Monday, November 14, 2011

On "Live Blogging"

There are basically two ways to write a blog post. One is to consider your topic and what you want to say for whatever period of time in your head and then just sit down and write the post. The extreme of this method is treating the blog like a journal and literally write off the top of your head. The other is to write the erstwhile post first, before posting it using the blog format. So you might write your essay using Word or some other program, then cut and paste it into Blogger or Wordpress or whatever.

Usually, I live blog. I think about what I want to say in my head, then try to translate those ideas into words, trying to be clear, considering length etc. Sometimes a post is an expansion of a Facebook post or a comment on someone else's blog but still it is not a "second draft" of an essay. I suppose my writing would be better if I wrote drafts but it takes some of the passion out of the writing, some of the immediacy out of it. Live blogging is not always easy; posts sometimes take a l-o-n-g time to compose. Sometimes ideas just will not cooperate. The essay goes in circles. The writing just stinks. Something important ends up being unsaid.
Sometimes I do write drafts. Even with the Blogger iPhone app, it is easier to write on the note function of the phone. When this happens, it is a draft and it gets revised a bit before transfer to Blogger. Very rarely I feel that a post requires extra care; hot topic, need to fact check, like that--in that situation i might write a draft. Hazards of live blogging? Perhaps a post that isn't perfect. For example, while I was pretty happy with Saturday's post on crime, I didn't take time to get into the role of education, I didn't talk about the issue of keeping hope alive, and I wasn't completely happy with the phrase "the rest of the city needs to be protected". On the other hand I like the post for its impact as you read it.

There's a saying: the perfect is the enemy of the good. If I fret over how far from perfect my blog posts sometimes are, nothing would ever be published. That rather misses the point of writing doesn't it. It also is more stressful and much less fun.


Bob G. said...

I'm with you when it comes to "live" posting...I much prefer to do it when it's "fresh" in my "strike while the iron is hot", as they say.
I will compose some thoughts beforehand (maybe the night before), just to make sure I get the main "points" across.

My biggest bugaboo comes with dyslexic keyboards, spell-checks that bite, and grammatical errors...LOL.
Then again, I was never an English major, nor did I take up journalism...(next life?)

Excellent post.

Stay safe out there.

Craig Hover said...

I try and treat most of the posts on my blog as a feature story. I certainly make mistakes sometimes, but I want everything on there to be a reason for someone to visit. I could put more little snippet type things on there, but I don't want to scare away the people that subscribe through e-mail or whatever. There are some things that I would like to write about, but I don't know how to make them into a substantial story with a little staying power, so I leave them out.

There are other blogs that I look at that don't do it that way, and I enjoy looking at them too. Plus, I suppose the more stories, even short ones, there are, the more often people have to visit.

Bob G. said...

Having stopped by your blog, I find it VERY interesting.
I love the history of the automobile
Being a closet "gearhead" for many years, I can appreciate the manner you present your posts.

Although I read a lot of blogs that do the snippet gig, I prefer the "feature".
Mine tends towards a "theme" most days, and sometimes, I have to multi-part the posts over 2-3 days (research can be overwhelming...LOL)
I liken it to an "editorial"-of-sorts.

I believe you have a great topic to consider a "daily read", and (to me), it's a nice change of pace.
I'll gladly add you to my list.

Roll safe out there.

Craig Hover said...

Thanks! I like it how we can all find each other and check out new blogs through the comments section on another blog. I'll definitely look through your posts!

The Observer said...

Craig and Bob:
Super glad you guys found each other. Many of the blogs I read regularly I found through comments on other blogs. So much fun!

The Observer

The Observer said...

As to form, I think of my posts generally as editorial pieces. Generally, I am coming off of a news story or someone else's opinion. Every so often I will be more reporter-like, such as when I go to a forum, meeting, or to city hall. Usually then I work off notes, and I am concerned with giving an idea of the proceedings before I express an opinion. Because I have no "journalist" training (and in fact had to overcome the medical/healthcare habit of the passive voice!), I sometimes have to work hard to get those type of posts to come together.

When in doubt, take pictures. Lots of pictures. Really, I wanted to be a photojournalist when I grew up!

The Observer