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Are blogs a complete waste of time?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Snake Plissken, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Snake Plissken

    Snake Plissken New Member

    Yo ... I've done a blog now for over a year at a medium-sized paper, and busted my ass the entire time -- scoring interviews with NFL sack leaders, and former Super Bowl MVPs with a fare amount of regularity.
    Yet I hardly ever get ANY comments and responses by readers, which has to look bad to the boss.

    Have any of you blogging vets found any tips for spurring responses -- like writing 10 inches or shorter, blogging every single day, only blogging after breaking news, narrowing your focus, etc?

    I'm starting to think we here at Sportsjournalists.com should simply respond to each other's blogs, so we can all stay employed ...
  2. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Reader response is always low. Newspaper web sites are no exception. Perhaps you should try Buck Henry's trick on an old SNL sketch where he played a radio talk show host without callers.
    "Killing Puppies! I'm for it!"
  3. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Would I have to read it?
  4. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Some newspaper blogs get tons of responses. A friend that covers an MLB team averages about 100 comments a day on his.
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Major. College. Football.
  6. Agreed. Team-specific blogs get tons of responses. I run a college basketball blog, March Madness All Season, and I don't get that many comments.
  7. Unique readers and page views are what matters to the suits, not comments. Relax.

    But, if you post the link, I'll be happy to make a comment if you think it will help ;)
  8. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I'm doing a very low-key blog right now and I don't care about reaction and readership as much as getting comfortable with the form. But I only say that because nobody is reading.
  9. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Try starting all of your posts with "Yo".
  10. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Not necessarily. One of my favorite BLOGS, Jim Borgman's editorial cartooning blog at the Cinci Enquirer, apparently did great with page views and even won some kind of award for being a first-of-its-kind blog (Borgman posts pages from his sketchbook, where you can see what he's thinking before he commits to one subject). Yet Borgman not too long ago had to beg for more comments, saying the suits measured success by comments as much as the other criteria. I think that's absurd -- it's akin to basing a paper's popularity on the number of letters to the editor -- but that's the suits for you.
  11. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    A wonderful suggestion. A short, succinct lede that never fails to capture both the aimless and dedicated reader.
  12. lantaur

    lantaur Well-Known Member

    Without seeing your blog (if you're comfortable, you can PM me with it of course), sounds like you're writing stories in a blog, as you mention writing in terms of inches.

    I don't think there's any one way to do a blog, but shorter often works best. Of course, being updated often works best, too.

    That being said, if you're writing about the NFL for a city without an NFL team, that might not help. Being specific to the team(s) in town ain't a bad thing.

    As someone else said, it's page views that count, not necessarily messages. I think some people are under the impression people will start posting comments like crazy just because they have a blog. Doesn't work that way.
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