First of all, I have exciting news! Which is . . . this blog is moving soon!
Yes, this IS exciting. I’m much more excited about blogging as part of a group, and everyone I’m going to be blogging with is fascinating and funny (most of them much funnier than I am), as well as being very smart people with excellent experiences and perspectives to share. I’ll be making an announcement when the switchover happens, and I hope you’ll all continue to follow me there! (The archives here will remain in existence.)
Now, this post might have been better saved for the group blog, but I felt like writing it now. We’re working through many of the minutiae of how we want to run it, and I thought this information might be useful to others.
Questions You’ll Have to Decide On if You Want to Start Blogging With a Group
- What are everyone’s goals with the blog? What would everyone like to get out of it?
- What level of commitment will you require from each other, if any?
- Will the blog have some sort of theme when it comes to content?
- Will there be a general tone you want to strive for?
- What about strong opinion posts that the other contributors might not agree with, such as political posts? Will they be permitted on the group blog? Should there be a disclaimer? Should the other contributors get to approve them?
- What about dark or controversial subjects, or angry rants? Is everyone involved okay with those types of posts?
- Will there be content guidelines as to posts being substantive?
- Will there be content guidelines as to profanity, sexual suggestivity, or anything else?
- What if a member of the group blog would like to leave the group blog, or just not contribute for a while?
- How will you decide on name, theme, colors, static pages, etc.? (With a large group a good procedure for collating opinions was not immediately obvious. We sort of had to feel it out.)
- Who will be responsible for the domain name and hosting?
- Who will be responsible for blog chores like moderating comments and ensuring consistency of tagging and categorization?
- How will you schedule posts?
- Do this with people you already know well and are very sure you want to (a) work with, and (b) be associated with in people’s minds online.
- Realize that with a large-ish group, there may not always be a unanimous favorite on things like names, wording, or aesthetic decisions. This is okay! Take everyone’s opinions into account and aim for decisions that everyone’s good with, even if they’re not everyone’s first choice.
- Be flexible. Expect compromise. If you want control over every little thing, a group blog is probably not the best thing for you. The point of a group blog is to do it as a group.
- Group decisions on major things (like the domain name) are important, but they take a lot of time. With any minor changes during construction of the blog that are not irreversible, don’t bog down the process by checking in with the whole group about everything. Let people move forward with the work and update others on their progress, and everyone can discuss or edit each other if they don’t like something.
- Let people edit each others’ typos in general. (This was suggested by one of our members who’s part of another group blog, and we thought it was a great idea.)
- Find a theme and plugins that help support a multi-author blog. It will make your life easier.
I’m sure I’ll learn even more once we all start blogging together. Anybody else have advice? We’re still in the constructing stages so I’d certainly love to hear it!