This is a blog about blogs. I blog, I’m doing it now. I also write op-eds, short essays suitable for publication on the opinion pages of newspapers or news sites. The forms are similar but distinct.
Op-eds must conform to a set of standards established by the editors of the site or paper to which it is submitted. Typical standards may include a word limit, often 500-700 words, stylistic norms, and attribution requirements. An Op-ed usually has a thesis or central idea driving the piece. The thesis usually derives from current news or events (though not always).
Blog is short for web log. Posts can be looked upon as entries in your diary, except they are made available to an audience on the Internet. Your blog may be freeform, or you might establish a theme, like Thai cooking or parenting a child with autism.
Constraints on blogs are determined first by placement. If I write a blog for Huffington Post or National Review, I will submit to their requirements which can be similar to those of a newspaper.
If I write and publish my own blog on a site like blogspot.com, no constraints exist except the ones I impose on myself. Obviously, legal proscriptions should be obeyed, including slander laws, plagiarism statutes, and the like. Aside from those, however, I’m pretty much good to go.
The success of a blog is usually measured by clicks and views, how often people call up your page on their device. Of course, if Penguin Random House decided to publish your blog as a memoir, that will suffice as a definition of success. For the rest of us, the opportunity to post our writings for others to peruse is its own reward.
Author and consultant Lonnie Barone is president of Barone Associates, a Pennsylvania-based management consulting firm. Lonnie’s op-ed pieces appear regularly in The Philadelphia Inquirer. He is author of two novels, one of which was published online. He wrote the best-selling text, Your Voice Is Your Business, and has written articles for periodicals including Marriage and Family Living, Momentum, and The Bible Today.
A sought-after lecturer who has conducted seminars for executive groups and community leaders throughout the USA and abroad, Lonnie has appeared on radio and TV talk shows. An executive coach at The Wharton School of Business, he also instructs undergraduates in management and leadership. He presents on credibility, negotiation and conflict resolution at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Lonnie has been a high school principal and teacher and is parent to four adult children and grandparent to their three boys and five girls.