A blog about the blog: aka the style guide issue

Given that the semester is more than half over and we now have a few blogs under our belts I thought it was time to write a blog about the blog.

Ever felt like this? (rawr1203.wordpress.com accessed 11/8/2013)

Ever felt like this? (rawr1203.wordpress.com accessed 11/8/2013)

There have been numerous awesome blogs that this class has turned out and some really interesting topics have been explored.  All of the blogs are great reads, a few of my personal favorites are, Tod Morris’s blog “Home field advantage?” great look at how the built environment can create both physical and emotional barriers that perpetuate poverty and a separation of “haves” and “have nots”.  Aaron Mondada’s blog “Planting the seeds for community health” explored some interesting and innovative ideas regarding how to deal with food insecurity, I especially liked reading about the Beacon Food Forest in Seattle, talk about innovation and thinking outside the box.  And, Dean Gunderson’s “Getting schooled on walkability” is thought provoking regarding how planners should look at and deal with the number and placement of school campuses.  Neighborhood schools could do a lot to foster a sense of community and reduce car trips per household.

All of us of have provided some great insight and interesting information about planning and how we as planners can have great effect in ways that we may have thought a lot about as well as ways that may have never occurred to us.  The blogs are continually improving in both content and quality.  Way to go everyone!

As blog editor I also want to take this opportunity to re-post the blog style guidelines to help you all produce even more amazing blogs in the future:

  • For commas use http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/01/

  • All images should have a caption, source and access date.  No need to use the URL just the image source and date of access are sufficient for photo credit.

  • You must get permission to use copyrighted photos (e.g. Idaho Statesman images) by contacting the organization. OR, you can use open source/creative commons and public government images. The open source/creative commons/public option has a plethora of options, and can save a lot of time.  This link  http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search will allow you to do an advanced search for images that are free to use or share.

  • Use paragraph style h2 for subheads – this is for design consistency and search engine optimization as well

  • Set your post so that only the first paragraph shows on the main page.  This may be done by adding the following symbol <!–more–> after the first paragraph in the TEXT editor

  • Almost all of the posts need a thesis, topic sentence or what newspaper people call a “nut graf” – what is the main point of this post, within the first two paragraphs or so

Learning to write for a blog has been quite challenging for me personally.  It is a very different style of writing and has stretched my skills and thought processes.  In the end however, it has been a process that has lead to some real growth in communication skills and has taught different ways of thinking and looking at issues.

With most of us at least half way through our assigned number of blogs I imagine they will just continue to get better and better.  It has been a real privilege to learn about this and I am really excited to see what we all come up with next.

Happy blogging!

2 thoughts on “A blog about the blog: aka the style guide issue

  1. Great idea to post your style guide publicly … good example of blog transparency! One more item for the list: The term “blog” is short for “web log” and refers to the larger Planning Required site. Each article on the blog should be referred to as a “blog post.”

    — Your blogging consultant in residence, Nate

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