Quick and dirty blogging with TextDrop

blog (Note: This post was originally published, in a slightly different form, here)

Sometimes, a tweet isn’t enough. You need a few more words to do that thought or that idea justice. But, on the other hand, a full-blown blog post might be overkill. And, anyway, maybe you’re not posting often enough to justify blogging. Or the information that you want to convey doesn’t fit in with your blog.

So, how do you share that thought or idea that you can’t quite fit into 140 characters? Some people turn to platforms like Tumblr. An tool like Tumblr inhabits a nice middle ground between a microblogging service like Twitter or App.net and an actual blog.

But if you use a web-based writing tool called TextDrop, you can quickly and easily share your thoughts on the web. All in plain text, and all nicely formatted.

Let’s take a look at how.

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Why the library is still an important resource for writers

library For some people, the library is a redundant institution. With the web acting as a global library, why do you need a bricks and mortar repository for books? You can arfue that you can mine more diverse material, and faster, online than at the local branch of your public library.

That’s all true. Well, to a point. The library is, however, still an important resource for writers.

Here’s a look at why.

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A few links for the end of the week

Following guidelines

guide In the days before the internet was on computers, finding markets for your writing could be a bit of a challenge. It took a bit of work, that’s for certain.

What was probably the bible for that was The Writer’s Market, an annual compendium of thousands of publications in the U.S. and around the world. Between the covers of this thick annual tome was information about who to contact and what types of work the publication wanted.

Many of the listings contained the phrase Guidelines available on request. And those guidelines were important. With any number of publications, not adhering to those guidelines got your work rejected. With extreme prejudice.

Not much has changed. Guidelines are there for a reason. And if you expect your work to appear anywhere — whether in an online publication or as a guest blog post — you need to follow those guidelines.

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Creating an editorial calendar for your blog

Last week, I gave a short talk about the whys and hows of creating an editorial calendar for your blog at a meetup of the New Zeland Blogger Network in Auckland.

I’ve posted the slides and notes to Slideshare. Here are the slides for the talk:

And here are the notes: