Reading greyh’s post about making the leap to writing on CHS — Why I Finally Joined CHS, A Virgin Blogger’s Story — reminded me that we’ve put this site in your hands without a lot of guidance. Now that CHS has been identified as a leader in an “emerging trend in blogging”, we can start being bossy and tell you how to live your life. Take this all as loose guidance — the point of CHS is that it’s driven by neighbors for neighbors. Still, here are twelve rules loose guidelines that will help you out. And, yes, I need to remember to stick to them, too.
- Don’t make your post a diary. Personal details are great. But put your discussion of the place where you live first.
- Keep your entries short and bite-sized. Sometimes you might write about complicated things but remember that the best posts might only be a paragraph or two.
- Link to other blogs and articles to help tell your story. A great blog is part of a wider conversation. Linking is a big part of making that connection. Don’t forget to credit other sites when you find something cool to share.
- Be funny. Being playful even when tackling sticky topics is a tried and true way to diffuse difficult situations.
- Don’t be a smartass all the time. Neighbors need a reason to keep coming back. Unless you are very funny, you’ll need to add some substance to your style.
- Your posts should have pictures. One picture and a dozen or so words are ingredients for a great post.
- Don’t be so damn witty with your headlines. Clear first, then clever. And keep bad words out of the headlines, please. In the post, fuck it.
- Be fair and try not to single individuals out.
- Be careful with rumors and second-hand information. Don’t post it until you count to 10 and give it some thought.
- Don’t forget to think of the business owner’s side of the story.
- Don’t do huge reviews. They’re boring and (usually) too personal. Make a few assertions. Say you liked it. Hated it. Let your neighbors respond.
- Be clear and upfront about any financial interest you have in your neighborhood and in the businesses you write about.
The CHS Neighborhood Blogging Code