Yahoo Employee Blog Guidelines: My Advice
So if you didn't see it, Jeremy posted about Yahoo's new Employee Blog Guidelines which a few of us Y! bloggers were invited to help give feedback to while it was being created. (It was very cool to be asked to contribute, actually!). I "helped" by freaking out at one of the first drafts I saw and taking absolutely everything the wrong way. :-) But actually subsequent drafts were written more with morons like me in mind, so I think the process worked quite well, and the guidelines ended up being very reasonable.
I also was asked to give some advice to newbie bloggers which is linked to in the guidelines. Rather than belabor the point of being careful what you say, I wanted to focus on real advice for people who want to start a blog:
Here's some advice for starting out: Just write!
When you first start writing a blog, you may be able to pump out the first few posts pretty easily, but then there's inevitably a moment when you feel you have nothing else to say. Lots of weblogs start strong and then taper off really quickly as the original incentive for writing wears off. Stick with it! No one likes a dead blog! The secret to writing a blog is consistency, which is a lot easier to attain than it sounds.
Write to your weblog like you'd write an email ï¿½ don't get caught up in how great the writing is or how correct the sentences are or what so-and-so is going to think. The most important thing is that you just write! Get your thoughts out there! If you feel like you have nothing to write about, write about how you have nothing to write about! You need to build those blog muscles at first and develop that habit of writing your ideas down quickly and without much internal censorship.
Again, blogging is just like writing a quick email to a friend, but instead of your great insight or feelings trapped inside someone else's inbox, you've set it free for the whole world to see. This a powerful thing. Putting your thoughts out on blog is great for you (writing really helps clarify thinking) and its great for others who might learn from what you have to say, or who see that you're wondering about something and either have the answers, or often a different perspective on the topic. It's a great experience both for you the writer and for your readers as well, really! But you have to get your thoughts out there in order for that to happen! So just write!
Okay, all that said, try not to be dumb about being a Yahoo! Blogger , hey? Write about what you do, not about what you're doing, and don't write about anything you would normally lower your voice to talk about in a public place. This stuff is fun, and not being a bonehead will keep it that way. :-)
I think that's pretty sound, no? "Don't be a bonehead" is also pretty straight forward as well, hey?