Continuing my coverage of the ITSO Cloud Social Media Residency, the second day explained the ITSO Residency method of blogging, which was somewhat different than the method I presented on the first day.
This blog post is part of a five-part series:
My blogging approach is more akin to the iterative, incremental, bottom-up approach of [Agile software development], resulting in gritty, edgy, timely and, yes, sometimes controversial content.
|Tony's "Agile Development" approach||ITSO Residency's "Waterfall" method|
The ITSO Residency resembles the more formal, top-down [Waterfall model], resulting in more corporate-looking work. Of course, IBM doesn't want its blogs to be the typical [Blah, blah, and double blah]. Fellow blogger Paul Boag has a great post on the [10 Harsh Truths About Corporate Blogging].
Fortunately, IBM is often recognized for having some of the best corporate blogs. For example, the [IBMblr] blog is highlighted in fellow bloggers Arik Hanson's post [5 inspiring corporate blogs to emulate].
Here were some of the speakers we had for Day 2:
- Hillary Danz, IBM Social Content Graphics Editor
Hillary explained how to find commercially-licensed stock photos, clip-art and graphics from various IBM repositories.
These additional resources for photos will definitely come in handy!
- Caroline Wall, IBM ITSO Copy Editor
While having blog posts with a [few misspelled words] and grammatical errors demonstrates [warts-and-all] authenticity, I make a point to double-check the spelling of proper names: people, companies, brands, locations, products, services and solutions.
Caroline explained the process of submitting blog proposals, and if approved, how to submit the blog post written in MS Word or Lotus Symphony. The ITSO team felt most residents already know how to use these word-processing tools, allowing the residents to focus on what to write. Think of them as training wheels until you learn HTML!
For half the residents, English is not their native language. When a blog post is submitted, Caroline will then edit for spelling, grammar and style. IBM's style is similar to the [Associated Press (AP) Style] used by many newspaper journalists. The revised posts are then returned to the author for approval or discussion.
While English is not my native language either, I generally act as my own editor. Occasionally, I do enlist the services of Jeff Antley from developerWorks to help with HTML formatting issues.
- Kevin Allen, IBM Social Business Manager
Kevin takes the edited blog posts from Caroline, converts them to HTML, and posts them to the group blog [ThoughtsOnCloud.com].
(For those who want to learn HTML, I like Kevin Werbach's [Bare Bones Guide to HTML] for explaining the structure of ordered lists, unordered lists, definition lists, tables and embedded graphics or other rich-media objects. I also use VisiBone's [HTML Color Codes] reference charts when I need to change font or background colors.)
Blog posts need attract attention. Kevin explained how to draw traffic to your blog post by cross-posting links other social media sites like [Facebook], [Google+] and [Twitter]. I comb through the [Snowclones Database] for ideas to write a catchy title and opening paragraph.
Kevin also suggests using appropriate keywords that will enable Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For my SEO, I finalized each blog post with plenty of relevant [Technorati] tags.
There is more than one way to write a blog post! In either case, the end result is educational, entertaining and engaging content that people want to read.
Which "corporate blogs" do you follow regularly? Enter your comments below!