At the beginning, HalfEagle.com had to pass only one test: It had to be useful to me. After all, I’m part of the “target audience” for this site, so if I don’t even like it, why should you? And second, if I don’t want to use a site I made, I won’t be very motivated to keep it up-to-date. For the first batch of Scouting blogs, I took the RSS feeds I was already subscribed to and added them to the site.
Of course, that was a long time ago (nine months on the Internet is roughly equal to nine years in the real world). In that time many more Scouting blogs have been created. The word “blog” is pretty broad and in Scouting we have everything from SPL’s who use their blog to communicate with their troop all the way up to our Chief Scout Executive who uses his blog to help lead our national movement. (Let me save you an hour or so of online sleuthing; his blog is internal to BSA National Council.)
Since HalfEagle needs to be useful to more than just me, I’d like to discuss the criteria for adding a blog to the site. Your feedback on these guidelines is welcome and, if you think your blog meets them, then you should apply. (Details below.)
So what blogs go on HalfEagle? I look for blogs of (a) current Scouters (b) who discuss what they are doing in Scouting right now, (c) relate those stories to either past Scouting experiences or experiences outside of Scouting, (d) write their blog for an audience larger than their unit or council, and (e) always add commentary when repeating general news.
Let’s break it down:
- current Scouters Scouting is a living, breathing, growing movement. HalfEagle is about where we are now and where we are going, not where we were 30 years ago (although that’s important, and covered in c. below).
- who discuss what they are doing in Scouting right now Where’d you camp this month? Got pictures? Where’s your next long term camp? How are you going to get there/pay for it/maximize it?
- relate those stories to either past Scouting experiences or experiences outside of Scouting Has Scouting always been the biggest part of your life? How’s it changed? How’s it stayed the same? What else have you done in life? How did Scouting help/hurt? How does the clergy/military/corporate America/blogosphere compare to Scouting?
- write their blog for an audience larger than their unit or council Is your blog written to be useful or entertaining to people who don’t already know you? If most of your posts intended as announcements for your unit, district, or council, then it will be hard to justify adding your blog to HalfEagle which has a national audience.
- always add commentary when repeating general news Everyone is excited about the new uniforms, the new merit badge books, etc. and everyone is going to blog about new happenings in the Scouting movement. But no one wants to come to HalfEagle and see 10 headlines in a row that all read “Centennial Uniform Available Today” that each have the same boiler-plate announcement. Always add your unique take on things.
Of course, these are only guidelines and they will change and evolve as the site grows. But, if you think your blog meets these guidelines, drop a comment below and I’ll check out your site. I won’t promise to add your site. But I promise to consider your site and email you an explanation privately if I choose not to include your blog.