Tomorrow when I speak to a newswriting class at MSU, I hope the students will ask certain basic questions about me. As future journalists, they need to be able to decide whether I have credibility. Do I know what I'm talking about?
My topic is blogging and, more specifically, I've been asked to talk about my blogs.
First, they should have a little background about myself:
- I graduated from the MSU School of Journalism in the late sixties. During this time I worked on the State News covering a handful of beats, including the Michigan Legislature.
- After graduation, I worked at a variety of newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Ypsilanti (MI) Press, Macomb Daily and Panax Newspapers, a chain of newspapers in Michigan and various other states.
- I worked more than a decade at the Press Room Manager at the Michigan State Capitol where I served as a conduit between the media, the legislature, executive agencies and interest groups.
- Since that time, I worked for three state senators, including the Senate Majority Leader and for a member of the first-term limited class in the House of Representatives.
I first heard of blogging about five years ago after reading a story in the Detroit Free Press about blogs. It was written by David Crumm, their religion reporter, who described how a handful of people in southeastern Michigan were using the blogs as a personal journal.
I was fascinated and kept learning about this new channel of communication.
When blogger.com started, I played with a blog about being a member of the first class of baby boomers. I found writing a blog post to be compeltely different than what I learned in newswriting 201 at MSU. I could write hard news but I had a struggle writing in the first person.
During this time I could start to see the vision for blogs and how they could be used as a new vehicle to carry a message. Then Howard Dean came along with his blog network from around the country and I was hooked.
That's when I started using a new blog platform from Typepad. My blogging effort began in earnest.
I started my personal blog, The Daily Grit. Some have asked if the blog name was my commentary on the grittiness of life. Actually, I remembered a weekly newspaper from my youth called, The Grit. It was a cornucopia interesting information leading the reader to a smile or to an effort to learn more on a topic.
My new blog was also a place for me to try to verbalize parts of my life that I had trouble talking about.
In a little more than two years, I have had 25,000 plus hits from around the world.
I have several other blogs on various topics.