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Media: Six Rules Of Blogging

Here's an annotated version of the six rules I laid out on Twitter yesterday afternoon.  Feel free to add others or offer alternatives. I have no idea what I'm talking about.

ScreenHunter_32 Aug. 11 13.34

ScreenHunter_26 Aug. 10 17.0933PS:  I mean blogging in the broadest sense of posting content online.  Blogs themselves are dying if not dead, as this recent Economist article confirms.


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I'd add a few more:

* Have a voice/perspective. This is the long-term version of "say something interesting on a regular basis." I've got an advantage in that there are relatively few historians of education in the U.S., and even fewer who blog (I think only Diane Ravitch, Larry Cuban, and Adrea Lawrence). But anyone can have a unique perspective; there are a few million teachers, and the best teacher blogs have that "Oh, I know that voice" quality.

* Follow the Goldilocks Rule on following technology: keep checking what's new, but don't keep your platform on the bleeding edge unless it's not the bleeding edge for you. Once there was Twitterfeed, I started using it, largely because someone else had done the hard work to figure out what it was for. And now that WordPress has auto-updates, I changed platforms. (Previously, it would be a royal pain for me to keep updating for security reasons, so I stayed on a less-used platform.)

* Figure out what you do well. Unless blogging is your day job, it shouldn't take as much time as your day job, including addressing your weaknesses. Play to known strengths, and you'll enjoy blogging.

Ack: the correct URL for Diane Ravitch and Deborah Meier's blog is http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/ -- my apologies to those who tried to follow the erroneous link above.


This may sound naive, but I'd add:

"Are you making the world a better place by what you're writing -- making people think, making them smile, helping them be more effective? If not, reconsider whether you want to write it or not."

I'd also question part of your sixth rule. I'm not a fan of "reciprocal links." If someone writes something that you think your readers would be interested in, then link to them. If not, then don't -- even if they have linked to you multiple times.


Three things that I am blatantly guilty of come to mind:

1. Regular updates
2. Keep your audience in mind (learned that one in 9th grade speech)
3. Timeliness

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