Browsing Tag

31-Day Blogging Challenge

31-Day Blogging Challenge Wrap-Up

April 30, 2014
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I’m not sure what happened to April (or the second half of March for that matter).

With the 31-Day Blogging Challenge (#31dbc), I started out strong, with posts every day. Then, life happened, work got insanely busy, and it’s been a month since I last posted. I was a bit discouraged by this failure at first, but I learned a few things along the way.

For veteran bloggers, this information might be something you already do, but for us newbies, it was helpful advice:

  • Block out time in your schedule every week to blog. For me, just putting it on my to-do list isn’t enough. I need to plan time in my schedule where I don’t answer the phone or schedule meetings during that time.
  • On days that you have time, write multiple posts so that you have filler material when you are slammed with work. I was too literal about the directions in the challenge. I only wrote one post a day, even on the days when I was on a roll and could’ve written more. It took me awhile to realize that I could set the publishing date in WordPress.
  • Jot down your ideas when they occur to you. I carry around a small notebook where I can jot down ideas when they occur to me, even if I’m not near my computer. The trick is remembering to look at it later when I’m staring at a blank screen.
  • Set a publishing schedule. Publishing content on a regular schedule helps your readers know what to expect.
  • Publish a few posts before publicizing the blog. Several people recommended this to me when I started. They suggested getting some blog posts up and getting into the habit of posting regularly before you start marketing the blog. It’s good advice because it allows you to decide if you are serious about the blog or not. I will start publicizing the blog more widely once I have some more of my website pages filled in. I hope to launch both by the STC conference in Phoenix.

What recommendations do you have for maintaining your blog? Post your comments here.

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Blogging Challenge: An Update

March 17, 2014

Day 16 of the 31-Day Blogging Challenge (#31dbc)

Well, you might have noticed that I missed a few days this past week. Life happened, and between work, STC, and home, the blog fell by the wayside for a few days. But, it’s been bugging me that I haven’t worked on it.

Lesa Townsend (the 31-Day Blogging Challenge leader) says that this is normal and that it’s OK as long as you don’t quit. She’s been great about sending suggestions and ideas every day, and my topic idea list keeps growing and growing.

One thing I am realizing is that I need to block time out in my schedule at least once a week to do the blog. And, if I’m feeling inspired or have a lot of pent-up creativity, I can create multiple posts and either schedule them to publish automagically, or push Publish on a day when I’m not feeling inspired.

With work travel every other week for the foreseeable future, this knowledge will help me keep posting even during my busy times.

I realize this isn’t earth-shattering news to anyone who has been blogging for awhile, but for us newbies, it was helpful advice.

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31-Day Blogging Challenge: Who are the Bloggers?

March 8, 2014

Day 8 of the 31-Day Blogging Challenge (#31dbc)

Today, I finally had time to look at the list of bloggers who joined me on the blogging challenge, which is being led by Lesa Townsend. I actually read at least one post by each blogger.

Most of the participants are women who do some form of life coaching (spiritual, physical, business, dating, etc.). There are also a couple of homeschooling mommy bloggers and fashionistas, plus 2-3 business consultants and 2-3 male bloggers. About half were work-related blogs and half were personal. Brenda Huettner and I are the only Technical Communicators on the list.

What struck me was not the wide difference in politics, approach, focus, or writing skill. But rather, I was struck by the common themes, expressed by almost everyone, either in their posts or in their About pages:

  • Make the world better by your actions and presence.
  • Be conscious in your dealings with others.
  • Be kind.
  • Have a gratitude attitude.
  • Our stories matter and are part of what makes each of us unique.
  • We all want to be heard and understood.
  • Many of us have quirky, interesting hobbies and interests.
  • We all have something to contribute.

Starting My Blog with a 31-day Challenge

March 1, 2014
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Participant Badge for 31-Day Blogging Challenge I’ve been meaning to start a blog for years, ever since Brenda Huettner, Char James-Tanny, and I coauthored a book called Managing Virtual Teams: Getting the Most out of Wikis, Blogs, and Other Collaborative Tools (still available on amazon.com). But well, life intervened, and I couldn’t think of a cool name for the blog, and yada, yada, yada, 7 years went by.

I’ve been working on the setup for this blog off and on for awhile, though I haven’t been particularly diligent about it. But then, I saw the 31-Day Blogging Challenge that Lesa Townsend is running, and decided that I didn’t really have any more good excuses for not doing a blog, and that I should give this a try.

After all, I have a cool name–Pangaea Papers, a cool banner thanks to Shanna Chuma, and a bunch of stuff that I want to write about, mostly regarding topics in global communication, such as technical communication, internationalization, and localization. And, I might stray into science, philosophy, and other things that I’m curious about.

As you will see if you are looking at this site in early March of 2014, I still have some holes to fill, and am also working on my corporate site, comgenesis.com…but as a famous philosopher once said, “Perfection is the enemy of good…” (variously attributed to Voltaire, Aristotle, Confucius, among others), so here we go.

Stay tuned…1 post down, 30 to go in March.