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Active Contributor

Whether you are an active blogger or a blog consumer in our SAP Community Networks of SDN and BPX, you may want to review blogging tips and tricks that reflect my understanding of blog etiquette and good blog writing habits. These tips can only be commented on, by you, the reader, in the context of the blog comments. But since we now have a community wiki, we also have the opportunity, to build a more collaborative understanding of how we see and use our blogs in SDN and BPX.  Let's use the community wiki for community blogging tips: here.
There may be some who are using a convenient html editor or others who can remind junior bloggers of just how to create a first blog, upload graphics, or change blog profile details. In the meanwhile, here are some general suggestions for putting the blog focus on the audience rather than the blogger.

Tips for Blogging in SDN/BPX

(Disclaimer: these are only my experiences and opinions about blogging here; yours hold equal weight)

  1. Know your audience
    Who are you writing for?  Many in our communities expect more than just rant, unsupported opinion, and examples unsubstantiated by experience.  Since I come from the theater world, I’ll use a theater model: imagine the audience’s perspective and be an actor for that audience.  This will help your script, your language, your tone, your substance, your use cases.
  2. Use clear language -
    If you are writing for a global audience (and here in SDN/BPX you are) think in words that the audience will understand and relate to.
  3. Provide a clear summary -
    Much thought should be given to why you are choosing the topic.  Why would an audience want to listen to you?  What service or value are you providing?  What whitespace is being addressed in your content?  The summary is the short abstract that gets picked up by RSS feeds. (for more RSS info see an RSS mini-tutorial or the O’Reilly link for a deep dive into RSS technology )  Remember: most folks spend a very small window of time reading a summary and quickly decide as to whether contents are of interest.  The advantage of RSS feeds for the audience: “100% complete control over the read situation” .  What that means to you?  If your summary disappoints, your readership will disappear.
  4. Provide a short engaging title
    • Gear your title to your audience
    • Keep the title short and understandable
    • Ensure the title delivers its promise
    • Optionally - Make the title as provocative or “catchy” or even funny as possible (that’s audience-based, of course)
  5. Design and chunk information with audience in mind -
    • Create clear blog content subtitles and use a small title tag (like
      or bold explicitly for the subcontent headers
    • Be mindful of how people read/listen.  An audience might not “hear” more than a few minutes worth of content without zoning out unless provided with some form of interaction for eye, mind, even ear in each segment.
    • Use graphics judiciously – use them sparingly as some people have bandwidth issues and a large graphic can slow them down.
    • Don’t overuse “caps” as it is perceived as SCREAMING
    • Don’t overuse bold for the same reason
  6. Engage the audience-
    • Leave room for questions, conversations, and comments.  Use of open-ended questions is advisable.  That can be done in your writing style as well as your Tag Line.
    • Avoid pontificating (this means: avoid ranting in a professional or technical blog) and preaching and “going on”, as it tends to turn many in our audience “off”

    • Note: many of our top contributors and respected community members inhabit external blogspheres, where personal rants are appropriate, welcomed, and responded to.  Do try to avoid them unless explicitly labeled "Ranting". (I've gone back and labeled this blog as Ranting, for example, and I hope it is not also pontificating)
  7. Answer comments promptly
    Subscribe to the blog comments you receive.  Acknowledge and respond appropriately, that’s just good manners.
  8. Avoid personal attack
    This is sometimes referred to as “ad hominem”  (I had to look this up on wikipedia).  Remember it’s an opinion you are disagreeing with not the author.  The basic idea: “rudeness is always wrong, even when your premise is right.”  Here is where my own experience as a mother of five and a grandmother as well, comes in:  a golden rule in our house is to communicate (when something isn't acceptable)“I don’t like your behavior” rather than to imply “I don’t like you”.
  9. Avoid false or deceptive statements
    Misleading contents and advertising are not welcome.  Do diligence.  If you are speculating, please say so.  When you are mistaken, please publicly correct any misinformation you have delivered. This is a public space so take care and publish responsibly. 
  10. Forget plagiarizing
    If your material exists online, declare it, link to it, reference it, acknowledge it and be sure that whenever possible you have an author’s consent for complete reuse or even quotation (I know many of us have been sloppy with this last one).  Often online sources will have some disclaimers about the legality of reuse.  If contents are copyrighted or represent intellectual property, they simply cannot be used.

Lastly, a number of good generic blogging code of ethics can be found here: and

As you may have noticed, all of these tips are about audience and care for community.  They focus on “us”: our interests, rights, and use of our time and space.  This is OurSpace. Is it fairly autonomous and governed fairly by community?