Monday, February 02, 2009

Blogging the midnight oil

BEFORE it gets too late tonight, I want to talk about a subject of great importance to you and me – blogging. It’s the new age of publishing.
Here I am, writing; there you are, reading.
While bloggers may typically burn the midnight oil, I have written a lot of words for other purposes about this time of night over the decades.
Much of the outpouring was destined for the next day’s paper. During that era in my life, adrenaline and a supercharged sense of duty pushed me to “get that story” and, yes, even shout “Stop the press” with conviction that the public sorely needed the words I was about to commit to a production process.
Floods and other acts of nature, accidents of many types, night sport events and those across time zones, unexpected twists and turns in matters politic, actions and reactions … many sparks of many types ignite the fires in the bellies of news gatherers.

TONIGHT, it’s just you and me. You are wondering where all this will lead and asking why bother. I am wondering how I can translate my feelings about blogging into an understandable and meaningful form and asking for your patience.
This piece is not about the ‘shock’, ‘horror’ and headlines of the news world but that world is not far away. The blog requires all the skills I have used during a long career in the media. Accuracy and accountability are important, whether a writer is committing for publication one of the major news stories of the day to print in a major mass circulation newspaper, or talking to the world through just one of many thousands, maybe it’s millions, of blog posts that become available every second.

THIS is ‘me 2 u’ – direct, unplugged, a la natural. No roar of the press, no ‘can we really say this?’ calls from editors opting on the side of caution, no deadline …
Ooops, I lie – there’s always a deadline; there has to be. Otherwise, nothing gets finished.
So I here I am, writing late at night, blogging my guts out, so to speak, and writing like there’s no tomorrow (deadline), then contradicting myself and saying there really is a deadline.
That’s the hazier-than-twilight world of blogging, I guess.
Here I am, pretending I am writing without the baggage of “traditional publishing” but then having to admit some major controls are still in place and I have a deadline to get to bed (literally, metaphorically and physically).
What else can I say? Well, watch this space.

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