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Formatting your blog post

Herbie's picture

When I talk about formatting on a blog, I'm talking about more than just where your paragraph breaks should be and how many spaces should be between those paragraphs.  I'm also talking about making sure that when you copy/paste your entry from Word into the blog site that all of your apostrophes and quotation marks are still part of the entry.  I couldn't get through Carolyn R. Miller and Dawn Shepherd's article "Blogging as Social Action: a Genre Analysis of the Weblog" because the formatting was so riddled with images that signify a formatting error.  It's also a habit that I've gotten into over the years: if formatting makes it difficult for me to read the blog/site, then no matter what the content is, it's not worth my time.  I wonder if that's part of going through my formative years with the Internet consistently in the background.  Except, of course, when our service was down.

However, formatting also includes the random words that bloggers often make up and the assumptions bloggers make about their readers' knowledge of Internet lingo.  I myself have employed the Urban Dictionary more times than I can count to figure out what some acronym stood for. It's also useful for figuring out some reference when you're pretty sure you don't want to see/read for yourself. 

For the most part, though, I think formatting on a blog is about clarity.  Type should be easy to read, in a legible font and color contrasting the background.  Paragraphs should be spread out, unlike in books.  Links should be easy to spot, preferably in a color separate from both the type and the background.  Pictures should be sized and centered.  Abnormally long posts should be at least partially behind a cut.  Most importantly, though, if the author makes up any words, they should be easy to define, based on context.  Or at least they should be until you have a steady readership :)

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