What makes a successful blog

What makes a blog successful? Does spelling really matter? How about quality of writing? I ponder these questions as I teach, preach, cajole, and lead enthusiastic as well as reluctant library folks to blog. There are those (even respected bloggers) who say it doesn’t matter how you write – it’s only important that you write. I personally believe that anything that goes as public as the World Wide Web is a far-reaching statement about me, my personal professionalism, and the organization for whom I write (at the SELCO Librarian)

Blogging has gone mainstream in a very short time, and is a marketing expectation. It’s not a question of “do you blog?” but rather “who writes your blog?” The Blogging Success Study was conducted in the spring of 2006 at Boston’s Northeastern University by the students in Dr. Walter Carl’s Advanced Organizational Communications class and John Cass and his colleagues at Backbone Media, Inc. The study results are published online as – you guessed it – a blog, complete with comments. The research team identified 5 factors to consider that are important for a successful blog. Italicized text is my thoughts relating the study to libraries.

  • Culture: Libraries can build rapport with their communities, showcasing their knowledgeable staff, demonstrating to their communities the face of the library and librarians.
  • Transparency: Insightful pieces of contrasting points of view establish credibility, demonstrate expertise, and encourage dialogue.
  • Time: Libraries should carve out time for good writing (and reading other blogs.)
  • Dialogue: The library’s ability and willingness to engage in dialogue demonstrates concern and expertise in matters important to their community.
  • Entertaining writing style and personalization: Librarians can build personal connections with the community that will encourage residents to consider the library as a caring, integral part of the community.