Last blog standing, “last guy dancing”: How Jason Kottke is thinking about at 20

In 2013, Jason Kottke wrote a prediction for Nieman Lab’s year-end roundup: “The blog is dead, long live the blog.” Kottke was then (and still is) owner of one of the longest continuously running blogs on the web:, founded in 1998. “Sometime in the past few years, the blog died. In 2014, people will finally notice,” he wrote. “Sure, blogs still exist, many of them are excellent, and they will go on existing and being excellent for many years to come. But the function of the blog, the nebulous informational task we all agreed the blog was fulfilling for the past decade, is increasingly being handled by a growing number of disparate media forms that are blog-like but also decidedly not blogs.”, however, is decidedly still a blog. It also celebrates its twentieth birthday this year. I spoke with Kottke about the Continue reading "Last blog standing, “last guy dancing”: How Jason Kottke is thinking about at 20"

Ivanka Trump Tweets About Tooth Whitening and You Know What Happens Next

You know, Ivanka Trump isn’t really a political person. She’s a businesswoman first and foremost. Sure, she’ll make a speech or two for her father, who happens to be running for President and loves her dearly, but she maintains a lifestyle brand online and can’t afford to lose sight of that during this election. Of course, she has been promoting her real job, which requires her to get clicks on her website to generate ad revenue. Look: That links to her latest blog post, “Weekly Clicks: Beauty Food.” It is subtitled, “It (literally) starts from within.” It’s benign. It’s exactly what blogs are for. People love to click links and learn that they should eat more fruit. Some people, however, don’t think that Trump has the right to tweet about healthy foods and Continue reading "Ivanka Trump Tweets About Tooth Whitening and You Know What Happens Next"

5 Powerful Ways to Write Content That Connects

The following piece is a guest post and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of this publication. Read more about MediaShift guest posts here. As authors and thought leaders, writing builds our platform, connects us with our unique audience and shows our expertise. You may have things you’d love to write about, but first ask yourself, “Is this a topic that my audience would want to read and would be happy to share?” While it’s important to generate regular content, it’s more important to write content that connects. Let your audience and the data from their behavior be the driving factor for your content. Ask yourself: Does this content help my readers? Does it solve a problem in my niche? Is it creating value or is it entertaining? More importantly, let data show you the type of content that works. Be flexible. Over the years, I have discovered that
Photo by webtreats and used here with Creative Commons license.
Fauzia Burke. Photo by: John Burke
Continue reading "5 Powerful Ways to Write Content That Connects"

HuffPo blogger pulls down post claiming Palin is trying to spread “retardation”

After Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced today that she would step down the news made front page headlines and quickly spread online. But another story concerning Palin also cropped up: A Huffington Post blogger named Erik Nelson, whose bio states that he has “written for several comedy websites and published short fiction while living in the deep South,” published a “satirical” post claiming that Palin was trying to spread “retardation” …

Podcasting in 2015 feels a lot like blogging circa 2004: exciting, evolving, and trouble for incumbents

So one move is in the direction of quality. Alex Blumberg, the public radio reporter who left to start Gimlet Media in 2014, describes what he’s trying to build as the “HBO of podcasting.” “We take more time, we spend more money, and we try to hone and craft more than 95 percent of the podcasts out there,” he said earlier this year. “I think podcasting still has an association with something that two dudes make in their basement. There’s a Wayne’s World connotation to it. But I think of them as shows: sleek, produced, where you have people who are good at it doing it.” Gimlet has built up an acclaimed lineup of podcasts that now regularly land on most-downloaded lists and which have smart integration of advertising. Other companies like Panoply (from the people at Slate) and Midroll (now owned by Scripps) are doing something Continue reading "Podcasting in 2015 feels a lot like blogging circa 2004: exciting, evolving, and trouble for incumbents"

Ed Silverman of Pharmalot on building longevity — and audience loyalty — in blogging

It’s only fitting that a blog about pharmaceutical companies would be adept at staving off death. For almost a decade, Ed Silverman has gained a reputation for his encyclopedic knowledge of the world of drug manufacturers and his ability to keep Pharmalot, his one-man blog dedicated to that subject alive. But it’s been a long journey. Pharmalot started life as an early example of newspaper blogging by the Newark Star-Ledger. “The editor was looking for ideas of some sort, to create new sites. I wasn’t sure if he was looking for a full website or something else. But I suggested something about the pharmaceutical industry,” Silverman told me. In 2007, Pharmalot officially launched; a year later, as newspapers reeled from the financial crisis, Silverman took a buyout. The story could have ended there. But over the years, Silverman (and Pharmalot) have had many homes and sponsors — as an Continue reading "Ed Silverman of Pharmalot on building longevity — and audience loyalty — in blogging"

DigitalEd: Basics of Publishing with WordPress

Title: Basics of Publishing with WordPress
Instructor: Aleszu Bajak, Innovator in Residence, Northeastern University How to build your own website and get a crash course in HTML and CSS
This training will introduce the fundamentals of building your own website on WordPress, how to run a blog, and how to design and publish digital elements to complement and enhance your stories. We will learn the basics of HTML and CSS as they pertain to WordPress and how to add plugins and use themes. What you’ll learn from this training:
  1. How to start up a WordPress site from hosting to install
  2. How to publish a post, a page, a photo, a video
  3. How to “hack” CSS and HTML to design your story
  4. How to add plug-ins and themes
  • WordPress for beginners tipsheet
Who should take this training: