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Getting Started With Blogging A guide for creating Official Pages
Tips for Successful Blogging* Start by listening. Determine a goal for the blog. Estimate the Return on Investment (ROI). Develop a plan. Review and rehearse. Develop an editorial process. Choose a blog platform and design the blog. Develop a marketing plan. Remember, blogging is more than writing. Final advice: be honest. * From Groundswell, by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, Forester Research, Harvard Business Press, 2009
Use a simple decision support document like a spreadsheet to figure out how your blog will pay off, and how much time it will take and what kind of support you will need from other people in the armed services
5. Review and Rehearse Get ideas from what others do. You can find a blogroll of Defense-related and government-related blogs on http://www.dodlive.mil Write five to ten posts before you go live and explore topics you’ll cover. Actually writing good blog posts will change how you think about blogging.
What level of review do the postings need? Good blogs are personal and informal. Too many cooks (approvals) will spoil the broth.
If you assign a content reviewer, who will do it if this person isn’t available? This process needs to be flexible and lightweight. You may want to post quickly to respond to events and fast-breaking news.
Blogs must allow comments. Will you moderate comments or allow them to be posted without viewing them first?
7. Choose a Blog Platform and Design the Blog
You can use free blog software such as Blogger, http://www.blogger.com, or WordPress, http://wordpress.com.
If you use one of these free Web-based blog programs, remember to use a generic team email address so it can be shared with others.
Some posts host the blog on their post’s Web server. You can freely download WordPress at http://wordpress.org.
8. Develop a MarketingPlan
If you want people to read your blog, you’ll need to market it.
Announce your blog with traditional methods, such as a press release and emails to your contacts.
Place a hyperlink on your official Web site to your blog.
Integrate your social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.) into your blog. When you post to your blog, let your readers know by posting it to your social media sites.
When you comment on someone else’s blog, link back to your blog.
The text of your blog postings will also help: use the name of your base, unit, etc and topics that resonate with your audience in the titles and text of your posts so that your content will be picked up in search engines.
9. Remember, Blogging is More than Writing. You must be willing to monitor other blogs, respond to comments made on your blog, and in general, be part of a dialogue. Engage your audience, even if the topic is controversial. You want to know what people are thinking. You want different opinions.
Bob Carey was a guest-blogger on DoD Live who wrote about the Federal Voting Assistant Program. Notice how he talks about his life, his personal experiences, and his emotional investment into his project.
See the blog post at http://www.dodlive.mil/index.php/2010/06/making-registering-and-voting-easier-on-you/
Policy Guidelines The Department of Defense released its official policy on new/social media in February 2010. The policy (Directive-Type Memorandum 09-026) states that the default for the DoD non-classified network (the NIPRNET) is for open access so that all of DoD can use new media. This is DoD’s first official policy on new media. For USG Official Use Only