When thinking of mainstream media The New York Times was one of the first names that came to mind. Interestingly enough, I have never read The New York Times. In all honesty, apart from browsing the ads in the Sunday paper, I’ve only picked up a newspaper on a few occasions.
While newspaper is the first thing that comes to mind with The New York Times, there is a very convenient and interesting way to gain information from their writers–following up on their blog.
For this Topic of the Week (TOW) the requirement was to read at least a dozen posts. The New York Times blog is broken up into 11 main categories and any where from 3 to 9 subcategories in each. This leaves the reader with a plethora of options when it comes to what one is interested in reading. There’s even a Formula One blog under the sports section.
The blog posts I chose to read came from the following blogs: The Lede, At War, Bits, Arts Beat, Lens, Scientist at Work, Well, The Choice, The Learning Network, The Moment, Diner’s Journal, and Off the Dribble. In reaching through these blogs I came across diverse topics, styles of writing, and plenty of multimedia being incorporated. Videos and photos were incorporated into several. In the blog post I read about technology and education under The Learning Network blog, several professional opinions were given in a paragraph with a minute or so audio recording of each person giving their insight on the matter.
The blog that stuck out the most to me was Lens. Lens is a very unique blog because it uses visuals as a means of journalism. The blog post I viewed was a slideshow of 19 heart-breaking photos which depicted global violence against women. While some images were very graphic, it is a very unique form of journalism through blogging. The horrors of these photos and their short captions certainly stick.
The New York Times blog does a great job incorporating social media. They have made it so that you can follow a subcategory on twitter with the exception of a few sports subcategories and a couple of columnists. This allows those who have a twitter account to easily find a post that you are interested by reading a tweet on your feed that you read often, rather than adding another website to your repertoire of favorites/bookmarks. It also gives those who frequently use twitter a chance to be one of the first people to chime in on the comments section.
In addition to this, at the end of blog posts the reader is given an option to share the post. So, say I am reading a post from the Motherlode (a blog about “adventures in parenting”), which hopefully I am not considering I am a 20 year old guy who is not yet married, and I really enjoy one of the posts, therefore I now want others to really enjoy this post. For me, Facebook is a great way to make this possible because people are always checking the news feed to see what other people are up to. With the share button, I can do so. The share button has five other options besides Facebook including LinkedIn and Myspace (which is apparently still being used by people).
This blog could be beneficial to students because it makes following blogs so easy and has some great multimedia aspects. One of the tag-lines for the New York Times is “where conversation begins” and with their blog they have achieved that.