When I was asked to become part of the “Dream Team” of judges for the Community Marketing Blog’s Blog Off II competition, I must admit that while excited at the prospect of reviewing the musings of the up-and-coming generation of international, social media wordsmiths, I certainly did not know what to expect.
After all, with the emergence of citizen journalism and the continued, downward spiral of traditional media such as newspapers, this I felt would be an important process for measuring the caliber of writers in the “new estate.” Especially since journalists from the traditional realms usually avoid blogging like the proverbial plague due to either a misguided elitist view of the blogsphere, or a sense of intimidation based on actually having to interact with the reader in a more direct and personal fashion than was ever possible in print media. Perhaps even a combination of both.
So when fellow Dream Team member Conrad Hall sent me an e-mail indicating that he was “adding an entire chapter to (his) new book to feature the #blogoff2, the judges and sponsors, and competitors,” I was more than happy to respond to his three questions.
Question No. 1 – Was it a learning experience?
As a sponsor and a judge, I was drawn to the Blog Off competition in part because of the dramatic changes that are taking place relative to traditional journalism and citizen journalism. As the FTC workshops and roundtables earlier this month focused on answering the question “how will journalism survive the Internet Age,” Blog Off II answered the question . . . it won’t!
Based on the caliber of both the participants and their submitted posts, it is clear that the days in which information is intelligently and reliably disseminated is no longer confined to the narrow funnel of a relative handful of media outlets such as traditional newspapers, television and radio.
Citizen journalism is the new frontier of knowledge and insight, and the Blog Off II competition served an important role in placing the exclamation point at the end of the paradigm shift sentence!
Question No. 2 – What benefit did you get from participating?
The most important was being part of a process that has and will ultimately grow to become an important stage for emerging and even perhaps undiscovered writing talent.
Question No. 3 – Do you want to participate again in Blog Off III?
I would certainly be more than happy to continue my affiliation with this excellent (and necessary) program.
In my August 30th post titled “If Traditional Media is Dead, Where Does That Leave Social Media’s Current Professionals?” I openly wondered if, or what number of, the current denizens of the blogging community would survive in the face of a mass migration of traditional journalists to the social media world?
It was a fair question at the time, and in fact still is. However, and based on recent PI Window on Business segments that discussed this issue at length, the previously referenced reluctance on the part of traditional journalists to even entertain an entry into the world of blogging means that a “mass” migration becomes less likely with each passing day.
On the other hand, and I will be careful not to tip my hand relative to my rating of the contestants who are competing for the $45K in total prize value up for grabs, based on what I have read I am not certain that the majority of traditional journalists could even compete in this arena.
Even with the move on the part of traditional media (re newspapers, magazines etc.) to create electronic versions of their existing formats personality, according to Future Buzz’s Adam Singer, is what is woefully lacking from the traditional mainstream’s highly polished and professional looking sites. It is of course this personality quotient that shines through in the Blog Off II competitors’ writing.
This of course takes us full circle as to why the Blog Off II competition is so important. Specifically, competitions such as these are an important vehicle for both developing and introducing to a wider audience those individuals who are part of the emerging citizen journalist profession. A profession which will ultimately come to dominate the realms of social media.