A blog is a "web log" — a documentation of your ideas and experiences online. A blog is usually in written form, but can be enhanced by links, images, and videos.
Is it OK for a Federal Employee to Blog?
Yes. The only caveat is that -- as in any form of communications -- federal employees must remain in compliance with the Hatch Act, which limits some political communications. You can read the Hatch Act rules as they apply to the use of social media by federal employees on the Office of Special Counsel website.
How Do I Start a Blog
Go to your profile page and locate the "Blog Posts" module in the middle column. Click the "Add a Blog Post" link. You can add links, images, attachments, and even embedded video to your blog posts.
Tips for Successful Blogging
- Post Frequently and Consistently: If people know when to expect updates, they will remember to visit your blog regularly! Try to come up with a schedule – for example, you could commit to posting one full entry each Monday morning.
- Shorter is Better: Sometimes, people are more likely to read frequent, short updates rather than long essays. Plus, it is less work for you to post a shorter update.
- Tell a Story: It is more fun to read a story than a list of facts. Use rich sensory descriptions to describe your experiences. How were you feeling? What was the weather like? Who did you meet? Use humor and personalize your stories!
- Insert Photos: Your post will be easier to read and more visually appealing if you insert some related images or photos. You can use a digital camera, cell phone, or scanner to share interesting photos of your experiences. Make sure that you follow these tips to resize the photos so that they fit well within your text:
Resizing Photos within Blogs or Forums
Photos taken on a digital camera are typically much larger than the width of our pages on RecLink. This means that many photos appear strange (skewed) when uploaded directly into blog posts.
To display photos at the proper scale, you must adjust the proportions by hand. You'll notice that when you add a photo into a blog text box, the image is converted into HTML text that looks something like this: "img src="http://api.ning.com/files/.../SAMPLE_1.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="525"/>"
To change the dimensions, just replace the width and height with smaller numbers. Here are some dimensions that work well, but you can experiment with others:
Horizontal images: 700 x 525
Vertical images: 375 x 500
- Insert Videos: The Videos feature on RecLink allows you to upload videos and share them across the web. You can embed videos from popular video services like YouTube, Hulu, and Vimeo. For tips on how to shoot video, use a FlipCam, and convert and upload your video, please see How to Add Photos & Videos. Once your videos are uploaded, you can embed them or link to them from your blog.
- Tag Your Blog: Most importantly, don't forget to tag your blog, photos, and videos with descriptive words to help people search for them!