The Need to Write Progress Report
In early August, @elear started encouraging Community Managers to write blog posts about our activities in the category that we manage for Utopian. I normally just give my oral reports in the weekly Community Managers meetings, because it takes too much time to put the reports in written format. The idea of writing decent posts and getting them evaluated scare us, so most of us delay the writing. The longer we delay, the less incentives we have to start blogging about our activities.
Then at the end of August, @elear invited each individual Community Manager to a private meeting call with him. In that meeting, he spelt out the importance of upgrading all the Utopian categories to meet professional standards. This means that all CM need to upgrade the guidelines/questionnaire for both users and moderators in doing the reviews. All Community Mangers were asked to do research on the standards and metrics professionals use to measure the quality of their categories, and in my case, the translation contributions.
After the one hour meeting, I was made aware of the importance in documenting our research and findings to help our categories grow in strength in Utopian. I would rather prefer to share the findings in the weekly meetings, but then I also realize the impracticality of going through all the details in the weekly one hour meetings.
Challenges in Writing #iamutopian posts
Whenever we are given a new assignment, we often need some time to digest the content material as we face the challenges ahead of us. These are some of the hurdles that I had to overcome:
- Too lazy to document reports when they can be done orally in a meeting
- Too time consuming
- Reports need to be organized and systematized
- Afraid of how the posts are going to be evaluated and reviewed
- Don't know where to begin to start writing
- The mind seems blank as there seems not that much to write about
- With English as our second language, it takes double time to correct all the grammar, sentence structure, appropriate words, etc.
- How can our posts bring value to the Utopian platform
- How can we create valuable content such that people will read our posts and be benefited
So these were some of the immediate questions that went through my head when this new idea of #iamutopian posts were brought up by the Utopian staff. Actually this new idea came about already in the Slack Chat in July, but most of us were quite indifferent about this new proposal.
Writing My First #iamutopian post
For me, the first question is: How to write my first #iamutopian posts? Luckily there are many Community managers facing the same challenge. Most of us prefer to wait for others to pioneer the way. As I continued to wait, I began seeing Community managers writing their blog posts. This is very encouraging indeed.
So I braved myself and wrote my 1st #iamutopian blog.
Guess what? It wasn't so bad and the post was well received. The blockage of writing these blog posts got torn down very quickly. What was most valuable for me was receiving the great feedback people gave me in the Discord channel as they shared with me how they greatly benefited from the blog post. That was very encouraging.
So if you are a Community Manager in Utopian and have not written your first #iamutopian post, you can start today. You are dilly dallying because you do not know "how" and "what" to write for your first post. I feel for you because I was in that situation too, thus this post.
Write Your First Post with Great Passion
To write your first #iamutopian post, write something that you are very very passionate about in your category. To continue on as a Utopian CM, you need to be very passionate about the category you are in. Find a very specific topic that you are passionate about in your category. When you are able to locate that 'first passionate topic' in your category, there will be no lack of content to write. Words flow and before you know it, you would have already gone beyond the 1300 words. This is my experience.
For the translation category, I chose the topic on "How To Write Your Application Post to Apply for LM/Translator." Apparently, this was a hot topic that many translators were keen to find out (which I only discovered later on).
When I wrote on this topic, I wrote with the intention of wanting all applicants to know how they can effectively apply for the LM/translators positions in the Utopian-Davinci initiatives to get accepted. I wanted everyone to succeed in their applications as they spend time in doing written and audio applications. I spent time listing out all the specifics for them - the hows and whys in the post.
Actually when I came up with this brilliant idea for all translators to apply, the proposal was made in the Discord Channel only and we never put it in a formal post. So whenever we had new recruitment, we asked the applicants to follow our point form steps in the Discord channel.
The #iamutopian post gave me the opportunity to explain everything clearly in a formal format for all applicants. After the post went live, I was humbled by the many messages I received from people in Discord DM telling me the benefits they gained. Only then I realize that this formal post was a most needed post that we overlooked to bring out the best from our applicants as they apply for the translators position.
So never under-estimate yourself of what your post can do. Have the confidence (which I didn't have initially) to write with passion to help your users to thrive in your category.
Content for your #iamutopian posts
After I wrote my first #iamutopian post, I stopped for more than a month before I wrote my next post.
The silence? Either there is nothing to write or there is too much to write that you don't know how to continue.
Actually both of these were going on inside me. I didn't know what else I could write about that is worthy of a #iamutopian post. I stopped. Once the train stops, it is hard to get it moving. Yet on the other hand, in the month of September, I did my research on translation quality so the truth is that there is no lack of content to write about. In fact, there is too much material to write that I didn't know where to start. I remained silent.
I believe most Community Managers have a lot of content to write now because of the research we have all done for our categories. For me, it takes a good 10 hours to write one decent post on the research. My research was so extensive that I took last week off from work and spent the entire week to detail them in 3 different focused #iamutopian posts. It's a week's work.
Content-wise, we should now have a lot to write because of the awesome task given to us in doing our research. Now is the time to get yourself organized to put your research content into summary form.
Value and Benefits of Writing out the Research
Before last week, I had all my research in draft paper format. The drafts were scattered all over the place and I was unorganized. I had the intention of using these scattered notes to propose new guidelines/questionnaire for the translation category. This would save me a lot of time and my task will be completed. This would be a superficial work. If I had done that, I would have missed out on the benefits gained by writing them out in #iamutopian posts. I don't want you to miss out on these great benefits. It is for this reason that I spent extra time today writing out this post to incentivize CM to write your #iamutopian posts
Be willing to spend the time writing out your research.
I only used 1 month to do the research and 1 week to write out my findings from my research.
Here are the benefits I gained posting these research posts:
- Yesterday, a good conversation started in the Discord channel in the Language Manager's room among the Language managers and translators
- People became active once again as they share their ideas
- Points were discussed and noted so that I can keep them in mind in writing out the new guidelines
- Some LM and translators who are more shy DM me their thoughts and concerns
- You are not alone in writing out the guidelines as contributors are always there to help with their feedback
- I get a more balanced view of the problems and struggles users are experiencing in this category
- For transparency, people can now understand how we propose our new guidelines and questionnaire
- Other Steemit users also come in to give their opinion so you get a broad perspective of comments
- We have an excellent moderator @Didic who can see the entire process as he reviews these blog posts and helps us with the final guidelines proposal
Most important of all, my fear of writing blog posts subside because @Didic spends time to coach us. I really appreciate the extra effort and time he uses to correct out English.
I also feel good that I can finally contribute effectively to the "Blog Category" at Utopian. In the past, I contributed most of my energy to translation and then video-tutorial as these are my areas of expertise. Writing Blogs is something I need to learn as I often have to fight writers' blocks. I am making improvement with the help of @Didic. Start today and don't miss this opportunity.
Thank you for your attention,
Blog Post Series
- #1 Promoting Translation in Utopian.io - Fully alive and Stronger
- #2 Promoting Translation in Utopian.io - Growing Translation Teams in Quality
- #3 Promoting Translation in Utopian.io - Growing Performance
- #4 Promoting Translation in Utopian.io - 51 Translators & Proofreaders Getting FOSS projects in Crowdin Go Global
- #5 Translation Category - How To Write Your Application Post to Apply for LM/Translator
- #6 Translation Category Part 1 - What Metrics & Standards Professionals Use To evaluate Translation Quality
- #7 Translation Category Part 2 - Four Standards Professionals Use To evaluate Translation Quality
- #8 Translation Cateogry Part 3 - What Metrics Do Professionals Use To Evaluate Translation?
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