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Rettburg Readings Chapters 3 & 4

Citizen Journalists?

This chapter points out the relationship between traditional journalism and blogging. In short, Rettburg says that the two don’t necessarily overlap, thus allowing both to exist without much conflict. Very few bloggers attempt to write an up-to-date account of breaking news and expect readers to follow their blog as a main news source. This role is left to traditional journalists.

Bloggers use their reporting, so to speak, to express their own opinions  and interests, without little regard for objectivity or catering to the majority. Blogs fill the personal sphere, offering a space for reviews, opinions, thoughts, and unverified facts to be expressed without constraint.  Besides, blogs aren’t a comprehensive news source. Even if the blogger does cover topics considered to be more traditional, the stories they pick and choose are still subject to that particular blogger’s interests.

Because traditional journalism and the blogosphere serve different purposes, they are able to coexist without encroaching on each others’ space.

Blogging Brands

Blogs are part of a market, a community that requires a human voice. Capitalizing the human aspect of a  sales pitch is what gives a company an advantage in online marketing. Trevor Cook argues that blogs themselves (Cooperation blogs, that is) serve as an ad in and of themselves, being a direct link between the human voice of the company and the consumer. The Cluetrain Manifesto, a collection of theses on successful marketing and advertising, suggest eliminating the cold, one-sided voice of a company and replacing it with an objective, human voice with opinions and preferences.

Having ads on a blog is what turns it from a hobby into a profession, at the heart of things. Ads provide means to make money, in which case the blogger is making money off of their writing.

Is it really such a bad thing to have ads on a personal blog? We all need to make money. How does having to see an ad subject us to any harm?



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