This week, we're discussing some of the joys and challenges unique to group blogging, as opposed to individual blogging. Yesterday, we talked about assigning responsibilities (role-playing). Today, let's talk about sticking to the theme of the blog.
Often, a lot of work and forethought goes into deciding what type of blog you want. That, however, is the easy part, believe it or not. The hard part is sticking to that central theme or focus. This is difficult at times, even for an individual blogger. We'll see something really great that we'd like to share with everyone, and it is often tempting to go ahead and post it to our blog, even though it doesn't fit the stated mission of the blog. This is not as much of a problem for an individual blogger, however, because readers sometimes appreciate the little glimpse into the personal interests of the bloggers they like. On a group blog, however, if several people are all posting off-topic jokes, thoughts-for-the-day, interesting "FYI's," and unrelated op-eds all willy-nilly, it isn't long before your blog really has no central theme or focus.
The ultimate "decider" of what is and is-not on-topic is usually the editor, hopefully in agreement with the owner and administrator (especially if these are all the same person). Depending on the personalities of the bloggers and editing team, this can be a relatively painless, process, or it can be the cause of a lot of personal drama and hurt feelings. Much of the latter can be prevented by setting clear expectations up-front, and regular, consistent communication regarding the purpose and goals of the blog.
Tomorrow, we'll discuss some of the specific duties and responsibilities of the editor, or editing team.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.