This is the fifth in a series of Q&As we will be running with journalism teachers who run their own blogs or websites separate from what their students are doing at school. Our fifth is Stan Zoller of Illinois who writes for ZollerOnBuffaloGrove.blogspot.com and ChicagoNow.com.
1. What is your name?: Stan Zoller, MJE
3. What is the focus for your blog/website? zolleronbuffalogrove looks at crazy politics in the village. Every so often I deviate from that and touch on another topic. Suburban Scene is done for ChicagoNow and looks at some of the goofy things of suburban living.
4. Why did you decide to create one? I used to write a lot of columns when I was a reporter. When this woman was elected trustee in Buffalo Grove — and emerged as a total nut case, it was too good to pass up. Suburban Scene gives me a broader based audience to write for.
5. How did you gain the skills needed to run your blog/website? By attending various workshops and listserv suggestions.
6. What benefits have come from running your own blog/website? It keeps my journalistic skills and writing fresh. It’s also great fun having people stop me and tell me they read it. Also, it give me a chance to utilize another form of on-line technology.
7. Would you say your personal blog/website has made you more or less hands-on with the student site in your program? How so? — More, because it serves as a model for what I teach.
8. In what other ways has having your own blog/website helped you in the classroom? — In addition to giving me a chance to use technology, it gives me a chance to explain the development of topics and acquiring information — both of which are important for journalism classes.
9. What advice do you have for someone looking to build their own blog/website? — Keep the topics fresh and experiment with the features of your blog host.
10. Anything you’d like to add? — Be patient. Keeping the topics and the blog site fresh require a lot of experimentation. Try different blog hosts to see which one best meets your needs and abilities.