Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Lessons for bloggers (Porter, 2007)

In addition to a first batch of nine lessons learned through seven years of blogging (Porter, 2007a), Joshua has summed up nine more lessons for bloggers (2007b). I've collected and recast them here because they resonate with what I've been feeling, reading and wondering recently about blogging.

Getting over initial fears of publishing your thoughts is part of the blogging process. This is a challenge for many if not most would-be bloggers. You can get over, around or through it simply by blogging.

Saying your say is important, whether you say it right the first time or not. Thinking aloud in beta is part of the process; just keep typing. Posting what you've written is essential. As Joshua suggests: "When in doubt, post." You're a blog owner, so you can always change your posts, continue to refine them, or remove them later. Fine-tuning posts with comments is a possibility (Porter, 2007a). However, I prefer revising the posts themselves.

Sticking to your passion(-s) will enable you to inspire not only your readers, but yourself. It will help you decide what to write about, and feel strong enough about to see it through. You should be writing from the gut or heart. So rather than worrying about grammatical correctness, you should concentrate on making your ideas easy to understand.

Creating a "greatest hits" collection, or showcase module, and featuring it on every page will remind readers of where you've been and what you've done (Porter, 2007a). It will also help you remember that people are reading what you've written, and that you have written something you're proud of. This is an idea I plan to adopt and share with students as well.

Nevertheless, is important to take your time writing because each post can pay forward as well as pay back. Give each post and each concept that you embrace a meaningful, memorable name. Build on posts of interest to you and others. Continue to revise good stuff to make it better; you never know who may find it several years down the road.

Joshua suggests summarizing comments and writing your own reflections in follow-ups, linking to, but not quoting yourself. If you've got a hot idea that deserves reiteration, refer to it by name and paraphrase it; you most certainly can find a better, more economical way to say it again than quoting.

It is productive to own up to your mistakes. If someone points out a mistake that you've made, in thinking or expression, agree that you made it and carry on with what you actually meant. Take other disputes off-line promptly. If criticism becomes offensive, personal or tangential to the focus of your writing, don't haggle about it on your blog or in counter comments. You may wish to try writing a polite email response instead.

Finally, it is important remember that blogs are conversational. Your posts should sound as if you're speaking, and you can use your voice to help make others' perhaps softer, less familiar voices heard by cross-linking, creating broader audiences and promoting higher expectations of readership (Porter 2007b).


Porter, Joshua (2007a). Nine lessons for would-be bloggers. Retrieved April 3, 2007, from http://bokardo.com/archives/9-lessons-for-would-be-bloggers/

Porter, Joshua (2007b). Nine more lessons for would-be bloggers. Retrieved April 3, 2007, from http://bokardo.com/archives/9-more-lessons-for-would-be-bloggers/

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