Blogging: Level 1

Getting Started

what?

A blog (an abridgment of the term web log) is a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog (From Wikipedia).

Watch this video – Video: Blogs in Plain English – a great introduction from Common Craft.

Fascinating fact – blogging has been around since c.1994

why?

blogs can be written for a variety of reasons, but most relevant to this course:
– blogs written by an individual for professional reasons

  • blogging about what you’ve seen or done is a way of incorporating reflective practice into your professional life.
  • blogging about events will help you remember them more clearly in the future, and that’s useful for job applications and when working towards qualifications.
  • by sharing your ideas and knowledge you’ll get to meet new people and develop a wider professional network.

– blogs written on behalf of an organisation, often forming the “news” section of a website,

  • this is an easy way of updating a website – keeping the content fresh and interesting to draw people in
  • it’s also an easy way of allowing information to be “pushed” to users via email updates or RSS feeds (more on these later)

why not?

Blogging for personal reasons might be considered vain (“the world needs to hear what I think”), or conversely there might be a fear that someone might actually read what is written (“what if I say something wrong/stupid/dull?”). most often there’s an view that there is nothing to say (“i’ve got nothing to write about”). These are all very common viewpoints, but what outweighs them is the  value that can be gained through the process of reflection.

If you are feeling nervous about the thought of blogging hopefully this course will allow you to think that you do have something to write about, that your opinion will never be wrong or dull, and that the world does need to hear what you think (even if it is only your fellow participants who read your blog!)

how

If you already a seasoned blogger, you can skip this bit, but here’s a step by step guide to setting up a blog:
There are various blogging platforms available online. Some of the most commonly used are Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, and Posterous. You’re welcome to use any blogging platform that you like, but we’re giving instructions here for Blogger, because it’s quite easy to use.

Creating a blog using Blogger takes just three steps:
video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA4s3wN_vK8&feature=player_embedded

  1. Create an account (view screenshot) (if you already have a google account, you can use this)
  2. Name your blog (view screenshot)
  3. Select your template (view screenshot).

Once you’ve created your blog here are two important things to know:

  1. To add posts: You will need to sign into Blogger each time you want to add, edit or configure your blog. Be sure to write down your login and password.
  2. To view your blog: Your blog address is http://(xxxx).blogspot.com, (xxxx)=the unique identifier you entered in Step 2. Be sure to also write down your blog address.
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