Monday, January 15, 2007

Channel 4 is on top of this blog thing -- so keep blogging them!

While waiting on the 07 Ice Storm that was not to be, I got all caught up with Channel 4's new initiative: blogging! They're into it! And they're here to help! From the Channel 4 site: "Chip Mahaney tells you how to blog about the North Texas weather event."

Saturday afternoon, when Ron Jackson invited viewers to "keep blogging us," I giggled but gave it little thought. He's a weather guy. What use does he have for blogs? I mean, really? But when newsanchors started showing photos, each one from a "blogger," my brow furrowed. Are these really blogs? Do would-be bloggers really want "exclusives like: Exclusive Local News, Weather, Sports, Traffic, Entertainment Blogs, and your own Blog....thousands of local images, possibly breaking news images! Be part of the action of the best car chase, weather storm, sports event!" Also, are writing tips included?

Oh, I was going to make such fun of this! But then: let he who is without a freebie blog host cast the first stone. I'll only add that before a news channel seeks to promote their own online efforts, it might be a good idea for on-air talent to be familiar with concepts as well as buzzwords.


Chip Mahaney said...

Irene, thanks for the critique. We call the community site a "blog site" because we do allow people to have their own space on the web, complete with their own URL. They can post video and photos. They can write on whatever topic they choose. And then can share their ideas with thousands of their neighbors.

In addition to opinions, which are never in short supply, we encourage people to post hyper-local news that's important to them or to their immediate geographical neighbors. We had several local reports from our viewers on our blog site this past weekend. Our new site allows people to participate in the news-gathering process. It's been a huge success for our site.

With regard to our weather and traffic guys, I asked them early on this weekend to post to their own blogs frequently. The weather guys posted some of their up-to-the-minute behind-the-scenes thinking into the changing forecast. Our traffic guys did the same, giving out additional information for our online audience. It's just another way of reaching out to our audience, and meeting them on a place where they can have an equal footing in the discussion.

Sorry to ramble. I appreciate you taking notice.

By the way, I run three blogs of my own outside of work so I'm pretty familiar with the concept -- thank goodness for Blogger!

Irene Done said...

Chip -- thanks for stopping by here and thanks for your comments. My only real criticism, ulitmately, is that the emphasis on the blogs seemed at times forced and slightly self-promotional. Maybe that's why the anchors sounded so awkward to me.

I'm completely onboard with the overall purpose, though. Anything that makes it easy for anyone to blog is OK with me, as you can tell from the no-brainer look of NotBillable. It'll be interesting to see the develop. Good luck!