Snark Is So 2004 and Other Blog-Panel Takeaways

“Snarky is the most tired approach to any story.”

At the blogging & journalism panel

That was one of the standout lines from the Newswomen’s Club of New York’s recent panel on blogging and journalism. It came from Jessica Coen, managing editor, Jezebel, and a former Gawker blogger.

Coen was joined by fellow panelists Louise Crawford, founder, Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn; Gracey Newman, social media expert, Personal Branding, Shaken Not Stirred; and moderator Latrice Davis.

About 50 members and nonmembers turned out for what was a lively and informative discussion at New York City Seminar and Conference Center July 20.

If you couldn’t make the session, here are some excerpts of what you missed.

Coen —
On traffic: “I’m looking at analytics all day to make sure the day is going well. They’re kind of obsessed about it at Gawker.”
On abusive commenters: “They got invited to our party, they’re going to play by our rules.”
On writing/style: “You have to be conversational, succinct. You have to have a voice. You have to write bigger. You have to take it up a notch. Most people aren’t going to read more than 200 to 300 words per post.”

Crawford–
On snark: “You can get enough snark coming from the comments.”
On feeding the beast: “You have to be really passionate about it. [Otherwise], you can’t sustain it.”
More on feeding the beast: “While I can’t be ace-girl reporter, I can bring in a leader…A lot of times, I am very fyi…”
On transitioning from blogger to journalist: “My blog has been a journalism 101 course for me.”
On liability: “We’re not worth suing is a big part of our defense.”

Newman —
On keywords: Before writing anything for the Web, think about the main keyword(s) for your post or article.
More on keywords: Use GoogleAdwords Keyword Tool to help you decide on the best keyword(s). Make sure your keyword is in your headline.
On SEO boosters: When linking, link on keywords, not on such phrases as “click here.” You’ll get more credit from search engines for linking relevant content, which will help your ranking for those keywords.
On tracking site usage: Use Google Analytics, Google’s free traffic analysis tool. It requires registering your site and inserting a small line of code on your blog or, for a Web site, on every page that needs tracking.
More on SEO: Find great SEO tips for writers on her blog and you can sign up for her newsletter.

How do you feel about snark? What ideas from the panel resound most with you? Please share your thoughts with other members and comment. Let’s continue the discussion here.

— Laura Lorber

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