Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I wrote in a previous post about the Triangle Bloggers Conference this Saturday (Feb. 12) at UNC-Chapel Hill. In an e-mail this week, the conference's organizers asked participants to post their thoughts on blogs and community and use the term "blog together" in their posts to make them easier to find.

I'll be at the conference, along with at least four of my co-workers who are interested in grassroots journalism and its implications for traditional media outlets. Readers are getting more and more involved in the news process, and mainstream media needs to recognize and accomodate that in order to survive. That's my opinion, btw, not necessarily The N&O's, though I feel certain most of the folks there would agree with me.

I'm a little less certain what the idea of community means for my personal blog. I've been surprised to find out that a few people actually read this. Everything on here has been fairly random, though vaguely related to music. I've gone back and forth on what to write, how to write, how often to write. I've been writing for print for so long that's difficult to get out of the self-editing process.

Having the freedom to write anything I want (within reason, of course -- I don't want to write anything libelous) has been fairly daunting. Does the blog world really need my thoughts on music, technology, local bands, etc? Can I build a community here? Do I even want to, or do I just want to treat this as a personal online diary and repository for links to articles and Web pages I think are cool? After all, I don't have to write for anyone but me.

At a previous publication where I worked, I was told to write so that even a housewife in Apex could understand it. That was the justification my editor used for removing a reference to "Marshall stacks" in one of my articles. He didn't know what that meant, so he didn't know how many other people would get it. Here I can write a rambling post about what to write about, and no one -- but me -- will try to make it work for a certain audience.

Perhaps that's what I'll try to gather from the other journalists at the conference. What kind of personal changes do we need to make before tackling the industry in general?


Leslie Boyle said...

Hi Karen,

I just read your last couple of posts and added a post of my own for the blogcon Saturday. Should be interesting to gain some knowledge about how other people use blogs.

Just wanted you to know I was here. I like your blog, and the colors! Very cool.


melinama said...

EVEN a housewife from Apex? Jeez, someone should have bitten him for that remark.