What rules must I follow to blog on this site, and how can I blog more effectively?
These guidelines cover:
- the Essentials: all bloggers must follow these guidelines or risk losing their rights to publish
- Recommendations: a brief summary of some of the Golden Rules of Blogging, with links
- do not preach hatred, racism, or violence
- do not use obscenities, use ethnic slurs, or get personally insulting in any way
- this site is about EU Affairs. OK, so you can provide the odd personal note here and there. But this is a site for people to come to to discuss the EU. Using it to keep in touch with your grandchildren is not OK.
Users noticing consistent breaking of these rules on this site are welcome to report it to the Technical Support blog’s ‘Report a problem post’ page.
A brief summary of some of the Golden Rules of Blogging, with links:
Protect your privacy
Your blog is a public website like any other. Publishing your email address is probably not a good idea, unless you like spam. Publishing any other personal contact details (telephone, address) is at your own risk.
Respect your audience
- respect their right to disagree
- show proper consideration for others’ privacy;
- be respectful when covering topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory, such as politics and religion
- don’t pick fights, be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don’t alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so
- respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws
Add Value and Be Readable
Firstly, provide worthwhile information and perspectives.
Short posts are easier to read. However, if you have something more detailed to say, then write a longer post, but give it some structure: use subtitles (and sub-sub titles) and bulleted lists; indent quotes and format text (bold, italic, etc.). You may find the Advanced Editor plug-in useful.
Interact & Widen Your Network
The most successful bloggers, in the long-term, become active members of the wider blogging community.
This community includes other Blogactiv bloggers, of course, but also the wider blogosphere. Interacting with it means:
- First and Foremost: react to comments. Someone’s read your post and commented on it. Comment back, and/or drop them a line and thank them for it. Check out their site – they may have something to say that interests you
- Find out who else is blogging on the topic and:
- Cite them, with a link to them, in your own posts (this is easy with the Bookmarket). Not only does this pay respect to their material – whether you agree with it or not – but the blogging software will probably inform them, widening the number of people in your network
- comment on their blog, including a link to yours if you want to widen your audience
Most guides to blogging around the web are aimed at bloggers trying to make a living from their blog, and so are full of clever ideas for attracting advertisers, maximising revenue streams, etc.
If you’re blogging here, you’re probably more interested in influencing EU policymaking, so some of the recommendations you’ll find out there (get your own domain name, go beyond Google Adsense, etc..) are less relevant. Most, however, are still valid.
A good place to start is probably 55 Essential Articles Every Serious Blogger Should Read, by Matt Huggins. 55 articles sounds like a lot – and it is – but they’re presented in a helpful list (Getting Started, Building Meaningful Content, Increasing Traffic & Retaining Readers, etc.).
If you are confused by terminology, finally, don’t forget Wikipedia’s List of Terms.