Week 2: Introduction to blogs

What is a blog?
A blog is a shortened form of the word "weblog." A blog is a different form of website. A blog's content and purpose varies. Some are simply personal diaries, some focus on a specific subject such as politics or travel, and some are primarily "newsy" and informational. Also, links to other sites on the web are common. Here is a short video that describes Blogs in Plain English (TeacherTube version). The main features of a blog which make it different from a regular website include:

  • Content is presented in an ongoing series of data entries or posts-kind of like a diary or journal
  • Typically displayed in reverse chronological order with the most recent entry on top
  • Latest news or information is easy to identified
  • Allows for comments regarding a specific post from the readers

For the nontechnical person-no knowledge of HTML or uploading files is necessary. Source

Now to the big question - what use could a blog be in a public library environment?

Here are some examples of how other libraries are using blogs ~ please take a look at each of them:

As you can see blogs can be used to highlight collections, events and exhibitions and to contribute to professional knowledge sharing just for starters! You can even blog in more than one language as the National Museum of Wales / Amgueddfa Cymru demonstrates. Here is another interesting example: WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier [hint check the biography].

This week you will set up your very own personal blog - this is where you'll record your thoughts on Learning 2.0 discoveries and the exercises you take part in. Your Learning 2.0 Blog will be set up using Blogger, a popular free online blog hosting service that is extremely easy to use. How easy? It's so easy that the Learning 2.0 Team figured it out - this blog you're looking at is also on Blogger (look at the blog URL - http://nswpubliclibrarieslearning2.blogspot.com/).

Blogging etiquette
Remember that what you put on a blog [either one you create or one you post to] is out there for everyone to see. Your code of conduct should apply to all work related blogging. For general information about blogging etiquette it's worth reading the guidelines that IBM provides for their employees.

Discover:
Watch this videoclip which shows step by step how to set up a blog using Blogger. Blogger: How to start a blog

Explore:
Follow these steps to create a blog for yourself and start blogging

1. Create a Gmail account [if you already have one you can use it]. Don't forget to write down your username and password.

2. Go to the Blogger website: http://www.blogger.com/ Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on 'Create Your Blog Now'.


This is what you'll see:





[hint: Your display name should not be your real name. The Learning 2.0 Team are the only people who need to know your true identity and we'll ask for it later.]











3. Name your blog. This is what you'll see:





[hint: Your blog title? Be as creative as you like - remember, no one but the Learning 2.0 Team will know who you are unless you give yourself away. Your blog URL? The easier to remember, the better. And WRITE THIS DOWN... ]




4. Select a Template. There are plenty of options and you can change your template at any time.

5. Write and publish your first blog posting. This is the fun part - just click on the 'start posting' link and go...

What do you write about?
Try something on the theme of Learning 2.0.


  • What do you hope to learn from the program?
  • What do you think about Lifelong Learning?
  • What other blogs have you discovered? What do you like about them?
  • Can you see a use for blogs inside the Library?
  • How about blogging for a client audience?

Remember this is out there on the web and may be read by anyone so keep your code of conduct in mind. Comments are the fuel that blogs run on. Feel free to comment on your colleagues blogs – see the links to the Participants blog rolls on the right of this screen.

How much do you write?
The recommended minimum is 150 words The Learning 2.0 Team will be reading your blogs regularly.

Course sign up and blog registration
Creating a blog is a requirement for completing the NSW Public Libraries Learning 2.0 course. Click here to register for the program and to log your blog. WARNING If you skip this step you will not receive feedback, or any acknowledgement for completing the program.

If you need more assistance contact the Learning 2.0 team – nswpln@gmail.com or your PLS consultant.

How do you get back to your blog, to add future postings?
You have two options, type in the URL (web address) for your blog or if you can't remember it (or didn't write it down) head to http://www.blogger.com/ and continue with the next steps.

Look to the top right corner of the screen and click on the 'New Blogger' link
Log in with your Username and Password (these will be tied to the Google account you set up a few minutes ago)
Find your blog on the 'Dashboard' and click on it's 'New Post' link
Blog away...

Once you've logged in you'll also be able to change your blog settings - there's a series of 'Manage' links in your 'Dashboard.'
Should you run into problems and/or would like more information about blogs and using Blogger , take a look at Blogger’s Quick Tutorial - just keep clicking on the 'continue' buttons at the end of next screen to keep going...

Adventure: Search for other library related blogs using Technorati. Share your discoveries in your own blog. [Remember, this is an optional activity.]

Next week: Sharing images....

30 comments:

Tim Atkinson said...

I would recommend Wordpress.com over Blogger. It has a much better category system that is better for the library environment. Also extensions are better.

Kim said...

I agree with Tim on this one, Wordpress is better suited for a Library environment as well as have much more customisable interface.

Jalen said...

I've always wanted to create my own blog but never got around to it... until now. Being new to this one, it took me sometime to set it up, not because it was hard to do so, but because everytime I chose a blog name, it was not available. The one that was approved was not unique in any sense but was available, meaning no one has used it yet. So far... so good! And I'm now off to BLOGLAND!!! See you there!

(STRL) said...

I discovered my first hurdle when trying to create a new email account - because I'd already set up a google account for the Library using my work email address, it wouldn't allow me a new user profile, so I was left with tying it to the work one. Any suggestions?

pls@slnsw said...

Dear STRL
You will need to set up a totally new gmail account. You may have to use a different variation on your name to register. You do need one gmail account per online identity.

Ellen

yiyia said...

Sharon

I am like jalen, new at this, so it took me aliitle bit of time. However I got there in the end. Don't really understand blogs, however i am sure I will get the hang of it.

Crescent said...

Posted my blog yesterday. Noticed that the time entered on my blog is certainly not real time in Australia! It says I posted during the early hours of the morning instead of the reasonable hour that I did type the blog! Does it register in American time? Can this be changed? Also, my blog doesn't appear on the list - maybe it'll be there tomorrow!

angelic said...

I am new to the whole blogging thing. I had fun setting it up though. I did not have fun trying to come up with a gmail account though. Everyname I tried was taken. So I am stuck with a silly one. But hey...at least I have one.
FINALLY.

Kim said...

Crescent, top right > Customise link, then the > Settings Tab, then > Formatting Tab then > Timezone.

NSW is GMT +10

Adventure said...

Having some trouble leavign a comment, try try again ...

pls@slnsw said...

test

Crescent said...

Thanks for the tip Kim! I've fixed up the Timezone now. It was driving me nuts!

Alanina said...

Am a bit late posting a comment but want to see how it works as I'm new to this game - it's fun though. Also had a few rejected blog names; very strange as it is my cat's name...

(STRL) said...

For pls@slnsw, further to my earlier attempt to open a new gmail account - gmail won't let me. As soon as I type in my work email address which is required, it recognises that I already have a gmail account. There is no option to open another account. Very frustrating - very time-consuming, not happy Jan!

pls@slnsw said...

In gmail it says "If you do not have another email address, you may leave this field blank" - leave this field blank (even though you have another e-mail account) and gmail will not know you are the same person. You will then be able set up a new gmail account without linking to your existing gmail identity.

Ellen

Gabbi at Ryde said...

Yes, agree with Tim, Wordpress has alot more templates to attract and it has more functions.

Kim said...

You're welcome Crescent.

AButler said...

Having trouble with week 3 and 4. cant seem to view my blg or have other people click on my link?

any help?

pls@slnsw said...

Dear Abutler
Have you completed the blog registration at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=vW0uVvuiHOCHYUmWQT5XMg_3d_3d?

Once you have completed this your blog should appear on the blog roll during the next working day.

If you have filled in the registration and your blog is still not on the roll (by the end of the next day) please e-mail nswpln@gmail.com with the name of your blog and the web address and your blog will be added in.

Ellen (PLS)

Jenny said...

Thanks for the tip about the timezone Kim. And thanks to Cresent for asking the question! I've fixed mine too!

Jack Russell said...

I had a go at both Blogger and Wordpress and have set up similar blogs in each, Wordpress appears to have better funtionality at work with less blocking by Council's firewall but I'm familiar with Blogger and is has improved since I originally worked with it last year however I'm still registered under both, I'll keep them both going for a bit longer then maybe delete one.

library lady said...

I have always been going to create my own blog but have only just gotten time to do it. It is fun and so innovative, technology has taken us a long way with even more to come.

kanna said...

Wordpress is better.

RyitGrrl said...

Blogger can also be very difficult to search

monica.swrl said...

I have set up my blog now and slowly making my way through the tutorials.
It's great to have all this information to hand.

Bear said...

Blogs are a great way to get information out there, especially for libraries. Working in regional services,I can see a great deal of value in having a blog dedicated to my specific role and using it to let others in the region know where I am up to with survey work, policy etc. I can also see the value in these technologies for online communities - escpecially for those who live far from their families

Bear said...

Always wanted to make my own blog so the training has pushed me a little to get going.

RR Talbingo Library said...

This blog will be a fantastic opportunity for Talbingo Library - which is an isolated rural outpost - to maintain a forum for its members to keep abreast of activities. Entrez!

Bee Wak said...

The creating of Gmail account and creating a blog was both easy and interesting. It is a great way to send a message to the world.

mkam25 said...

Thanks for the introduction footage, now blogging LOOKS easy...and I guess with practise it will.