UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Writing Conventions For This Blog

Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 8 January 2007

Is this a Blog or a blog? Am I Blogging or blogging? And is the question “Wiki or wiki?” rather than “Wiki or won’t he?”? After over two months of blogging it’s time for me to start to document policies relating to this blog.

From now on I’ll use the lower case version of the word blog: I’m a blogger who blogs on the UK Web Focus blog (and I’ll avoid the Weblog word which hasn’t really caught on).

The title of blog posting will normally be capitalised (for example see the recent The TASI Blog posting). As WordPress converts uppers case words into lower case – such as http://ukwebfocus.wordpress.com/2007/01/05/the-tasi-blog/ – this avoids URIs having mixed case).

Similarly I’ll use wiki in lower case – e.g. I use the MediaWiki wiki software. I’ll probably avoid using the word in other forms (so although I may be a blogger who blogs at events, I’m not a wikier who will wiki at an event!)

On the subject of writing conventions I always try to ensure that hyperlinked phrases make it clear what is being linked to. For example I would write “I helped to establish the website-info-mgt JISCMail list. A recent posting on the list talked about the First Company Law Amendment Directive.” – the former link goes to the home page of the website-info-mgt JISCMail archive while the latter links directly to the relevant posting (or thread, if I wanted to include a group of postings).

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8 Responses to “Writing Conventions For This Blog”

  1. AJ Cann said

    Quite right too!, not proper nouns! (Unlike Wikipedia and Blogger, which are).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proper_noun

  2. I should add that I still write “Web” and “World Wide Web”. I’ve been doing that for about 14 years so that habit is too ingrained (just like I try and use apostrophes correctly in text messages!).

  3. Isn’t the proper name of the weblogging (Heh! Spot the refusenik!) system you use “WordPress” not “WordPress”? ;-)

  4. Hi Pete
    I stand correct – I should have said “WordPress”. I will use vendors’ form of capitalisation (e.g. dBase, MediaWiki, etc.)

  5. With regard to making it clear what is being linked to, is this personal preference or adherence to web standards?

    Or even Search Engine Optimisation?!

  6. Hi James
    Yes, I’m simply stating that I’ll be using well-established best practices. Although such best practices are known by many long-standing HTML authors, I’m finding that the ease of use of blogging can mean that bloggers aren’t necessarily aware of such best practices.
    There’s also an issue as to whether one tries to write naturally and then applies links, or one writes in a way which makes the destination of the link clear from the writing.

  7. Hey Brian
    I heard a few weeks ago that UKOLN is thinking about organising a workshop, exploring the The potential of blogs. Is this/has happened yet?

  8. Hi Sylvie – we were finalising the workshop when we found that the date clashed with the UCISA Management Conference. So we’ve deferred it (probably until the autumn). We do hope to do something on blogs at the IWMW 2007 event in York on 16-18 July. Sorry for the confusion – I should have announced this

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