Anytime I stumble upon a new blog, itâ€™s always my first instinct to find out as much as I can about the author. Maybe itâ€™s reading the blog from the beginning or maybe itâ€™s skimming through the â€œabout meâ€ section. I always try to form some type of personal connection to the author; it helps me relate to what Iâ€™m reading and find it more entertaining.
The author of the News2020 Project is Jeff. Heâ€™s been everything from a lobbyist to a speechwriter for the president of El Salvador. The first post of the blog comes in October of 2006. It gives readers an insight as to Jeffâ€™s reason behind starting News2020 and what he hopes to accomplish. Itâ€™s a post that is definitely helpful to anyone reading this blog for the first time.
In the initial post I mentioned earlier, the purpose of News2020 is to â€œcontribute to a conversation about the evolution of online newsâ€. Shortly after rolling out the blog, the author presented the concept of it at an Online News Association, and eventually posted videos on response from different people in the online journalistic world. If youâ€™re looking for short quips to back up what the author talks about in his posts, these videos are the way to go.
Each post is lengthy, but it always backed up by some type of resource, whether it be quotes or links or the aforementioned videos. Itâ€™s obvious from the posts that the author does a lot of preparing for each post, both for himself and to adequately present the ideas and thoughts to his readership.
Early on, and constantly on the sidebar of the layout, Jeff encourages comments and other opinions. Maybe itâ€™s just a site that hasnâ€™t had a chance to build the readership he needs in order for a successful discussion to take place in the comments of each post, but that is definitely something that would increase the credibility of the site.
The layout itself is clean and simple, working perfectly for the site. The archives were easy to find and Jeff also lists a poll along the sidebar to encourage more reader interaction. However at this time, only four people have participated in the poll, myself included.
I like the idea of this site. While itâ€™s not my cup of tea to read on a regular basis and will only attract a certain type of reader, I can absolutely appreciate what the author is attempting to achieve. Itâ€™s certainly stacked with promise to become a widely read blog, but until constant interaction starts, it hasnâ€™t lived up to its full potential.