Welcome to the LITA conblog for ALA 2005

Bloggers and readers alike, welcome to ALA Annual 2005! Here are some tips for bloggers and notes for readers.

For readers: Those of you attending ALA 2005, check in the Local Info and (if present) the Get-Togethers categories. Those of you unable to attend will want to look in the Programs, Meetings, and Speakers categories. There we will be blogging the programs, IG and committee meetings, as well as keynote speakers or other big-name events. Of course, Top Technology Trends already contains great stuff and will contain more after we blog TTT.

For bloggers: Please use the following categories to post your notes to the blog:
ALA 2005 Local Info – local info
ALA 2005 Get-Togethers – announce last-minute informal meetings here!
ALA 2005 Meetings – committee and IG meetings
ALA 2005 Programs – most scheduled programs go here
ALA 2005 Speakers – keynotes, special speaker events
ALA 2005 Notes – interesting asides, exhibit notes, etc.

As to style, Karen Schneider posted handy guidelines on the lita-bigwig list, which I excerpt [and helpfully annotate!] below:

Compose in a word processor, if possible, then spell-check and view your
work carefully. You don’t always have time to do this, but many of the best
blog posts you read are not first drafts by a long shot. Blogging in
real-time can be fun, but don’t feel you have to post right away if you
think your post could use more review and editing.

[Genny’s note: Doesn’t literally have to be a word processor; the text editor on your PDA is fine, or the blog Write Post page is fine — if you click Save rather than Publish.]

Lead with your most important observation. Conclude with your second most important observation. The first and last sentences are the most noticeable
in any writing, but particularly for online writing. The first ten words of
your post should grab the reader and establish the topic for that post.

Use an active voice. Use good punctuation and grammar. Write with specifics.

For readability, keep paragraphs short. 75 words or less is a good rule of thumb.

Keep sentences short for the same reason. Avoid convoluted constructions. Try not to lead sentences with lengthy dependent clauses.

If you use facts, check them. If you quote someone, repeat their words back to them.

For interest and color, ground the reader in the setting. Sit down, open
your laptop, then look around. What do you see?

Try getting a real quote.

Finally: relax, have fun. Write in your own voice. The LITA blog is a
conversation among and with ourselves and others. Your voice is a gift to
the rest of us!

Great advice to all writers, not just bloggers.

I’ll be at the LITA booth on the exhibit floor between 11 and 12 on Saturday, so if you have any blog questions, feel free to stop by and ask me. I might give an answer, and it might even be correct … although I just realized it’s 2 a.m. Chicago time and I’m about to do Saturday on about 4 hours of sleep. I am not at all adjusting to this time zone yet!