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Better blogging 10 steps to… Andrea Ressell – Centre for Educational Technology, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

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Presentation on theme: "Better blogging 10 steps to… Andrea Ressell – Centre for Educational Technology, University of Cape Town, South Africa."— Presentation transcript:

1 better blogging 10 steps to… Andrea Ressell – Centre for Educational Technology, University of Cape Town, South Africa

2 one. provide a biography Your readers want to know: Who you are Where youre from What you look like Why youre blogging What, if any, credentials / experience you have in your subject area

3 two. write descriptive headlines Titles should clearly indicate the subject Avoid vague, overly abstract or funny titles They should makes sense out of context Search engines Newsfeeds Other websites Try to keep headlines short and punchy Remove unnecessary words Put the subject up front – people wont necessarily read to the end Avoid ALL CAPS

4 three. name links meaningfully Jakob Nielsen: Life is too short to click on the unknown Dont use anchors like click here The link should be scannable Users should know where a link goes and what theyll find there

5 four. provide context & structure Remember that everyone hasnt been with you from the beginning Link to previous posts where appropriate: Additional information Contextual information Related content Use categories to group posts on a similar subject

6 five. emphasise key postings Dont bury important pages Provide quick links Create a Top 10 list of classic hits / most read or commented postings

7 six. publish regularly Jakob Nielsen: Establishing and meeting user expectations is one of the fundamental principles of Web usability Irregular publishing means that users cant anticipate when youll post Decide on a publication schedule (daily, weekly, monthly - whatever suits your topic best) and try to stick to it, otherwise you may lose readers

8 seven. think about audience Blogs are public – your audience includes your boss, colleagues, friends, family and strangers Bear the future in mind – what you write now can and probably will be read later Who youre writing to should determine what and how you write Consider style, tone, language choice etc Be ethical, dont flame and avoid defamation

9 eight. tighten your topics The broader your topic, the less likely you are to retain readers The more focussed your topic, the more focused and loyal your readers are likely to be If you want to blog about your holidays and your love of advanced algebra, then create two separate sites

10 nine. heed basic web design rules Its easier to read dark text on a light background – think carefully how much online reading is required before using white on black Optimise images (reduce dimensions and quality) so the page loads quickly for low-bandwidth users Animated graphics are distracting and quickly become annoying – dont be tempted to use them! Be consistent (font, links, colours etc)

11 ten. keep blogging! Read other peoples blogs Be yourself! Write about the things you really care about - youll get bored (and so will your readers) if you dont show any enthusiasm for your subject If youre struggling to post regularly, consider switching topics Dont give up! The more you blog the more your voice will develop

12 useful references Wikipedia: Nielson:www.useit.com/alertboxwww.useit.com/alertbox Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes Usability 101: Introduction to Usability Foraker Design: Lynch & Horton:www.webstyleguide.comwww.webstyleguide.com


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