What I Look for in Blogs

More often than not when I’m reading through blogs, it is not for hard news. Much of the information I seek out via blogs is geared more towards lifestyle subjects. For example, I read various blogs related to music, literature, golf and hunting. While these subjects all have their own versions of hard news, it is frequently not found in the blogs also related to the subject.

In terms of literature and music, these blogs feature reviews of new material. The music blogs I tend to follow either reference new music being released and review said music. Likewise, many of the literature blogs I follow discuss new and upcoming books are featured short stories. These blogs also have reviews of the new material they are covering. Sometimes, the literature blogs have content related to more analytical content–discussing the importance of an older work or emerging trends aesthetically.

In terms of golf and hunting blogs, these, almost always without fail, are focused on “how to.” In both activities there is never a shortage of learning how to do something with more ease and these blogs focus on that, typically.

Lantern Article

This Lantern article explored the renovations that will begin after the first of the year for the new brain and spine center at the Wexner Medical Center. I liked this article because it explored the small details surrounding the expansion and renovation including financial details in an illuminating way.

I thought the way the author incorporated direct quotes along with paraphrasing was utilized really well. Sometimes articles become really watered down with just direct quotes. By having both direct quotes and summation of information from sources, the momentum of the article was consistent and progressive.

I also thought the statistics about neurological health was really fascinating, yet not over the top. I think it would have been a more succinct piece if the author delved into the importance of this project beyond just the need based on neurological heart; for example, how many other hospitals like this one exist?

Finally, the author finding a current OSU nursing student to comment on the expansion was a great idea, and I think the source provided meaningful content. However, it would have also been nice if the author somehow incorporated more OSU students who are not related to the medical field in some way, which could provide a more well-rounded opinion of the campus community about the project.

Pintrest

I think the New Yorker magazine Pinterest account is an interesting way of portraying news. This specific accounts seems geared to predominantly posting all The New Yorker covers, which I think is really interesting. The New Yorker has long been known for having some significantly iconic covers related to a main story in that magazine’s edition.

Stonehenge Feature

The opening paragraphs of the Stonehenge feature in the New York Times grabs our attention by explaining, or at least presenting a theory, as to why some of the structures around Stonehenge exist. This is interesting because, as far as I know, there is not an agreed upon theory behind the function and purpose of Stonehenge. This anecdote sets the stage for the main news item within the story because the theory proposed could in some way apply to the different structures in this area of Britain.

“Michael Parker Pearson of University College London has excavated houses at Durrington Walls and along the nearby River Avon, and he has proposed this is where the builders lived for the grandest stage of Stonehenge’s construction, which started around 2600 B.C. The giant stones, weighing some 40 tons, were moved and carved. He believes smaller bluestones, about two tons each, had been taken to Stonehenge during the initial construction from the Preseli mountains in Wales and now more, larger ones were hauled over.”

I think the preceding paragraph is interesting because it tries to explain a possible theory about Stonehenge and, presumably, some of the other structures in the area. The author of the article is explaining how one archeologist works in the field to conduct research into the Stonehenge by excavating homes. I also like how the author delves into Pearson’s theory about how some of the boulders came to be at Stonehenge–something nobody has really agreed on.

“‘The stone monument is iconic,’ said Wolfgang Neubauer, the director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Vienna. ‘But it’s only a little part of the whole thing.’
“Discoveries in the last decade, some via modern technologies like ground-penetrating radar, have revealed more about the people for whom the giant monuments held great meaning.”

The preceding two paragraphs are a good example of directing attention from one idea to the next idea of the article. Here, the quotation is referring to Stonehenge (“monument is iconic”). But from there is leads into some of the technology being used not just at Stonehenge, but in some of the other areas around Stonehenge that have similar structures from different time periods. What stands out to me in these connected paragraphs is how the author incorporates the most widely known idea in the article–Stonehenge–but is segueing into the other structures being studied by archeologists in the area.

The Importance of Instagram and the News

The New York Times Instagram is a good example of an organization that utilizes the social media platform for newsworthiness. The Times uses Instagram in a somewhat unusual fashion, though. More often than not, The Times uses Instagram to post photos of news stories that are more focused on human interest or features, rather than raw, hard-hitting news pieces. The Times does use Instagram to post photos of important breaking news, but it is far less frequent than the human interest and feature pieces.

Much of the content in the Times Instagram feed is devoted to photojournalism which focuses on stories that are far from front page news stories. Additionally, the Times uses Instagram to highlight certain photoessays they are working on. A lot of the content in the Times Instagram account focuses on travel, which, again, would be more geared towards features and human interest.

The Importance of Being Digital

The Guardian article offers a two-fold benefit to being digital and web-based. First, in terms of digital and being web-based, our information handling as actually moved backwards in some sense. Second, the way journalists function and disseminate information has evolved to be more of a give-and-take practice.

The anecdote offered up by the Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo I thought was fascinating. In a very real sense we as a society function similarly to how ancient Greeks did, in that we go to the agora and hear about news through word of mouth and gossip. Only we don’t really go to agora, we go to the web, more often than not, social media, and find out what is happening. In this way, we have sort of regressed at the same time, technologically, we are evolving.

I also think it’s important how the web has transformed how journalists function. With web-presence the audience if far more active in the story-telling activated of journalists–and as the Guardian article pointed out–many of the scoops and newsworthy material is derived from the audience. Before the digital and web-based platforms it was the other way around; journalists would be on the street seeking out stories by immersion, now it seems that stories come to them through the interaction with the audience.

Use of Twitter

By in large, my tweets are of links with some comment about those linked news articles. I would say that I could stand to be a little less critical and perhaps tone down the sarcasm a bit, with regards to judging some of these stories. However, I would not say that I am being unprofessional in some of my comments.

In terms of bolstering my use of Twitter I could engage in more news-worthy tweets. I think that I could tweet more actual news information, rather than tweets of articles, and thus, be less critical of others’ work.

Twitter feed

Much of the information in my Twitter feed is related to literary subjects as I follow a great deal of literary journals and magazines. Read and writing is a primary interest for me, so it makes sense that a lot of what I follow is related to that.

Second, in terms of content, would be traditional news outlets–primarily The New York Times. I am an adamant reader and follower of the Times because I believe it is the greatest newspaper, if not just in America, the world. As such, most of the news information in my Twitter feed is from The New York Times.

Next would probably be local news outlets, mostly the Columbus Dispatch, and some from WBNS 10tv. However, these news outlets post less frequently and I do not click as often on these links as the other posts.

In terms of raw content, a lot of what is in my Twitter feed are links to stories located on third-party websites (like The New York Times or the Columbus Dispatch). Very little of the content of my Twitter feed is made up of just standard, non-linked tweets.

Reviews

In one review for the newest iPhone, the 6S, the tone was largely negative. The review praised the phone’s sleeker feel (even if “negligible”) and its newest technology–the 3d touch. However, by in large the review was relatively negative, attacking the “rubbish” battery life–something that has been cancerous to virtually every iPhone. The defining adjective for this review with regards to the phone would be “can’t.” The review ends with a number of things the phone is unable to do, as opposed to what is new and innovative.

In another review, the tone was noticeably more upbeat. This review praised all of the same new things that Apple lauded in the keynote address–namely the 3d touch. This review agreed, as well, that the battery life leaves a lot to be desired. the Defining adjective for this review would be “impressive.” In the verdict section at the end of the article the verdict digresses about what impressive new features the phone boasts.

In terms of emulation, I think I could take a lot from both reviews. The first article was far more objective, if not critical. The second article was far more positive and seems easy to believe that the writer (or media outlet, in general) is a huge fan of Apple products, which could cause one to lose objectivity.