Blogging Around a Digital Bonfire


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A presentation for Community Media Workshop's Making Media Connections Conference created with Stephen Franklin. Steve's a spiritual guy, thus the presentation name change to Nirvana. :) He provides lots of great examples of nonprofit blogs. The technical insights come from me. :)

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  • Mandy kick-off! YAY!
  • TumblrYoutubeTwitterUstream,
  • Most popular blogging sites are relatively easy to use & intuitive. Visit the “about” section of the third party blogging sites you intend to use and see what interface you think you will be most comfortable using.
  • Phase 2
  • We’ll focus on two of these now, and come back to the others later
  • What was hard? How do we overcome those obstacles?
  • Back to Anatomy
  • 10-15m exercise
  • Phase 2This is kind of ironic, because if you’re googling “worst SEO blog”, this’d be on the front page.
  • Phase 2 Create concise, unique and accurate page titles that are appropriate for your content. Search engines like Google look at your title and title tags that are used to display in search results
  • Phase 2 Keyword exercise
  • Phase 2
  • Phase 2 Description meta tags are important because Google might use them as snippets for your pages. Note that we say "might" because Google may choose to use a relevant section of your page's visible text if it does a good job of matching up with a user's query.
  • Phase 2
  • Mandy intro
  • 1. A journal of “story ideas” whether physical or digital will shave away that writer’s block when the time to sit & blog comes around2. Stick to your schedule! Not only are you training your avid readers to look for new content at certain times, you are also training yourself! Blogging is a job and you have to wary of your time - or lose track of it completely, and control of your blog!The pomodoro technique helps – 20 minutes of writing is rewarded with 5 minutes of play. This allows you 15 minutes of downtime per hour and is a good way to break up the day and stay on track with work. 3. If possible, use software that writes as you dictate – I use Dragon Dictation on my iPhone (it’s $199 in stores) ; All you have to do is go in & edit, copy, paste & post.4. If that’s not a possibility, use multimedia elements – sometimes posting pictures is quicker than posting 1,000 words.5. Rely on the kindness of guest bloggers and readers. - but also remember the importance of speaking in your own voice, and give your contributors guidelines to follow.6. Chances are you have content already on your site, or in your newsletter. Re-purpose that content for the blog platform. OR point back to an old post you did; make it relevant for issues you’re facing today.
  • Average bounce rate – 50%
  • Blogging Around a Digital Bonfire

    1. 1. Here we are world:a digital guide to blogging nirvana June 2012
    2. 2. Today’s goals
    3. 3. Today’s goals1. Explore what makes compelling blog content2. Learn technical best practices3. Discover new strategies, tools to engage the audience4. Discuss pitfalls, how to avoid/address them
    4. 4. WHY Blog?• More content on the web – Improve search engine rankings – Fosters awareness of your cause – Positions you as a thought leader
    5. 5. Kinds of blogs• Photoblogging• Vlogging• Microblogging• Liveblogging• Content Aggregation
    6. 6. Where to blog• Wordpress• Tumblr• Posterous• Twitter• LiveType
    7. 7. Anatomy of a Blog Title / Header Lead ShareButtons
    8. 8. Content tips• Know your audience• Share your unique perspective• Break news• Highlight expertise, partners• Use multimedia• Eradicate nonprofit speak, jargon• Tell stories
    9. 9. This was/ is our story
    10. 10. This is more than just typing•• http://chicagoistheworld/org/notalone/••
    11. 11. Knocking down our walls
    12. 12. Your mojo• Engaging – Listening, Expanding• Involving – Asking, Remarking, Sharing
    13. 13. Some basic basics basically• Post often. Daily, yes. But not too often• Think visually. Words and photos and videos• Write for the eye – • STAGGER GRAPHS-LONG, SHORT-QUESTIONS- AVOID TYPE TYPE TYPE • USE SUB HEADS • KEY ISSUES UP HIGH • SUMMARIZE QUICKLY • WRITE TIGHTLY – COUNT YOUR WORDS
    14. 14. MORE BASICS BASICALLY• Avoid jargon. Avoid legalese. Avoid being boring• Write – think positively, not passively• Don’t explain everything thing – focus on your issues• Change voices – you tense, we tense, I am thinking• Experiment. Break these foolish rules
    15. 15. Don’t share this secret• Commit
    16. 16. Imaginative• Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah bababaBlah blah blah blah blah blah blah bababa• Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah bababa • Don’t Stop. It gets better! Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah bababa Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah bababa• We are almost to the Good Part.• Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah bababa• Here’s the main point, finally• Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah bababa
    17. 17. You are multi-media too• Change your approach. Think music, videos – barnes-video• Think literature: –• Think story-telling –
    18. 18. Talk to me – Diga mi• beg, plead, encourage comments-moderate lightly-don’t fear controversy-don’t enrage for no purpose• invite guests to post• run ‘projects’ – nuestrascommunidades• thank followers, ask their thoughts• using polls and surveys• inviting readers to email suggestions/questions/photos/videos/audios• stay flexible
    19. 19. Telling your story• You are a voice that is trusted, respected, complete….But how?• Give all sides, including negative views and those you don’t believe. Explain why you don’t believe them.• Avoid gossip. Avoid innuendo. Avoid incomplete explanations.• Perform in a timely way• Offer links, resources, don’t violate copyright
    20. 20. Speaking from your heart• Bloggers Without Borders... Syria is a beautiful country- at least I think it is. I say “I think” because while I perceive it to be beautiful, I sometimes wonder if I mistake safety, security and normalcy for ‘beauty’. In so many ways, Damascus is like Baghdad before the war- bustling streets, occasional traffic jams, markets seemingly always full of shoppers… And in so many ways it’s different. The buildings are higher, the streets are generally narrower and there’s a mountain, Qasiyoun, that looms in the distance.
    21. 21. Let your story unwind• e-interrupted-the-beat-goes-on/• Other times, you hear nothing at all. In some ways, the diverse noises of a hospital — however annoying — remind us that the hospital “machine” is in healthy operation. It’s the silent moments, the hollow sounds of quiet suffering, that can be most frightening.
    22. 22. Words Can Bury us• We want eyes to move and they do on a blog. They skip and they scan. Keep that in mind• What do we think about this blog?• live-comfortable-lives/•
    23. 23. We’ll come back to these. Maybe• Notice the use of art and space. What else do you like about this blog?•• So what’s missing here?•
    24. 24. Inspiring• Almost there?http://bloom- do we know about this blog?Please focus on this picture. Is this better? Why?ttp://
    25. 25. Many faces and stories• Introducing different voices• view• Notice the links and resources•• Innovative?•
    26. 26. You and everyone together• nteers/2012/03/15/how-to-recruit-and-retain- volunteers-through-blogging/• Divide responsibilities. Encourage training. Name correspondents. Divvy up the world.
    27. 27. Please sign up• Do this seem inviting? What else is needed?•• What have we encountered here? A summing up content-infographic/
    28. 28. Storytelling exercise1. Think of the biggest thing your organization isdoing right now.2. Take five minutes to imagine it as a story, forinstance as if it is a movie.3. Share!
    29. 29. Anatomy of a Blog Title / Header Lead ShareButtons
    30. 30. The nitty gritty stuff matters• Keyword-rich headlines• Internal/external links• Tags
    31. 31. What Doesn’t Work
    32. 32. Frequent, Consistent Content• Make it easy for folks to find your content! – Accurate page titles – Title tags• Photos & videos drive traffic
    33. 33. Keywords• Always use appropriate and relevant tags and keywords to a post or page. – Find your keywords!
    34. 34. Keywords• Add alternative titles, tags and descriptions to photos and other multimedia content embedded on a page. – Cat, kitten, lolcat, icanha zcheesburger cat, funny cat picture, cat cheeseburger meme
    35. 35. KeywordsIf possible, writedescriptions formetadata tags onyour pages.
    36. 36. Content Organization• Plan out your website and consider the hierarchy of content to be displayed.• Ensure your site is easy to navigate for your users• Consider using categories to organize content.
    37. 37. Engaging your audience• Use Social media, i.e. Facebook, Twitter• Try, Tumblr• Segment your blog• Pitch other bloggers• Invite guest bloggers• Develop media partnerships• Link!
    38. 38. Control Some Control No ControlWebsite Employees/Staff CompetitorsBlog Comments on our Comments on other blog blogsMission Facebook Page Reviews on otherBrochures sites Twitter AccountsPolicies Reactions or Search responses to… things we services, products orcreate in house … things we can brand participate and have some influence … things we need to respond to
    39. 39. Tips & Tricks for Effective Blogging1. Keep a log of content ideas2. Keep a posting schedule3. Dictate your posts4. Use multimedia elements (think visually!)5. Invite others to join in!6. Re-purpose older content7. Always Attribute!
    40. 40. ROIHow can I tell if my efforts are working?• Analytics• Level of Engagement
    41. 41. Exercise• Design a blog – what kind of blog? – Photoblog? Vlog? Content aggregator?• Who will be on your blogroll?• What are your keywords?• Give us one headline for one post!
    42. 42. Find this presentation here-•••
    43. 43. Our lifetime guarantee and beyond