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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Blogging: Is Shorter Better?

Posted by Jessica Madrazo on April 28, 2009

Blogging: Short or Long?

As you’ve probably noticed, blogs are getting shorter and shorter as the years progress. Blog entries are limited to 250 with a maximum of 500 words, and the gaps between paragraphs are forever bombarded and drowned with images. Is this due to the fact that bloggers are getting lazier, or is there an underlying principle behind this word count cut?

Maybe there is. There could be several reasons for this trend, both on the blogger, and the reader. Placing myself on the reader’s shoes, if I were to read something I was interested in, I would probably stick to it for as long as I can, until I get bored. However, if I were to read something I was interested in, and the article happen to be as amusing, then, I’ll make it a point to finish the entire read.

The point is, there aren’t too many blogs out there who can actually deliver all informative, long and fun. If there were, they would probably have monotinized their niche. If unable to deliver these three, the reader would jump to a blog that’s just as informative, but more interesting than yours. There are millions out there, and all very likely to be found. Attention has to be caught early on, or the reader will be lost half-way through the article. Even I would ditch some articles I used to appreciate if I got the same ideas presented in something shorter.

On the other side of the wall, bloggers also have something to benefit from shorter entries aside from having more time to do other things. One is being able to write more than an article a day. Drafting, editing, and finalizing a really long article takes a very long time. Write shorter entries and be able to reach around 3 or 4 blogs a day. Since your ideas are pieced, there are less chances of not being able to write at all. Stuffing a lot of ideas into a single article could lead to a burn out, and you could end up digging for ideas on the next article.

Another thing you should also consider is that readersare most likely looking for specific information. The drill would be to scan the article for their search terms, and with long articles, it will prove to be a daunting task. Hence, they move on to something shorter and concise.

Before you decide that short is for you, keep in mind that it should be matched with quality information. The term is brief; short, and direct to the point. So, is shorter better?

The Freedom of Information Act

Posted by Jessica Madrazo on January 25, 2008

The American Government has finally made moves to expand the coverage of their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). American President George Bush has signed the amendments the Congress has passed, for the FOIA, now known as the Open Government Act of 2007.

The blog world has celebrated on the modification of the term “news media entity,” which now translates into people that distributes content electronically through telecommunications services. The quote on this section states:

…any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience. In this clause, the term ‘news’ means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news-media entities are television or radio stations broadcasting to the public at large and publishers of periodicals (but only if such entities qualify as disseminators of ‘news’) who make their products available for purchase by or subscription by or free distribution to the general public. These examples are not all-inclusive. Moreover, as methods of news delivery evolve (for example, the adoption of the electronic dissemination of newspapers through telecommunications services), such alternative media shall be considered to be news-media entities. A freelance journalist shall be regarded as working for a news-media entity if the journalist can demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication through that entity, whether or not the journalist is actually employed by the entity. A publication contract would present a solid basis for such an expectation; the Government may also consider the past publication record of the requester in making such a determination.

The only constriction implied in this Act is that blogs and websites may be considered as members of the news media, provided that they are in the category mentioned above. Independent and non-traditional bloggers and websites are still in the borderline when it comes to the act, unsure if they are covered by this Freedom Act.

And then, there came the blog

Posted by Jessica Madrazo on September 5, 2007

Birth of the Blog

Inventions and discoveries spring up from the strangest causes and events. The can opener was invented 50 years after the can, leaving people with chisels and knives to use. Fortune cookies were invented, not by a Chinese, but the American, M&M’s were made for soldiers in war, and not for children. The toothbrush was invented by a prisoner. The coinage of the term, blog, to live up to the trend, was also an evolution of a not so mundane occurrence.

There are different versions regarding the history of blogging, but the first one noted was the event on December 17, 1997, when Jorn Barger, author of Robot Wisdom called his new webpage, Robot Wisdom Weblog. Although the idea of blogging was supposedly predicted by William Gibson, saying that one day, people will make a living pre-surfing for others.

The transformation from Weblog to “blog”

“I’ve decided to pronounce the word ‘weblog’ as wee-blog. Or ‘blog’ for short.”— Weblogger Peter posted in his site in May 1999. It was at a time wherein the blog community were itching for a term to identify themselves with. The choices were presurfers, microportals, and escribitionists. With the limited and unattractive choices, the terms blog, and blogger have spread out with viral speed.

Many weblog hosting services came out after that, and at present, 10 years before the first unofficial blog, there are over 71 million blogs all over the world. No one knows where this trend will lead to, but it is concluded that blogging  has ceased to be merely a leisure pursuit.