Do you regularly write about events that affect you, but find it hard to connect with interested readers? Have you wondered where to look for on-the-ground, personal stories on the topics that dominate the news? Today, we announce a new current events tag, WPrightnow, to help strong writers find new readers (and vice versa).
Traditional news outlets are crucial for getting the basic facts right. Your Twitter and Facebook feeds provide quick, unfiltered updates about events as they unfold. What we often yearn for, though, is a personal angle: someone on the ground, or deeply involved with the story, to walk us through their own take on a complex event. When we learn why it matters to them, we begin to understand why we, too, should care.
Luckily, WordPress.com bloggers are everywhere. When a revolution shakes Egypt, or the Supreme Court of the United States makes a landmark decision, they’re among the first to provide quality, in-depth commentary. It’s a great advantage of belonging to the largest blogging community in the world: you automatically have (smart, opinionated) friends in all the right places.
Members of the WordPress.com community have done — are doing — an incredible job injecting big stories with their own fresh, unusual perspective. Just last month, as hostages were being held in a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, a blogger posted her first-hand account of the tragedy:
The siege on Westgate has shifted my perspective, widening the lens. The victims in the attack aren’t strange actors, trapped in some impossibly far away country, tangled in a complex web of politics and violence. They are innocent, ordinary people – mothers and daughters, housewives and poets and bankers and waiters. One of the victims is a regular at the yoga studio I frequent; another is a childhood friend of my best friend here.
Whether it’s a narrative poem inspired by Trayvon Martin’s death, a critique of the media in the wake of a plane crash, or a biting, imagined dialogue about the civil war in Syria, these pieces go beyond mere reporting. They invite us to think, to debate, and to engage in a conversation (in real life, in the comments section, or on our own blogs).
Do you enjoy writing about the people and events that shape your own corner of the world? Make your voice heard, and your posts easier to find by like-minded bloggers. Just like you mark your longer pieces with the ever-popular WPlongform tag, set your current events-related posts apart with WPrightnow (feel free to use #WPrightnow on Twitter, too!). Make your content visible for those who look for an intimate take on big stories. We love seeing the world through your eyes.
If you’re interested in keeping up with what’s abuzz in the community — from a collection of top reads to publishing news and bloggers in the spotlight — subscribe to WordPress.com Weekend Reads, which we’ll deliver right to your inbox.
Oct 11th at 5:21 pm
I would like to see some tags promoting different genres of photography get official support from WP staff. Right now “photography” is overflowing compared to the other possibilities. “Black and White” is 50% not about black and white photography. I think WP is a great platform to display my photography. It continually gets better, but there are ways to make it better yet.
Oct 11th at 6:56 pm
Thanks for the effort and innovation you and the WP team put in… It really makes a difference!
Oct 11th at 7:04 pm
So to use #WPrightnow, what do you do? Just add it to the url post? I’ve never done this but my post about contacting the White House and why I couldn’t is current news about the government shutdown.
Oct 11th at 7:19 pm
Thank you. I didn’t start a Blog to show my views on the world, but, rather, my progression as a writer. The journey of returning to the basics to becoming more knowledgeable of my craft. I didn’t imagine that I would be as intrigued on the entire spectrum of blogging. I find myself reading blogs that speak of more than just the world of creative writing. I find myself learning from people who blog about their lives, food and wine, and current events. By reading others you hear their voices.
Oct 11th at 9:30 pm
Ben, I can agree with you that the “traditional news outlets are crucial for getting the basic facts right.” But, unfortunately, objective journalism, or even most reporters trying to be objective, is pretty much dead. Most content is too much about how people feel about the news rather than the news itself. Human interest stories are one thing, and important; but hard journalism needs to be revived. Everything is blurred today.
Oct 11th at 9:37 pm
My imagination runs rampant while reading current events, and then continues throughout the night while I’m sleeping. My head is whirling at 250 mph at any given moment from my various blogs, to my writing, my cause in protecting children, and a screenplay I’m working on. I hardly have time to advertise myself, I’m so busy contributing.
Oct 11th at 10:48 pm
The tag of wprightnow then would become obsolete after 36, 48 hrs. when the event has occurred… More useful to tag the blog post on the name of the event. I have written as a person who experienced a major event in person –2010 Winter Olympics as a Vancouver BC resident, the 2013 Alberta Flood in Calgary. But we are talking about big cataclysmic events that cost money and affect thousands of people.
Wprightnow also applies to birth and death of our loved ones who have shaped our lives.
Oct 11th at 10:49 pm
I should add that I have had readers on the above events mentioned. It depends where else I go to participate regularily in forums, etc.
Oct 12th at 12:30 am
Is it sad that I first wondered whether the above picture was from a Mid East war zone or a scene from Detroit?
Oct 12th at 2:04 am
I write about and photograph the Mississippi Delta, the sights, the few authentic Juke Joints, the elderly Bluesmen who deserve recognition & recording labels – I include their music/videos – this culture, these musicans are dying out…and so I record via my blog, and flickr
Oct 12th at 6:32 am
This was very inspirational–pushed me to keep my eyes open to the world outside and write about everything
Oct 12th at 8:33 am
Great work. WordPress just keeps getting better and better!! Before WPrightnow I created a Category called kNews with a tag line “Based on news and current affairs. Its news thats a little bit different” Looking forward to trying the new tag out.
Oct 12th at 3:16 pm
WPrightnow… I like it. Thanks!
Oct 13th at 6:40 am
Absolutely fantastic! But umm, if one should tag all his posts as WPrightnow, would that count as spamming? And will he be brought before the WordPress Court of Justice? Just thinking aloud!
Oct 14th at 1:24 am
Yes farsails – couldn’t agree more.
I was watching the very highly respected Australian TV program ‘ABC24′ this morning. After a short news session describing the current US fiscal deadlock made by one of the reporters on the show, the ‘anchor’ asked the reporter what she thought the outcome would be – she replied (refreshingly) – “I wouldn’t know I’m just reporting the facts”. Thank god good honest reporting is still out there somewhere.
Time for a change…..?
Oct 14th at 2:26 am
This tag would have been great for my Boulder flood post. Twitter hashtags brought readers, but I can see how this could serve as another great tool. Thanks!
Oct 14th at 12:11 pm
If the news is not being reported without bias (intentionally) then perhaps it’s best tagged “in my humble opinion” #IMHO — or maybe it could be a supplemental tag added to #WPrightnow
Oct 19th at 12:39 pm
We live in a world so destructive and disorganized, often there are places that seem drawn from a movie. In recent years the fiction is more real than reality itself, and there is no difference. Because now the reality imitates fiction and vice versa. Sometimes when I see an attack on television I do not know if what I’m seeing is an action movie.