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Before sitting down to write your first post, consider the following:
What is the purpose of your blog?
Your purpose may be to explain Unitarian Universalism, to offer pastoral messages, to discuss denominational issues, to address social justice problems, to share information about what is happening within your congregation, or to publicize a particular campaign or program
Who is your intended audience?
Potential audiences may include congregants, colleagues in ministry or professional leadership, lay leaders, newcomers to Unitarian Universalism, local press, and other Unitarian Universalist blog readers and writers. Once you have identified your intended audiences, you can tailor your posts with them in mind. (See footnote 1.)
Who will own your blog?
You may choose to write a personal blog, where you speak only for yourself. In this case, you may purchase and own the domain name, hosting plan (if needed), and other blog elements.
Or you may choose to create an institutional blog, where you speak on behalf of a congregation, organization, or committee. In this case, the purchase and ownership of the blog’s domain name, hosting and other elements may fall to the sponsoring institution.
It may be helpful to include a written disclaimer on your blog clarifying whether you are writing in a personal or institutional capacity, so that readers understand who you are representing in your writing. (See footnote 2.)
How often will you post to your blog?
Consistency is critical to a successful blog. Readers will look forward to your posts, and will be disappointed, concerned, or just plain turned off if you suddenly vanish from the scene.
Decide on a posting frequency to which you can consistently adhere. The optimal posting frequency is probably between once and twice a week; this is frequent enough to retain your readers, but not so frequent that you will have to sacrifice quality for quantity.
What tone will your blog have and how will that make readers feel?
The design of your blog, your title, your writing style, and other elements contribute to your tone and impact.
How will you make sure your blog is a safe space for you and for participants?
A code of conduct, clearly stated in advance, can set the expectation for how readers will treat you and how they will treat one another. Consider how you will respond to comments or other communications that express hatred or disrespect, or are threatening. Remember that this is your blog; you have the right (and responsibility) to remove content that you consider threatening to your own safety or to the safety of other participants.
What kinds of information about yourself and about others will you need to keep confidential?
Consider your obligations to congregants, colleagues, family members and other people who have entrusted you with confidences.
Also keep in mind what kind of information about your self and your family can be left off the blog. For example, you don’t need to announce the exact dates that you will be out of town!
Produced by the Office of Information and Public Witness's Unitarian Universalist Blogging Resources Project.
For more information contact info @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Monday, October 6, 2014.
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