In a recent post, one of my favorite local bloggers mentioned (almost offhandedly) that she was training a cadre of new bloggers. While I can’t wait to check out the new blogs from one of my favorite local establishments, I am intrigued by the idea of a blogger education program, as it raises some interesting questions.
How does a successful local paper go about educating it’s online writers (assuming it’s not just a technical brief)? Are the lessons generic enough to impart upon others in the community? Is there some sort of code of conduct that is encouraged? What about linking etiquette? Are there editorial guidelines that transfer over from print, or even online?
These are questions all bloggers should be asking themselves. Indeed, they are the types of questions I try to ask myself every time I post. What are my own editorial guidelines? Am I linking appropriately to the sites, subjects, and references that I talk about in my posts? Should I link to my employer (and disclose said employment) or clients when I write about them or their sites?
Some of these questions have straightforward answers. Others offer no answer at all, or raise more questions. Personally, I find the latter to be the most fruitful. If nothing else, when you can generate more questions you have a better chance at finding one that will lead you to the answer you’re looking for. But I digress. In my own search for answers (and more questions), here are a few resources I’ve enjoyed.
- The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. I’ve mentioned this before.
- Don Mcaskill’s post about why linking is good (linked above, but bears repeating).
- Brian Clark at Copyblogger gives us Copywriting 101. This collection of essays has a distinct marketing feel to it, but with so much blogging being about writing, this is a great read.
- Eighteen Lessons for Would-be Bloggers. From Joshua Porter at Bokardo.
- Write effectively for the web, by Gina Trapani of Lifehacker.
- Twenty Usability Tips for Your Blog, from Tom Johnson (found via a follow up post on Josh Porter’s blog, mentioned above).
These are in no particular order, and this is not by any means an exhaustive list. Most of these are just links I’ve pulled off of my del.icio.us stream. What resources and reference tools do you use to guide your blogging, or for that matter, your writing?