The Art of Writing Short Posts

Photo by Flickr user The Hamster Factor. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Photo by Flickr user The Hamster Factor. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Writing for Global Voices doesn't mean you have to spend days and days of time and energy on a long post — unless you want to! We can also write short posts between 100 and 300 words that support GV's mission:

We work to find the most compelling and important stories coming from marginalized and misrepresented communities. We speak out against online censorship and support new ways for people to gain access to the Internet.

These short posts are often easier to research, write and edit, which means they are published faster and more likely to be translated too. They are short, but they still leave the reader well informed.

Other important documents:

  • How to Write for GV Best practices for writing and reporting a GV story.
  • Style Guide Information about GV stylistic standards.
  • Posting Guide Technical information about creating posts including text formatting styles and instructions for dealing with images and video.

How to write a short post

Short posts appear in the main well of the Global Voices homepage alongside all other posts, and as such they must contain:

There are a few specific things to keep in mind while crafting a short post:

1. Short posts should make sense in their entirety

Don’t forget to include context of how something happened and why the content you are highlighting is important. If clicking a link is central to understanding the short post, that means the short post is not complete. Short posts must stand on their own.

2. The headline should be well crafted

Just because a post is short doesn't mean it should have a clipped headline. Headlines are enormously important for drawing readers on the homepage as well as in social media, so we want to make people curious to know what’s inside with a well-crafted headline. Take a look at GV's Tips for Crafting Headlines for advice.

3. The post must include solid sources and links

Like any other post on GV, we must use be transparent with our sources by linking to them and/or citing them in the story. We must also take care to choose only reliable sources and be rigorous in our fact-checking.

4. Images and videos must be attributed

We have to have permission to use all images, whether from the author directly or through a licensing scheme such as Creative Commons. We must also include all links and appropriate attribution.

Content that makes great short posts

Trending or viral content

Especially videos and photos, make for great short posts. Don’t forget to add a line or two about why something is going viral or trending in a certain region.

Popular or unique blogs

Public Facebook groups and Twitter accounts too. Highlight why they are distinct.

Unique protests, urban art or events

Fascinating commentary on society or culture

Make sure it is specific, not vague.

Latest tech developments

Background on a developing story

Or a breaking news summary before a longer post is written.

Inspiring, shocking and vivid quotes

They should grab readers and introduce them to important stories. Don’t forget to include relevant context to make sure the quote is understandable for our global audience.