7-2 Blog: Best Practices

I chose to analyze a blog entry written by Katherine Hakel on March 28, 2015. Hakel’s entry is titled How to Pick the Perfect Font For Print Projects, and covers – aside from what the title communicates – some of the technical rationale behind why some typefaces were initially designed for use in print, and some dedicated to use on screens.

I am subscribed to Hakel’s blog and receive email notifications whenever she posts a new blog entry. I also follow her on Twitter. As a graphic designer and someone who creates web content for a living, I find her posts to be informative and usually current with regard to discussing the latest webdesign trends. I also enjoy reading Hakel’s posts because they are composed in a clear, concise and direct manner, which dotmarketing’s Best Practices: Writing for the Web (1996) highlights as a best practice.

Personally, I think that the best blogs are those that educate readers in a consistently fresh and exciting way. I think successful blogs are those that present existing web content in a new, respectful and insightful manner. But I also firmly believe that blog authors should strive to present readers with originality. Presenting pre-existing content is fine – and in fact recommended by Ilias Chelidonis, as a way to help readers learn something new (2011) – but I feel it needs to express a new perspective on the topic covered. I know I don’t like reading regurgitated content. Regardless of the subject matter, I think it’s important for a blog to maintain a good balance between writing a piece only someone in the field might understand and writing a piece that can be comprehended by one unfamiliar with trade jargon.

Hakel’s blog post about choosing the right font for a print piece is largely in keeping with many of the best practices documented in dotmarketing’s article, Writing for the Web (1996). Her content is presented in a visually appealing fashion that takes into account how readers receive information on a webpage. As explained in dotmarketing’s article, people read content differently on the web. Moreover, and as presented in the 1996 guide, readers on the web tend to scan pages and read in short bursts. Halek does a nice job breaking up her text into very short paragraphs, easily comprehended at speed.

Although dotmarketing’s Best Practices’ (1996) article advises against the inclusion of grand introductions and mission statements on one’s web page, I think Halek gets away with it because the brief history she provides is interesting and relevant to the subject. Also in keeping with the dotmarketing Best Practices is Halek’s use of relevant and descriptive terms in her page’s header code. A quick peak into the blog’s metadata reveals that she has indeed included terms that are likely to be included in search engine queries.

How does my own recent blogging stack up against that of a blog pro. Eh… I have always been critical of my own writing – especially of work that is visible to potentially everyone on the internet. I think the length and structure of my paragraphs could definitely stand to be shortened. I feel that I am often too flowery or overly wordy with my sentences, and neither characteristics lend themselves to a gripping narrative. With regard to search engine optimization, or SEO, I have not yet ventured deep enough into the bowels of my WordPress CMS to determine whether or not I am actually able to add real metadata or descriptive terms into the header. Without a paid hosting service, or a “Premium Theme,” I believe my ability to customize the back end of my blog is limited. After all, Chelidonis (2011) highly recommends paying a little extra for a professional blog theme. However, I truly believe the jury is still out on whether or not the fanciest and most expensive blog theme can capture more readers than high-quality, well written content.


Resources

Chelidonis, I. (2011). 12 Steps To Launch a Successful Blog. [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://dailyblogtips.com/steps-to-successful-blog/

dotmarketing Inc. (1996). Writing for the web. DM best practices. Retrieved from http://www.uakron.edu/webteam/docs/dm_webwriting.pdf

Halek, K. (2015, March 28). How to pick the perfect font for print projects. [Web message log]. Retrieved from http://www.graphicdesignblender.com/how-to-pick-the-perfect-font-for-print-projects

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