2.0 Blog Guidelines

By contributing to or accessing blogs.chapman.edu or inside.chapman.edu you agree to abide by the terms expressed in this document. All content created for or contributed to these blogs is subject to the University’s blog terms and conditions.

2.1. Introduction

2.1.1. Platforms: blogs.chapman.edu: A blogging platform that fosters internal and external communication about topics related to the values and mission of Chapman University. These blogs are maintained by a school, college, or departmental representative and accept submissions from the Chapman community. inside.chapman.edu: An aggregate site that pulls content from blogs.chapman, social.chapman, and Chapman University’s event promotion platform. inside.chapman.edu provides students, alumni, parents, donors, and community partners with stories, photos, videos, and event information in a single location.

2.1.2. User Levels: Administrators: Responsible for the development, design, and oversight of the blog network. This group is comprised of Strategic Marketing and Communications (SMC) staff members and designated members of the Chapman community who have been approved by SMC. Managers: Responsible for maintaining individual blogs and developing posting schedules for their respective school or department. These members will have edit rights within their blog and must approve submitted material from authors. Contributors: Any individuals who submit content to the blogs. These individuals can be staff, faculty, and/or students from the Chapman community. They do not have edit or approval rights.

2.2. Blog Setup Requirements:

2.2.1. Strategic Marketing and Communications must approve official blogs. Blogs must originate from an official University school, college, or institute. Departments should contribute to their larger school/college blog instead of requesting the creation of a separate smaller blog. Exceptions can be made with approval.

2.2.2. Each blog must have a designated staff or faculty manager to maintain the frequency and quality of the postings.

2.2.3. All blog managers are required to attend a training session before receiving blogs.chapman.edu permissions. Contact your Web Coordinator to schedule a training.

2.2.4. A blog must have a total of three or more contributing authors. Exceptions will be considered if staffing is limited.

2.2.5. Blog layout can be switched from automatic (three featured posts are automatically curated based on popularity) to manual (three featured posts must be set as “featured” when writing posts). Ask your web coordinator if you would like to change blog layout. Once the change is made, be sure to have three posts already set to “featured.” This option can be found under the text box, in the section titled “Story Display Options.”

2.3. Blog Management Requirements:

Managers must adhere to the points below to remain a part of Chapman’s network of blogs and inside.chapman.edu.

2.3.1. Post Frequency: At a minimum, blogs must have two non-event posts per month. We encourage bloggers to post weekly.

2.3.2. Post Length: Posts must be at least 300 words. If smaller, consider using other social media instead.

2.3.3. Post Quality: Content should be of university-level quality and reflect Chapman University’s mission and values. Strategic Marketing and Communications will not tolerate foul and abusive language or defamatory content.

2.4. Blog Post Elements:

2.4.1. Featured Images: This image is located at the top of blog posts and is used throughout the blog network and inside.chapman.edu when promoting the post. You may not use images containing text, including event posters, print advertisements, or PDFs, as featured images. We encourage blog authors to adapt PDF text and images to be included in the body of the post. You may not use headshots as featured images. We encourage blog authors to place headshots in the body of the post. All featured images should be of the highest quality and directly support the content or illustrate the concept of the post. Images should be a minimum of 500px wide to appear in the featured areas. Suggested width is 1200px to activate the full screen image mode on the blog post.

2.4.2. Author Identification: Every post must have a designated author title and avatar displayed next to the article. We encourage authors to use their real names rather than blog under a generic department, school, or college author. The post owner may use the author attribution option to acknowledge the contribution of a guest author. Use this feature sparingly. We prefer that you invite guest authors to become regular contributors. The blogs.chapman.edu template displays author avatars linked with the free, open service Gravatar (Global Recognized Avatars). You must set up your avatar at www.gravatar.com by creating an account for WordPress.com (separate from your login on our blog website). Please use your Chapman email address when creating this account because the avatar is linked to your email address.

2.4.3. Categories and Tags: These elements are part of each blog post to help organize the post within the blog network and to help search engines identify keywords. Each post must have a designated category and include multiple tags. It is the responsibility of the blog manager to add the category and appropriate tags. Category and tags must relate to your blog post content. Managers are able to re-categorize or re-tag blog posts to reflect the appropriate keywords.

2.4.4. Content Area Styling: Authors may not override the template’s predefined styles for paragraphs and headers. If your post requires unique styling, work with a web coordinator to see about your options.

2.4.5. Content Area Images: We encourage authors to use as many images in the body of a blog post as are necessary to illustrate concepts and significant themes. Images containing text are only appropriate when they represent a clickable document, such as a PDF. This would act as a thumbnail representation of what the viewer will be seeing.