The idea behind the event was to share information about how the writers could become blogging partners with 21st Century Media and its news affiliates across Michigan, including The News-Herald, covering Downriver, and Press & Guide.
Information also was shared about the Southeast Michigan Media Lab, a free resource offered by the company to help bloggers, community contributors, students, senior citizens and established journalists. As many readers know, the media lab offers free workshops on social media and new media tools, as well as one-on-one instruction, from setting up blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and YouTube channels to teaching people how to use Pinterest, LinkedIn, Dipity, Tout, SurveyMonkey, Storify, ipadio and other tools.
Media lab intern Elise Waller produced a video from the event and News-Herald Video Coordinator Dave Herndon shot photos. Media Lab Director Michelle Rogers (me) led the event with an introduction to the media lab and the short-form video tool Tout, and was followed by Heritage Media Online Editor Joe Gray, who presented basic blogging tips and information on social media, and Rick Kessler, who presented a session on understanding search engine optimization and how to monetize a blog. I followed with a more advanced session on adding visuals and interactive elements in a blog, recommending a variety of free tools.
Everyone who attended seemed very enthusiastic. I followed up with the participants the next day, providing links to the PowerPoints, our blogging partnership guidelines and encouraging them to stop by the lab to see me for help.
Our goal is to add 100 new blogging partners to our news sites by year’s end, and I am really hoping to get some great contributors from the Blogger Fair. I am very interested in working with Al Poe, who has been writing reviews of restaurants in the Downriver area for years and posting them on Yelp and Urban Spoon. And I’ve already added Gordon Thorsby, who writes about customer service and his experiences at various businesses across the state of Michigan.
If you were unable to attend our event, but interested in finding out more information on how to become a blogging partner, please reach out with a comment on this blog. Here is my PowerPoint with information about the lab and our blogging partnership guidelines, as well as a presentation on SEO.