Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Bit About Blogs

If one measure of an organization’s effectiveness is its ability to communicate frequently with its constituents, then an active blog is an important tool. Blogs have become one of the most powerful sources of news on the web.

Short for “web log,” Merriam-Webster defines a blog as “a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.” Probably the most straightforward (and ubiquitous) tool in social media, blogs are only as strong as their content, readership, and ability to connect with other sites.

While most successful blogs allow readers to comment on postings, blogs are noticeably more static than some of their social media counterparts. This static structure demands that bloggers keep their site interesting. While an eye-appealing web design and interesting topics (along with solid writing, of course) are huge, the key lies in keeping content fresh. (and yes, this blogger can attest to the challenge!)

According to EchoDitto, there are three basic keys to building a successful blog:

  • Engage with other blogs and your own readers
  • Keep the material fresh and exciting
  • Give people a reason to return

For more on non-profit blogging, check out the Non-Profit Blog Exchange and blog tips at Have Fun-Do Good.

If you're headed to the Chicago NTI, don't miss the Blogging 101 workshop with Shirley Sexton of See3 Communications Tuesday from 4:30-6:00 at the Palmer House Hilton.

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