So we’ve been writing and posting away on our laptops like good little postgraduate journalism students. Blogging weekly (sometimes two times, one on the online lectures we’ve been having and the other on a niche subject of our choice)
Poor me I have resigned myself to the challenge of making a cake every week to maintain my investigative cake blog .
But hang on. Are we just blogging into thin air? Is anyone actually reading this stuff apart from our mothers? Well, a recent visitor made us realise that potential employers really do read our web babies…and this can sometimes lead to beautiful things…
Joanna Geary, web development editor at The Times was indeed a rather inspiring guest lecturer, not many years older than us all, she has got herself a darn good post at a huge London paper and what got her there? Twitter and blogging.
With no postgrad diploma behind her, Geary broke into the media world on her own back. It was a long wait and many rejections but eventually she secured herself a job at The Birmingham Post as a business journalist.
Facing the blogging world. From early on in her journalistic career, Geary soon established herself as a respected blogger despite not being all that bothered about it early on and not really knowing what to blog about. I think many us can relate to this, as we were all rather overwhelmed at the initial prospect of starting up a niche blog, but now, like Geary we just can’t get enough of the blog (I may just be speaking for me here though, I have become a bit of a blogging geek this semester!)
Asking new questions. After a short while Geary’s blog started getting more and more attention. Why? She was asking questions on her blog that weren’t really being asked at that time, such as the fact that journalists weren’t really questioning why their jobs were in trouble. Her editor was impressed by her extra online activity, and Geary was soon given a new role at The Birmingham post, in charge of promoting The Birmingham Post’s social presence online and this opportunity set her on the path that led to her role at The Times.
The possibilities of online. Geary got spotted online from her now editor at The Times, through her own blogs, the social media work she was doing for The Birmingham Post and her friendly twittering to media folk.
Communication. Her success is clearly not due to luck. It’s her ability to engage well with people, on and offline, her willingness to get out there and ask questions about stuff she doesn’t understand, and her creativity- thinking outside the box, not just regurgitating stuff.
Keep blogging but keep it interesting. As I admitted before I am a teeny bit addicted to this blogging malarky, so for me there’s really no danger of stopping. However, no matter how much we post stuff Geary is a real reminder that we need to remember the importance of quality. The key to success is originality and keeping the reader interested. Being original comes partly from not being afraid to experiment – as Glyn our online leader told us ‘don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty’ at the beginning of the course. Geary was adventurous by starting up a blog at a time when blogs weren’t particularly a huge thing, she was apprehensive about starting a blog, but took a chance and had a dabble with social media. Geary went into the whole journalism thing with confidence and willingness to try new things and look where she is now.
Of course I’m not saying that a good blog = job. What I’ve taken from the lecture is to try stuff out, don’t be afraid and get involved as you just don’t know where things will lead you. Good philosophy non?