What Is Good Blogging? The New York Times’ “The Lens” and Others

This question is hard to answer, I think, because of the nature of what blogging is. For many people, blogging is an outlet of creative expression. Blogging for the blogger is personal, and for the reader, it can obviously be a number of things. If ever, I look at blogs because they show the personal insights and opinions of writers or figures I admire or whose opinions I value. Some blogs, like The Lens on the NYTimes, house unique information and storylines that can be found nowhere else, with historical context and insights to make them really interesting to read about.

Good blogging, then, is situational and depends on a whole number of factors. It depends on the purpose of the blog, first from the eyes of the creator, and then from the eyes of the audience. A blog should be open to what the audience asks, as an established audience of a blog is presumably one that is dedicated to the writing but also, its unique content and angle. Our readings for this week have some interesting ideas to contribute to this discussion as well. As Grant-Davie points out, exigence and the rhetoric it inspires is a focal point of blogging, and an aspect that makes the medium so uniquely appealing. Exigence is certainly a main reason why blogs like The Lens share the information they do, because it is relevant and there is an exigent demand for interesting updates, more multi-faceted and more philosophical than the news. 

The Lens, first and foremost, is visual. It is a collection of ‘photography, video and visual journalism’, according to the blog site. It is also a collection of stories, both personal and broad. If you read the article titles aloud, one after the other, it seems random, with no apparent theme of content (first entries I see: “Where Gay Love is Illegal,” “A Meditation on Race, In Shades of White,” “The Intimate and Infinite Along the 100th Meridian.” This is because each article is meant to appeal to an inquisitive and informed audience. I assume that the readers of this blog are somewhat like me: they find interest in the world’s events, in gaining insight on the human experience, without necessarily becoming experts, or being drowned in information about every aspect of a certain situation. I also love becoming more knowledgeable about the depths of topics I find interesting, but for the purposes of viewing a blog, I enjoy the lighter nature of viewing and absorbing.



2 thoughts to “What Is Good Blogging? The New York Times’ “The Lens” and Others”

  1. Hey Wyatt!

    I think I am your first official follower!! So that is pretty neat.
    Anyways, I really appreciate your take on what makes blogging good. In this post, you step back and look at the bigger picture. In reality, good blogging can mean a number of things because, well, are we even really sure of what constitutes as blogging yet? The idea that a blog is a personal form of creative expression means that what a person blogs is good to that person. Thus, good blogging is different for every person.
    In the end of this post, you name a blog called “The Lens”. This is a blog that you have shown particular interest in. The Lens has a purpose of giving its readers insight on the rest of the world, thus, maybe this is something you value in blogging and should work on incorporating into your blog posts!
    It was great hearing from you again. Have a relaxing weekend!

  2. Hi Wyatt,

    You bring up some interesting ideas about good blogging. Like good writing, good blogging can be hard to define, and as you say, depends heavily on the situation. I know so many friends who create blogs just for themselves, and with no followers, and yet having looked at them privately, I can say with assurance that they are good blogs. How? Well, I could write an entire blogpost on my insights therein (perhaps I will) but I’d say it boils down to the fact that what it means personally to them as a writer trumps any sort of rhetorical devices or audience assuaging that could be academically documented. Of course, formal exigence and rhetoric is important too, as you allow for in your post, but it does a nice job of summing up the harder factors to put your finger on, and the difficulty of answering a question such as this. Nicely done.


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