new journalism.
If that is indeed true, than bloggers face the same impatient readers that journalists do: No one wants to plough through a lot of dressing for a little bit of stuffing.
They are, instead, looking for blogs that make a point.
Any point.
John Joel Seow, 16, told The Straits Times he reads them for notable opinions.
The Guangyang Secondary School student said: 'I've taken a bigger interest in politics in Singapore this year. I was watching the General Election closely and I have been reading political blogs.'
Unfortunately, the case with most online entries is more as blogger Ian Poh, 19, pointed out: 'I get irritated with blogs which never finish loading because there are an endless number of pictures.'
The full-time national serviceman has kept a blog since he was 16 - one that is deliberately sparse, despite the possibility of it looking boring, because 'I think the best element is just frankness'.
Otherwise, he adds, 'the blog feels contrived, and you don't really know if you're reading fiction or about the person's life'.
So, if blogging is the new journalism, and you want to raise your blog to the next level, why not try these newsroom accessories instead of just the digital ones:
Tip #1: Keep it clear. Big words, bad news. Write short, write sweet, write right.
Tip #2: Keep it credible. If readers know you have lived what you write, they will connect with your blog.
Tip #3: Keep it clean. Resist the urge to turn your blog into a fireworks display. Or even make it too pink.
Tip #4: Get it right. No point grousing about a bad burger if you can't even get the price right.
Tip #5: Keep it original. There's only Mr Brown. And that's because Mr Brown sees life in his own unique, loopy way. Find your own voice. Don't copy. It's already been done.
Tip #6: Find a good hook. The best-loved books, articles and pop songs have a theme, a loop, something that sticks with the audience (read: Kylie Minogue's 'Na-na-na, na-nana-na' refrain from Can't Get You Out Of My Head). Try to get your blog just as addictive.
Tip #7: Entertain. W hatever you do, don't bore your reader.

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Blogger Simon said...

very useful advice :)
hey, I have some free eBooks if you want to grab some

7:42 PM  

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