Should you create a blog post or a discussion topic?

Every member of DIY Drones has the ability to create their own blog posts and discussion topics (Please do! This is a community site and its vitality depends on your participation).

Doing so is easy: click here to create a blog post or click here to create a discussion topic (those authoring links are also at the bottom of the respective columns on the front page). But which should you choose?

The following are some guidelines and tips on effective posting on DIY Drones, whether you choose discussion topics or blog posts.

First, the practical differences:

Blog posts:
  • Have more layout control, including inline videos, along with some basic HTML layout and typography tools.
  • Are included in the RSS feed. So when you post a blog entry, subscribers to the feed can read it, even if they don't visit the site. That means more readers.
  • Are posted in the center column in chronological order, and stay in that order.
Discussion topics:
  • Have fewer typographical and layout options
  • Can include files
  • Are not included in the RSS feed
  • Rise and fall on the list at left based on activity (responses)
When should you create a blog post versus a discussion topics, or vice versa?

Blog posts are best when:
  • You have something to say, be it a project report or an interesting bit of news found elsewhere
  • There are pictures or videos to illustrate the point
  • You're writing something longer than a hundred words or so
Discussion topics are best when:
  • You have a question or need help
  • You want to raise an issue for discussion
  • You want to share some code and solicit comment
Finally, here are some tips for good blogging:

  • Start with an image (put the cursor before the first word on the page, and insert an image there). Click the image icon, upload the image and select the following options: wrap, right, 300 pixels (or 200). This will ensure that the post excerpt on the front page shows an image, which is important if you want to be read.
  • Turn all your URLs into proper links by selecting the text you want to be the link, clicking on the chain icon, and pasting the URL in the box.
  • If you edit the blog post later, pick "Choose a date and time" and then enter a date and time close to your original posting time. The ensures that your blog post will stay in chronological order, and not jump to the top of the list regardless of the original posting date.
  • Images are good. More images are better. Video is better yet.
That's pretty much it. Happy posting!

Views: 252

Comment by Howard Gordon on January 29, 2008 at 9:52am
Chris -

Thanks for your guidance on this. I'm glad you noted the purpose of the 'choose a date and time" option on posting.

One question - I didn't find a dialog for setting the top image characteristics, so I instead edited with HTML to set width="300", height="xxx", align="right". Is there a link for setting up the image characteristics ?

Howard

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on January 29, 2008 at 10:21am
When you upload an image, the upload box has an link called "Options" what will allow you to choose wraparound, left/right and image size. After the image is in the post you can click on it and drag the handles around to resize it.
Comment by RDorsey on March 16, 2009 at 11:43pm
Hello all, I am new to the community. I currently run an afterschool program for k-12 students and we are going into aerospace. We recently purchased a UAV Predator model to build and fly and we were wondering if there is any type of software that works directly with the drone where the students can actually build a control station and program the model from there as opposed to your standard remote control. Email me at rdorsey@wizkidztech.org

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