EMAC 2321 – Writing and Research for New Media
Within the past 2 weeks we have been discussing the differences between Broadcasting and Blogging.
Broadcasting, as we defined in class, is TV (news), Radio, and in some cases Print (news papers).
Blogging is text written by an individual, or small group that can be about any interest the writer may have.
We read Say Everything and Broadcast Institutions, Community Values; both talk about the differences between Broadcasting and Blogging. Scott Rosenberg, writer of Say Everything, pointed out some differences between Broadcasting and Blogging that we discussed further in class. Blogging is posed in reverse chronicle order, is has a narrow, or niche, audience/sub-culture, the writings are raw and personal, there is a 2-way conversation taking place on blog sites, there can be links and hypertext with a blog post to lead to additional information that supports the topic, and in Rosenberg’s writings he talked about aggregation. Aggregation is a collective page of links that lead to other blog sites, usually about the same topic(s). In the reading and in class we discussed how this could be useful and harmful. Useful because it will pop up on search engines and is more likely to be opened and read by the view than a single blog on the 5th page of you search. Aggregation can also help build connections between stories and other blogs, like a networking web of similar and support topics. It is also a new way to ‘reuse’ or ‘remix’ information found on multiple blogs to make a better blog with better information/a better story. On the Broadcasting side of it all they are looking to reach a big, broad audience, they have rules and standards that are put in play by the industry, there is only a 1-way distribution, meaning that views can not interact with the host, and a big factor is that money is involved, reporters have to focus on income so they will report on what will sell not necessarily what they are passionate about.
We went further into our discussion about the Writer vs. the Industry. Writers, who are successful, must be creatable, they have to build a popular and positive reputation, and they tend to be more personal in their writings. These techniques lead to more readers that become followers who will interact with a blog by communicating, posting additional reading material, etc. In the industry the reporter had to report facts (they HAVE to be creatable) and tell an authentic story, something new and fresh.
In our 2nd reading, Broadcasting Institutions, Community Values written by Clay Shirky, was explaining how blog communities are created and how they grow. We discussed the 5 ‘rules of thumb’ that Shirky explained in his writings.
1. Audiences are built. Communities grow.
We talked about the difference between an audience and a community. We talked about how the word ‘grow’ was a very natural world that really highlights that a community is natural it cannot be built, it needs room to stretch out and grow.
2. Communities face a tradeoff between size and focus.
In class we said there is a division between the size of a community and where it’s focus is. If the community stays small you have a small audience but the discussions are focused on the writer’s topic and everyone is in agreement. For lager communities they tend to loose the writer’s focus and they can start building their own ideas that can be different and far off topic than then the original discussion.
3. Participation matters more than quality.
“Publish, then filter” – there is a new way of writing, blogs seems to publish something and they after they fact they go back and edit, ‘filter,’ readers so a lot of this editing own their own by adding supporting links to the topic and making changes to the original text. Readers also edit by choosing what to read. In broadcasting the edits are done first before anything is published or announced.
4. You may own the software, but the community owns itself.
Communities have ruled to govern itself; you can now make a community do what you want. You have to let them explore and use the tools that you (the software) has provided for them to make the space their own and use it they way they want. As an owner of the software you have be able to let the community be free.
5. The community will want to build. Help it, or at least let it.
Ask yourself, what are the motivations the passion of the community? You, the writer, have to show the readers that you are as enthusiastic about the same motivations and passions as they are. You have to engage your readers!
I find that one of the biggest differences between Broadcasting and Blogging is the interaction, the 1 or 2-way communication that takes place with the host. Blogging may not be as creditable as Broadcasting but it becomes more interesting and more rich with every additional commit a community member posts. It is more personable and as humans we want interaction with other humans, we want to be connected, we want to read about personal stories that may relate to our own lives. Broadcasting will never be able to reach this level of personable conversations unless it turns into a blog.
After really reading, re-reading, discussing, and writing about what the differences are I found that for me, I like and will follow both Broadcasting and Blogging. Broadcasting, for me, is visual, it tells me big stories (that in most cases I rather not hear), and gives me the big picture. I then find myself writing my own blog or reading someone’s blog about a topic I saw on the news (broadcast) or I start reading/writing about topics that I find interesting that broadcasting will never talk about. As and EMAC and ATEC student I find that in this world of technology that we live in you have to be able to adapt, and adapt quickly in order to survive, and that is exactly what I intend to do. Learn new ways to communicate, to express my self, to explore new opinions from others and find the best way to ‘broadcast’/advertise yourself to a small community that is forces as well as a broad audience that may find that you are what they are looking for and will in turn join your following community.