Sustainable Atwood Blogger Orientation


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A presentation to get new bloggers for the Susttainable Atwood website up to speed on basic WordPress tasks and our rules and guidelines for blogging.

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Sustainable Atwood Blogger Orientation

  1. 1. Sustainable Atwood Blogger Orientation March 28, 2010
  2. 2. Mea Maxima Culpa
  3. 3. That Said, Here's an Outline <ul><li>Very brief introduction to blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Basic training in WordPress tasks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing a post with text, links, images, embedded video and slides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Posting a calendar item </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Guidelines and rules for Sustainable Atwood bloggers </li></ul>
  4. 4. Back In The Day... <ul><li>A journal was: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An online diary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or a place for any personal writing that was regularly updated </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A weblog or blog was: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A place to record interesting things on the Web found by the maintainer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Different uses, same technology.. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Just chunks of text ('posts') with a timestamp and a title! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And an engine to make the HTML look nice </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. WordPress <ul><li>Widely-used blogging platform </li></ul><ul><li>Expertise is widespread </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not hard to find people to administer it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Documentation is freely available </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bookmark </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Extensions are widely available </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We use calendar and contact form plugins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can grow with our needs </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Logging In <ul><li>Go to </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Dashboard <ul><li>Everything is done from here. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Starting A New Post <ul><li>Click “New Post” to start writing... </li></ul>
  9. 9. Adding Images <ul><li>Click this button.. </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing up this dialog.. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Adding Images, II <ul><li>Wait for upload to finish; go to Gallery tab </li></ul><ul><li>Click Show next to the picture </li></ul>
  11. 11. Adding Images, III <ul><li>Image should appear in editing box </li></ul>
  12. 12. Embedding Video or Slides <ul><li>Go to Slideshare (or YouTube); get embed text </li></ul><ul><li>Paste into the HTML View of the New Post </li></ul>
  13. 13. Setting Categories and Tags <ul><li>On right hand side of the page.. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Reviewing and Publishing <ul><li>“ Preview” launches a new tab showing how the page will look ( does not publish) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Publish” makes the page public at once (so make sure everything is right!) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Editing <ul><li>The “Edit” link under posts brings up a list of posts on the site </li></ul><ul><li>You can edit your own but not others' </li></ul>
  16. 16. Adding Events <ul><li>Click ' Manage Calendar ' </li></ul>
  17. 17. Adding Events, II <ul><li>Recurrence patterns are super confusing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Repeats for “0”, “None”: one-time event </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Repeats for “0”, “Weeks”: weekly event with no end date </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Repeats for “5”, “Months”: monthly event for 5 months after the start date </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Finding Your Post Again <ul><li>Select it from the Edit page.. </li></ul><ul><li>or.. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Other Things to Notice <ul><li>Your byline is a link </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clicking on it brings up a list of all your posts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each tag and category (see bottom of post) is a link </li></ul><ul><ul><li>.. bringing up a list of all posts with that tag or category </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Rules and Guidelines for Blogging on <ul><li>Short version (with apologies to Michael Pollan): </li></ul><ul><li>Post frequently. Not too long. Mostly words. </li></ul><ul><li>OK, that's not quite enough, so we developed a list of 16 rules. Some are just for guidance, some are pretty serious. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It'll be pretty obvious which is which. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Before You Click 'Publish' <ul><li>These are all the things to keep in mind before sending a post out into the world </li></ul>
  22. 22. 1. Post Regularly <ul><li>Figure out what that means and try to stick with it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It might just mean 'whenever your group has an event, post an announcement before, and a report after' </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It can mean daily, weekly, monthly. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. 2. Stay On Target <ul><li>Make sure your posts are obviously relevant to work on sustainability in the Atwood neighborhood </li></ul><ul><li>.. and also relevant to the group or area you are responsible for </li></ul><ul><li>If it would be hard to explain why it's relevant.. it might not be. </li></ul>
  24. 24. 3. Avoid 'Meta' Posts <ul><li>Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. </li></ul><ul><li>That's OK, life is more important than blogging! BUT... </li></ul><ul><li>Don't make 'placeholder' posts: “Sorry I haven't written in awhile, soon, I promise” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When you do post again, you can mention the hiatus briefly and then move on to the real topic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do , though, make 'away' posts for planned absences: “I'll be kayaking in Antarctica for 2 months and won't have much time to write” </li></ul>
  25. 25. 4. But Don't Shun the Personal <ul><li>Rules 2 and 3 seem to suggest you should be All Business All The Time </li></ul><ul><li>Passion is important – try to convey why what you're writing about moves you personally </li></ul><ul><li>Connection to your day-to-day life is , too </li></ul><ul><li>And of course vision : the why as well as the what and how </li></ul>
  26. 26. 5. Use Categories and Tags <ul><li>Always give your post at least one category </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… besides 'General Interest' </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Try to use tags as well </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And keep an eye on the frequently-used ones to avoid similar-but-not-identical tags </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What this does: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows users to find what they're interested in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>.. and find more of what they're interested in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And tracks how the site is being used </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. 6. Keep In Touch With The Editors <ul><li>(Who are: Donna and Amy) </li></ul><ul><li>If you have concerns about the wording or appropriateness of a post... </li></ul><ul><li>If you're finding categories aren't suiting your needs... </li></ul><ul><li>If there's something you want to do that WordPress isn't letting you.. </li></ul><ul><li>PLEASE bring it up! </li></ul>
  28. 28. 7. Be Sparing With Images And Video; Keep Accessibility in Mind <ul><li>Images and video give flavor to a post </li></ul><ul><li>They can also increase loading time </li></ul><ul><li>.. and are less accessible to the hearing-impaired, or people with slow connections, or using a mobile device </li></ul><ul><li>So be sparing! </li></ul><ul><li>Always use alternative text for images </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transcripts for video are ideal, if possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use descriptive text for links, not “click here” </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. 8. Keep Readability In Mind <ul><li>Paragraphs should be of reasonable length </li></ul><ul><li>Use bold and italic text rather than “email markup” (*this* or _this_) </li></ul><ul><li>For longer posts, use subsections </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure to format lists </li></ul>
  30. 30. 9. Civility Is Paramount <ul><li>The site represents the whole group and indeed the neighborhood </li></ul><ul><li>No hate speech or swearing will be allowed </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions of politics should be as non-partisan and oriented towards issues rather than personalities or parties </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid 'shaming' posts, e.g., discussing a neighbor's waste of water </li></ul>
  31. 31. 10. Avoid Negativity <ul><li>Avoid griping and complaining about problems </li></ul><ul><li>If you have a gripe/complaint about something, try to dig out what your vision is beneath that gripe and speak to that. </li></ul><ul><li>Griping and complaining circumvent positive action, and create debilitating talk which greatly slows down our effect as a group </li></ul>
  32. 32. 11. Review Before You Post <ul><li>Look over the whole text again </li></ul><ul><li>Preview it to make sure you're happy with the layout </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure any links are working and videos or slideshows still play </li></ul>
  33. 33. After Clicking “Publish” <ul><li>Like plants in a garden, posts need attention after being published. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The idea is like grass. It craves light, likes crowds, thrives on crossbreeding, grows better for being stepped on.” - Ursula K. LeGuin, The Dispossessed </li></ul>
  34. 34. 1. Keep an Eye on Comments <ul><li>You don't need to respond to every single comment </li></ul><ul><li>But replying to the following encourages return visits and fosters community: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compliments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constructive criticism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Added information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Negative comments need attention too </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Warn people who leave attacking comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Severe (hateful) comments may need deleting </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. 2. Avoid Deleting Posts <ul><li>Sometimes you will end up regretting a post, or some particular choice of words... </li></ul><ul><li>It's better to avoid deleting posts, which makes people think you don't stand by what you say </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If comments get out of hand you can close the comments section altogether </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. 3. Edit Freely for Spelling/Grammar Errors <ul><li>If you catch a spelling, layout, or grammatical error after posting, it's perfectly fine just to go back in and fix it silently, without letting anybody know </li></ul>
  37. 37. 4. Call Out Edits for Factual Errors or Wording <ul><li>If you change a post because the initial publication had a factual error, or because you regret a particular choice of wording, feel free to edit the post, but.. </li></ul><ul><li>Add an erratum to the end, starting with “ETA” (for 'Edited To Add') to let readers know what change you have made and why </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: “ETA 4/2/10: in fact Saturn is the 6 th planet. H/T to commenter Neil for pointing that out.” </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. 5. Promote Tactfully <ul><li>Do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share a link to your post on Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tweet about your post (see for URL shortening services) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use as your 'home' URL when commenting elsewhere </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don't: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email your whole address-book about the post </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comment on a related blog, pointing to your post </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This seems harmless but is considered poor etiquette </li></ul></ul></ul>