Wick Communications

Making blogs better

In Online media on 16 Aug 2012 at 2:39 pm

Last week, the Tucson Weekly got word that it had won an award for Best Blog Initiative for weekly newspapers. The award was presented by the Local Media Association, which you may know by its former name, Suburban Newspapers of America.

The award recognized the “The Range,” a collection of short ditties that are attractively aggregated on the Weekly’s homepage. Editor Jimmy Boegle said that his staffers and contributors all contribute to the blog – daily. Or almost every day. And that’s one big reason why it works.

On Aug. 10, for example, there were five separate posts – about a photographer who chronicled a movement, about how to have fun Googling your state name, about a restaurant that was temporarily closed, etc.

Another reason it works is that The Range is focused on local things. It doesn’t seem to be the place for staffers to rant about Mitt Romney or Olympic water polo. It’s of Tucson. And posts seem to be scheduled so they roll out over the course of the day.

Lastly, and judges specifically noticed this in their comments, the blog doesn’t take itself so danged seriously. Posts carry tags like “weird stuff” and “booze.” The tone is in keeping with the publication as a whole.

How many of us take as much care to keep our blogs fresh and interesting? It doesn’t just happen. Jimmy said the blog had to become a priority for the staff, not an extra chore.

(By the way, the Half Moon Bay Review also won an award from the Local Media Association. Ours was for Best Multimedia Innovation, and I already bragged about that initiative here.)



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