OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Blogging

Your blog's about section should clearly identify any affiliation to Oregon State University.

When posting comments on the blogs of others, or when responding to comments on your blog, be sure you reflect Oregon State’s brand personality: a mindful, kind, authentic and confident voice can be easily adapted to the blog discussion arena.

Best practices for blogging:

  • Have a plan. Whether your blog is personal or institutional, it's helpful to decide early on what you want it to be. What kind of identity do you want to create? What are your messages and goals? Who will be posting and how often? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you develop a strong presence and also to know where your updates are coming from.
  • Keep it fresh! Don't let the blog die. Always be useful and informative, but also try to update at least once a week so you are up-to-date and keeping your readers engaged.
  • Write well and in a way that appeals to online readers. Of course it's important to keep your readers engaged, but remember that most Web readers scan; keep your most valued information at the top of your posts to be sure it gets attention. Don't be afraid to go short, either. A blog post doesn't have to be lengthy. It just has to say what you need it to say. Sometimes a single sentence and a link is perfect.
  • Use multimedia. The more interactive your blog, the better. Add a widget to your blog that will pull in a Flickr photo feed, or link to videos you've done on YouTube. Tell your story with as many forms of media as you can.
  • Invite commentary. Remember, this is social media. You want people to be reading your posts and commenting on them, even if they are sometimes critical. Inviting voices into the mix lends credibility and creates a conversation and a community. Don't be afraid to do it.
  • Search out your community. Tools like Technorati are great for finding out what kinds of blogs are out there that might align with your own identity and messages. Read these blogs. You might get good ideas for your own posts. In addition, you can comment on these blogs and lead people to your own. You can also link to these blogs from your own. It will help weave you into a community and put you on the radar.
  • Be transparent. Tell people who you are and what part of the university you represent. Online community members can feel deceived if you try to hide your purposes or your identity.