Most online communities that include forums have put together community guidelines for forum behavior. These types of guidelines usually include rules about self-promotion, signature use, civility, and other rules of the road.
With the advent of communities that encompass both forums and member blogging, we need to consider adapting our guidelines to deal with blogging etiquette.
This post offers some ideas to bring your community guidelines up to date. Feel free to use these guidelines if they suit your community (or tweak them as you need).
Community-Based Blogging Guidelines
- Don't monopolize the conversation - Make sure that your voice doesn't drown out the community's other bloggers in the activity stream.
- Keep your posts concise and readable - Unless you're writing a research paper 400-700 words is recommended (with headlines and breaks for good flow).
- Be responsive to those who comment on your blog post - Especially within a community, take the time to reply to your fellow members who comment.
- Always do a final spellcheck and editorial pass before you publish.
- Make your posts attractive by including images or embedded video (always include attribution where appropriate, and don't use copyrighted images or video without permission).
- Follow the same rules of civility in your blog posts that we follow in our forums.
- (Use this one only if you're moderating blog posts by members) We screen member blog posts before they go live; please be patient while we review and approve your content. Please direct any editorial questions to (insert staff name and email address here).
Do you allow your community members to blog on your site? If so, do you have any guidelines or expectations in place?