For a class today, here are some thoughts on writing blog posts. (Posting this on the web reduces the time taken plodding through PowerPoint in class).
Here are three types of blog post (just for starters).
- Opinion/reflection. A post using the personal pronoun (‘I’) throughout. These reveal something of the author, but tend to reflect their internal world of thoughts and feelings, not the external world of events. (The great diarists, remember, are read today because they commented on the world of events, not just on their feelings. Think of Samuel Pepys.)
- Comment on event. Events and ideas are buzzing round the world. Connect to one of these events and add your brief thoughts on it. You can be serious; you can be frivolous. Example: ‘I welcome an independent Kosovo. But I wonder how long it will be before we (ie England) are knocked out of a European Championship; or we (ie Scotland) are defeated at Davis Cup tennis or we (who cares?) are humiliated by this new Balkan state in the Eurovision song contest?’
- Link post. I’m busy; you’re busy. If you’re not busy, you’re probably bored. Blogs can act as filters to save us from time wasting. If there’s something you found valuable, link to it to recommend it to others. I sometimes link so I’ll know where to find it again. Social bookmarking is taking on this role, but some like to integrate their bookmarks with their blogs.
How long is a blog post? As short as possible. Take your lead from letters to newspapers, which are typically less than 200 words. The Vice-Chancellor of this university writes what is in effect a daily blog post of 200 words. Each working day. ‘A little and often’: advice for watering house plants applies also to feeding blogs.