Sue Waters Blog

Hitting the Bull’s Eye

| 8 Comments

bullseyeThe key message I learnt from a training course years ago, which I believe is helpful advice for bloggers, is the first step to organising content for a class is deciding what information is really important and what would be covered only if there is time to spare.

The idea is you list all the points you would like to cover under each of the following heading: MUST KNOW; SHOULD KNOW; and COULD KNOW.

When you write your post focus most of your content on the MUST KNOW, include a bit of SHOULD KNOW and keep the COULD KNOW to a minimum!

  1. Must Know – What is the most important information you are trying to tell your readers
  2. Should Know – what is the additional information that is less critical
  3. Could know – What is the other information which could be of further use but is not essential

Through out the process consider the following points:

  • How will you maintain your reader’s interest?
  • Is all the content relevant to your readers?
  • Have you provided variety e.g. images, videos
  • Is the post divided into manageable parts with frequent summarising

Most blog readers have limited attention span and are generally less inclined to read lengthy posts. So too many words could mean your audience is gone before the reach the final paragraph.

Make sure you break up your blogs with lots of small paragraphs, and make the first sentence of each paragraph grab your reader’s attention (the aim is a bit like the first page of a book – if the first page of a book does not engage my attention than I am less likely to read).

FINAL WORD

What inspired this post?

Well, today I added new post categories and changed bad category names so then had to work through all 142 of my posts to allocate the appropriate categories to each post. Why? Because even I could not find that posts I wanted to on my own blog so what hope does a reader have!

Boy! I wish I applied the bull’s eye method when I first started blogging!

And yes, this last bit was the COULD KNOW! :)

Author: Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

8 Comments

  1. This is an important thing in instructional designing and training development; separating the wheat from the chaff. In my experience, it is the work of the designer to have a long-view of the future in terms of information needs. Often times, my clients are too myopic for suitable development of training. Meaning that they shortcut the training and suffer performance downturns over time. That said, it is hard to provide the long-view or have it received well without evidence. Looking back, my frustration with clients now gives me evidence to help make the needed developments without much hassle.

    Your decision to clean up the tags is interesting. I will need to look at my own as part of my challenge and see what can be dealt with effectively. Still, I think the purpose of the blog can drive the amount of chaff and wheat communicated. Keeping tight to the purpose/mission will help. No one wants to deal with mission creep.

    Mike

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  3. Thanks for posting this tip. It is something which we all bloggers should keep in mind in the very beginning of our blogs itself. Else it will take huge amount of time and energy to redo the work. While I was reading this post, I thought how this “Must, should, Could’ logic is applicable for our posts while deciding our posting routine. Like there are post which we must post, should post and could post given the time available. I also separate my upcoming posts in that order : Must, should and could :)

  4. Really useful and timely input. I’m just struggling with designing a short course introducing social media tools into one of the organisations I work with – and had somewhat lost sight of this rule…

    Time to go back and work out what we can really get through in 15 hours!

  5. brilliant muddy – one of your better ones i think – very relevant to many things. I think my posts are lengthier than yours :( so don’t sweat it too much – Evil

  6. Thanks Mike, Eklavya, Tim and Sue I am glad that my post helped you.

    The reason why I came up with the idea was I have been doing e-learning professional development and realised that the educators have been so focused on learning how to use the tool that they are losing focus of why to use it?

    This message is so important for anything we do.

    Sue

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