Worlds collide. It seems to be the running theme in my life of late. Online meets offline. Jersey meets Cali. The Philippines meets America. It can’t be helped. Technology has brought us closer to each other for better or worse.
As a writer–slash-blogger-slash-social-media-person, my words and pictures are my currency in the world. It is how I am known, how I convey my thoughts, how I am perceived, how I perceive the world.
Sometimes the collision is accidental and sometimes, on purpose. The OC Blogcrush + OC Press Club meeting held late last year at the Marriott Suites of Anaheim was one such event where two worlds came together for a reason.
The OC Blogcrush/ Press Club meeting panel was composed of people I’d consider both friends and colleagues, most of whom had started out as online acquaintances. They were Marcy Massura (Blogcrush, Weber Shandwick), Kevin Sablan (OC Register), Michele Himmelberg (Disneyland), Chris Epting (HB Independent) and Steve Churm (Churm Media).
There were many ideas and opinions that came across that meeting — pet peeves about grammar, the differences between writing for a digital audience and writing for print, and general thoughts on the state of social media with regards to public relations and journalism. And although we hardly had time to directly address the elephant in the room: “Were bloggers replacing “traditional” journalists?” — I think there was a consensus that this was not the case.
According to magazine publisher Steve Churm, (whether blogging or writing for print) “The essence is that it has to be something of quality in short or long form.”
But perhaps one of the most important insights was conveyed by author and Huntington Beach Independent columnist Chris Epting, who said that ultimately, writers and bloggers did the same thing: “We tell stories. We write. The heart of it all is the story.”