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OpiumHerz avatar 2:42 PM on 07.04.2013  (server time)
How to make the C-Blogs a better place

I might be somewhat a greenhorn around these parts, but I noticed that many people are somewhat unhappy. The state of the C-Blogs is often criticized in the comments (and thank god it's just there, because another site I'm on... well, let's just say you can find "Boohoo, this site sucks SO hard" blog entries multiple times a day). Since I am blogging for some years now, although not here of course, I consider myself somewhat familiar with the medium. So maybe one or the other wants some tips how to make a blog entry a bit more appealing. I won't say "better" because this is something very subjective, but I think if we try to help each other a bit, we can come a long way. After all, we all have the same goal - blog about games and the scene.

Think about your topic
This might seem stupid, but it's quite important. If you want to do a regular series, think about your rhythm, how far your topic can be used for multiple entries, if it's something you can and really want to write more than once about. There is nothing more annoying than a series that is in fact good, but doesn't get any new content after two or three entries. Really think about what you want to write about, specify a goal. Be concise, but don't cut yourself too short.

Not in a hurry, are you?
Take your time. The Internet is going nowhere, so you don't need to rush it. Don't write something down in haste, but take your time to maybe consider your phrasing from time to time. Go back and read a paragraph over to make sure it's complete and says everything you want it to say. I can understand the urge to get something out really well, but train yourself in being a bit patient here. You will most likely get a far better text.
Also, if you are planning a series, don't overburden yourself. Set a realistic time window for new entries in your series, according to your daily schedule. You don't have to put out content on a weekly or even daily basis here. We're all just users with lives going on. But if you have something that is not total bullshit you can be pretty sure people will come back for it, even if you do it just every two weeks or once per month. Don't flood the C-Blogs with multiple entries per day. At least not on a regular basis. There are exceptions that can make multiple entries within days happen, but those should be rare.

Consider your angle
This could be seen as part 3 of the "Think about what you write"-trilogy, but it's not unimportant too. If you write about something, think about your stance on that and think about the reasons for your stance on a topic. Your readers can't look into your head and might not know you, so you should explain your arguments. Thinking about your stance on a topic and the reasons you take that stance help turning your thoughts into written words, which will help expand your blog in an important way.

Give your text some structure
Use books are news sites as an orientation here. Formatting a text can be somewhat difficult if you don't have an eye for it. One of the most common mistake is that a paragraph is just too long. You have an "Enter"-key, use it from time to time. Only use caps, bold or underlining when it's REALLY acceptable (see what I did there?). Don't be Captain Capslock. Use punctuation marks accordingly (I think it was Terry Pratchett who said that anyone who uses more than three punctuation marks should be considered insane). Consider the size of your pictures (I found 600px with to be very fitting for the blogs here). And be consistent with your formatting. If you decide to write for example proper names in italic, do it all the time, not just sometimes.

If you write a text that is some paragraphs long, consider putting some pictures in it. A picture here and there can really make it easier to read, since the reader doesn't have to stare at the text all the time. It's refreshing. Of course I do know that this is contrary to what I am doing with this exact blog, but... how to put it best? This isn't really the place for much pictures?

Have text!
If anything is frowned upon around here, it's just posting a video or a link. It's not so much that the hate is against the promotion itself, but rather the fact that there is really no text/effort put into it. These posts aren't blogs, they are waste clogging the system. No one here wants to see those things and you will most likely get bashed into the ground for posting it.
If you really feel the need you HAVE to try and promote something over the DToid C-Blogs put some damn effort in it. Make it worth reading. That means: have text and make it good. Don't just post a video or a link and beg for money.

Spelling is your friend, especially if English isn't your main language. Also consider using a dictionary and/or a thesaurus. If you don't know what the latter is, use the former to find out. Those spell checkers aren't perfect, naturally, but you can weed out small typos and transposed letters (which can be really hard to spot sometimes - but the readers will notice, they always do!) easily with them.

Be a bro - be around
This is more of some... let's call it: unity building measure. We don't have to agree or get along with everyone, but if we all comment on each others blogs more, we will get more of a community and active talking/discussions going. Comments are a part of the blogs, so DO comment. And when you get comments, answer them. Even if you have nothing more to say "Thanks for the comment, appreciate it". Show that you care, either way.
And while we're at it, don't shy away from using the vote-arrows. But remember, a vote arrow will NEVER replace a comment. The same rule applies to the faps for a blog entry in general. Use them, when adequate.

Be open for comments and critique
This goes kinda in tandem with the former point, but it's something I find very important for EVERY author. Be open for the comments you get, especially if it's critique. Jump over shadow, swallow your god damn pride and be ready to admit mistakes. Everyone makes them and if someone does point them out and they are right, just say "Yeah, you might be right". No one will think less of you for that. If anything, people will think higher for a person that can actually admit making a mistake.
As a purely personal note: if you can't take critique, fuck off and write into a diary where no one else can read it. I can't force it, but I wouldn't want you anywhere near me.

The editor is kinda broken - deal with that
You can't really put it any other way. The editor we have here for the C-Blogs is kinda shit. Sometimes tags don't really work, even when they worked just fine in the paragraph before or it looks just fine in the editor. I don't know why that is (maybe one of the veterans around here does and can explain?), but you have to deal with the tools you have. Which means in this case try to fix the gravest errors in preview, don't publish the blog right away. Look at the preview, check it all over, then publish it. Those few extra minutes won't really matter for the release of your blog, but may make it a bit prettier on the eye. But in some cases it just doesn't seem to work in the final version. If that is the case, simply put a disclaimer in the beginning, stating that you know that, but can't seem to get it fixed and it looks fine in preview. It shows that you are not lazy.

[u]EDIT[/u] : I think I figured out how the broken tags work. If you have a broken tag, open the editor view the source code. You should most likely see that the tag ends not right after the text. For example:
Bla bla bla.

I think THIS is whtat causes the fuckups. Sometimes the editor places the tages like that. Pull it right behind the text and it should be fixed. It helped me in almost ALL cases, ironically the "Edit" here is such a case where it did not.

I think that's it. If you have anything else, feel free to add it in the comments. But really, if you want the C-Blogs to get better, be a part of it and do your part. From nothing nothing comes. When you want to boil it down, the tl;dr version could: "Think about what you post and how you post it and don't be like this guy."


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