"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Monday, September 01, 2008

Storytelling Bloggers: Basics for the Blogosphere

Almost every day I hear the word "blog" referenced on television, radio, or conversations with strangers and friends ever since being on the Technology Panel (left to right Eric Wolf, Rachel Hedman, Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, Mary Margaret O'Connor) at the 2008 National Storytelling Conference. What some people thought would be a fad has grown to hundreds of thousands of sites and growing--even millions.

To create your own blog, these are the most popular ones:
1. Blogger
2. WordPress
3. Thoughts.com
4. Blogs automatic through social network sites like Professional Storyteller

Most of the types of blogs are of the personal or journaling nature, though several people have also tapped into the technology as a tool to:
1. Share advice
2. Promote advocacy
3. Enhance interaction for classes, workshops, programs and events
4. Market individuals, organizations or causes
5. Tell stories

The interactive aspects that draw people into the art of storytelling is often the same draw of why people enjoy the two-way constant communication with the worldwide web through blogs.

What kind of storytelling blogger are you?

So as not to confuse your readers, you need to know.

Will you have a article-based/resource type?

Will you have a personal and somewhat intimate look for your fans or family?
  • Storytelling Notes, storytelling life of Priscilla Howe with miscellaneous notes on puppetry and the eternal search for the best restaurant pie on earth (fruit, not cream)

Will you call for advocacy and create your own editorial?

With these questions answered, you need people to find your blog. You will want to register it--usually for free--at several blog directories such as BlogFlux and BlogCatalog as well as search engines run by Google and Yahoo.

Through BlogFlux, besides figuring what category you deems yours to fit, you are allowed up to five tag words. These are helpful for when people do searches online. Be sure that "storytelling" is one of those words. For this blog, I chose to have the words "storytelling", "storyteller", "tips", "artist", and "drama". Yours may differ depending on the focus.

Searching within BlogCatalog gave me 44,260 results for "storytelling blog" though rarely could I find one that focused on the oral art at first glance except for "A Storied Career", "The Stories La Tells", "The Art of Storytelling with Children", "Storytelling Notes", or "The StoryTeller".

One place to find several blogs was started by the National Storytelling Network under the Resource section, though the last time I looked only 18 were listed there. There are definitely more than 18 storytelling blogs in the blogosphere. This means people need to search out where to list their blogs.

When people do find your blog, make sure that there is RSS feed capability. Certain blogs, such as ones through Blogger, automatically provide RSS to each article you post.

If this is a foreign concept, or even if you are familiar with RSS, please watch this entertaining yet educational video called "RSS in Plain English" in YouTube by Lee LeFever of The Common Craft Show:

Finally, post condensed versions (or complete versions if you have short posts) at social network sites and always direct to your regular blog site.
I always post a shorter version on Professional Storyteller as those are the kind of people who would be more likely to enjoy what I have to say.

If you have a specific blog entry that other art forms or groups may be interested to read, then discover the blogs run by those other groups. Read some posts and make comments. You can ask them to review your particular post and see what they have to say about a subject.

Having comments for your posts boosts your rank for Internet searchability. In order to receive comments, often you must be willing to give comments as well.

Online Resources for Blog Tips:

Feel free to ask me about blogs and other details as the blogosphere is a big world and it's one in which you want to be found.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Co-Chair of Youth, Educators, and Storyteller Alliance
(801) 870-5799
How-To Blog: http://storytellingadventures.blogspot.com
Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com

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