The heartbeat of the Blog – Posts! (Kickstart Your Blog #2 – Advanced)

The second challenge in the Kick Start Your Blog Challenge (advanced) looked at writing effective blog posts. Blog posts can be likened to the heart beat of a blog. They determine the health of the blog, its status and future. It is the most important element of the blog. Therefore, those who wish to improve their blogging skills need to consider how to write effective posts. What makes an effective post? I love to learn and am therefore always looking for blog posts that help me extend my knowledge especially any that is of practical use in the classroom.
How to Compose a Quality Comment! is an effective post written by Linda Yollis. Linda’s blog came second runner up in the recent Edublogs Awards. Of even more interest was the fact that Linda was the winner of the Life Time Achievement Award. She was the winner over well known identities Steve Hargadon of classroom 2.0 fame and Sir Ken Robertson. Linda’s contribution to the blogging community was recognized by that community.
Why is this an effective post?

  1. The title is short, simple but tells me exactly what the post is about. As I am interested in blogging it captures my attention.
  2. Content:- The opening window continues to hold my attention. An interesting image summarizing the content of comments is near the opening sentences.
  3. Sub headings break up the text, allowing me to scan and browse through at will.
  4. There is variety in the content eg advice with practical examples, embedded movies, links to further resources. There is valuable information telling me how to create html code to  add to comments. This gives the  comment visual impact and active hyperlinks. Emoticon codes are also given within a table and I look forward to trying these.
  5. The post asked for some action. There is  a challenge to visit 10 blogs and leave a quality comment.
  6. Evidence of readership:- There are 84 comments from teachers, classes and students.  Some of these comments have used the html code shared in the blog post. There are reflections and evidence of learning from other classes from several countries. Linda has replied to all comments.

Would you agree? What else do you look for in an effective post?

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9 responses to “The heartbeat of the Blog – Posts! (Kickstart Your Blog #2 – Advanced)

  1. A great choice, Anne. First of all, the topic. New bloggers are told that commenting is good because it will attract more readers into their blog. This is true, but the main reason why we should leave (good quality) comments is to start a dialogue.
    I love the HTML lesson and I will definitely go back to that blog post. And the visuals are great.
    What do I look for in an effective post? An effective post should make me think. And thinking might make me want to comment. Since I am shy (and, from what I have heard, quite a few bloggers are shy), the writer of the post has to appear approachable and “nice” for me to want to leave a comment.

    • Natasa, thanks for this great comment. I agree that many bloggers are ‘shy’ and it can be quite daunting to leave a comment on those who are seen as experienced and knowledgeable bloggers. Thanks for, what I guess, is a complement. I also loved that html lesson and the code for emoticons is one I will share with my students when school returns.

  2. Thanks for the link about writing effective comments. I struggle to get my students (8th graders) to do this. They just want a “like” button. I like the 1 and 2 points to evaluate comments.

    • Hi Kaye, thanks for your comment. Students always like shortcuts. At least they are acknowledging some opinion on the blog post, if they hit the ‘like’ button. We have a cross culture blogging challenge amongst students. They were grouped to ensure that all students had someone visit their posts and comment. As they all wanted a comment, they became quite industrious at writing. What blog platform do you use and how can students get a ‘like’ button? I would like to add that to mine and I know my students would!

  3. Hi Anne,
    I think you did an amazing job with this challenge. I have read many of Linda Yollis’s posts. She does great projects with her students and shares them with a wider audience. I need to pay more attention to her style – imagine getting that many comments.

    By the way I enjoy the Classroom 2.0 Live session yesterday. I hope you got some well-deserved rest. I was overwhelmed with all that you do to connect your students globally.

    • Thanks Paula for your comment. First, I shall answer your questions.
      I am reasonably happy with my blog, but wish I had more time to spend on it and add extra pizzaz to it. I need to tidy up my blogroll and my pages. It’s major focus is to document my journey with students into eLearning but I am starting to mix it up with tools I use, how I use them in the classroom and also publicise and summarize the webinars that I am involved in. I don’t think a mixed blog is a bad thing, as long as the posts are clearly categorized so that readers can choose to visit. The title is the first thing that draws me to read a post, then a quick glance at the content. Unless it is of particular interest, a blog with lengthy text, will make me move on.
      Questions at the end of the blog post, such as you have added, make me stop and leave a comment.
      love the glog and the summary of what makes an effective post, within the post. It is engaging, quick and easy to read. This challenge has been fabulous with so many posts using creative tools, like your glog. It lets us see the many possible ways that posts can be used to greater effect.
      Thank you for coming to my classroom2.0 LIVE session. I wished I would have known you were in the room. Maybe you told me, but the chat went so fast I could not keep up with it. When I have time, I shall go back and read through the chat.

  4. Dear Anne,
    Your analysis uncovered a new element that I hadn’t seen in my own work or on other blogs. The post you analyzed made a call for action. That’s not something I normally see in my work.

    I was most interested in knowing how you automatically generated the links at the end of the post. I would love to do this but I’ve never known how to do it. Would you mind letting me know? I’d appreciate it.

    Thanks for the ideas.

    marsha

    • Hi Marsha, I think it is ‘wordpress’ that automatically does that as it certainly is not me. So, unfortunately I cannot answer that question. I will try and find out for you though. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Hello! Thanaks for sharing that blog about leaving good comments! I will definitely share that with my students, since we will be learning how to make our own blogs soon! Taking part of this blogging challenge has given me a lot of great ideas of how to teach students how to blog as well! I agree that when there is evidence of readership, it means that it was an effective post. I also like how you said that the post asked for some action. I think it is easy to forget to include that in a post!

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