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How to Blog in a Dog-eat-Dog World: Blogging Lesson Plans

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I found this post about blog bullying (inter alia) interesting, primarily because it addresses some tough issues that need to be discussed among bloggers, who are becoming better and better at their craft: A Kierkegaardian Leap of Faith in Social Media: Does a Critical Remark About Opinions Expressed By a Commenter or Blogger On Another Blog Constitute Bullying (posted 8/18/08 on the Law Librarian blog).

I am often asked by new (and potentially new) bloggers to talk about blogging and this is a useful blog post to have them read before (homework!) we have that Talking Seriously About Blogging meeting. Most of what I talk, and am asked, about during these meetings are those Blog Housekeeping issues (hosting, domains, design, layout, etc.).

But there are also Blog Ethics, Blog Etiquette, Blog Protocol, and related issues that are equally important. For the sake of brevity, and the What Were You Thinking?! factor that is sometimes forgotten, I will call these the Grown-up Blogger Issues, for those of us who blog seriously or simply with an eye to staying on the side of the angels.

(What you do and write on your what-I-did-with-the-blokes-and-the-baby-over-the-weekend blog is your business and you must set your own rules. How boring blog-reading would be if you didn’t!)

The following are only rough drafts of Blogging Lesson Plans.

There are plenty of excellent bloggers (and blawgers) who write eloquently, helpfully, and clearly about blogging. (Where do you think I learned what I know about blogging!) There are also the Super Bloggers, who blog professionally, for love and money. I’m a mere amateur, but my relative success is proof that we too have an important place in the blogging world. One CAN blog for fun and for work (see also my post on blorking).

My previous posts on blawging (and blogging) are here, here, here, and here and I include some of my favorite blogger role-models in these older posts.

TWO LESSON PLANS (and these are works in progress):

Being a Grown-up in the Blog World:

* Why blog?
* Blog for whom/who are my readers/who do I want to blog for?
* How will my readers use my blog?
* Words, Words, Words: The Internet is Literal!
* Search engines, Search boxes, words, keywords, headings, titles.
* Content: writing, grammar, style, and voice.
* How often do I need to post?
* Manners and etiquette.
* Rules and protocol.
* Reader Comments.
* Good examples.
* Bad examples.

Housekeeping Issues:

* Selecting a blog host.
* Naming your blog.
* Claiming a domain name.
* Claiming a blog email address.
* Design and layout.
* Technical issues.
* Blogging for people with old computers.
* Linking, updating, and trackbacking.
* Blog statistics and analytic tools.
* RSS, feeds, etc.
* Optimization issues.