Blog Posting Guidelines

On posts in general
  • Posts should be short, ideally between 200 and 500 words.
  • Assign categories to your post, or if there is no appropriate category create one.
    • o Categories should start with capital letters.
  • Assign at least one tag to your post. If there is no tag that fits, create a new one.
    • o Tags start with lower-case letters.
    • o When creating new tags, try to create tags that can also apply to future posts.
  • Everyone is on the calendar to post on the Wednesday of his or her week. You don’t have to post on Wednesday, but you should try to post by Wednesday or earlier to get the most views.
    • o You can schedule posts to be published for a specific date and time if you are going to be out of the office during your posting week.

Before you publish
  • Staff are encouraged to ask someone to proofread their posts before publishing them, but this is not a requirement. Staff may choose to publish without asking anyone to proofread.
    • o If you notice a mistake in a blog post, please alert the person who wrote it so that he or she can correct it.
    • Student Assistants must have their posts read and approved by a staff member who will then publish them.
    • Attributing authorship
      • o We can make sure that the post author has a byline! Here’s how:
        • § First, when we know who all our students are, I will create them as users for our blog but will not give them access to publish.
        • § They will write a post and submit it as a draft for approval. If they signed in under their own accounts, their name will automatically appear as the author. If they signed in using the spcoll account, it won’t. That’s okay.
        • § To change the author, once you are signed into the blog click on All Posts in the left hand menu > click Drafts along the top of the screen > click “quick edit” under the draft title > there is an Author drop-down menu, from there you can select another author to attribute the post to > click the Update button on the right and you have changed the author! Now you are ready to publish.

Style
  • Please go by the Chicago Manual of Style: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/16/contents.html.
  • Use the serial or Oxford comma:
    • o For example: A sentence with one thing, another thing, and another thing.
      • § The serial comma goes between the ultimate and penultimate items in the list, and before the conjunction.
      • Punctuation and quoting:
        • o The punctuation goes inside the quotation marks. There are only two exceptions:
          • § The ! goes outside quotations unless it is part of the quote itself.
          • § The ? also goes outside quotations unless it is part of the quote.
          • Do not capitalize internet, net, web, or e-mail.
            • o Do please use e-mail and not email.
            • Spacing after sentence punctuation: please use only one space after a period or other final punctuation mark.

Using images:
  • Please use images in your posts!
    • o Do not use more than three images, though.
    • Upload the image you want to the media library in WordPress, this way you can edit it for your post.
    • Scanned images should be no more than 300dpi.
    • It’s fine to use your phone or a camera to take pictures for the blog.
    • Please crop the images to trim out any white space or unimportant background.
    • Caption all the images you use, including the collection name and collection number:
      • o Format: Title or description of image from Collection name (ID).
        • § For example: A page from Firstname Lastname’s diary from the M. M. Tankersley Papers (Mss. 65 T17).
        • o The Jennie method: Jennie likes to have a picture that will show up in the post summary (this is fine, but if you don’t have a picture right at the top of your post, that’s fine, too). If you do have a picture that shows up in your summary, please use the Jennie method for caption work-arounds. Jennie puts the caption text in a field that shows up when a reader hovers the mouse pointer over the picture. She also puts the information in the post itself.
        • Editing images for size in WordPress:
          • o After uploading an image, click “Scale Image.”
          • o The shorter of the image’s two dimensions should be less than 1024. If the shorter side is 1024 or less, leave the dimensions as they are, if the shorter side is more than 1024, make the shorter side 1024.

Content ideas:
  • Promote events or exhibits.
  • Share interesting material you’ve found while processing.
  • Go through the images that have already been digitized and find an interesting one to write about.
  • Connect your blog post to something that happened in university history during your post week.
  • Do a behind-the-scenes post.
  • Talk about recently acquired collections.
    • o If you are posting about unprocessed material, add this at the end of your post:

“Please note that the materials referenced here are unprocessed and not yet available to researchers. If you are interested in viewing these materials, please contact Swem Library Special Collections.”


Notes:
If you haven’t already, please log into the blog and go to User profile (left side menu, Users > Your profile) and enter your first and last name in the name fields of the User profile area. You can also include your position, if you want. I put my position in the Biography text box.