Jay Rosen teaches Journalism at New York University, where has been on the faculty since 1986. He is the author of PressThink, a weblog about journalism and its ordeals, which he introduced in September 2003. In June 2005, PressThink won the Reporters Without Borders 2005 Freedom Blog award for outstanding defense of free expression. In July 2006 he announced the debut NewAssignment.Net, his experimental site for pro-am, open source reporting projects. The first one was called Assignment Zero, a collaboration with Wired.com. A second project is OfftheBus.Net with the Huffington Post.
Topic: Advice To Young Bloggers
Jay Rosen: Well, the first thing is to understand what blogging is and how it works. If you look at the phone on your desk, it’s only a piece of the technology that enables that phone to work. 99% of the phone system is not in the object on your desk. It’s in the network that connects all the phones to one another. Well, blog is the same way. The blog that you’re working on, the blog that you publish at, your page, only works because it’s set within a much larger system. The [blogger sphere] and the web itself. And the first thing you need to do as a blogger is understand that system, understand the sphere and how it works before you even get to your [page in it]. So, rather than thinking of your page as your book that you’re just going to inscribe your life [in a time zone], start with the sphere itself a how the web works, because the number one thing you need to know as a blogger is not how to operate the blog and get published. Getting published is easy. Self publishing is here. The real challenge in blogging is getting picked up, becoming part of the conversation. Linking two people out there and therefore getting linked. Participating and mastering the horizontal part of publishing. Insinuating yourself into the online conversation, not just the broadcasting or pushing out part. I think a lot of people who start blogs think of them sort of on the [unpaid page model] and they preache from their platform without linking, without listening, without insinuating themselves into a conversation, without joining a kind of network at all, and those kinds of blogs usually fail.
Recorded on: 08/19/2008