Zack Jerome, founder and writer of the Lost Angeles Blog, discussed the evolution of social media and blogs at the Director’s Forum, sponsored by the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, on Tuesday.
Jerome said he started his blog, which features stories and satire on USC and Los Angeles, three years ago when he noticed the comments he received on his Facebook notes came from people he was not expecting.
Jerome said it is important to find your own voice and said his audience dictates what he writes.
“It’s all about the number of clicks and exposure to your world,” Jerome said. “You get to be a source.”
Jerome said the key to a successful blog is creating captivating content and driving traffic to your blog.
“Dive in, set a schedule and train people to see it as a media outlet,” Jerome said. “What is it about something you write that draws people to it will help develop your voice.”
As a self-proclaimed believer in Gonzo journalism, a style of journalism that does not claim objectivity, Jerome supports outlets for the reporter to be part of the story, which allows him to write freely.
“What won’t go away is the human need to connect,” Jerome said. “It’s a gift to have writers people want to read.”
With his background in blogging and advertising, Jerome said he discourages bloggers from seeking sponsored posts.
“The more people are viewing your content the more likely you are to get sued,” Jerome said. “I’m not a huge fan of sponsored posts. Transparency is key.”
Kim Borowski, a senior majoring in business administration, said she found Jerome’s advice about advertisements and sponsored posts helpful.
“It was interesting to hear about the changing social media landscape and to learn about the professional side of it because we all already use it,” Borowski said.