Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Blogging Workshop Notes


This afternoon I led a discussion on the use of blogging for festivals and events. We covered a variety of topics from a basic overview of blogging as a communications tool to actually building a blog site on Blogger.

Here are a couple of key points to summarize the session.

  1. Define the purpose and style of your event or organizations blog. What is it you want to say and how will you say it. For me, a personal voice works well. I basically write like I speak. You might want something a bit more formal if that works best for your intended audience, so it helps to know who you're writing for.
  2. Select your platform. Is it a free blog like I use at Blogger or is a dedicated blog hosted on your own web site. Both have their advantages. If you're just getting started free is a great way to go. When you have some more experience, you can migrate your site to your own web hosting service which will give you a little bit more flexibility.
  3. Define your look and what you want you want to say. Sites like Blogger provide a variety of standard templates which can be further customized with simple changes to colors and fonts. There are also a number of sites that provide pre-built templates some are free, while others charge per template or offer a subscription to the their site for access to their collection.
  4. Add content to your site. How will you keep them engaged and coming back to your site? First, write about what you know. Keep it relevant to your target audience. If you're an arts festival, a good place to start might be profiles about your guest artists or about a style of painting that would be of interest to your readers. If you are a Parks and Recreation Department, you might write articles that talk about camping, crafts, game and related activities.
  5. Quality is far more important that quantity. A question that's often asked is do I need to blog every day, and the answer is no. You should create new content on a regular basis to keep your readers coming back often, so if you don't have time to write a lot of content yourself, consider occasionally inviting a guest blogger to write about your topic or check out some of the sites that offer free content an a variety of topics.
  6. Learn and grow as you go. There are blogs about everything you can think of, including blogs about blogging. Check out the links at the end of this article for some of the resources to get you started.
  7. Finally, let me say thank you to the folks that sat in on my session this afternoon for your input.
For those who missed my session, here is a list of links to other sites to get some insight into building your own blog. I look forward to reading your blogs, and oh yeah... Welcome to the blogosphere.

General Reference sites

Wikipedia Blogging page
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

Wikipedia List of Blogging Terms
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_blogging_terms

WeblogMatrix weblog comparison
http://www.weblogmatrix.org/

EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers
http://w2.eff.org/bloggers/lg/

Blogging software or services

Blogger
http://www.blogger.com/

MyTypes
http://mytypes.com/

Word Press
http://wordpress.com/

TypePad
http://www.typepad.com

Free Blogger Templates

http://www.finalsense.com/services/blog_templates/
http://blogger-templates.blogspot.com/

Great blogs about blogging...

Andy Wibbels - Author of Blog Wild
http://andywibbels.com/

Chris Garrett's - The Business of Blogging and New Media
http://www.chrisg.com/

Yaro Starak's - Entrepreneur's Journey
http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/

ProBlogger
http://www.problogger.net/

Damn I Wish - Articles about Word of Mouth marketing and blogging
http://www.damniwish.com/

Other blogs to check out for ideas...

My personal Odd's and Ed's site
http://edempsey.blogspot.com/

My resume as a blog
http://edempseyresume.blogspot.com/

A news page for one of my clients using Blogger
http://dcanews1.blogspot.com/

Guy Kawasaki's Change the World blog
http://blog.guykawasaki.com/

Mark Cuban's BlogMaverick
http://www.blogmaverick.com/

Freakanomics
http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/

Monk at Work
http://monkatwork.com/

Presentation Zen
http://www.presentationzen.com/

Ted Conference Blog - really rich content. Don't miss it.
http://blog.ted.com/

Scott Adam's Dilbert Blog
http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/

Chicago White Sox official blog
http://whitesoxpride.mlblogs.com/

Ken Levine's - The World As Seen By a TV Comedy Writer
http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/

Jack Morton Worldwide Corporate Blog
http://360.jackmorton.com/

Delucchi+ Corporate Blog (Real Estate)
http://www.delucchiplus.com/blog/

Stumbling on Happiness Blog (Book)
http://www.randomhouse.com/kvpa/gilbert/blog/

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interestingly. Thanks for the information.

Adam Kayce, Monk at Work said...

Thanks for the mention, Ed; I'm in some good company!

(I'll second the vote for Garr Reynold's Presentation Zen - excellent resource)