Making the most of the Blogs @ MIIS front page

Changes to the Blogging Homepage

  1. A feed for the official campus blogs, with an excerpt from the most recent post featured.
  2. A site-wide posts feed.
  3. Tweets from the MIIS community list.

Two categories to be featured prominently on the homepage

Note that these are categories, not tags.

News: General news and announcements or reporting on past events.

Events: Posts related to upcoming events.

Please don’t categorize posts as both news and events.

Events are events, and articles about past events are news.

What is the difference between categories and tags?

Categories tend to be broad. For example, my¬†personal blog uses the following categories: Middle School, High School, College, Real World. Tags are specific topics that fall under the categories (driver’s ed, job searching, marching band, etc.). This is just one example and the categories and tags for each blog will vary, but I encourage you to include both “News” and “Events” as categories.

Other best practices

  • Title posts appropriately. Remember that not all viewers are reading the post directly on your blog, so more context is better when titling posts.
    • Example: Lynn blogged about searching for student speakers for TEDx Monterey and titled it “TEDx Student Speakers.” But what does that mean? The post should have been titled “TEDx Call for Student Speakers” or “TEDx Student Speaker Contest.”
  • Avoid the caps lock (THIS IS NOT VERY EASY TO READ AND SORT OF LOOKS LIKE I’M SHOUTING AT YOU)
  • If you’re posting an event, include the day/time in the title. Also use the first few sentences to communicate the most relevant information about your event so that it appears in the excerpt on the homepage and under the “Events” navigation. GSIPM has a great format for this:Blogging Events
  • If your post content consists mainly of a large image (a flyer advertising an event, for example), make sure you also write the event details out using text since RSS feeds do not always display images and readers may miss out on your event information
  • It is possible to be strategic about writing and publishing your blog posts. You can write 3-4 blog posts at one time and set them up to publish at different times.
  • Talk to me about adding Google Analytics or FeedBurner to your blog.
  • Use the Knowledge Base to find answers to FAQs about the blogging community.

As always, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email if you have any questions or concerns! I look forward to working with you to improve the front page of Blogs @ MIIS.

Sites DOT MIISThe Middlebury Institute site network.