Tips for writing and posting your weekly posts

Since you’re about to start posting content to your personal forums, I thought I’d share some tips for writing and publishing your weekly posts.

Write offline

There’s always a risk that things can go wrong when you’re writing posts directly into a web interface. Some of the things that regularly go wrong for me are…

  • I have a tendency to accidentally swipe across my trackpad which has the same function as clicking the back button. When I do this, I lose what I’ve typed.
  • If I hit publish on a platform that doesn’t have autosave (like a forum) and my internet is down, I lose the content. This is a huge problem because I have an incredibly flaky internet connection, despite paying well over $100 a month for cable, and it drops out all the time.
  • Accidentally overwriting posts. This morning I finished writing up a lengthy page on this site, hit publish, and then went to make a coffee. When I came back I thought I’d close a few browser tabs. I happened to have two windows open and I had the page I’d just published open in both windows, only one version was 12 hours older. I thought I’d be safe and hit ‘update’, then an hour later I went to check something on the page, and realised I’d inadvertently saved the 12 hour old version over the top of the current one. Thank goodness I could retrieve the earlier revision, but it was a lot of fiddling to fix it.

To avoid losing your posts, I recommend you write your posts offline and then copy and paste them into your forum post.

I write all my blog posts in Evernote (which is basically where I store my life), then copy them across when they’re done. It’s much safer.

Work through the materials I’ve created to help you with your posts

I’ve prepared a whole bunch of content to help you with writing your critical reflection posts in this unit. These posts are all accessible from the Assignment 1 page:

Create great blog content

I also recommend you do some thinking about what constitutes a good blog post. Remember, your forum posts should basically be a blog post, just in a forum rather than on a blog. We’re interested in how you present your posts, not just the content itself.

Blogging conventions

Have you heard of ProBlogger? His How to write great blog content post is an index of a whole bunch of posts he’s written about creating great blog content. It’s pretty much a one stop shop for everything you need to know to make your blog sing.

Short on time? This blog post will introduce you to ten tips for Good blog writing style super fast.

Or read ProBlogger’s version, Ten tips for writing a blog post.

Sourcing content for your posts

Our old friend Copyright tells us we can’t just use other people’s content on our blogs. But never fear! If you need music or images or even video to include in your blog posts, you can find plenty of content licensed for reuse under Creative Commons.

Introducing Creative Commons

Read this article from EDUCAUSE on 7 things you should know about Creative Commons.

Citing and attribution

Check out the information we’ve provided about referencing in blog posts to help you with your blog assignment. Please take some time to read through it. Remember: we don’t want to see a reference list! We want to see contextual hyperlinks in the text.

You might also find this post called How not to steal people’s content on the web useful too.

Tags

Please tag your posts with appropriate keywords and include a tag for the week number, eg. Week 3.

Your turn

Do you have any tips to share with your peers? Those of you who are seasoned bloggers or who took IFN612 Emerging Technologies in Semester 1 might have some ideas about blogging and critical reflection to share.

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