"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding watercolor, metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

*9 o'clock sharp"--To blog or not to blog

"I'll be there at 9 o'clock sharp," she e-mailed me yesterday.
She, a UCO student I didn't know, had asked to interview me on a news story about ten reasons to blog, for the student newspaper, The Vista.
I told her my office hours were from 9 to noon today, and that was her reply--which got my attention.
A student who wants an "early" appointment? A student who says "sharp"?
And at 8:59.30 this morning, she comes down the hall.
After shaking hands, firmly, and as she puts down her backpack and takes out a notebook, I begin my usual barrage of questions: "What's your major?" "What do you want to do for a career?" "Where are you from?" "Do you blog?" and so on. 
(She's a sophomore from Edmond, likes to write, and radio, but doesn't want to be in front of a camera, and still doesn't know exactly what she wants to do.)
Then in response to her question about ten reasons to blog, I tell her,
"I've never had that question before." She smiles. 
"I don't know," I say, and the smile wavers.
"But you got me to thinking, and here is a list of reasons to blog and not to blog," and I hand her the list below.
In the next 20 minutes she keeps taking notes as we talk about my blogging class, twitter, journalism and more. Her questions are quick, specific and direct, sometimes asking me why I answered a certain way.
At the end she asks if she can contact me if she has more questions, and the answer is "Of course."
She gathers her backpack, we shake hands as she smiles, and she's on her way.
"Nine o'clock sharp," and she was.
Kateleigh Mills made my day. 
Thanks to her, here's the list of Clark's reasons to blog or not to blog:
“Content is king—technology is the servant”—Terry M. Clark

  • Six reasons to blog--

  1. You need a quality digital “footprint” to get a start on a career in the highly competitive communication field. A blog can be part of that—I have former students whose blogs helped get them jobs.
  2. You have a passion and something original you want to say that can be sustained over time.
  3. You can write grammatically correct sentences,  enjoy writing and can organize your thinking.
  4. You are willing to work at it because quality blogging takes a lot of preparation and time.
  5. You enjoy learning and change because blogging is always changing.
  6. You have an eye for effective design and readability.

  • Six reasons not to blog--

  1. You can’t write a grammatically correct sentence punctuated correctly.
  2. You only want to rant, gripe or whine about a specific subject.
  3. You have no passion or nothing to say.
  4. You are just blogging because you think you should.
  5. You’re lazy and don’t want to put in the time.
  6. You don’t really want a career in communication.


  1. You know a lot of people don't know it but one of the secrets of life is showing up on time. I hate it when people say "I run late." Why should anybody take them seriously.She was also prepared, and responsive to your answers. I predict great things for Ms. Mills.

  2. Dear Dr. Clark,
    When I read this I cried. So happy I could make your day. You made mine right back. I even blogged about it, thanks to you. Looking forward to your intersession if I can get into it before it fills up.