Why should I learn to blog?

dinosaurGood question. Never had to learn it in school or when I last worked for a newspaper, so it can’t be important.

Last week’s PEW report that says that only a little over a third of bloggers consider what they do to be journalism. And forget that most media organizations are looking at blogging to supplement their current content.

I don’t fully understand it and even getting my veteran students to blog is like pulling hen’s teeth. But I’m doing it and I’m starting to understand it, even though what I do I’d call journalism education. I wish that more journalism faculty would try it. We didn’t learn it in school, so we have to teach ourselves. But I can’t even get much participation here … at least not in the first few weeks.

sitemeter mapSite stats show that this blog only gets about nine visits a day and some of those are from such far away places as Alaska, Montana, the east coast, England, Portugal, Chile and Australia. The vast majority are from within California, though. Presumably JACC folks. But only one has bothered to click on a “comment’ button and none have asked to become contributors.

Still, it’s summer. Maybe that’s it.

Kind of reminds me of other reluctant moments in JACC. Twenty years ago there was a reluctance to infuse journalism programs with computers –we had a lot of name calling involved in just thinking about using them for our conference contests. Ten years ago there was a reluctance to learn how to paginate. Now the question is “Pagemaker, Quark or InDesign?” Five years ago only about a quarter of JACC schools had online papers and now by the time school starts in a few weeks there will be, by my count, 52 — JACC’s membership hovers in the 60 range. Hope it doesn’t take five or more years for schools to adopt this new technology. Just dive in!

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