Purpose

To introduce you to some blog basics and to get you signed up for your own blog.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this workshop, you should be able to
  1. Describe the basic characteristics of a blog, including posts, comments and tags
  2. Sign up for a blog of your own

Program

  1. What is a blog?
  2. Blog examples
  3. Once you have signed up ...
  4. Get a blog of your own
  5. Switching between your dashboard and the 'public view' of your blog
  6. Reflection
  7. Evaluation
  8. Useful links

1. What is a blog?

Check out our page on this wiki and also visit the blog page on the Web 2.0 survival guide

Brainstorm: What do you know about blogs?

Blog characteristics
Blogs can be on any topic: travel, hobbies, current affairs, pets, astronomy, plants, adult education, family ... anything!
  • A website where a person or a group make regular entries or ‘posts’ on a topic.
  • Posts might include opinion, links, commentary, reflections, discoveries, tips, announcements, or advice.
  • Readers make comments on these posts.
  • Newest material is shown at the top of the blog (i.e., in reverse-chronological order).
  • Posts can include links, photos, video, audio, graphics and other media.
  • Posts are ‘tagged‘ (meaning that authors give them multiple keywords so that they can be retrieved later on) and archived.
  • Blogs are all about the blogger


2. Blog examples

Explore some ANU teachers' blogs on Ning (iIn other words, click on stuff!)
  • Can you find the latest post?
  • Where are the comments?
  • What happens if you click on a tag?
  • How do you navigate around the blog? (hint: click on stuff!)
  • Are there links to other blogs or other websites?
  • Are images used? What about video?

Other blog examples
New Mandala
Crikey.com
Web 2.0 survival guide entry on blogs


You search for blogs using Google

3. Once you have signed up ...

... you will be asked to 'activate' your account through an email sent to the address you used when signing up. When you have done that, you can go to your 'dashboard,' that is, the place where you build your blog. You can switch between your dashboard and the 'public view' of your blog, as outlined in 5., below.

4. Get a blog of your own


Some important points
  • If you are not over 13 years of age, you may be refused access to the service.
  • You may change your password and your email address via the profile area.
  • You can manage your subscriptions and automatic email notifications via the 'profile' and 'subscriptions' areas of your dashboard.

ESSENTIAL! Write down or remember these things:*

  1. Your username
  2. Your web address/URL
  3. Your password
  4. The email address you used to create this account

*You will need your username and password to sign in to your blog in the future. If using WordPress, you will be able to access your blog in the future by either
  1. Visiting your blog's web address and signing in under the 'Meta' area, or
  2. Visiting wordpress.com and signing in via the WordPress main page

You will not be able to change your username or web address later; however, you will be able to change your password and email address.

5. Switching between your dashboard and the 'public view' of your blog

There are two parts to your blog:
  1. Your dashboard. This is the 'admin' area of your blog; it's where you actually build and write your blog. To switch to the 'public view' of your blog, click on 'Visit site.'
  2. The 'public view' of your blog. This is the bit that the rest of the world can see. To switch to your dashboard from the 'public view' of your blog, sign in or click on 'Site admin' in the 'Meta' area.
(Hint: Open a new tab to see the 'public view' of your site -- just don't forget to 'Refresh' the view! Switch between your dashboard and the 'public view' by moving between tabs.)

6. Reflection

What do you think or know now? What is still confusing? What do you need to follow up on?

7. Evaluation

Helpful or not? Let us know your thoughts.

8. Useful links

Web 2.0 survival guide
Blog basics
YouTube vide on blogs