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Blogosphere Trends – What Bloggers Are Writing About This Week

This column is written by Kimberly Turner from Regator (a great tool that gathers and organizes the world’s best blog posts). – Darren

Happy Monday, bloggers! Every week, we use Regator‘s blog trends to show you what the blogosphere has been buzzing about during the previous seven days. (As always, click any trend to see posts about that story.) Because so many people are blogging about each of these stories, it becomes more important than ever to find a way to set your post apart.

This week, we’ll be taking a look at a few posts from bloggers who used interest-adding formats to approach these widely covered stories. So many of us tend to think in terms of text and paragraphs when we sit down to blog, but there are dozens of options you can use to add variety to your blog, find new ways of looking at a story, and present an oft-covered topic in a fresh and engaging way. Live blogging, slideshows, infographics, charts and graphs, timelines, contests, polls, lists, interviews, videos, reviews, tutorials, Q&As, and lists are just a few formats that are worth keeping in mind. Let’s take a look at how some bloggers approached this week’s top stories:

  1. Earth Day Treehugger‘s “An Earth Day Tribute to 11 Environmental Heroes” uses a slideshow to great effect, putting faces to the names to help readers connect more closely with the people being profiled. If creating a slideshow feels a bit overwhelming, a post with large, high-quality photos with deep captions can achieve the same thing in most cases.
  2. Goldman Sachs – In “SEC vs. Goldman Sachs Q&A,” The Huffington Post explains a complicated issue without frightening readers off with huge blocks of uninterrupted text by using a Q&A format.
  3. NFL Draft – In “Our NFL Draft Drinking Game Will Melt Your Face,” Asylum creates a game, complete with lengthy list of rules, for readers. My first thought was that creating games would rarely be a good option, then I searched Regator and found blog posts on drinking games relating to Earth Day, Avatar, Glee, income taxes, Battlestar Galactica, and dozens more. A search for more wholesome, less boozy options turned up posts on Appropriation Bingo, Gender Bias Bingo, Food Writer Bingo, Chatroulette Bingo, and too many more to mention. Get creative.
  4. South ParkBoingBoing‘s “South Park’s 200th, Litigious Celebs and Mohammed” makes great use of video. Videos add an extra dimension that can work well if your subject is engaging enough to hold your readers/viewers’ attention. In general, the shorter the better (without losing important context, of course).
  5. Gizmodo/iPhone 4G – Like a Q&A, timelines have the ability to break a complicated situation up in a way that makes it more digestible for readers. The timeline used by Today @ PCWorld in “Apple’s iPhone 4G Debacle: A Timeline” is in text format but, if you have the technical prowess and time, you could potentially get quite fancy with interactive visual timelines.
  6. Nick Clegg – Live blogging events encourages interaction and gives your readers the freshest information available. The Telegraph used this technique in “Sky TV Leaders’ Debate: Live Blog.” If you blog with others, live blogging as a group is a good way to give readers’ some extra viewpoints.
  7. Country Music Awards – You can use polls as a quick, easy way to cover a story and to encourage reader debate and comments. The Hollywood Gossip‘s post “ACM Awards Fashion Face-Off: Taylor Swift vs. Miranda Lambert” is an example of how brief a poll post can be.
  8. Project Runway – Interviews are a great option and, if you ask the right questions, also guarantee that you’ll have something original and exclusive to post. FabSugar‘s “Exclusive! Project Runway’s Jay Talks About Second Win and Why Nina’s Opinion Matters Most” has a descriptive headline and solid photos to accompany the interview.
  9. Tribeca Film Festival – Film, book, art, and music blogs employ reviews regularly (The Independent Eye has a series of well-written review posts on Tribeca Film Fest movies) but your niche might give you some even more interesting/unexpected options.
  10. Beijing Auto Show – Going to an event of interest to your readers? A thorough day-in-the-life post to share the experience with them is a useful alternative to live blogging (who has time to live blog while taking part in an event?). The Truth About Cars“TTAC at the Beijing Auto Show. Day Two” is an example of a detailed post of this kind. It’s obvious that the blogger took care to take ample photos and notes throughout the day.

What other formats have worked for you and your readers? Please share your examples in the comments!

Kimberly Turner is a cofounder of Regator.com and Regator for iPhone as well as an award-winning print journalist. You can find her on Twitter @kimber_regator.

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Comments

  1. Rhys says:

    I can’t believe you mentioned “Nick Clegg” without looking at #nickcleggsfault hashtag! That’s a lot of his popularity online right there!

  2. Edward says:

    Thanks for posting this. Just was thinking recently, what else from the trends I have been missing. Hard to keep an eye on all the community when you barely know them, as you are just beginning. By the way welcome all, I am one of the new bloggers here =)

  3. David says:

    I didn’t know that website. Be sure I added it at my bookmark, will come handy, but I didn’t managed to understand where are the week’s top stories section.

    Also, funny thing that Goldman Sachs are the 2nd, as I posted yesterday one entry about the same subject and SEC’s sue:

    http://economylessons.blogspot.com/2010/04/secs-lawsuit-against-goldman-sachs-what.html

    Anyway as I’ve said, this will help us. Thanks!

    -David-

  4. Joshua Noerr says:

    It is slightly amazing to me that those grainy photos of a possible 4g iPhone generated so much buzz. Apple truly turns products into icons with amazing marketing.

  5. The iphone was a massive story!… Amazing marketing stunt ;]

  6. What about the iPod with a camera?

  7. Thanks for sharing Beijing Auto Show, as i love the wheels :)

  8. Kimberley, these weekly posts look the goods.

    I think you might surprise yourself with a new found “Cult following” status.

    Keep up the good work.

  9. B. Durant says:

    Seriously? This is the nonsense people talk about? The NFL draft? South park? Earth day?

    And there’s a tool/website to keep people talking about that kind of nonsense. Fantastic.

    Notice my sarcasm? The reason that tripe is talked about is because people like you promote it with blog posts like this instead of letting it die a quick death like it should.

  10. Mary E. Ulrich says:

    Thanks for the summary. Love the variety of topics and formats.

    On the Earth Day slide show, what technology did they use. I’ve been looking for a way to show both the slide and some description. How’d they do that??????

    PS. 1970 wasn’t really that long ago. I hope we done more to protect the earth than hurt it.

  11. That’s kind of an unfortunate list, where most everything that we are talking about is celebrities and gadgets.

    At least Earth Day and some corporate scandal made it up there.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  12. Aaron T says:

    I’ve used Regator for the iPhone before and been more than satisfied with what it provides. It’s interface is great, and it’s easy to use. Great column, Kimberly!

    Also, I thought South Park was old enough of a show that it wouldn’t be THAT popular with blogging…but I guess that’s not the case…Anyways greaet post.

  13. Nahyan says:

    great post.
    I liked #1 and the idea of doing this kind of post.

  14. Kimberly says:

    @Rhys I’m only using blog data to generate these trends, but that’s not to say that they might not be popular on Twitter as well.

    @Edward Thanks for your comment. All the best with your new blog!

    @David Thanks for sharing your post. Combining the Q&A, video, and timeline approaches was a great idea for a story as complex as this one.

    @Gerry Awww, shucks. Thanks a million. I’m really glad you’re enjoying the posts.

  15. @Mary I’m afraid I can’t tell by looking what technology they used there. Maybe someone here knows of a tool to easily create slideshows that pair text with photos in this way? Anybody? I’m going to ask around and try to get back to you with the name of a tool or two that might be able to help with that. Good question.

    @Joshua The internet isn’t always as high-brow as we might like, that’s true. On the other hand, I didn’t feel like this week’s stories–which covered sports, politics, pop culture, environmentalism (arguably), corporate scandal, and technology–were the worst I’ve seen.

    @Aaron Awesome. So glad you enjoy Regator on your iPhone. South Park is on the list because it celebrated its 200th episode in a rather controversial way, which then caused them to receive death threats and caused Comedy Central to censor the second-half of the episode. Religious bloggers, pop culture bloggers, bloggers concerned about censorship/free speech issues, and many others who wouldn’t normally write about South Park mentioned it this week.

  16. Julius says:

    I find the “game” approach quite interesting. We’ve actually done a few contests and they’ve provided good results for both us and our readers as well.

  17. hokya says:

    yeah, earth day is attractive

    i will be waiting for the next week :-)

  18. These are great topics to write about. I like that you discussed as well the methods used in blogging about the topics. I hope in the future you can feature more links/topics that teens and a younger audience can connect to as well. We have a wide readership! :)

    Right now I think Earth day is a great topic to write about.

  19. Karthick says:

    Earth day post is very interesting. Earth is like our mother. I appreciate all environmental heroes.

  20. Jan Maul says:

    Such a great post! I’m so delighted you chose to publish it.