Bloggers won't match Limbaugh =The Hill.com= - This is a good article about communication skills the contemporary media have that bloggers lack. Although, I disagree that Bloggers can't gain them. Four key points were made:

  • It's all in the research. Know the history of what you are talking about and have the backup data to support your theories. Too many bloggers comment without trying to make a case for their opinions. This leads to a blog of disparate, topical subjects which grow stale over time.

  • Good production is important in conveying a message. This is true in radio, television, and print. If you can't hear it, see it, or read it, you are not going to be able to understand it. Those blogs that have small type or dark text on a dark background are going to be difficult to see and read, and thus, not have much value shaping public opinion. One of the best websites that conveyed information was not really a blog, and conveyed the message that the Internet was shit. The text is easy to read. There are no other distractions on the page, and the navigation is intuitive if you understand websites. Another good use of the web to convey a message is Lawrence Lessig's OSCON 2002 lecture on free culture (warning: this link goes to an 8 MB flash presentation). This site also uses large clear text, and no distractions. Additionally, it features an audio reading of Lessig's lecture, which shows the advantages of the Internet over some other forms of traditional media.

  • Entertainment value is important in keeping the interest of your less focused audience members. While I disagree with the comparison of a 3-hour radio program and the Internet (one can be accessed at any time for any period of time while the other has a centrally-controlled schedule), it is important that people enjoy the experience of getting the information they do. One way blogs can improve this is by integrating sound and video into their presentations. The internet is a new medium that people are only beginning to explore. Entertaining presentational functions will evolve in time.

  • Bonding with your audience. Bloggers these days enjoy the anonymity that exists behind their website. Some reveal personal details that would make Rush blush if he talked about them. Others just provide links to the websites that appeal to them. Some bloggers use their real names and stand by their posts. It will only be a matter of time before more do this and get popular. But blogging allows for a larger group of people to express their opinions than radio broadcasts. Arguably, this is the advantage of bloggers over traditional media. While radio, tv, and newspapers are all about broadcasting, web media is more about individual narrowcasting. Individuals talking to other individuals on a mass scale. It is a new paradigm, unheard of before, that we will learn to get used to.