Friday, June 18, 2010

a question on blogging integrity

Since this blog began as a project for a blogging class in my final semester of college, I figured it was not off-topic for one blog post to be about blogging integrity.  What do I mean by that?

What I actually mean is this:  What are the responsibilities of a blogger?  Are they more like journalists?  Are they just amateur writers?  When does a blog cross the line between amateur and professional?

Why I ask this question has everything to do with the post I will be putting up on this blog tomorrow- an article on The Clockwork Quartet.  This article has been almost six months in the making.  From the initial interview outreach in January, to the interview in February, to the completion of the article in March, to the editing and waiting on photos in April and May... now it's June, and the article is only coming out tomorrow.  And I must ask, "Lauren, what happened?  Why did it take you so long to put this article out?"

Instead of a clear answer, a little internal dialogue has been going on inside of me.  Granted, much has coincided with the preparation of this article for web publication and my post-college career taking off.  But if I have time to go out with friends (which I have been doing a lot of, possibly more so than when I was in college), I reasonably have time to copy and paste an article into a blog.  Right?  And yet I waited and did not push for photos to enhance the article.  I let it sit for three months.

As a journalist, that is an absolute failure on my part to write on deadline and provide a timely story within the context of my blog, as I had written a post about them before based on what I saw and heard of them online. It was unprofessional of me to let it sit for so long.  But that is in a journalism context.

As a blogger, is it my responsibility to get an article up on a steampunk band ASAP?  I've posted on steampunk or Victorian-inspired items that was news months or even years before the post and my readers were none the worse for it.  Besides, I'm an amateur blogger.  I don't get paid for this job.  I do it in my spare time, whenever I manage to grab some spare time.  It's more like a hobby in that sense, as I do it when I feel like it for the most part.

So what do I do?  Should I feel a sense of obligation to this blog to get these stories up on time?

My gut is telling me yes.  I am a perfectionist.  I strive to do everything perfectly, down to the spelling and the formatting.  When I am lazy I get called out on it (see "only the japanese..."), and that bothers me incredibly that I didn't do my research right (although my opinion on the Lolita style still stands).  And I don't always blog just when I feel like it--I spent the month of November forcing myself to blog every day.

At the same time, I do have priorities.  Currently my number one priority is keeping Bushy Run Battlefield open and operating normally on a daily basis.  My second priority are the educational programs and marketing I do for the site, as well as prep for upcoming events.  My third priority are my friends and family.  The blog falls way down on the list of things that are imperative to do on a daily basis.

But why let the blog go to waste?  People continue to follow this blog.  Well, at least two people that I know of.  And I owe it to the Clockwork Quartet to get this article out as soon as possible so everyone who comes across my blog who may not have heard of them before can learn of their steampunk music and their brilliant vision, and decide for themselves what they think.  Not that a whole lot of people read this blog, but at least several of you only read this blog to discuss it with me later at that coffee shop in Shadyside or at my apartment.

What do you all think?  I know I have failed as a journalist by not posting this article within a week of that interview with the Clockwork Quartet in February.  Have I failed as a blogger for not posting it until June?

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