1: Blogging (Core)

(Guide time: 1 to 1.5 hours.)

Photo of a clipboard with blog ideas on it
CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/owenwbrown/

What is a blog?
Wikipedia says: “A blog (a contraction of the term “web log”) In simple terms, a blog is a website, where you add content (‘posts’) on an ongoing basis. Current items show up at the top, so visitors to your blog can read what’s new.
They may choose to comment on it or link to it. For more information watch this YouTube clip

YouTube clip

A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. Blogs can be accessed on a PC via the internet; on mobile devices many blogging sites can also be linked directly from an App – for example WordPress has both a Googleplay app and an istore app and Blogger is also available on both of these platforms – check your device’s app store for the options available

Many blogs are primarily textual, but increasingly a variety of media is used – see examples below:

The Guardian

‘said the gramophone’ music blog

BBC

A blog can be a personal diary, a daily pulpit, a collaborative space, a political soapbox, a breaking-news outlet for an organization, a collection of links, your own private thoughts or memos to the world.

Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and entries can be of any length, from a few lines to a full essay! Micro blogging i.e. Twitter is covered in a separate ‘thing’.

Many library authorities, celebrities and national institutions have blogs for example;

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop

Doctor Who

How libraries use them
Libraries are increasingly using blogs as a way of communicating news of events, promotions and initiatives that can’t fully be covered by Facebook or Twitter

Manchester libraries use Blogger, one of the many free applications available on the Web.

Devon and Newcastle use WordPress

Set up a blog of your own

As you’re working through the rest of your 23 Things you will be asked to carry out various activities, and you will need to record them on your blog. You can include anything you like about your 23 Things experience. This might include what you’ve done, whether you think it’s useful, what you thought was easy or hard, where you got stuck, how you overcame your sticking points, anything you’ve found that others might find interesting – whatever you like really.
You can choose to use a screen name if you prefer to keep yourself anonymous. If you are not sure how much to write, don’t be shy – write as much as you like! And don’t worry;you don’t need to have any prior experience of programming websites!
For this exercise we are using WordPress, a free online blog hosting service, accessed via a PC (You might want to print out these instructions so you can follow them step by step.)

Step 1: Go to www.wordpress.com and click on the “Get Started” button
Step 2: Fill in the form – you need to put in

•a valid email address
•a username – which can be a made up name if you prefer
•a password
•a blog address, eg my23things.wordpress.com
Make sure you make a note of your username and password and blog address for future use then click on “Sign Up”.
NB If the blog address and/or username are not available you will need to try another.

Step 3: An email will be sent to the email address you provided to activate your account. Check your inbox and click the blue ‘Activate Blog’ link in the message. Your WordPress account will now have been activated and you will be connected straight through to a ‘Set up you blog’ page on the WordPress site

A series of pages takes you though:

•adding a descriptive tag to explain the purpose of your blog
•choosing a visual ‘theme’ or style
•creating your first post
At any point in this mini-tutorial you can go back to the previous page to review your choices. You can also preview the blog that you create at this point before publishing it

Step 4: After publishing you will land on the ‘dashboard’ – this is the page that you can always get to whenever you sign into wordpress. From here you can access all the options fdor managing your blog, following other blogs and accessing help files of the screen. To return to the dashboard click on “My Blog” and choose “dashboard” from the top left hand side of the screen.

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