Article in "Dalslänningen" local paper from my home town


I red something interesting in the book "The new rules of marketing" by David Meerman Scott. THere's maybe ten pages in there about blogging that I thought that I should red. I did and I agree with him about what he says about blogging.

Fear not journalists, blogging is not here to steal your jobs... The book is from 2007 and in the new media world that is almost old, and journalists in the regular media doesn't seem to have a problem with blogging anymore.

He still say something I didn't think about before and that makes a lot of sense.

"Thinking of the web as a city, rather than a newspaper, and bloggers as individual citizens voices probides implications for all net-citizens."

How to maintain a blog or How I learned to make myself interesting

I have had this blog for three months now and the time has passed fast. I have tried to keep it up and to keep it interesting. I know that I have failed from time to time with both of them but it has given me further knowledge. I haven't quite yet figured out my theme, I guees I don't really find my life interesting enough to actually write about or I just find it to personal to be posted online. I do however like to post my thoughts and opinions online and i believe that the more people discuss their thoughts and opinions, the better. This is a way for me to leave my thoughts and opinions out there for anyone to discuss.

It might sounds sleezy but I do like blogging and I hope that I will create and maintain many more blogs in the future. This is an article I made in magazine article writing class as a result of my blogging. 

Mimmi Törnberg

Blogging is a phenomenon that started in the 90’s and is defined as “a website that publishes updates in reverse chronological order”, according to MediaShift. The credit for starting the blog is given to Jorn Barger, who coined the expression weblog in 1997. In the beginning, blogging was to post links to other content on the web, a way of sorting the mess out. Today, blogging is more like a forum to post your personal thoughts, opinions or life. But, even though anyone can do it, a blog without readers is useless online. If you don’t want to have readers to your blog, there is no reason to make it public online. So, to start a blog is easy. You just go and sign up for an account at a blog server or maybe you create your own page and put it up on a server by yourself. and is two of the most popular blogging platforms. Any way you do it, creating a blog is easy, but how do you maintain it? 

If you want to keep you blog up and running for a while, there are three important items to pay attention on, Content, Updating and Images. Your readers should come for the content, return for the updates and stay for the pictures. 

  1. Content 
    Without useful content there’s no use of reading the blog in the first place. Pick a theme and stick to it. Even though the theme limits your blog’s existence, it is better to shut the blog down and start another one than to have one blog with a thousand themes. And don’t fool yourself with thinking that categories will solve this issue. Having one blog with a thousand different themes in different categories is not a good idea. The blog in itself should tell the reader what the theme is. If it is a personal blog about you and your life, you should have personal pictures and a description of you on the page, if your blog is about you making comments about the news, there should be pictures relating to that and a description of why you are interested in the news. There’s no such thing as bad content, the question is how you present it. If you stick to your theme you will get readers that are interested in that theme and they will return for updates. 

  2. Updating 
    A blog is an internet thing. A media in the internet medium and therefore it is fast. There’s no use of having a blog if you do not intend to update it. But, it is better to be consistent rather than effective. Update your blog at certain times or days rather than a hundred times one day and not at all for weeks. Your readers want to recognize themselves so they need consistency. Every writer has a writer’s block from time to time; there is no escape from that. But there are ways of getting around that because writer’s block is not an option if you want to maintain your blog in the best possible way. Make sure that you write entries that you don’t post so that when the writer’s block appear, you have something to post. If you manage to follow the updating, your readers are going to return to you because they know that there will be something new there for them.

  3. Images 
    The visual aspect is important. The main thing is the content and if that is not good, it doesn’t matter how many pictures you have or how good they are, the blog will be bad. But with good content, pictures are going to make it even better. When you first start a blog you pick a design for it. Make sure the design fits the content and stands out so it doesn’t look like any other blog that is out there. But don’t forget about the visual after that. Your readers are going to return to you blog over and over again so they are going to be used to seeing your design. Therefore it is important that you post pictures and graphic elements in your entries. Make sure to choose images that go with your content. And make sure that you don’t overdo it. One picture to every entry is going to make it stiff and predicable so that defeats the reason for having a picture in the first place. Pictures and graphic elements are only ways of getting your blog to stand out from the other blogs that are equally good at updating and have the same theme. 
Then there is one more thing;, a thing that have nothing to do with the actual blog but if you don’t do it, your blog will not have any readers or they will come very slowly. That is marketing your blog. Make sure that your friends and family look at it every day, so it will appear in search tools. Make sure to always link to your blog, whenever you are anywhere on the web.

I got an epifani

It's 04:44 am and I should be doing something I should have done last week. It was not that I didn't have the time, I just rather did something else.

Never the less, I am thinking about other things than those I should and then it came to me. Like an epifani (which, by the way is a real hard word to figure out how to spell) and I realized a solution to my image problem.

If I don't have my own pictures I can always use ClipArt.

I know, not the prettiest pictures, ten years ago. Things actually do change. I looked through the ones in Office and then there's tons of them at the Microsoft website. All free to use (I didn't read the license agreement but they are there and it doesn't seem to be a problem at all to download)

In conclusion, if I don't have my own pictures, I can always play around with Microsoft's ones... 


Hard times

I'm really trying to create entries where I can post images and phots or other creative things that would draw attention. But I figured out that every entry takes about ten times as long to write. 

When I first began with blogging, I just wrote the entries and that was it. I don't know if the content was very good, I didn't pay much attention to it and there was always a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes. But as my blogging continued I started to enjoy it and I wanted to do something real, I didn't really have anything interesting or fun to write about but I started atleast to spell and grammar check whatever I wrote. 

When I got to the U.S I actually had something to write about and I wanted to develop even more. And I believe I have. Now, I think about what to write, I try to find a picture to go with it and if I can't I try to create something in photoshop. I try to attach useful links and I try to write about something interesting and something that I actually put some thouhgts into.

The picture thing is the thing that has suprised me the most. I don't think I will ever figure out the sizes of pictures. A picture is one size in one program and a completely different in another. Which forces me to upload and reload and remake the pictures for my blog a number of times. I do, however, think that pictures is an important element to a blog and I guess that I will get used to it as time progress.

I red a blog the other day from a somewhat established Swedish journalist. She seemed to use her blog to post personal feelings when she is angry or upset with something or somebody. I don't want to use my blog like that. I want to post entries about stuff that concerns and angers me but I hope that I am able to think things through before I post them on my blog.

A blog is though a fast medium and the biggest enemy is writers block. To maintain a blog, such a thing can't exist. There is one thing you can do to avoid this and that is to have entires stored for those moments when writers block appears. Because even the best get the block from time to time and there's no escape, but preparation.

Shame on me

I posted the last entry a week ago and before that it was two weeks before tha last entry. Keeping up a blog is hard. I personally think that atleast one or two entries a day is a minimum and I have not been able to keep that up. At first I felt that I lacked stuff to actually write about and then I lacked the time to write it. In the end I think I lacked both time and stuff. One could say, I got a writers block. But I like blogging and I do believe that it is possible to keep a blog updated and with interesting material for a period of time. A blog can not go on forever and should have one or two specifik themes that the blog evovles around, otherwise it can get too personal and too messy for anyone to keep an interest.

I have however, been to the library and borrowed myself some books.

  • "Blogging for business" by Shel Holtz and Ted Demopoulos
  • "The new rules of marketing" by David Meerman Scott
  • "Web production for writers and journalists" by Jason Whittaker
  • "Html for dummies" by Ed Tittel and Stephen N. James
I will probably not read all of those from cover to cover but I will atleast try and find something useful for my blogging and perhaps a useful tip or so for future reference.

Another problem/issue occured and that's Somehow that toolbar or searchengine or whatever it is got downloaded to my computer and now I can't get rid of it. I have a couple of things on this thing that I can't get rid of but most of them doesn't really cause me any problems., however, do that. I don't know if it is the Swedish prefix it has a problem with or if it is websites without www that it wont let me access. doesn't let me log in to my blog, which prevents me from actually posting any entires.

I am, despite, pull myself together and keep my blog up for the last couple of weeks of the semester.

Barely arrested, not convicted - Here's the adress

The very first thing I learned as a journalist was that I should never, ever, ever put someone's name and picture in the paper if that person has not been convicted for the crime he or she commited or without permission. The three biggest evening papers did that once and it was a huge deal.

It is not a law but it is under the guidelines for tv, press and radio and is taken somewhat serious by the media.

 When the three papers went togheter and published a serie of photos and names of the 100 most dangerous wanted persons in Sweden, media history was made. I remember that my teacher in junior high taped up the pages on the wall, displaying its importance for everyone of us. We had discussions in class about media ethics and wheter this was the right thing to do or not. Because even thought they are criminals who done terrible things, they are still humans who have the right to their privacy and as long as they haven't done anything in the near present, is it right to post their name and photo in the paper for everyone to see and judge?

When it comes to victims and people who are not criminals, the media is very careful and sensetive about names and pictures. There has been some scandals and there are more pictures and names nowdays than before and it happens more often that a newspaper crosses the line and get convicted for breaking the guidelines. (The guidelines are written by the media and those newspapers, tv and radio- stations that agreed to follow the guidelines can be convicted if a commite find that they broke one of them and they have to pay a fee and publish an excuse in their media)

In Johnson ciy press, they post photo, name and adress of people that just got arrested and people who just died in an accident. I react every time and to me, that is bad press ethics.

Somewhere between napping and dispair

Reading the news everyday turned out to be a lot harder than I originally thought. I didn't relize that I always had news around me but I was not the one making sure I had that, it has always been the people around me that provided me with news. Now, those people are still in Sweden and without them, I'm having a hard time figuring out how to get to the news.

Don't get me wrong, of course I can surfe news sites forever and ever without actually getting any information out of it. But I don't want that. I want to be able to get some information out of the news I read and I want to make something out of it. It can be to participate or start a discussion, post my thoughts about it on my blog or be able to search for more information about a particular subject.

I remember that when I lived with my parents my dad always watched the tv news in the morning and because he was the first one up, starting the tv, noone else bothered to try and change the channel. So I spent my mornings watching news. Later on, at school, I always walked by some place where they sell newpapers. In Sweden, there's no boxes hidden behind somewhere you can't find them. Newspapers are sold everywhere and the news bills are displayed everywhere. So, just with walking around, I could read the headlines and get an idea of what is going on. And when I got home, the newspaper where on the kitchen table, ready to read.

When I moved away from home I stopped watching the news in the morning, I just didn't have the time. The news bills, however, was still everywhere to see and even though I didn't buy a newspaper, my friends always looked at the teletext and we always discussed the news in some kind of way or another.

Moving to U.S made me relize that I didn't t do much to contribute to the newsgathering but only participated in it. In Johnson city I didn't read the news at all. It got quiet all of a sudden. I didn't have a tv and I don't read news online. There's no news bills being seen and it was like the world just shut down. I do, however, get the local paper to my dorm room every morning but the first semester I just collected it without reading it. I figured I have to do things diffrently this semester, I started reading it.

I figured out that I like to use online news as a complement to what I read in the paper. So, I get my coffee and read the Johnson City press. After that I go to my RSS feed I have set on Associated Press and I look throught the headlines to see if there's some more information to get. I think this is the best way for me. I think I have my news.

I also try to figure out how to write a transcript properly and I think I will pay the library a vist.

To be a journalist it is not only important to know how to write news but it is also important to actually read the news. I spent a lot of time figuring out a good way of doing that becuase there is so much news and so much information so if I, as a journalist, don't know how to screen the information, there is tons of time being waisted.

And I am really truly sorry but I don't read the sports, sports got screened away. I'm sorry.

AP is my cup of tea!!

Okey, I figured it out that I use online newspapers as a complement to the actual newspaper. Without the actual newspaper, I am lost online. But I also figured out that all news is from the Associated Press so I will try and get my news directly from the source. Other than that, I guess I can always drag myself outside and actually buy a newspaper. Luckely I get Johnson City Press at the door every morning.

I will also try and figure out this RSS- thing. I hear that it is important to know how to handle it, even though I heard it once ... in 2006 ...

First entry

I want to write about the reasons why I want to become a journalist in my first entry for the learner's journal in my independent studies. I'm aware of that journalism is not a job that is seen upon as particulary honorable or useful for that matter. Actually, most people I meet think that it is a horrible profession that everyone could do without. This is not a defend for the profession or why I want it. I just want to share my experiences and thoughts that led me to the conclusion that this is the right thing for me to do.

I've been wanting to be a journalist ever since fourth grade. Everyone I tell this to is always impressed by how I could know so early what I want to do and still stick to it. The thing is that when I was in fourth grade the big show to watch was Louis & Clark and as we both know they work as journalists and I thought it looked so cool and I wanted to be just like them.

But, when I did my first article for my local newspaper when I was 18 and I got to borrow someones computer I just fell in love with the profession. I just loved being in the editorial room with all the people running around and with the news on the radio and the blank screen in front of me.

I covered a local music festival  (actually the only completely Swedish hardrock musicfestival there was) and I wrote the article and took pictures. I was proud of myself even though most people saw through my lack of knowledge when it comes to hardrock. But I was writing for the local paper and not the Rolling Stones so I didn't take much notice of peoples critique.

When I was 21 I did my internship at a PR firm and I loved having the newspaper coming to the office everyday and there was magazines everywhere. I spent all my mornings reading everything I could get my hands on. There was a political scandal going on when I was there and I just felt that if I had been in an editorial room everything would have changed due to the scandal. I just knew that I have to be a journalist, there is no other way.

When I first came to ETSU and I had to write down the reasons to why I want to become a journalist I talked about the Swedish press and political develompent in Sweden. The press is what is stuck between those with the power and those without and its job is to make this gap smaller and both sides more understandable to eachother. These are reason why it is important for anyone to be a journalist and why the existence of the press is important in general. My personal reasons are those mentioned above.

In conclusion, I want to be a journalist because I want my job to be affected by what is going on in the world.

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