BASICCally, a reaction post

March 1, 2009 at 9:09 pm (Reaction)

So, Paul Bradshaw wrote a five-piece series on the BASICCs of online journalism. It’s handy, and it’s long (and technically six pieces). Broken down, we’ve got ourselves reading about Brevity, Adaptability, Scannability, Interactivity, Community and Conversation. It’s all about the ‘ities’ and one ‘ation.’ Shoot, I was so close to being able to say something really awesome (read: lame).

In the Brevity piece, I found that ‘chunking’ was an interesting concept to grasp onto (I’ll have to try it one day). Basically, I found it to be just like a choose-your-own-adventure book. And that’s pretty much what the internet is, except it’s way more unpredictable.

Adaptability felt complicated to me. It had everything, basically, to do with putting pieces on the Web (and everywhere else). So, the pieces get links, videos, and whatever else the media feels is going to help the piece, but what made my head spin was, I guess, the bits about bookmarking and tagging and other types of ways to get the stories to people. I think I got lost in a whirlwind of information.

I loved Scannability. It was scannable (ta da!) with its clear headline, subheadings and bullets. Although, with its summary as lead advice, I feel kind of conflicted about how to go about my pieces. Do I jump right into a story and let the readers catch up, or do I summarize for the scanners? Hmmm… I guess that depends on content, but I’ve got to keep the first two words in mind. Anyway, lots of interesting tidbits there, thanks to Jakob Neilsen.

Interactivity was my favorite. It made me feel special (as an internet user, not as a writer, or maybe both). It’s also important enough to be added to the core values of journalism, according to Jim Hall. That’s awesome. Why? Because when users have control, it makes things work so much better. With input from users, what can go wrong, right? At the same time, unlike older forms of broadcast, the internet is forever and immediate at the same time. They can access what they need to whenever they want. How cool is that? Bradshaw tells me how to adapt myself to this with lots of fun tips – like quizzes!

Here, he provided us with a cute little table about interactivity (yay!):

Community and Conversation were split into two pieces, but the same idea lingers about the two. They’re great, because everyone is now on the same level. There is no high and mighty journalist, and there’s no reader to be belittled. That’s beautiful because it makes networking and getting contacts so much easier. What’s new and a little bit scary (at least for me) is the whole moderator-type deal. Then again, I’m not supposed to be biased, either. But the notion of communities, as Bradshaw mentioned, is great. The tiniest little thing that wouldn’t support a publication can now prosper because of the much broader, reachable audience.

Bradshaw says, “Conversation is publishing.”

Okay, that’s cool. Wait, it’s so much more than that. Conversation makes the world go ‘round – smoothly, so to speak. Blogs, Twitter, wikis and forums all start with content of some sort and are opened up to readers/users for conversation! Wow! After a few back and forths, everything grows and eventually prospers. Of course, when people have the anonymity given to them by interactive internet, that can definitely cause some problems, too. Everyone wants to have their say, but this way, no one’s going to get hurt.

So here, in this blog, I believe I have failed to be brief, adaptable, scannable and community-welcoming. What do you think? Converse!



  1. Amber said,

    It was nice to see your blog.Just Keep Writing!

    Don’t pay for your electricity any longer…
    Instead, the power company will pay YOU!

  2. TL said,

    As usual, a very nice post!

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