Elements of Blogging

Mark LeccesseWhere it comes to media, as digital diva Clay Shirky once noted, consumers are now producers, and that is the big story. The once-great wall separating reporters from readers has crumbled like sand.

High culture and low culture have pretty much found the same level on the infinitely flat web. Does it really matter today whether Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben said that or if Voltaire did? Probably not.

In the just-released Elements of Blogging, coauthor Mark Leccese celebrates this democratization, though he cautions that the best blogs take hard work and require the authors to act responsibly.

“If you’re going to blog about any topic – let’s say, movie reviews — down there in the comment section, there are going to be a few people who say, “You idiot, this (movie) is wonderful. You didn’t understand the movie. You’re not qualified to write about movies.’ If you’re going to stand on the platform and dish it out, you need to have skin thick enought to take it,” Leccese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “The alternative, of course, is to go to your blogging software and disable comments. But that, to me, defeats one of the main purposes of a blog, which is to create a community.”

The Elements of Blogging: Expanding the Conversation of JournalismMark Leccese is an associate professor of journalism at Emerson College in Boston. A veteran newspaper reporter, newspaper editor, and magazine writer, he covered politics and government in Massachusetts for more than 25 years and won several New England and Massachusetts Press Association awards. His primary areas of interest are public affairs journalism and online journalism, and his research is focused on political blogs.

Mark Leccese is the author, with his Emerson colleague Jerry Lanson of the book The Elements of Blogging: Expanding the Conversation of Journalism. Lanson and Leccese also co-blog at theelemementsofblogging.com

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