the rules for blog entries should be the same as they are for essays

Looking at social media, my previous points in regards to socialisation, conversation and interaction still hold, but I do think that when writing, there should be some rules.

If you want to plan out a post, then think of it as an argumentative essay or scientific paper. There is no word limit, but anything over a thousand words and the TL;DR effect will kick in before anyone scrolls down past the first screen.

So, what’s the first rule? Have a subject and stick to it. You can’t cover everything. Don’t try. So, make your point up front. Whether it is an hypothesis, an outrageous claim, a statement of force or a personal appeal – state it.

Strongly. Clearly. Own it. Sell it.

Make no mistake, it’s on trial. You are its defender. So, make the case. Gather the evidence. Highlight the facts. Don’t fall into the common fallacies of logic.

It’s not going to be easy. It’s a hostile jury. They are jaded and sceptical. They’ve been exposed to so many lies and liars in their lifetime. Their automatic assumption is that you are as well. Get that jury on your side!

Careful though, because you need to make sure you are not self-convinced and find yourself seduced by hubris, pride or your own belief system.

Tear apart your subject. Play the devil’s advocate. Don’t become complacent or self-satisfied. Rip into it as if you’re the opposition.

Examine your reasoning. Why are you correct? Have you considered the opposite view? Where did your ideas and opinions come from? Who benefits from your position? Is it misguided? Look for flaws in your own logic and gaps in your evidence.

Be human about it. Sure, ensure your arguments are logical and support your position clearly, but be ethical. Be honest. Establish your position by being fair to opposing views. Connect to the audience. Bring in the emotional element. Share some empathy. Put a human face on the subject. Give the reader a reason for caring. What’s in it for them? Let them know!

So, now, structure it.

Introduce the topic, build the argument, bridge the audience, and the flow it down into the conclusion. It should be a conclusion, by the way. A conclusion is not just summary of what you’ve already said. It is your closing arguments.

Here’s the hard part though, because your blog should be part of your conversation with your readers, don’t forget to provide a way for your readers to interact with you.

Don’t close it off. Give your readers a reason to comment. Pose a related or follow up question. Seek alternative views, or advice. Engage them. Make them interested in participating with you and your conversation.

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