I just spent a frustrating morning trying to fix a photo uploading problem for the photographers’ blog. It was a good frustrating though, because I’m absolutely thrilled that they are blogging, and that they came to me first and asked me to build a blog for them. I didn’t have to nag. I hate nagging. I love everyone in my newsroom, but sometimes getting them to explore the things they can do online can be… well, frustrating.
We’re down to two full time photogs and a couple of stringers now so the fact that they somehow find the time to put one of their fantastic photos up on their blog makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Barrett especially takes the time to write nice captions, explaining why he took each photo and giving our readers a glimpse into the process of photography. It’s one of my favourite blogs in our stable. The idea for The Things We’ve Seen is that Barrett and Scott (and hopefully the stringers if they want) to have a place to post photos that don’t make it into print. When they cover an event, the take more than a few pics, and sometimes I’m sure it’s difficult to pick just one for A-1. or in the case of this photo, it was something they took on their own time for not other reason than it was pretty.
I’m hoping they enjoy blogging and don’t look on it as a chore. I think that’s the key – if you view it as a chore, then that’s what it will always be. I have a couple of reporters who take that tack and changing their opinion of it is a battle. But I have an editor who is blogging and is always telling me how much he enjoys it. He took up the idea of blogging when he decided to train to run in his first-ever marathon and the paper would track his progress in print, and he’d post daily updates. It’s working out really well, and he’s discovered that he likes the blog thing (oh, and he likes the running thing too 🙂 )
Fitting blogging into a busy schedule can be difficult. You either have to make the time for it, or you don’t. But! Blog posts don’t have the be novel-length. I’m the exception, because I can’t seem to shut up when I start writing, but even posting a link and a blurb about the link is considered a post. I wonder if a lot columnists who blog make this mistake by thinking a blog is an extension of their columns and therefore should be column-length every time. Not so! Look at Dave Barry’s blog. Most of his posts aren’t any longer than two or three sentences. In the time it takes you to text your significant other that you’ll be late for dinner, you could have thrown up a quick blog post.
And so it goes. Progress is being made in my newsroom, and hopefully it’s not a significant drain. judging by the feedback I get, it’s working well. Now if they would just talk to each other about how easy it is…