call4blogrsOn occasion, I receive requests asking me about setting up a blog for someone or a writer asking if they can contribute to my blog. As some of you know my original intent in setting up the El Paso News blog was to cultivate citizen journalists. Unfortunately, writing reader-engaging content requires time and much effort. Add to that effort the need to optimize the content for attracting readers through the search engines and creating accompanying graphics the simple blog that was going to take a little of your time soon becomes overwhelming. Yet, the need to express and comment on daily issues lives within many of you.

Adding to the time constraints and although we purport to live in an open society, the reality is that expressing an opinion on topical issues usually leads to conflicts with jobs or family. Writing a blog soon becomes something that is put on the backburner constantly tugging at some of you. The need to express an opinion burns within many people but the impediments seem unsurmountable.

I am an advocate of the expression of opinion unhindered by filters imposed by certain special interests intent on managing the public message. It is no secret that I have tried numerous times to create a platform to offer some of you an opportunity to share your opinion. Unfortunately, many express a willingness to blog but few actually find the time to do it.

It is difficult and time consuming to put thoughts into words and then publish them so readers may enjoy them. I know this but I still believe that there are bloggers in many of you just waiting for the opportunity to share your opinions.

Today I am announcing my latest attempt to encourage, incubate and cultivate bloggers. It is an online magazine named Newsies. I believe that the future of the news is bloggers. I am hoping that Newsies will be where we, I, the contributors and the readers together will incubate the bloggers hiding in our communities.

As I see it, there are three impediments for new bloggers to start blogging. With Newsies I believe I can solve two of the issues leaving new bloggers to deal with only one thing – time.

With Newsies I am offering aspiring bloggers, frustrated writers looking for an outlet and citizen journalists the anonymity some need and the technology to spread your musings across the Internet.

Yes, you read that right; I’m offering you anonymity to express yourself. Exposing yourself to family or job-related problems because of your opinion should not be an impediment to your blog.

I won’t even know your true identity unless you want me to.

I know some of you are thinking, yea but you won’t publish my work unless it agrees with you.

With Newsies your work is published immediately once you hit “publish.” There are no editors to convince. The only individuals you need to convince are the readers who will support your writing with “likes.”

The other thing I am offering aspiring wordsmiths is the technology suite to make you successful online. Newsies takes care of all of the technological needs including search engine optimization (SEO), the publishing platform and the social media outlets through Facebook and Twitter.

All you have to do is write.

There are no fees or other requirements except to abide by the simple rules. Don’t break any US laws, don’t harass people and don’t spam or scam readers. It is as simple as that.

I realize that this experiment is fraught with potential problems. For every one of you who wants an opportunity to express your opinion there are literally hundreds of others looking to take advantage of Newsies for scams, spamming or just to harass. I am prepared for that and in keeping with the simple rules, the consequences are simple as well; let everyone express themselves as they see fit without abuse.

Of course, there is always the reality that the writers in many of you are not ready to come out just yet. As far as I am concerned, the vehicle to start blogging is there for you. It is now up to you to take it and run with it or sit back and let it slip by once again.

But what about the readers? What’s in it for you?

The more bloggers, writers and citizen journalists we incubate the more unfiltered viewpoints and news we can all enjoy in one place. Show aspiring bloggers some encouragement by up voting their posts and commenting on their thoughts.

It takes a lot of courage to express an opinion. Whether you agree with the writer or not is immaterial because what they wrote made you think about an issue. Take the time to encourage the writers by up voting or down voting their work. Comments, are of course, encouraged and welcome to the readers and the writers alike.

I’m not sure where this project is heading but I’m sure looking forward to where it does.

Here is your opportunity to express yourself. Whether you take and run with it is completely up to you! Click here to start blogging today.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

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