A couple of weeks ago I shared with you that I had created blogs for my two eldest children. Like many neophyte bloggers they have spent the last two weeks obsessed with the technical details of their new toys—which is all fine and good—but this obsession has come at the expense of any real care over the content of their blogs. I’m not so much concerned about the subjects of their posts—my boy seems preoccupied with locating YouTube animations of Star Wars Lego characters—after all the posts of a teen and a preteen off their leashes will nearly always seem vapid to an adult. But so far they seem unconcerned about things like misspellings, sloppy punctuation or style.
So it was a nice surprise a few days ago when I got little assistance from an unexpected source. Smashing Design is a site I’ve followed for a couple of years now that gives excellent tips and techniques for web design. They’re always giving out freebies (like icon sets) and compiling helpful lists (like 25 hacks for your WordPress blog). It’s definitely one of those sites that can get a blogger lost in the nuts and bolts of keeping a blog up and running instead of focusing on writing.
But a few days ago, Smashing Magazine published 50 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Writing Skills. It’s a actually a fairly comprehensive list of 50 websites that focus on the basics, like grammar and punctuation, and moving through some fairly technical tools that can check the readability of you blog.
I haven’t yet browsed through all 50 of the sites, but I have forwarded the site to my kids with the warning that their blogs were created to help them experiment with and improve their writing—and maybe it’s time they get started.