Creating Online Content

Video credit: How To Become A Successful Content Creator – posted by HubSpot on YouTube

Think

Explore

There are numerous ways to create and share content online. Some of the most popular content sharing forums include:

  • Blogs or microblogging sites like WordPress, Tumblr, or Twitter
  • Social media sites designed for content sharing like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Soundcloud
  • Wikis, which are designed for creating pages and sharing information openly and collaboratively

Before you decide to share your content, you need to determine which platform is best for you by thinking about your intentions for the content that you share. To get started, think about who you are trying to reach with your content, how you wish to identify yourself to your audience, and how you want your audience to perceive you. The next step is to determine what type of content you wish to share and which content sharing platforms can help you meet your goals.

Think before you ink

Blogs and Microblogging

Blogging and microblogging both involve sharing your words with the world – the main difference between them is their length. Blogs can be found on independent websites and dedicated blogging platforms like WordPress, while microblogs are usually found on websites like Tumblr and Twitter. You can find blogs about almost any topic – from politics to fashion. It can be a great way to showcase your work, develop your ideas, and collaborate with your readers. But blogging isn’t for everyone . Consider the following as you look for the right blogging platform:

  • Is the blog easy to update and maintain?
  • Does the blog type suit the type of content that I am trying to create? (for example, for quick, pithy updates, Twitter might be better than a WordPress blog)
  • How much does it cost, if anything?

If your blogging activity (writing your own and commenting on others) is a big part of your digital identity, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Find a NICHE! There are millions of blogs out there so you will need to do more than rant about the latest political scandal to make yourself known. Check out these successful blogs that focus on small but fascinating topics.
  • Create a user-friendly profile and share some information about yourself that will pique people’s interest.
  • Let people know how/if you want to share your work (see creative commonscopyrightintellectual property).
  • Link to the people you mention in your blog (if they have an online presence) and respond to comments.
  • If you want to be found, review some tips for search engine optimization (SEO).

Check out the most popular blogging websites. They even provide tutorials on how to create your own blog.

Check out the Webby Awards to see some of the most well-respected and popular blogs online today!

Social Media

Social media can be a great tool for sharing your content widely with the world. Before you decide to put your energy into running a professional social media account (as opposed to a personal/private account), consider the following pros and cons of sharing content on social media:

Pros:

  • Social media platforms are easy to use and allow you to share content quickly and efficiently
  • Many social media platforms are very popular and get lots of daily engagement
  • You can share many types of content in different formats and about different subjects
  • It’s possible to go viral and draw a lot of attention to your content

Cons:

  • Once you post something on social media, you give the social media company license to use your content
  • Keeping up engagement with your audience over the long term can be difficult and draining due to the constant need to keep producing consistent content
  • Lots of attention to your content can also mean a lot of scrutiny: it’s important to curate your posts to present a version of “you” that you wish the wider world to see
  • Trolling is rampant on social media

If you do decide that social media is the place to share your content, our Managing Your Online Profile tutorial can help you to curate an online profile that will help you succeed in sharing your content.

Wikis

Wikis are community based online pages that can be freely edited. You can make wikis about any subject, but some of the more popular topics include fan-created content about popular movie franchises or recipe sharing. Wikis are a good choice if you want to share your ideas before finalizing them or if you want to contribute to a piece instead of starting from scratch. If you are using a wiki to collaborate with others, here are some things to think about:

  • Anyone who has access to your wiki can edit it
  • Most wikis are publicly accessible through the internet (you can find many wikis with a Google search)
  • Avoid sharing personal details (phone numbers, address/location details, etc) unless you want them to be public.

Wiki.ubc.ca is UBC’s wiki service using Mediawiki as the platform. PB Works is another popular free wiki site. To see some examples of wikis in action, here is a partial list from the godfather of all wikis, Wikipedia.

Discuss

The Digital Tattoo Project encourages critical discussion on topics surrounding digital citizenship and online identity. There are no correct answers and every person will view these topics from a different perspective. Be sure to complete the previous sections before answering the questions.

How do you feel about others being able to potentially edit the work you put on a wiki?

Would you feel comfortable publishing content online for a class? Why or why not?

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