Documentation:Digital Tattoo Student Orientation/ Blogging/Writing Tips

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Purpose

We thought it might be helpful to start a list of tips or considerations that you may want to refer to when writing blog posts. This will be particularly helpful to new authors (or guest) authors on the Digital Tattoo blog. Please add to/revise as you see fit.

Remember our goals (with the blog) are to inform, bring awareness and encourage sound , personal decision making when it comes to issues related to digital identity, privacy and data management. Our audience is primarily university students - however analytics show a number of school districts accessing our (mainly tutorial) resources as well). We are looking for strategies and topics that engage across a spectrum of interests.

  • provoke thought on a particular topic.
  • share a story, example, case study.
  • comment (from a student perspective) on a news story related to a digital identity issue.
  • engage readers on issues that may have a big impact on their lives

Voice

  • Typically, you are writing from the perspective of a student - as collaborator on the digital tattoo project
  • You may want to take a more personal approach when the story warrants it (for example, Bryan's Connect series was essentially his data story which he used as a case study to explore broader issues.

Tone

  • Informational and conversational.
  • Avoid writing with your "academic researcher" hat on. Proof-reading and editing by team members helps.
  • Keep it digestible for novices but feel free to provide additional links (or propose a series) if the topic needs more attention.
  • A series approach is preferable to a long, dense post.

Claims & Links

  • If you are making claims in your blog post, back it up with a brief summary of the evidence and link to the source. That way readers can do their own fact checking - which we encourage.
  • If you are questioning - without making a claim - that's fine too - link to anything that might help provide context.
  • Link to a tutorial page if one exists on your topic (or create one) - they may serve a different audience (likely younger) and involve interacting with a quiz and video so provide another avenue for learning and reflection. Tutorial pages can link to your blog posts as well - add your link in the resources section.

Calls to Action

  • If your topic warrants it, you may want to propose a call to action (discuss with your instructor; make sure it's on the agenda of student government, etc)
  • a call to action may simply be - responding to a question in the comments section.

Editing

  • involve the team in proofreading/editing - they are a resource for you.
  • be supportive and generous with your offers of review of others' work.

Categorizing

  • add categories to your post - based on its content - so that it will appear in a search if people are looking for it.