Thinking ahead to what we would like to do with our blogging is a way to generate ideas and options and to further define and refine our writing and photographing…
AS I CONTINUE BLOGGING I plan to… well, they’re the sort of words to make you think. What do I want to do with my blogging?
When we started we might have had an idea of what we wanted to blog about. We might have had a few topics in our heads that we got down on screen and online. But what now?
What we know
We might already have a clue because we might have started off by blogging about a topic we know about. Assuming this is of continuing interest perhaps we could develop that as our blogging focus. It’s an opportunity to take our readers deeper into the topic and, at the same, time to further clarify our own thoughts about it and to develop a deeper knowledge.
We might even ask knowledgable readers to comment and share their own experience of the topics we blog about…
Writing about something we know about can produce informative, instructive and reflective writing that develops the knowledge and insights of our readers.
What we don’t know
There’s another option, and that is to blog about something we know little about. This works best where we want to learn about something. We have to let our readers know that this is what we are doing so that they are aware that some of what they read might not be correct, and also to put in context the corrections we make as we get further into the topic. We might even ask knowledgable readers to comment and share their own experience of the topics we blog about.
This approach might be best blogged as a journey in which our own learning becomes the theme and our specific findings the content of specific blogs. This positions us not as experts but as learners. That is something that might resonate with readers as they will have been in similar circumstances.
In my blogging I cover a number of broad topics which are often only tenuously linked. Technology and society, travel and adventure, memoir, permaculture design and citizen journalism are only weakly linked if they are linked at all.
As we continue blogging I think it a good idea to think who our audience is…
To deal with this I could have set up a free WordPress website for each topic but that would have meant a lot of mucking around to maintain each site. Instead, I purchased a WordPress theme and paid for a hosting service. In that theme I set up those topics as tabs. That is, each topic has its section and they are clearly labelled on the tabs at the top of the home page (www.pacific-edge.info)
As we continue blogging I think it a good idea to think who our audience is. That’s self-selecting to a large extent because people are unlikely to read what does not interest them. However, we can develop our readership further by asking them what they like to read about, what questions they have. Listed in the comments below the blog asking this, we then have topics to investigate and write about.
If we are blogging about a topic we know well, then we are likely to have an idea about the sort of things readers might be interested in. Perhaps it is a controversy among people engaged in our topic. If so, and if we have definite opinions about that, we might write an advocacy blog supporting our contentions. Doing this does not mean producing an attack blog and setting out to deliberately trash what we don’t agree with. Evan an advocacy blog can discuss and give credit where due to an opposing point of view. It clearly explains why what it proposes is the better way.
Irrespective of our topic or approach, our blog gains greater credibility when we incorporate a few traditional journalistic practices…
Another approach might be a more informational blog that does not take a stand on something but that clearly outlines all the options. The purpose of this approach is to clarify the issue for readers.
A better approach
Irrespective of our topic or approach, our blog gains greater credibility when we incorporate a few traditional journalistic practices:
- accuracy — do we have our facts straight? is what we report verifiable fact, hearsay or assumption? we should label hearsay and assumption as such
- adequacy — is our blog of sufficient length to provide insight and to meet our objectives in writing it?
- attribution — have we attributed quotes and information to their source?
- agenda — is our agenda in blogging clear so as to give readers context for what we write?
- fairness — has differing opinion and that of others been fairly represented and not distorted or misrepresented?
These are just a few ideas in answer to the question ‘As I continue blogging I plan to…’.
So, what are your blogging plans?