Introducing the Member’s Blog!

Got an opinion on a local or national political issue? Doing something relating to the local community that other members would be interested to hear about? Like to write? The Member’s Blog is here.

Get in touch to post!

Why?

Rayleigh and Wickford CLP has recently seen a huge increase in membership. We think that it’s important to nurture and encourage political debate amongst our members and surrounding community, so here’s a place to do it. We hope it’ll also be a great way to get to know your fellow members. As a member, you have a voice and it should be heard.

How?

If you’d like to post something, get in touch. We’ll set you up as an author on the website and off you go. Posts are subject to approval and we have a few rules:

  1. Only Rayleigh and Wickford CLP members can post.
  2. You own your own words. Rayleigh and Wickford CLP are not responsible for views or opinions you express here.
  3. Don’t write anything that isn’t true. It’s lying and can get people into a lot of trouble – if you lie about a person or company in writing, that’s called libel and it’s illegal. If you’re stating something as fact, make sure it really is a fact and try to provide a reputable source for it.
  4. Don’t be abusive. Treat others how you’d like to be treated; in a courteous and civilised way. Politics is a passionate business and there is a broad spectrum of opinion, but throwing insults around diminishes our arguments. Plus, it could be defamatory or libellous which isn’t good. And please don’t swear – we’ve got youngsters reading!
  5. Consider the impact of your posts. What you write here has the potential to be seen by future generations for years to come – family, friends, future employers and so on. Great posts can really set a fantastic example to everyone. Not so great posts may come back to haunt you years after the fact – the internet has a long memory…
  6. We won’t publish any post that breaks of any of these rules. If we later find that a published post has broken a rule, we reserve the right to remove it.
  7. Be mindful that the NEC has stated the following:

Anyone who publicly states or sends abusive comments to any other Labour member will be “referred to the NEC panel”. The advice adds: “This goes beyond general disparaging remarks and includes the use of aggressive or foul language. Terms of abuse that will not be tolerated include (but are not limited to): traitor, scum or scab.”

Some pointers on writing for the web

If you’re just starting out with your blog posts, you might like to have a look at these guidelines. These are just suggestions but feel free to write in your own style if you prefer to.

Writing for an online audience is different to writing for print. Visitors arrive on a website page from various routes and rely on at-a-glance ‘cues’ to orientate themselves and assess the credibility of the content.

Online readers don’t tend to read pages word for word but scan the text. And unlike printed text, websites are not just about imparting information but creating two-way interactions with the audience.

Eight ways to create compelling content
  1. Put your main message at the beginning instead of building towards a conclusion. Journalists refer to this as the ‘inverted pyramid’. Frontload your content with key information followed by supporting details and concluding with related information.
  2. Write with clarity and precision, using plain English and avoiding jargon and overly complex technical terminology. Never assume a shared vocabulary or knowledge base. Keep sentences down to a maximum of 15-20 words, sticking to one main idea per sentence.
  3. Use the first and second person (‘you’ and ‘we’) to make you content engaging and conversational. Use active rather than passive verbs (i.e. write ‘We have designed this course to give you…’ and not ‘This course has been designed to give you)
  4. Understand who your audience is and why they would be interested in your content. Try to imagine the kind of person you are addressing and talk directly to them using appropriate language.
  5. ‘Chunk’ your content. Break up your text into paragraphs of one or a maximum of two sentences, leaving a space between paragraphs. This will help your reader scan the content. Using bullet points is another way of breaking up text into more readable segments.
  6. Use hyperlinks to other website pages rather than spelling out the URL in your text. But don’t overdo it. Scattering links throughout a paragraph will be distracting to readers. Instead, trying to confine yourself to one or two links at most.
  7. Don’t blind you reader with typography. Bold text should be used sparingly while italics should be avoided altogether as this is often difficult to read on screen. Don’t use underlined text as users expect underlined words to be link
  8. Use clear, meaningful headlines to engage your reader and encourage them to read further.

 

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