Now that Mike is our manager of new media and officially championing blogging and podcasting at University News, I have someone to talk to about the blog and the visions I’ve had for it. Someone who has no choice but to listen to my ideas. Heh heh.
One of the things that’s been on my mind is our need to each find our blogging voice and focus.
I knew when we started this endeavor that eventually the blog as a whole would find its focus. But now, to make it fun and vibrant, we each need to find ours. Here’s a related article from Blog Business World, another from Bad Example, both from 2004 although still quite applicable, and a more recent one from the Web Design Resource Guide on informit.com.
Part of what makes the news team successful is that we come from a variety of backgrounds. Paul and Kelly both came from TV. Mike was a radio guy (hence the photo of him with his old timey radio). Susan G., Marcia and I were all newspaper journalists. And Bob, he was the D&C Metro editor.
We also tend to have different passions – Mike’s is still radio, but he also used to singlehandedly produce a PR Tips newsletter for the folks in the colleges he covers. I’m a tecchie. I love all this geeky technology stuff. So does Pete, our grad student web developer. So it makes sense for us to write about those things that interest us and that we understand.
Bob, as in his job, tends to blog about broader issues. Paul is our director and handles the day-to-day news stuff, helping us land great coverage in local and national media. So he blogs about it. Even still, it’ll be more arresting reading once he finds his blogging voice. Paul in the office is a riot, full of sarcastic wit and a quick laugh. Paul on the blog…he got close in his Running Man entry.
Mike’s blog posts sound a lot like…Mike in person. He’s a thoughtful guy, rarely rushing to make decisions, often quite deliberate in his writing and work. When I read Mike, I hear Mike.
Me? I’m a bit of a brain-dump blogger (sorry Mike). I do think about what I write before I write it, just like I think about what I’m going to say – sometimes pondering too long and missing the opportunity entirely. But I also operate on impulse and intuition. I enjoy inspiration and, when I don’t find any, just make my fingers plunk out the words on the keyboard and often find it comes out rather well. I tend to tease and bring out the light side of situations. I used to consider myself the office morale officer, redecorating people’s offices when they went on vacation, throwing soft squishy stress balls to make someone laugh and bringing in peanut butter cups and chocolate.
As for the rest of the crew, Mike and I get to band together and help everyone brainstorm what it is that they like to write about so they have something to focus on and can get blogging. Perhaps Kelly can offer her famous sound bytes of random wacky quotes she hears, Vienna can give the behind-the-scenes look on the News & Events meeting and designing process, and Will can write about politics and then use this as a forum to run for govenor (you know you want to, Will ;).