Archives for posts with tag: Blog

I have enjoyed running my niche blog – Teen Hegemony – an alternative music blog with the intention of championing new music.

I chose to do a music blog because it is a topic I have a real passion for and welcomed the challenge of attracting readers given the large amount of competition out there.

Certain aspects of the blog worked well, in terms of readership it has been quite successful. By using facebook and twitter to promote my content I have received a fair number of hits (150 on my busiest day), my analytics also show the use of SEO helped to generate hits, most notably a post about a recent news story was within the first 20 results on google.

In terms of my niche I have conversations with other writers covering a similar patch and have had a couple of guests posts. However my niche was probably not unique enough and it was difficult not focusing on a specific geographic locale. This meant finding news pegs to justify my posts and there was a bit of a lack of news concerning music I like.

I have enjoyed experimenting with new technologies on my blog. The use of video has been particularly successful and I have nearly a thousand views for one of my uploads. Elsewhere I have enjoyed using maps and charts but I have sometimes been frustrated by the limits of wordpress’ free service which have prevented me from using some of the code I would have liked to.

My main shortcoming was a failure to post as often as I would have like. It was difficult to find time for regular updates and I ended up restricted to shorter posts rather than the longer, more in-depth writing I originally hoped for.

These same time constraints have seen me abandon my blog recently but it is something I would like to return to as the experience has been positive, I have received good feedback and the techniques and ideas I have picked up during the online module allowed me to develop a far stronger online presence than I had before.

In terms of the future I hope to push the blog forward by proactively searching for new music, I hope to draw more content from soundcloud and continue to experiment with new digital techniques.

https://hackbaton.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/andrewmarr/

http://teenhegemony.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/blessing-force-oxford-nme/

http://teenhegemony.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/charting-the-reunions

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Adam Tinworth’s lecture provided a convincing answer to the questions about what blogs should and shouldn’t be, which were dredged up by the Andrew Marr debacle.

Striking the balance between objectivity and readability can be hard particularly on a personal blog. However Mr Tinworth’s 4 point system is an easy way of overcoming this stumbling block.

Pointing to the medium’s birth as the Weblog Mr Tinworth said how blogging is all about interacting with your audience, taking part in a conversation which is flexible and involving.

He said that the format most conducive to this is as follows:

  1. Content – Something you find interesting and wish to share with the world. This can be a link, a photo, a video, a piece of music, anything which will capture peoples imagination.
  2. Context – Provide some illuminating background to what you have posted. This should grab and hold your audience by enhancing their understanding and appreciation of the content.
  3. Discussion – Possibly the most difficult aspect of blogging but one of the most important. You need to stimulate the conversation by drawing people into the issues and making them consider the facts. Though this may require playing devils advocate it is not about pinning your colours to the mast.
  4. Opinion – Lastly, because it is least important, you put forward your opinion on the issue. This gives character to your post providing it with a human element to which people will relate. This will develop the discussion and perpetuate the conversation.

Blogs should follow the many newspapers and magazines who modify their content to ensure greater traffic from search engines.

Too many bloggers are selling themselves short by failing to understand how to make the internet work for them.

We must consider how every word we write relates to the wider structure of the net and take into account how people navigate cyberspace.

This ties in well with good journalistic writing because text which is short, concise and accurate will almost always be more optimised than that which is not.

The most obvious example of this can be found in the headline as you’ve only got 10 words in which to grab an audience with the essence of the story

…so why go with headlines such as these:

A Tribute to George Costanza

Palavers with a community of ghosts

Last Tango in Hamburg

Do you remember the first time?

As you can see, optimised headlines has not been a strength of mine.
But I’m turning over a new leaf, I can see the error of my ways.

There’s a number of things wrong with these headlines.

  1. they’re practically unsearchable
  2. they’re trying to be something they’re not: funny, clever, cool…
  3. they assume to much from the reader.

That’s not to be patronising, it’s just all four of them are references which may well leave a reader totally cold.

On the internet it is wrong to rely too greatly on a prior knowledge because the potential audience is to large to assume a basis of common understanding.

Instead we pick up a scattered knowledge, based on pieces of information we stumble across or are directed to, often via social networking sites.

I say this not as criticism but rather to share a consideration which I hope will shape my writing in the future.

Because I see the real challenge as trying to draw together scattered knowledge and bridge the gaps in understanding so as to provide a comprehensive and authoritative voice.