Publishers: Still trying to figure out how this whole blogging thing works? We are! Perhaps the Washington Post can help, via an internal memo (via FishbowlDC) outlining guidelines for staffers interested in “creating, maintaining, (and ending) blogs”. A sampling of the advice therein:
- Blogs with a voice, a consistently strong (even provocative) writing tone
What doesn’t work?
- Group blogs that lack focus
- Blogs that lack voice
- Blogs that are not updated (several times a week AT LEAST)
Wapo hosts 46 internal blogs, so you’d think they’d have a decent grip on the medium by this point. They do have some good ones (the Fix, Achenblog, the Trail). And according to Jay Rosen of NYU and some of his students, the Washington Post is the second best blogging U.S. newspaper, second only to the Houston Chronicle.
But if you really want to figure out how to make blogs work, you’re better off watching what an actual blog company does. Say, Gawker Media.
To wit: Per the following graph, posted by Gawker’s Nick Denton in September, Gawker Media’s 14 titles are already drawing more than 70% of Wapo’s traffic.