Bloggers Gone Wild!!! General by Joel Wagner - July 20, 2008July 1, 20102 I am on vacation from July 21st through July 30th! I’ll be going to visit my parents, some friends, cruising Texas, and end up at the Texas Bandmasters Association convention. I’m conducting an experiment while I am out. I’m calling it Bloggers Gone Wild. I will not write a comment or post on the blog for the duration of my trip. I will read comments and posts on the blog from time to time. I will check my email periodically. I don’t get it Of course you don’t get it. There is more. I will create user accounts if you email me and ask for one. Once your account has been created, you will receive an email that tells you how to log in and create content on the site. You then log in and write an article or whatever. What’s the catch? There are a few ground rules. You can basically write your own articles and edit them I have the right to delete or edit anything that I find objectionable (or typographically challenged)…this is my blog after all I don’t believe you have the ability to do so, but even if the option is available, you are not to delete any comments or articles Why would I want to do this? I can see a few reasons that my readers might be interested in doing this Promote your own blog Maybe you are brand new to the blogging world and would just like to let others know your blog exists. Add something interesting and encourage them to go read your blog for further articles like that. You want to try your hand at the whole blogging thing Maybe you are considering blogging, but don’t want to take the plunge yet. Here’s your chance to get a small taste of what it’s like. You just like the idea of writing to an audience of 350+ readers Go for it. It’s fun! At the same time, it comes with a lot of responsibility. Are you stupid for doing this? Probably, but I think it’ll be a fun experiment. Hopefully you won’t disappoint me and this turns out to be a worthwhile endeavor. What should I write about? That’s the fun part. I really don’t care! You probably have much better ideas than I do. You’re bound to have one great idea somewhere in there. Why write a comment when you can write an entire article. Some suggestions: Find an article on the site and comment on it Be sure to include a link to the original article. I often will comment on an article, and in the comment, mention that I’m going to be writing a response article. If you do that, I’ll eventually get around to editing the original to link to your response. Make a list Everyone loves lists. They are simple and straightforward. You can just write a list like I did at the top, or elaborate like I did in the bottom. How do I elaborate like this? Pushing shift-enter will move to the next line without going to the next number in the sequence. Write about your field of expertise I have quite a few classroom management articles on the site. I am passionate about classroom management. I have a handful of music education articles. I don’t have many elementary articles. I don’t have many articles about____________. That’s a need for a handful of the readers. You can fill that need. Help a brother out! :) Ask questions When I first began blogging, I would ask questions and get no responses. I’m serious, go look at some of the older articles. Nada. Now I have a group of passionate readers who love to contribute. It’d great. If you have a small blog, try it and see what comments come in! Some tips: Come up with a great headline Nobody wants to read Some of the ideas I came up with about teaching elementary while I was at Wal Mart last night. Everybody wants to read Top 10 Reasons Sam Walton Taught Elementary In A Former Life. Have a thesis statement I know we aren’t actually in school right now, but a hook in the first paragraph or two will keep the reader. Tell them what you are going to tell them. Then tell them! Include a link to your website if you have one Some of the readers are bound to be interested in finding out where to read more stuff by you. Don’t disappoint them by giving them a great article and not letting them find more. Avoid using header tags such as <h1> <h2> The CSS doesn’t work with those very well. I simply make my headlines bold, push shift-enter, and start the new line. Use images They capture the attention of readers. They are especially effective in RSS readers. Monitor comments1 Check your articles from time to time to see if there are any comments on them. Reply to comments. Ask questions when you reply. Submit an article to a blog carnival Come on, you know you want to! Try the Carnival of Education! Remember, all you have to do is email me and we’ll get started. Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.