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.”
  • 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.

Announcing the 2009 B@Mmy Award Winners

The Teaching & Learning Collaborative recently hosted the first annual B@Mmy awards for blogging and tweeting excellence. We are pleased to announce the winners, who are welcome to post these ribbons to their respective blogs.

Best Group Blog: GSIPM

The Graduate School of International Policy & Management blog is one of the most active organizational blogs on campus delivering relevant information to an audience of 500+. Topics include campus events, course information, fellowships, and scholarships.

Best Class Blog: Art of Sunzi

Many of you probably noticed the sheer volume of activity in Chinese by the students in Chinese 460. The use of the P2 WordPress theme seemed to really promote interaction and certainly encouraged a great deal of output from students.

Best Student Blogger: Molly Ammons

Molly Ammons has displayed an incredible energy and enthusiasm for blogging this semester. Through creating her own blogs, posting on the DMC blog, and constantly being active on Blogs @ MIIS through sharing new ideas and reflecting, she helped foster the online blogging community here at MIIS.

Best Faculty Blog: Nuket Kardam

Nuket Kardam is the first faculty member to venture into the blogging community.  She is using her blog as a professional portfolio documenting her teaching, travels, and research activities.  We look forward to more updates as Nuket continues to explore the possibilities!

Best Staff Blog: Coleman Library

The William Tell Coleman Library blog draws people into a community of researchers and provides a great deal of useful information.

Best Use of Twitter: @MIIS_GSIPM

The MIIS_GSIPM Twitter account not only posts all new announcements from the GSIPM blog but also actively follows other international organizations that have relevance to the interests of GSIPM students. The latest current affairs information is collected and shared with the GSIPM student body.

Congratulations to all of the nominees!

Other B@Mmy Awards nominees included the following members of the Blogs @ MIIS community:

Sites DOT MIISThe Middlebury Institute site network.