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Author's profile photo Tim Clark

Build a Better Blog (Step 3): Rules of Engagement

One of the biggest challenges on the SAP Community Network is ensuring the quantity of content – which is quite large – matches the quality. Keeping content quality at a high level extends beyond telling a good story and adhering to proper blog structure. For instance, there are various rules of engagement to consider to help make your community interactions more impactful.

To blog, or not to blog?

Don’t write 1,000 words when you’ve got a photo or infographic that can say them.

As moderator of the SAP Business Trends space, a common community pitfall I encounter is the notion that blogs solve all content problems. Certainly, good blog posts offer the flexibility to uncover exciting, new terrain and inspire great dialogue. But sometimes blogs are the wrong delivery mechanism to interact or deliver your message.

So before you start to craft that blog masterpiece, consider starting a discussion or uploading a relevant document or infographic instead. You will save yourself a lot of time and better serve your audience by asking, “to blog or not to blog?” before you embark on your next community engagement.

Speaking of engagement …

If a reader takes the time to comment on your work, make an effort to respond in kind.

Even though overall engagement continues to thrive on SCN, not every blog post will generate comments or enjoy a high level of social sharing. But if you find yourself in either of these enviable positions, make sure to politely answer questions and comments to keep conversations flowing.

If the conversation turns sour, don’t ignore it but always remember to use a professional and respectful tone with your responses. This is the ideal opportunity to educate your audience and turn the tide in your favor. You never know what kind of synergies or business opportunities might arise.

Give credit where credit is due

Linking to your sources can help build trust as you grow the online community.

As I’ve stated before, a good blog sometimes entails pulling in multiple sources to help support an opinion and tell a good story. If you take this approach, remember to provide proper attribution. Clearly state the name of the publication/source you are citing and hyperlink back to the original story where it makes sense.

The same holds true for photos. Make sure you only use images where you have paid to license their usage (Shutterstock) or are available for usage under a Creative Commons license (Flickr, Wikipedia, Google Images, etc).  Similar to publication citations, you must properly cite the image source / owner and link back to the original source.

More in-depth information about the SCN Rules of Engagement can be found here.

Stay tuned for the next installment: SEO, Tagging and Posting Rules.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      The pictures aren't visible for some reason.

      Author's profile photo Tim Clark
      Tim Clark
      Blog Post Author

      They can be enlarged by clicking on them.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      It's not that, they show up with the red cross meaning access to the source image is prohibited or they are missing. Maybe Jason Lax can help?

      Author's profile photo Jason Lax
      Jason Lax

      Quick remedy is to upload the images again with new file names. Have done this so let me know if the images are now visible.

      Author's profile photo Tom Van Doorslaer
      Tom Van Doorslaer

      Very relevant in this context:

      On the topic of Google Images and picture copyright:

      Don't just pick an image from Google, but be sure to set the license filter to "free for use".

      Author's profile photo Tim Clark
      Tim Clark
      Blog Post Author

      Great tip. Thanks for sharing.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks Tim.  I particularly like the concept of starting a discussion or uploading a doc before blogging.  Will give that a shot next time!