Currently in the session “Adding more voices to the conversation” at the ConvergeSouth conference.
- Calvin Williams started Our World Our View for young black voices.
- George Curry is an old-school journalist who just started his own blog.
- Nancy McLaughlin writes the religion blog at the N&R.
- Jennifer Fernandez, writes the education blog at the N&R.
…What brings non-stereotypical readers/participants to blogging? Calvin talks about the insight he gained from reading Greensboro City Councilmember Sandy Carmany’s blog. It made local politics more interesting and accessible to him. He talks about having “powerful” people blog as a way to attract more voices.
…For journalists, how do you balance between fact and opinion? There’s a little more freedom to joke around or expand in way you can’t in print. You can show your personality more.
…How to get more young people and people of color involved in a community blog? Make it “cool.” Write about the things people are interested in. Have a personality that people can identify with. Make it more provocative and interesting. eg: NAACP’s Civil Rights Report Card – look at the local one, and other groups. Add pictures and other stuff to make it more readable. Lots of young people are blogging, but in closed communities like LiveJournal and Xanga.
(Idea: should we advertise OP on Facebook?)
… Controversy may bring lots of of hits, but to what end? We discussed OrangePolitics as an example of one where I don’t want numbers of readers, I want certain readers. Some may accuse this of being an echo chamber, I’m OK with that. I am interested in talking to specific people (progressives who might get involved in local issues), the rest are just there (sometimes to my chagrin).
…What about the danger of leaving a paper trail? Be aware of how much information you are giving to corporations online. I mentioned Fred Stutzman’s studies of the Freshman Facebook Zeitgeist .
…What do you mean “blogging is not journalism?” The difference between talking heads from the collecting of information.
So far, this has been a very interesting discussion, but not what I had been hoping for about how to bring more “minority” voices to the Internet. The session is only halfway over but I am going to go ahead and publish this post so participants can see it before we’re done.