‘You just never know what is going to grab interest’
By Pat Winters Lauro
Drake University student Rachel Weeks was midway through spring semester when a blog post she wrote for a magazine writing course about turning a T-shirt into a tank top hit Internet gold – 60,000 hits.
“She posted a picture to Pinterest and it just exploded,” said Jill Van Wyke, assistant professor at Drake’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Des Moines. “It was eye-opening. You just never know what is going to grab interest.”
Now that even the Pulitzer Prize has been bestowed on a blog — The Huffington Post for investigative journalism — it begs the question: what makes a good blog?
First, blogging is not journalism; it’s a delivery system. Many blogs are promotional in nature or advocacy blogs, an important distinction for students. But within the profession, what makes a good journalistic blog depends on the type of blog it is, which can be as different as the sports page is from the op-ed page in a newspaper. Still, Weeks’ post, the blog equivalent of a service feature, possessed common blog elements that resonated with its audience: it was concise, targeted a specific audience and it was interactive.