Carol Channing, Robert Goulet — and blogging!

[Look. At. Me! Channing and Goulet clung to their audience, too]

Here’s a little career advice about the value of blogging for the soon-to-be unemployed — and not just newsroom folks.

I wrote and edited for increasingly bigger audiences throughout my career, beginning in 1985 at the 21,000-circulation Pine Bluff (Ark.) Commercial, and ending this past January at 2.3-million USA Today. So, it felt really strange when the reality of my USAT buyout finally sunk in: I wouldn’t have anyone reading my stuff for the first time in more than 22 years. What would happen to all my wise thoughts, not to mention brilliant and timely observations?!

Seriously, though, blogging suddenly looked like a terrific opportunity to do several things I hope will move me closer to a second career — at the age of 51. That’s because it:

  • Forces me to read, analyze and write every day. You’ve got to stay intellectually engaged.
  • Keeps me on the Internet, where job-related sites and social networks now meant something to a new job hunter like me. I opened free accounts at LinkedIn, FacebookYouTubeFlickr, and Twitter
  • Put me in touch with recent co-workers — and helped me rediscover colleagues from the past (hi, Keith!).
  • Nudged me to learn basic online skills (like videos) that many communications professionals need to get a good job.
  • Feeds my daily crack habit: writing snappy USAT-style stories with many bulleted sentences like this one. Kidding! (I hope.)

Best of all, there’s lots of good, free or inexpensive software available online. Although I use Google’s free Web-based Blogger software, I’ve lately been tempted by WordPress. There’s also TypePad, and I’m sure a bunch more that readers will suggest.

Please post replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Photos: Carol Channing toured with Hello, Dolly! until she was 75. Robert Goulet performed Camelot like forever]

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