We stumbled upon this interesting article recently about a middle school in Tennessee that is using blogs to ignite students’ interest in reading and writing. Tennessee, along with many other southern states, has made news for alarmingly-high illiteracy rates, so the idea that blogs could help kids get excited about becoming better writers is really exciting. The blog was set up by Oliver Middle School’s library information specialist Julie Strickland, who initiated the project to start a dialogue between students about what they were reading.
“Anytime I can get kids to have a conversation with me or their classmates about what they’re reading is a good thing,” Strickland said in a recent interview. “When they post something on the blog, that can get other kids interested in a certain book, and then the next kid wants to read it.”
The accidental byproducts of this conversation between the kids are well-written blog posts and a hunger for new books. Strickland’s project got us at Brandsplat thinking: Can writing our own company blogs improve our communication skills and maybe even make us better writers? We think so.
Blogs need to be constantly updated to remain relevant and useful. Banging endlessly on the keyboard means that we, like the students, are simply improving our skills due to time spent. It takes time to develop our blogging language and the only way to do that is by blogging every day. The other thing being asked to create fresh content forces us to do is to participate in the conversations being had by our colleagues, customers and contemporaries. Instead of living on Out of Touch Island, blogging to our desired audience opens the lines of communication. We should be excited to share with our followers like the young bloggers at Oliver are.
We think 2011 is a great year to sharpen our writing skills and blogging savvy. We’d like to hear from you, our amazing readers, about your blogging success stories, writing tips and hints for magic content. Write on in the comments section below!