What’s in a Blog?
Posted by JJ Miller
Have you ever noticed what makes you continue to read a blog or bounce after the first few moments? Is it the blogger’s words? Too many, too little, too boring, too complicated, or completely irrelevant to your search? Or could it be the layout? Overly cluttered or not broken up with images? The appeal of a blog is unique to each individual. So, how can a blogger create a product appealing enough to gain traction?
Photo source: Getty Images
Throughout the Communication Strategies for Emerging Media course, we learn how to create relevant and appealing blogs that embody the ideal structure and flow for effectiveness. Blogging, like all forms of technical communication, has its own style and character. What’s done on Twitter or Instagram, doesn’t have the same appeal or value in a professional blog. I’ve learned through this course and then analyzing my own interaction with blogs, that the simpler is better. I’m much more likely to read something all the way through if it is concise and not overly wordy.
Digital Literacy for Technical Communication (Spilka, Ed., 2010) offers good technical writing practices that apply well to blogging platforms. Granularity is a term used in technical writing that explains effective digital spaces should have a balance of text-based information chunks and multimedia applications. However, depending upon the audience, the way that is done is not always the same. We must understand our audience and the message we are trying to deliver. Granularity furthermore, has three levels of magnification to consider: microscopic (close perspective), mesoscopic (middle perspective), and macroscopic (far perspective). The microscopic perspective involves aspects such as text size, font, paragraph placement and length, and white space. While mesoscopic and macroscopic perspectives consider broader matters such as, multiple document delivery over various lengths of time. (p. 111)
Mapping or blog arrangement are also very important to audience appeal. An overly cluttered blog without a clear content menu leads to audience uncertainty or distrust. Organization is a strategy that can build blog appeal and reputation. The content itself should be clean and well arranged. However, a blogger should also consider ads or the minimization of, also in the mapping schema. No one likes to try to read a blog with ads blinking all around the content.
Photo Source: Getty Images
Ambience is a critical factor in all works of art and design, including digital communication. Ambient design allows the audience to to understand the purpose and content of a blog. The design should be created in a way that this perspective can be gained by only a quick glance. This allows ease of use and guides the audience through the blog interaction. (p. 120-121) Furthermore, this overall design strategy establishes trust and audience comfort, which are crucial in a popular blog. Images are important in creating the intended ambience. To choose the correct supporting images, it is important to have a well defined blog purpose and to understand your desired audience well. Aesthetics are also very important to creating an appealing blog site.
This is a photograph of mine, with some filter experimentation. It creates a unique feel that could be appealing in certain blogs involving photography, art, or even cats.
Folksonomy is also known as social tagging, social indexing, tagging, etc. It is a method by which content can be created and managed, via tags, to categorize the content. (p. 118) This method of tagging and categorizing content is done all over social media, the Web, and in blogging. As we write our blogs, we choose the categories/tags we want connected to our content so that it appears in relevant user searches. Aside from administrative blog tools, we can also accomplish this via hashtags which are trackable throughout social media (if our blogs are shared to those platforms) and the Web.
As technical and digital communication advances, we also make changes to improve the functionality and appeal of our blogs. While blogs are still very relevant, vlogs are quickly gaining attention. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how the technical communicator roles develop should consumption of media become more video based. The technical writing practices could shift into video production. One could argue that they already have…
Photo Source: Getty Images
Posted on November 4, 2018, in Blogs, Creative, Digital, Literacy, Metablogging, Social Media, Society, Technology and tagged ambient design, folksonomy, Technical Communications, technical writing. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.