The Makings of a Good Blog Post

1. A Thoughtful Title – This would be a a title that both considers the content of the post and is creative. For example, a title for a post about a project plan to record ducks on a pond would be, “Thoughts on How to Listen to a Bunch of Quacks” and not “Recording Project Plan.”

2. Media Embeds – It is always preferable to embed media in a post rather than link to the external site where it is hosted. WP supports almost all social media network embeds, if not there are plug-ins. For common image formats, JPG, GIF, PNG it is always preferable to resize the embedded image so that it fits the width of the post. That way the image fit’s the design of the blog.

3. The Purpose of the Post – A some point in the first paragraph of the post a clear description of what you are presenting should be stated. Whether you’re describing a project proposal to be detailed, showing a work in progress, or analyzing another work, you must succinctly summarize your idea early in the post. This should be stated in as much as possible a conversational tone. Blogging allows for and encourages informal language (this does not mean sloppy syntax or grammar) to invite the reader to read. For example, “Yesterday I attempted to record the sounds of ducks at the pond in the park near my apartment. Above are my favorite three minutes of the recordings I made.”

4. Posting Links to external sources – There is always an opportunity to reference sources that were some how involved in the decisions you made and what you are writing about. This might include research done that influenced your process, an image found and embedded to illustrate a point, or even a simple reference to the assignment. Links should be contextual and the source described. For example, “While searching for techniques to record ducks on a pond, I discovered Avisoft Bioacoustics a company focused on analysis of animal recordings. They hosted a number of examples of animal recordings, I liked the frogs the best, and more importantly a detailed tutorial on how they make choices for microphones, recorders, and microphone placement.”

5. The impact of external sources – The research you do as an impact on the choices you make in your work and how you make them. It’s important to reflect on that research and describe how you incorporated it into your process. For example, “Avisoft gives an enormous amount of detail about different microphones (principally Sennheiser shotguns) and recorders, but we only have a couple of Senneheisers and recorders to choose from. What was really useful though was this diagram that visualized all the external noises to avoid in these types of recording environments.”

6. A description and reflection of your process – A reflection on the choices you made during the creating of your work (or planning of your work to be done) is incredibly important to facilitating the understanding of the piece. This might reveal choices made that were very good, or illustrate problems you confronted. You should describe specific tools used, how you used them, and issues you confronted while using them. For example, “To record my ducks quacking, I decided to use the Senneheiser MKH816T, which requires an A/B power supply, as well as the Tascam DR-100mkII recorder. Upon visiting the pond I found that the ducks were too far away! So I went and bought some bread and that’s when things got interesting.”

7. A final reflection – Whether the blog post was an analysis of a piece of work, a project plan, or presenting a piece of work you’ve created, it’s important to reflect overall on your sense of what it is you did and why. In the case of the analysis, you might describe what you learned from the work that you didn’t know before, or describe something you found interesting and why. In the case of a project plan you could reflect on the problems you believe you might face or what you might do to adapt your plan if necessary. And in the case of presenting work created, you might reflect on the technical quality based on appropriate criteria, and/or the content of the work and whether it achieved your intended goals. You might also describe how you would modify your approach if you were to return to this project or onto your next. For example, “What I liked about the three minutes of ducks I recorded and presented above was that the sounds were not what I’d expected. When I first thought of duck sounds, my mind was filled with sounds of quacking. But I actually did not get just the quacking, I heard the ruffling and jostling of the birds as they jockeyed for position to eat the bread I was throwing to them. It probably would have been better if I had someone else feeding the ducks though, as I was creating a lot of contact noise brushing against the mic and cables while throwing bread.”