So, you and a few of your buddies or associates have decided to get together and start a blog. Or, maybe your company is starting a blog, and the owner of the business has made it clear that "everyone" is "encouraged" to participate by contributing to the blog. Congrats...you're about to experience the joy of group blogging!
Group blogging is an entirely different animal in many respects from an individual blog. An individual blog often reflects the personality of the blogger, whereas a group blog is more centered on the shared interest of the group, whether it be a hobby, a political activity, a business endeavor, or something else. This week, we're going to talk about some of the unique aspects of blogging as a group, rather than as an individual. Let's start who does what.
No, I'm not suggesting Dungeons and Dragons, or signing up for a Second Life account (unless you want to), or even the awkward games that anyone who has been through any sort of corporate training course in the last decade has come to dread. I'm talking about assigning roles.
"Oh, we'll all just pitch in and help with whatever needs to be done when we can." That sounds good - but will not work in the long run. It just won't. Trust me on this - I've been a part of several of these endeavors, and I'm trying to save you a lot of trouble. Assign someone to be in charge of designing the blog, of maintaining it, and designing the graphics. Someone needs to be an editor-in-chief, and (depending on the size of your endeavor) either that person or a group of people working alongside him or her need to be in charge of editing posts (proofreading, fact-checking, checking links, adding categories and tags), and approving comments. You need writers. It's fine if (especially on a smaller project) one person fulfills several roles, as long as everyone understands what his or her duties are, and what is expected.
Once everyone has a role or roles, you need to develop a back-up plan for emergencies, and times when someone wants to go on vacation. Make sure that more than one person has the login information. If your computer crashes and you only have one tech-savvy person on the team, you may need to hire a professional, but even that professional is going to need to have the passwords. Ideally, a couple of people on the team will be able to fill in for most of the others for vacations and "days off."
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.