To BloG Or Not to Blog<br />By: Antoine Hicks<br />
Web Log (Blog)<br />A Web log, also called a blog, is a Web site that people can create and use to write about their observations, experiences, and feelings on a wide range of topics. A blogger is a person who creates a blog, while blogging refers to the process of placing entries on a blog site.<br />
Benefits<br /><ul><li>Allows people to create and use a Web site to write about their observations, experiences, and feelings on a wide range of topics
You get an idea of what people appreciate in your writing, you get to comment and actually live some events of public interest, and you have the chance to speak up your mind.
Many blogs offer the advantage of a debate area where you’ll find all sorts of opinions.</li></li></ul><li>Beware of…<br />Be wary of unwarranted attention. Blog stalking is possible; don't give out too much personal information such as name, location, school, etc.<br />Be prepared for some nasty comments and/or e-mails if you are blogging about "touchy" items, such as bad leadership in a school system, rumors about an official or local government. As long as the messages do not threaten bodily harm, you should be safe.<br />
Beware of also…<br /><ul><li>Read the small print. If you don't, your blog's content may be "owned" by the company that puts it on the web for you.
Avoid posting anything on your blog that might be personal to other people if just anyone can read your blog (example: Your uncle might object that it's published on the Internet that he is an alcoholic). If something is personal, avoid using last names at the very least, or make up a name for that person. Be wary of unwarranted attention. Blogs are for the world to read. If you want a private blog just for friends, use a password-protected blogging site.</li></li></ul><li>WordPress<br />Google Blogger<br />TypePad<br />Moveable Type<br />Live Journal<br />Top 10 Blog sites<br />Drupal<br />Xanga<br />Textpattern<br />Tripod<br />Squarespace<br />
Things you’ll need<br /><ul><li>Access to a computer or any other device through which you will be blogging
By far, the easiest way to get a website is to go with a hosting company that offers "1 click installs", or instant installations for Blogging and Forum software. Blogs and Forums make it possible for someone with no experience to get good content up fast</li></li></ul><li>tips<br /><ul><li>Keep the posts interesting. Try to avoid focusing on things that most readers won't find worthwhile (such as "I went to the mall today and saw Kelly.") Write about things you noticed, thoughts you had, and feelings or ideas. Blog about a recent trip to Spain. Write about the chemical explosion during class.
Find blog aggregators. They will place a link to your site on their webpage and/or have a feed running from your blog so that every time you post something, it will show up on the blog aggregator homepage. Also, this can help increase readership.</li></li></ul><li>tips<br />Pictures are also a great idea.<br />Always be yourself, this is your blog, but if you're playing a part, that's okay too.<br />Blog on a specific subject. You can't please everyone, so target a specific audience and go with it.<br />
Incorporating blogs into Education<br />As an educator I found that incorporating the use of a blog into my classroom has proven to be beneficial for students and their parents.<br /> By using a blog, I can provide a place for my students and parents to know what’s going on in my classes, allow them to monitor their child’s progress and have an open forum for communication.<br />