Category Archives: Blogging

The Laughter Track

I’ve been working on another blog for the past couple of weeks, It’s for one of the Online units of my Jounalism degree but is also an outlet for my interest in TV Comedy.

Check it out at Laughtertrack.wordpress.com 

It’s full of News, reviews and analysis on all things Comedy on TV.

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Filed under Blogging, Comedy, TV

A Few Reflections

I haven’t posted for a while because of things have been a bit hectic and to be honest I think I lost a bit of steam with keeping this blog going. So as a way of kicking myself back into gear I think it might be a bit useful to take a look at the some of the things that I’ve found useful in developing this blog, and highlight some of the things which might be usful for others trying to grow a fledgling blog.

1. The most important thing I’ve found out is that you need to post regularly. Not necessarily every day, but on a regular basis so that your readers can know when to expect having something to read. Readers will also check back more regularly if they can expect to find something new. It’s something I’ve been guilty of not observing recently and my blog traffic has suffered because of it. A good way of keeping blog ideas coming and being able to post regularly is to make lists of possible ideas of blog posts that you can work on at a later date, rather than having to come up with an idea every day.

2. Social networking is also a really vital way of bringing new readers in. I think Twitter is probably responsible for about half of my new traffic at the moment and facebook was really useful for letting all my friends know about the blog at first, most of whom are now regular readers and have sent links on to their friends. The thing with social networks though is that there’s so many of them and they’re constantly changing so it can be hard to keep up with them and really get to grips with more than a couple of them. However they are well worth using especially if you can use them to join up with other bloggers in a similar vein. I think the trick is to just try all of them and work out which networks are most effective for you. My project for this week is to really get to grips with Digg and work out how to use it to my advantage.

3. Commenting on other blogs is an essential part of blogging. It’s along similar lines to my point about social networking, but no-one is going to to just randomly visit your blog if you don’t tell anyone about it or interact with anyone else. I quite often try to seek out other similar blogs and comment on interesting posts they may have, partly to add something to the conversation, partly in the hope that people will then follow my comment back to my blog (there’s a setting on wordpress that turns your name into a link to your blog). I struggled at first finding similar blogs to mine, because I cover such a range of topics but WordPress’s tag surfer is quite a useful way to do this.


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Filed under Blogging, Site News

This Blog needs you!

I’m really a bit of a newbie when it comes to blogging. I’ve had a couple of ones in the past where I didn’t really know what I was doing (not that I know much more now) but this blog has only really been going with any degree of seriousness for a couple of weeks.

It’s all growing very nicely and all my complicated graph thingies are moving in very encouraging directions but I’m still looking around for all sorts of good ways to bring more people in and make the blog all that more enjoyable.

I also seem to have hit a slight wall when it comes to coming up with good ideas for blog posts. It can be pretty tough trying to come up with something everyday.

So, through my ingenious brain power I hopefully have come up with a way of killing two birds with one stone.

I want to create more of a sense of community and encourage you lot out there to comment a bit more so we can have some debate and a bit of interactivity.

So heres the plan, I want you to comment on this post with suggestions for what you would like me to write about. It can be about anything, I have a pretty varied set of interests and can always do a bit of research in order to bring you an informed response to any of your suggestions. Just let your imagination go wild.Bring your ideas no matter how ridiculous, in fact the more ridiculous the better. Even if you have just stumbled on this blog from a random link on the other side of the internet, comment, bring ideas, get involved.

Blogging is supposed to be social.

I’ll be taking suggestions all week and should post one of your suggested articles next week.

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Filed under Blogging, Projects, Site News

Video Blogging

In this mornings online class we were focusing on video blogging, its benefits and the general gist of how it works. So we set out around the uni and grabbed people to interview on the subject of Michael Jacksons return to the stage and his 45 night residency at the O2 arena. Here was the finished product, made fairly quickly and simply with a digital camera and iMovie.

Although its not fantastic quality its a good example of how you can get video content out rapidly.

The lesson didn’t go entirely smoothly though as we spent the majority of it battling problems with the uni macs, which is really the last thing you want in an online lecture.

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Filed under Blogging, Journalism, Music, Video

Political Blogs

I’ve been researching political logs lately, and specifically how many of the more forward thinking political minds (or those with a half decent PR team) are using blogging and the internet to get their messages across.

A great example of an MP who has fully embraced blogging is Iain Dale whose blog uses a good mix of political commentary and information on the MP to be highly informative and also raise his profile amongst a group who may not normally be politically minded or have Tory sympathies. He’s also using RSS and Twitterfeeds to keep followers interested and keep them coming back to his blog.

As good an example of a blog as this is it can hardly be described as impartial though seeing as its primary aim is to interest people in Iain Dale and the conservatives. The internet, as the great tool of public free expression, is also being used by a good number of independent bloggers. They often use many of the same techniques as the pro industry backed outlets, such as the aforementioned RSS and Twitterfeeds but often also gain momentum by creating communities around the blog for like-minded individuals.
Some of the major Blogs in this category are Harry’s Place and Guido Fawkes’ Blog which both have strong liberal leanings and give a vociferous if not always PC account of the major political stories as well as opinion pieces. I have mixed feelings about them.

On the one hand they give a voice to a section of political thought which can be marginalised by the popular press. Socialist newspapers are pretty rare and anaemic occurences these days and if they were to write with the kind of gung-ho accusations that blogs can they would be simply sued into the ground. In this way Blogs fill a vital political void giving air to all viewpoints which might have too limited a readership for print. Perhaps more blogs can help against the horrifying trend to centrism in modern politics which makes both Tory and Labour near identical.

But on the other hand it gives a voice to zealots, madmen and racists a chance to gain supporters and legitimise themselves.

To sum up, blogging is no longer possibly changing politics, it has and will continue to, its forming communities and creating debate, which can only be a good thing, just as long as people remember that blogs can be unreliable and that the people writing them may not be all they seem.


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Filed under Blogging, Politics