Most people haven’t had the chance to understand that the web itself is going through changes very rapidly. It’s not just changing on having better graphics, or faster speed. The content itself is changing, and continues to change. Blogging would be considered a Web. 2.0 concept – user generated content. The time in which users could create and author their own websites with full control of the content.
Some terminology often connected to user generated content
The rise of user generated content led to millions of self authored pages.
When thinking about if a blog will meet your needs, consider some of the reasons you want to or don’t want to start on this endeavor. Blogging is a great way to store and organize content that can be utilized over and over. Unlike social sites (like Facebook) your content can be archived by it’s date so that users can find it again easily. The use of tags on content increases the ability to find similar posts on your blog.
No matter where you place content on the web, there are some pretty standard best practices. These not only help your content perform well, but make your content sharable should a user want to share them through their social networks.
The ideal thing for content intended to be in the spirit of outreach and education is that it takes your users somewhere or leads them to some action. Ideally to a richer or more in depth learning experience on that topic. That could be further reading, it could be to interact directly with you.
These are two different examples of blogging that have very different outcomes. The field lab is more like a personal Facebook, while Crafts by Amanda is intended to be a multi-platform experience (see all the icons of places you can find “crafts by Amanda”).
A content calendar can be arranged by month, or by topic, or by person. This is a way for you to “schedule” your blog. Scheduling your posts can help you create a blog that tells a story, or is organized for your workday. There are several good content calendar examples online. Look for one that suits you. Often times we come across content that we’d like to blog about, it just might not be the right time. Store those ideas and thoughts into a content calendar so that you have ideas, links, additional resources and ideas.
Tips and Best Practices for Blogging: Outreach and Education
Update on Social Media Things to Know –
Texas A&M AgriLife Urban FCS Training
This presentation contains some items of note for social media outreach and education
relevant to Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. Items include changes for August 2012 – August
Audience: Urban FCS Agents
Intended use: Best practices for Blogging specifically for outreach and education related
Notes: Slides include notes
Blog, blogging, blogfest,
Blogging as if it was your last day on Earth
Web 1.0 - static
Web 2.0 – user generated
Web 3.0 - simulate
Web 4.0 - ?
User Generated Content
The ability for a user to manage their own content via
online tools and services that enable them to post directly
to the Internet
To Blog or Not to Blog
Need the ability to archive (or organize) your posts
Need to produce timely information
Need to tell a story
Lean towards more personal communication
Make your single posting available in multiple formats (work smarter not
Plan to be boring
Update better presented by email
Plan on not using best web writing practices
Web Writing Best Practices
Title: Descriptive with key words.
informative and descriptive.
Photo – yes please! High value
for most users.
Sharability to other social
networks much higher with
External linking – link to credible
Don’t type see this article here
as the hyperlink
Do type how to cook meat
safely from Texas AgriLife
Extension as the link
Blog posts should have information in them so that people can perform an ACTION
Go to a website
Share your article
Comment back to you
Come to a meeting
Call your phone
Send you an email
Click on a tag to see additional content
Making a Content Calendar
A content calendar can help you plan your content year round.
Content calendars can be simple spread sheets with each sheet being a month
You can plan which months you will talk about which subjects
As you come across good material, you add it to the appropriate month and then in that month
you blog about the material, or the topic
Example: January is car safety month – your content calendar might include links you’ve found to research
about car safety, links to pictures showing good/bad, consumer resources, workshops or safety check days
Works good with group planning. Who will do what in each month or for each topic
How to Promote Your Blog
Blog sites are not often visited as a users regular routine (like email, or social network sites).
Instead, they are usually visited by prompting:
Advertised on your other social channels “just posted about the value of organic gardening
Pinned to boards in Pinterest
Tweeted out by a user to other users
Part of your blog planning should include the methods in which you will promote EACH post
(as well as your blog in general). Set up a methodology.
Post to social
link to post
Email to users
Include ways for users to connect with you on your
blog (subscribe by email, connect to you in G+,
Use tagging to organize you posts
Follow other blogs to get ideas
Promote partners in your blogs
Be informative, but don’t forget to be fun!
Amy E. Hays
Emerging Technologies Program Specialist
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Institute of Renewable Natural Resources