Solid Edge Community Blog Author Guidelines

by MLombard on ‎08-23-2013 09:25 PM (786 Views)

 

 

Blogging is a form of writing they didn’t teach in school when I was a kid. I learned how to write formal reports, essays, short stories, business and personal letters. Of these, blogging falls somewhere between an essay and a personal letter.

The difference between the formal types of writing they teach in school and blogging is that in school they want you to pretend to be a professional writer, even though it’s usually painfully clear that you are not. Blogging is the art of peer-to-peer writing. It’s less formal, it’s less structured, and it’s most successful, in my view, when you write like a real person talking to a real person.

Writing as a Siemens employee, or on the Siemens blog does have some rules, however, so this is not just completely free-form. You need to be familiar with the Siemens social media guidelines, and some of the rules for the Community site (1, 2, 3).  

Within the rules, there is a lot of room to express yourself without sounding like a soulless robot. The following suggestions are really just intended to help you have fun and be a more successful blogger.

  • Write like you would speak – in a comfortable conversational style. Stiff, corporate language makes you seem less human, and less approachable. Dry, technical language may be a bit boring.
  • Write about stuff you know. You may think it’s a boring topic because you deal with it every day, but someone will find it interesting.  Opinions are ok up to a point, and it’s hard to say exactly where that point is, but you should always try to back up your opinion with some sort of reasoning why you feel  that way. Avoid being “preachy”.
  • Use pictures. Try to use original images, and of course avoid copyrighted images. I use Powerpoint to make pictures sometimes. Good screen capture like Snagit is vital.
  • Be personable, but not overly personal. We’ve all seen people who sound like sterile robots on social media, and you may know people who have destroyed their careers by sharing the wrong stuff. Find a middle road.
  • While humor is an integral part of communicating with other humans, it can also easily backfire on you, especially sarcasm. A smiley emoticon goes a long way toward making sure people know you’re being funny. Self-deprecating humor is ok in moderation, but too much of it makes it look like you’re calling attention to yourself.
  • Quoting sources or parallel discussions is a great thing to do. Use links. Even if you’re not a professional writer, plagiarism can wreck your credibility.
  • The authoring tool for the SE Community is not stellar. It works much better on Firefox than on IE. I would recommend you write in Word or Notepad, and then copy in the text with formatting, and put the images in later.
  • On the SE Community, we can use a wide range of articles, from about 500 – 2500 words. Your topic should be something related directly to Solid Edge, mechanical engineering, or design. We need a range of target skill levels from beginner to advanced.
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