This is my third installment about the roles bloggers might take on in doing their work. It's a question I ask of my students who are required to maintain a blog for a communications class.
In part 1 and part 2 of this topic I noted some of the jobs I saw myself doing here online, and I asked my students (who were all new to blogging) to think about the possibilities they saw emerging.What I ask is for them to think about the roles or jobs they see for bloggers. We are thinking about independent bloggers rather than corporate or commercial bloggers who may well have other people who assist with the blog.
For example, my students use Blogger, so Google is serving as their IT department in many ways. Someone blogging for a big blog like the Huffington Post has employees who maintain formats and redesign for them. Still, it's good for students to take all that into account and think about the roles that they may need to take on themselves to make the blog successful.
(themselves & others) based on their experiences and by studying "professional" and corporate bloggers.
These are the roles that students have typically written about (there's some further explanation in the earlier posts):
Reader - what writer doesn't read others in the field?
IT support - who will host your blog, fixes the bugs, updates the software?
Writer - and what type? tech writer, reporter, author,
Librarians - maintaining organized sites and collecting links and information for others
Experts in a particular topic or field, (subject matter experts) blogs as testaments to their experience and know-how, so others may learn from them (whether that is teaching, bonsai, or fly-tying) and
Educator for those bloggers who want to "teach" even if they are not in education.
Designer - once you get beyond the default templates, adding HTML, playing with the CSS, embedding video etc. It's a way into web design for some people. Minimally, you are your own art director.
Depending on whether you use images from other sources (as a photo editor) or if you do your own, blogs are generally visual, so you might be a graphic artist or photographer.
Editor is an obvious one, including proofreading the writing but also purging outdated & redundant information and giving updates.
Entertainer - there are blogs that aren't trying to change the world, and most of us try some "web cetera" once and awhile.
Marketer (what one student called a rainmaker) - whether you are sellingyourself and you blog to gain readersor actually trying to drive traffic to your ads and links. You may develop into a
Partner in a business sense with other sites.
Reviewer - many blogs review products including technology, books, films, music...
Reader and researcher - I spend more time reading and researching for most posts than I do actually writing.
Compiler - filtering the best of what is out there and putting it together for others
Publisher -particularly if you develop a group blog with multiple contributors.
Activist - some bloggers take on causes. Some of the best of those lead bloggers to also become a
Discussion leader - especially if you can get good comments
Chris Shamburg commented on an earlier post that he thought Witness might be a new role (not the same as reporter) as we see more and more bloggers giving first hand accounts from places in the world amidst crisis and catastrophe.