My principles of blogging

Taking part in the 31-days-to-a-better-blog challenge has got me reflecting on why I'm blogging and how I should approach writing a blog post. So, as an aid to that exploration, I've tried to set out 6 principles for this blog – which are listed below.

What do you think of these principles? Do you have any written, or unwritten, rules or principles that you use to guide your blogging?

Principles for Tim's Blog (Draft version – August 2007)

1) A space for focused sharing
One of my key motivations for starting this blog was to provide a space to share reflections, resources and content that I come across or create in the course of my work. The aim is not, however, for it to be a brain dump, or a virtual equivalent of that pile of papers and articles on my desk that I thought someone-or-other would be really interested in. The aim is for shared content that supports thinking and action in relation to social justice and young people's empowerment.

I'll be seeking to make sure that, where I have relevant information, resources or reflections that could be useful to the audience of this blog, I take the time to post these in an accessible and useful way.

2) Not too much on technology
It's very easy in the blogging world to write about technology and social media in particular (I suppose many writers write about writing a lot, so it seems relatively natural). However, this isn't a space for me to reflect on the latest and greatest new technologies I've just come across unless those technologies link to the youth participation and social change elements of this blog.

3) Seeking solutions not problems
I approach the world with a very 'problem-solving' approach. I'm always looking for constructive solutions. However, the key to problem-solving is understanding the problem. That can mean that quite a bit of a blog post is taken up explaining problems – things that are wrong and need fixing.

I'll be seeking to ensure that the emphasis in these posts in on exploring solutions and positive change – and I'll working to escape the temptation to spend all my words ranting about problems.

4) Recommending and reflecting
At times, I recognize that solutions are not easily in reach, and what is needed is not a recommended recipe for resolution, but open reflection on possible ways to respond to a problem or challenge (whether with action or not).

I'll be seeking to have a balance of reflective posts that leave threads and ideas hanging, awaiting more thought – and other posts that seek to weave threads of thought together into something more of a solid thought process that leads to take-away-product of some form.

5) Engaging in conversation
This blog is not one-way publishing. I don't want to just stick content online and leave it there. So I'll be seeking to make sure I use this as a space both for hosting conversation, and for responding to conversations elsewhere in the blogosphere and beyond.

6) A personal blog
This is a personal blog. I have a relatively introverted personality. However, as these posts are shaped by my thinking and interests, I need to be transparent about these and to avoid the comfort of anonymous abstract writing in favor of an honest and open style.

I'll be seeking to strike a balance between relating everything to some personal story, and being clear that as the writer, I am part of the posts I write and shouldn't edit myself out of them.

6 thoughts on “My principles of blogging”

  1. Hi Tim – not fond of too many rules or frameworks when it comes to
    blogging but it’s all horses for courses 🙂

    I would whittle them down to three at the most: an overal aim/vision (for you it’s participation in a public sector setting), a purpose (is it to share, educate, promote discussion etc.) and everything must answer the ‘so what?’ question (which is what we do on the MediaSnackers blog plus in all our work, training, talks and every slide of our presentations) – simply put, after you write (create)
    something ask the question. If you can justify it as objectively as you can then hit ‘publish’…

    Good luck with it all fella


  2. I like your principles, and it articulates clearly your parameters. I think this is really important because it is really easy to get scattered and running down all sorts of paths in the blogsphere.

    It also helps your readers know what to expect from you and that you want to engage. You might want to whittle them down as your last commenter suggested to have a summary version that directly addresses your readers needs, but this is great process piece for getting there. Those of us who are more introverted need those, and enjoy reading others.

  3. Thanks Tim! 31 days is interesting. I wish you all the best. You made me think clearly about my blogging. Yes, i am going to write down about it. It will guide me to be a better blogger.

  4. Many thanks all for comments.

    Dk and Christine – you’re both right that if these are to be presented to readers in a more permanent form then some whittling down is in order – although as I can’t pledge great brevity in my blog posts – to find too much in my principles would perhaps mislead 😛

    I certainly found writing these down to be a useful process – my challenge will be in applying them with a degree of consistency…

    Perhaps I shall report back on whether I’ve managed to stick with them in a couple of months…

  5. Hi Tim,

    I really like that you have set some principles and will be interested to watch how you stick to them!

    I have tried more and more since doing this challenge to personalise my blog posts and also engage in conversation.

    My recent post on blocked sites (thanks to the initiation article by Sue Waters) at work got a bit of discussion happening.

    My role is to make technology simple and introduce little tools to a group of colleagues, so mine will have to stay a bit technology focused I think.

    Look forward to more.

  6. Tim, I think that blogging principles are a great idea for helping people get clear about what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. I also like the glimpses into your personality and your thinking processes that come through in your draft here. I agree with DK that you may need to ultimately land on something shorter and more focused, I also think that it’s only from drafts like this that you can arrive at what’s really important to you. Plus sharing it with other people is a great idea. I’m adding this to my “to do” list.

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