Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Must be a control issue

I've been working on a project here to get our publishing staff into the blogging world. It's tough going.

I've been trying to figure out why, and I think it boils down to a control issue. Traditional journalists are taught a system where nothing goes out without being reviewed by at least two other people -- fact checking, grammar, etc.

Putting them in a blog world is a different experience because the outside world is your editorial review panel. You put out the ideas and see what comes back -- if anything comes back. You have even less control over what your audience says than over your own ideas.

I can understand the fear, but that doesn't mean the solution is to avoid it. Our publications tend to be fairly bland because they're not written by marketing experts. They're written by reporters. Furthermore, they tend not to have much outside contact with marketers besides the interviewing process when they're working on a story. As this moves along, I'm hoping they'll start to see the blog experience as a better way to find sources and story ideas. It's just proving harder than I thought to get them there.

We're also planning to start working out outside people on mini-blogs -- these will be marketers. Interesting to see if they take to blogging easier.

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