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Archive for December 14th, 2008

My blogging history

It took me a while to start blogging for The Gazette, but this isn’t my first blog. I have to confess, though, that most of my blogs have been more like online columns. Part of this is because I have not previously used blogging software that was set up for effective commenting. Part of this is because I am an old newspaper guy who thinks like a columnist.

But here’s my blogging past:

I started out writing the Training Tracks blog for the No Train, No Gain web site in 2004.  I wrote about issues of newsroom training.

Training Tracks moved to API’s web site when I began working there in 2005 and No Train, No Gain linked to the API blog. While I continued to write about newsroom training, I broadened my scope, addressing training in general as well as innovation.

While I was at the Omaha World-Herald, training our staff and on the road about writing and leadership, I developed two email lists on which I would send out links to interesting blogs and other materials relating to writing or leadership. When I moved to API, I turned both of these into blogs, Leadership Tips (includes contributions from others) and Writing Tips.

API used a blogging software that didn’t discourage spam and that required bloggers to approve comments before posting. I got so many spam messages about comments that I deleted them in bulk without reading. I did spot and approve a few comments, but I am sure I missed many that snuck in with the spam, so my blogs were not very interactive.

Early this year, I started Twittering and that microblogging experience took over the blogging part of my brain. When I accepted the job as editor of The Gazette and GazetteOnline, I intended to start blogging right away. But then this flood came along and lots of other challenges. I kept telling myself that a blogger needs to post regularly and I was too busy to do that. Well, I still am, but blogging is too important not to. So I will make time to post regularly. Sometimes I will take an email response that I write to a colleague and (with some editing to make it less personal and more broadly applicable) post that. I will post my weekly columns first to the blog (and may post some drafts during the week, seeking feedback). I will blog on some community and regional issues, but I will blog more about the changing newspaper industry and our quest to transform the Gaz into what we’re calling a “Complete Community Connection.” I presume that blogging will cut into my Twittering, though I will tweet each blog post. 

But at any rate, I’m blogging again now. I welcome your feedback. I’m still learning this stuff (not sure what I did to get spaces between the paragraphs on this post but not the first one, but I do prefer this). I’ll develop the links, feeds, blogroll and other features as I go. I welcome advice from WordPress veterans.

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