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For those of you that blog as part of the job...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Hustle, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. Hustle

    Hustle Guest

    I need some help in how I can do mine better. I was charged with writing a NASCAR blog, since I'm essentially the only person in this department that could pick Jack Roush out of a lineup without his hat. (The idea came from our EE, who thought it would be a "cool idea" to have a NASCAR-only blog.)

    I try to do something daily; so far, there hasn't been any big enough news to do anything more than that (plus, I hardly cover Cup full-time, so I wouldn't be in any position to break news from it). The entries come out essentially as lite columns that range from topical (Mears/Vickers) to previews/reviews to random other stuff that I can fill the day with. (I have my own blog, but that's far more free-flowing.)

    The nuts and bolts of it is this: I check out Jayski or wherever else to see if there's anything big I hadn't covered; if there's not, I'll hunt around to find an idea and go from there. The writing isn't especially great (I wouldn't say I half-ass it either, however), and perhaps that's an area I need to concentrate on.

    But that's why I'm asking for help. Let me know what I can do better, something else I can concentrate on or any general suggestions you might have. It is something I enjoy doing because it's one of the only areas where I have full and complete ownership and am not bound by anyone or anything. Our web boss tells me that it is being read, but I've yet to get a comment from anyone (though there was one spam comment, but I'll take what I can get at this point).

    Since you all know where I am anyway, have at it: Hustle's NASCAR blog at work (ignore the World Cup stuff)
  2. Doesn't look like there's anything wrong with the content, although I'd make sure to have an extra line between paragraphs for readability's sake.

    I'm guessing you'd get more comments if you actually had your own blog. The catch-all approach that mixes World Cup reports with NASCAR commentary is kind of confusing and muddles the content.

    From what I can gather, people don't start commenting until they can identify with the voice (and they'll respond faster if the voice they idenfity is friggin' nuts, but your don't want to lose credibility, obviously). It makes it harder to identify the voice when it's diluted by content they're not interested in.

    And I'd ask the web guys to see if they could change the link that says "Read Less" to "Back" or something. While "read less" is technically correct, it's not something you'd want to suggest to anybody.
  3. umiami06

    umiami06 Member

    The only feature I dislike is the fact that you perhaps have to click "read more" to get to the end of it. Personally, when surfing, I don't like to do that. I'd love to be able to read all of it there. Doing stuff like "most overrated driver" is good. That's the stuff that people like reading and it can get discussions going. Also, make sure it is promo'd well and people know that it exists. If you still have problems, I'll revert back to our office joke here: Are you sure that fanbase can read?

    "words, words, words, words, PICTURE!!"
  4. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Re: For those of you who blog as part of the job...

    I'd try to make it more concise. Just because you can write longer in blogs doesn't mean you should.
  5. sportsed

    sportsed Guest

    I sure do hope you're getting paid extra for this extra work you're putting in. </every bitter, overworked sportswriter alive>

    The only thing I'd add is you have to keep at it. I don't think I'm breaking any news here when I say blogs that get updated once every 10 days aren't on anyone's must-read list.
  6. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i'll admit that i'm a former sports writer so i can only respond as a blog reader, not a writer. (although i have a blog, it's about my life in law school). my view on sports writer blogs is that i need stuff i can't get in your paper or anywhere else. if you have limited resources and you can't give me the inside dope on what it's like to be in the garages or travelling with the crews every week, i'd recommend taking strong viewpoints (i saw you did that with the most overrated post--that page was too unweildy with all the world cup stuff repeating itself over and over for me to wade through your other posts). not irresponsible stuff like rumor and innuendo, but strong opinions that you know will be controversial. as a reader, if the blog is just another column that could just as easily run in the paper, i won't be reading it. it's also good practice and should create good clips if you want to become a columnist.
  7. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Re: For those of you who blog as part of the job...

    Also, this thread should be: For those of you who blog as part of the job.
  8. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    Re: For those of you who blog as part of the job...

    One blog that I try to read just about every day -- he doesn't write one EVERY day but he's been cranking them out as of late -- is Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News. Here's the link to him. His sports topics aren't limited to NASCAR, but he does cover a wide range of sports topics. The Daily News actually has a lot of beat writers doing blogs now -- NBA, USC, Dodgers/Angels to name a few.

    Here's the link to Hoffarth's stuff:

  9. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    Write about whatever's occupying the NASCAR part of your brain...put links to stories you like or don't like and comment on 'em. Put links to video clips...Update, update, update....put whatever's on your mind...the sort of shit you would say to a buddy while you were watching a race and drinking a few beers. To me, the key with that sort of thing is attitude and having a strong knowledgeble voice (or at least acting like you know what you're doing). And have fun with it.
  10. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    Hey BuckWeaver, I'm not Tom Hoffarth. I used to work at the Daily News and I happen to like his work and, specifically what he presents both in the paper and on his blog. By the way, I liked your acting in Eight Men Out too. Are you Charlie Sheen?
  11. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    I still think TH's blog is worth checking out (add another one for me, Buck).

    Can't believe I messed up on the Sheen item. You are right about Cusack. My bad. :eek:
  12. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    dont ask espnguy... your pissant little blog, and other small time things like it at other papers, is part of the problem he has in covering nascar with the rest of his cliquey buddies....
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