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Blog Exercises: How to Write about Something Someone Else Wrote

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.In the early development of the web, blogs were classified as echo chambers, vessels of redundant content as every original idea was shared, reshared, quoted, and spread across the web at rapid speed. Some estimates state that less than 2% of all the content on the web is original. It’s mostly regurgitation of the same stuff over and over again.

Yet it is critical that we share and spread news of innovation and bright ideas, brilliant thoughts and moments in time with each other. That is the magic of the web. If you like it, share it with your friends.

Example of a blockquote on Lorelle on WordPress.We love to share. Reblogging is easy on WordPress.com. Yet, how do we write about something someone else wrote and share their perspective while not contributing to the echo chamber?

In “Blog Exercises: Quoting and Blockquotes” I described how to quote, going into more detail in the article, “Copyright: How to Quote and Cite Sources.” Read these first if you are unfamiliar with how to create a blockquote and properly provide citation.

Quoting or reblogging what someone else has written is a great way to share, but your readers need to understand your reasons for sharing the content. After all, you are telling them to leave your site and experience this content without you there to hold their hand. They can only blindly trust your referral.

Give them a reason to leave. Tell them why this is important before you open the door and send them on their way.

How many times have you clicked on a link without explanation and regretted it? Don’t let your readers regret their clicks.

I find that I appreciated a linked destination better if I understand why you think it’s worth my time. What was it about this that caught your attention and held it long enough for you to share on your site? Did it move you? Change your opinion? Influence your behavior? What made this turn your head and look?

Did you think of me, the reader, when you chose to share the link and information? Therefore, it should be important to me. Tell me why.

Your opinion matters. If I’m a fan of your site I care about what you think. I respect your opinion, so share it.

A link is a letter of recommendation. Recommend well.

Blog Exercise Task from Lorelle on WordPress.Your blog exercise today is to write not just an article with a quote but to really write about something someone else wrote.

Tell your reader why what this other person wrote and published is important enough for them to read. Explain your thoughts, how it influenced you. Let them get to know you better by sharing your opinion on things, not just your opinion or the voice of someone else. Let them know you.

If you would like to cite this article or any of the Blog Exercises, remember to include a hat tip link back to this post to create a trackback, or leave a properly formed link in the comments so participants can check out your blog exercise task. If you have enjoyed these, consider helping to spread the word so others can join the party.

You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles. You do not have to start with the first article in January. You may start any time and catch up at your own speed. You are welcome now to jump right in. The water is fine!


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.

3 Comments

  1. Posted May 17, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Excellent points here. You’ve reminded me of one of my many complaints about WordPress’s Reblog function. It makes it too easy to just point and click in order to parrot someone else’s post, with no thought or explanation given about why you think the post is notable. Worse, even if you do include an explanation, it appears after the reblogged content, not before. You can’t do an introductory note; you can only append a footnote.

    I think reblogging encourages and facilitates poor practices in quoting other sources, and I rarely do it. However, I reblogged your recent post on spam comments because I thought it was important and timely. Hope you found my accompanying note sufficient.

    • Posted May 17, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. I really find the reblog function annoying. Glad I’m not alone. Do remember that you may set these as drafts rather than publish, giving you time to edit them. Or skip them completely and use the Press This feature. I much prefer that.

    • Posted May 17, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      I’ll have to experiment with Press This. Haven’t tried it before. Usually I just write about the topic and the post and include all the appropriate quotes, links. and credits — the old-fashioned way.


4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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