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:
- Southern Tablelands History Matters
- Sutherland Shire Library News
- Alternative teen services
- ACT Public Library Blog
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/).
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.
Watch this videoclip which shows step by step how to set up a blog using Blogger. Blogger: How to start a blog
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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....