Christian Heilmann

[Evangelism Reps] Some tips on Tech Blogging

Monday, April 9th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

As a ramp-up measure for the Mozilla Evangelism Reps program I just finished a first draft of tips and tricks how to approach technical blogging in Mozilla.

Topics covered are:

  • Basics of blogging – being a spokesperson
    • Be professional (no racism, sexism, calling names)
    • No political and religious views
    • Have something to say
    • Speling duz kount
  • Doing research and finding gaps to fill
  • Tone of voice
    • Use active voice
    • Use short sentences
    • Skip the foreplay
    • Give a full disclosure
    • Answer the WIIFM - “what is in it for me”
    • Stick to one thing and explain it well
    • Give credit where credit is due
  • Structuring your post
    • Use proper headings
    • Tell your story
    • Use lists
    • Give away everything at the beginning
    • Add breathing space
    • Extra value goes to the end
  • Linking
    • Link meaningful text
    • Links are proof, not context
    • Know your link targets
    • Test your links
    • Provide “read more” resources
  • Images
    • Link to the resource
    • Use absolute image paths
    • Have a sensible alternative text
    • Crop what is not needed
    • Play nice with people’s bandwidth
  • Multimedia (Screencasts, Audio)
    • Provide a fallback link
    • Keep them snappy
    • Cross-link from the video site
  • Code examples
    • Link the original source
    • Embed readable code (colourcoding, Gists, interactive code examples with JSFiddle/JSBin/
    • Make your code work
    • Write code for the web
  • Cross-posting and promotion
    • Do not publish the same blog post on different blogs
    • Write targeted smaller posts linking to the main one
    • Link all the resources back to the blog
    • Find outlets to promote the post

A lot of this might appear basic to the casual observer, but I am constantly amazed just how many simple things are done wrong when posting technical content. So I hope this will help some people get started on solid footing.

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