Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Blog on Advocacy Blogs (revised)

Philosopher/writer. Ayn Rand, said, "Ideas cannot be fought except by better ideas. The battle consists not of opposing, but of exposing, not of denouncing, but of disapproving, not of evading, but of boldly proclaiming a full consistent and radical alternative."

In advocacy blogging, the presumption is that content :
- is relevant
- is understood, and
- is usable
Aims of advocacy blogging are:
(a) to research, share and educate.
(b) to increase awareness and thinking.
(b) to stimulate engagement -and action.

Bloggers wear three hats: author, editor, and e-publisher. He/she is neither given assignment nor deadline; the only self-imposed dictates are original content and appropriate supporting links. Distill the facts, take a position and encourage online discussion.

1. Be persuasive, not abrasive.
2. A blog can be a web of influence.
3. Used skillfully; a great advocacy tool.
4. Attract readers with magnetic headlines.
5. Articulate a problem and advance remedy.
6. Support your case with persuasive evidence.
7. Raise awareness; rally support for the cause.
8. Post often, but only with content that matters.
9. Strive to get it right. Keep it tight. Less = more.
10.A well thought-out blog outreaches a good speech.
11.Make content authorative, relevant and actionable.
12.A hyperlink can be more compelling than blog itself.
13.For impact, link to high quality relevant documents.
14.Anyone can rant and complain; most do. Offer solutions.
15.Online is forever, so don't author your own misfortune.
16.Be provocative yet respectful ...and advance alternatives.
17.If audience is wide and diverse, avoid jargon and acronyms.
18.Via ripple effect, a blog amplifies your message and impact.
19.Original thinking and relevant links are keys to high traffic.
20.Readership may be minuscule, but blog readers are influential.
21.Advocacy blogs are about connecting, credibility & persuasion.
22.Figure out what the hell you want to say, then cut to the chase.
23.It's not as much about who you know, as it is who you can reach.
24.Few academics, farmers and politicians are convinced of new ideas.
25.Few bloggers exhibit the critical thinking & crafting of journalists.
26.If you can spell there is little need to go for purfection -or sloppiness.
27.And, beware of Sturgeon's Law: Ninety percent of everything is crud.
28.Sweeney's Law supplants Pareto's 80/20 rule: 90% of effort is for naught.

Blogs are not held to the literary standards of books and magazines, but they should show more finesse than email messaging. Even though time-pressured, executives who blog are expected to show some journalistic craft. e.g. avoid the passive voice.
Unlike journalists, bloggers don't have editors to clean up their prose. With instant publishing, we should heed a Hemmingway comment from the typesetting era: "The most essential gift of a good writer is a built-in shock-proof shit-detector."
All serious bloggers should ask the question: What's the purpose of broadcasting my unfiltered thoughts into space? This scribe's profiles on the Londont and on Le70Sabre Web sites attempt to answer that question.

On Feedback
1. Be succinct.
2. Engage; toss the ball back and forth.
3. Stay on topic and contribute new info.
4. Don't comment just for sake of commenting.
5. Attack or promote the idea, not the proponent.
6. Keep comments civil, intelligible, short and relevant.
7. Comments can be more interesting than original post.
8. Guru sez, "Absence of comments often signifies agreement.
9. Since comment cannot be deleted, delay response if emotional.
10. Well-reasoned dissent sans rudeness helps understand topic.
11. Ignore Trolls: People who just comment to get a rise out of others.
12. Email is intended to be private; a blog comment is a public 1-to-many msg.
13. Some have courage of their convictions, others audacity of their anonymity.

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