What makes a good blog?

February 14th, 2013

I was told a couple of weeks ago by communication staff here at Practical Action that I needed to have more of a ‘blog personality’ – as the director responsible for communications, amongst other things, I didn’t take that very well!

Three weeks later, over breakfast this morning, I decided to read some of my back blogs. I have to admit that my blog personality is committed but moderate, caring, occasionally gently humorous. What they may be getting at is that in reality I am passionate, feisty, committed, enthusiastic and well up for an opportunity to shout about Practical Actions work.

I blame my English teacher at secondary school! One day when she’d had enough of me talking at the back of the class she laid into me with a fierce critique of my writing describing it as gothic and overblown! Wuthering Heights was my favourite book at the time so you can see my inspiration. Ever since then my writing has mellowed! I don’t like being shouted at and 30 years on I’m still trying to please her.

I’m telling you this for two reasons – firstly to get your advice – do you think I should be more cutting, passionate, critical, political – or what in my blogs – good to hear. If you challenge me to write in a certain style I am sure I will give it a go.

Secondly because it’s so important to realise that what kids learn at school stays with them often for the whole of their life.

This is why I am so pleased to tell you that Practical Action has just been awarded funding from the EC to help school kids (or should I call them students) learn about Technology Justice. What makes science fair, what are the global issues where technology plays a role, how can technology be used to tackle poverty in the developing world. It’s a fantastic opportunity to help kids learn and to build a society here in Europe that cares about people, poverty reduction and about technology justice.

What’s inspirational is how keen students are to think about technology justice – Have a look at some of the materials we’ve produced so far – they love this!


And I do realise this is another gentle blog – at the end of a long and very busy day being mellow comes naturally.

2 responses to “What makes a good blog?”

  1. Tom Ogao Says:

    Gardener, Hi.
    am also an’ infant’ into the world of blogging and should be better placed to encourage you on as you sound way better than me. soon i hope to make my blog known to you so that we can exchange more practical action ideas as we seem geographically well positioned [ Kenya/Uk]. am intending to write a paper on post disaster reconstruction soon and sure you will be handy.

  2. Sara-Jane Brown Says:

    I head up communications at Practical Action and my team have been asking our staff to think a bit more about their blogs; who are they targeting, what is their personality, what messages do they want to get across, is there a theme they want to focus on, what do they want people to think, feel and do after reading the blog, and are they thinking about how they reflect the brand? As Margaret says, it hasn’t gone down well with everyone.

    I think blogs are about helping external audiences to understand who we are and what we do, they are an opportunity to get our key messages across but also engage with our target audiences and influence them to go and do something. In order to do this I think they need to be more than rambles (btw I’m not suggesting this blog is one of those).

    What do you think? Can you help me improve the quality of our blogs, or do you disagree with what I’m saying and want to use this opportunity to influence the communications team about what you want from our blogs?

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