#INFOSWMM

What would be the perfect format for a Water Related Engineering Blog?


What would be the perfect format for a Water Related Engineering Blog?

A note for my readers.  I am having an internal public discussion with myself.  If you have other ideas or suggestions please email me.  I get a lot of emails and very little non spam comments on my blogs. It is probably a characteristic of engineers who work for a living. 

What would be the best or perfect format for a  Water Blog?

  1. A general introduction to why the blog matters to the reader and what will either be explained or demonstrated in the blog.
  2. An introduction to the feature discussed in the blog.
  3. An equation or psuedo code to illustrate the fundamentals of the item discussed in the blog,
  4. A few images showing how the feature discussed is used in the Water related Software.
  5. Sensitivity Analysis for the feature or a least a mention of how sensitive the parameter of feature is in the model
  6. Drawbacks of the feature, or known workarounds.
  7. Related Blogs and URL’s
  8. Summary of what was discussed.

Here are other blog making ideas http://www.successfulblogging.com/16-rules-of-blog-writing-which-ones-are-you-breaking/

Here is a long snippet from the above mentioned post

16 Rules of Blog Writing and Layout

1. Format every blog post Careful formatting will make your blog posts easier for people to scan. Write your posts with the page layout in mind or edit them to make sure they’re well formatted for scan reading.
2. Constrain column width Keep the blog post column width about 80 characters or less (including spaces) and your readers will thank you for it. Check out these before and after screen shots of Under the Mango Tree. I advised Stacyann to update her blog to make it easier to read and changing the column width for the main body of text was one of the first things we sorted out. Wide columns of text are an instant turn off and very hard to read. The difference is incredible and it’s such a simple change.
Rules of Blog Writing and Blog Post Formatting
3. Use Headers and Sub-headers Headers and sub-headers will break up long blog posts, help people scan read your blog and convince them to read the post. Read How to Write Hypnotic Headlines to read more about the importance of headlines and headers for blog writing.
4. Use lists Numbered lists or bullet pointed lists help people scan blog posts fast and find the information they’re looking for quickly.
5. Use punctuation Use full stops, commas, dashes and colons to break up each paragraph into smaller pieces of information that make sense quickly. No one wants to read the same sentence several times to try to make sense of it. If you’re not confident about punctuation keep sentences short. As you practice writing and start to improve you can experiment and lengthen your sentences, chucking in a long one here and there to keep things interesting for readers, and make sure they’re really paying attention. Long sentences are fine but check that every sentence makes sense and the meaning is clear.
6. Short paragraphs Because reading is harder online it’s best to break text into manageable chunks. Paragraphs should be much shorter online than on paper with two to six sentences per paragraph a good guideline for blog posts.
7. Font type Sans-serif fonts (without the squiggly bits) are generally supposed to be easier to read on-screen, in particular Verdana. Successful Blogging uses the sans-serif font Roboto (without the squiggly bits) which is also designed for easy reading on-screen.
8. Font size Big is better. Teeny tiny writing is hard to read online, even for people with 20/20 vision like me. Make it bigger. Check out some of your favorite blogs, compare the font size they use and decide what works best for your readers. If they’re older they might prefer even bigger text than the average blog reader.
9. Be bold Don’t overuse bold text or it loses its effectiveness but do use bold text to make a splash and highlight important sentences that will catch people’s attention and draw them into, or on with, the blog post. 
Blog writing magic ang blog post formatting
10. Drop the italics Italics are hard to read in print. Couple that with on-screen reading already being challenging and banish italics from your blog writing. I hate them. If you can avoid italics please do.
11. Capital letters Use capitals for proper nouns and at the beginning of sentences but avoid writing all in capitals because it’s harder to read. PLUS USING CAPITAL LETTERS CONSTANT IS THE ONLINE EQUIVALENT OF BEING SHOUTED AT. Sorry, just wanted to get the point across.
12. White space
Readers need somewhere to rest the eye and a good blog layout leaves plenty of blank space.

CLICK TO TWEET

Make sure your blog isn’t too busy or distracting and gives readers somewhere to rest their eye from time to time.

13. Background color Most blogs and websites get the contrast between text color and background color right, but make sure your blog background doesn’t make the text hard to read. It makes me sad that a white background with black text has become the default for most blogs. Bright yellow text on a black background is easiest to read but that’s a confrontational look. Dark text on a light background has a wider appeal but consider using another light color for the background as white gives off a harsh glare. There are plenty of choices which look good and are still easy to read but without the glare of white: try light grey, minty green or pale yellow.
14. Use images
blog clothesline
Good use of images will draw readers in to your blog posts. Sometimes I read a post purely because I like the image. Ideally your images will add to your blog or emphasize your message. Even if they can’t do that use them to break up text, draw your reader’s eye down the page and reward them for reading and spending time on your blog. Some blogs likeViperchill turn their headers and sub-headers into images which makes the text look more attractive and helps people scan read.
15. Be consistent  You don’t know how readers found your blog. You can’t be sure if they arrived straight at your latest post, on your about page or via an archived post. You can’t know which order people will read your blog in so every post you write needs to tell the same story about you, your message, your blog and your values.
16. Tell a story Speaking of stories, every blog post needs to have a beginning, a middle and an end. Think of it as an introduction, the main information and conclusion if you prefer. Even if you don’t give use those sub-headings because, hopefully, you’ve come up with hotter ones, do follow the convention to avoid confusing your readers.

1 reply »

  1. World Class Software Documentation for SWMM5 from Lew Rossman and Wayne Huber (Hydrology)

    I have noticed based on email questions and postings to the SWMM LIst Sever (a great resource hosted by CHI, Inc.) that many SWMM 5 users do not know about the really outstanding documentation on SWMM 5 posted on the EPA Website https://www.epa.gov/water-research/storm-water-management-model-swmm It consists of two now and in the near future three volumes on Hydrology, Water Quality, LID’s and SuDs and Hydraulics. The documentation is fantastically complete with detailed background on the theory, process parameters and completely worked out examples for all of the processes in SWMM5. It is truly an outstanding aid to modelers and modellers worldwide. It would benefit you to read them (if you have not already downloaded the PDF files).

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