UoL Library Blog

Develop, debate, innovate.

An author’s guide to blogging – some help & guidance

Posted by gazjjohnson on 4 September, 2008

As noted earlier we pioneering 4 wanted to expand out our test community to include a few more people, and hopefully by now you’ve had a chance to read the various emails I’ve sent out about it.

One thing we didn’t cover in the emails were any house rules and regulations for authors and commentors.  This blog is very much an informal knowledge exchange tool, which means we try to keep the tone light, informative and professional. It isn’t an appropriate place to air any inflammatory issues; rather it is a space to seek comment and input to areas you’re working on or to share/reflect on your own experiences. It is also a useful place to post links to articles or reports that are of interest to the library community.  We 4 have certainly learned quite a bit over the past couple of months already.

If you’ve never written for or read a blog before, we’d recommend following some of the links in the Blogroll(on the left) to see the tone and style adopted by other academic bloggers.  It might be that you’re actually a long time blogger with a different hat on (personally I’m into my 5th year of blogging now), in which case the four of us would like to invite you to start contributing sooner rather than later.  Don’t be afraid – no one is going to call you stupid!

I’ll leave you with Johnson’s good blogging conduct rules of thumb, which I’ll expect you all to inwardly digest and be able to quote from heart by next month:

  • Keep posts/comments short, light and readable (yes this post probably fails that test)
  • Don’t stress over the grammar – better out than in!
  • If you think it’s interesting, chances are someone else on staff does too and will benefit from it.
  • Add tags freely and plentiful – use categories sparingly (and please ask if you want to add more categories!)
  • Try and blog at least twice a month if not more – the more voices the blog has the more valuable and enjoyable it will be
  • Try and comment on at least one post a week – I will be keeping score.
  • There is no such thing as a bad post…(well almost)
  • If you’re unsure about anything- just ask me, Keith, Selina or Sarah
  • AND remember: anyone in the world could read your post/comment…so never blog anything you wouldn’t be prepared to stand up in the middle of a crowded room and shout about!

2 Responses to “An author’s guide to blogging – some help & guidance”

  1. sarahw9 said

    It can feel tricky for perfectionists – the post should be “light, informative and professional” and also people should see it as a place to air ideas and have conversations rather than producing a definitive peice of writing on a topic.

    Perhaps harder for ‘older’ people (meaning born after 1980), who are used to the idea of writing and ‘publishing’ as permanent and authoritive rather conversational and part of a developmental process…. yes I’ve managed to read a bit of Shirky at last.

  2. gazjjohnson said

    “Older born after 1980” – does that make me younger then?

    But I agree with your second para though, there is a certain mindset that expects perminance – then again if you consider 99.99999% of the printed published word is probably long pulped by now, transience is not soley limited to the digital media!

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