Blogging guidelines

The School of Data Blog is a one-stop shop for your data-wrangling needs. Via the blog, we’ll post updates on School of Data’s courses and handbook as well as on upcoming events, trainings, and data expeditions.

We also accept guest posts for the blog. If you’re keen to write something for the blog, read on, and we’ll show you how!

We are particularly interested in:

  • Inspiring stories about things people have done with data
  • Tutorials and walkthroughs
  • Experiences while tackling a particular problem
  • Book reviews

Please write to us on schoolofdata@okfn.org before writing your post to make sure we have space on the blog and that the topic fits!

Below are the blog guidelines for guest posts on the School of Data blog.

Keep it snappy

600-800 words is plenty. Online readers generally have a rather short attention span. Think about what it is you want to tell people and make sure you get it into your first or second paragraph. Posts longer than 800 words will be edited down, so you can save us lots of work by keeping under the word limit.

If your post for the School of Data blog is an edited version of a longer post, we can link through to the full version so that people who want to can get the full story.

Highlight the particular

Part of the strength of our community lies in the fact that so many people are following closely related paths in different corners of the world. To keep your posts interesting, be sure to explain the particular challenges you have faced and vision that you have – the things that distinguish your experiences from those of others around the world. Anecdotes and stories are great to help with this. Have a clear audience in mind.

Let us schedule it

The School of Data blog’s publication schedule is managed by School of Data team members. If you have the necessary WordPress permissions to publish your guest post on your own, we ask that you nevertheless do not do so. Instead, contact School of Data to let us know that your post is ready, and we’ll schedule it for publication and publicize it on Twitter.

Use Markdown

We’re big fans of Markdown at School of Data, and we’d encourage you to write your guest blog post in Markdown.

New to Markdown? No problem! Check out our five-minute intro to Markdown to learn what you need to get started.

Send us a picture!

All posts should be accompanied by a picture, and it would be great if you could decide what that picture should be. A photo, a screenshot, an illustration or a graph – whatever it is, images help make words talk.

If you don’t have a picture for your post yet, don’t despair! Look for a picture with a permissive license that you can attach to the post. Try using Flickr Advanced Search and searching for Creative Commons-licensed content.

To get your post’s image to show up on the blog index, add a snippet of HTML to your post like the following (where url is the URL of the image):

<!--magazine.image = http://url -->

Be sure to insert this HTML snippet on the same line as something else, or else it will cause some extra whitespace to appear in your post.

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