Blogs: An Easy Way to Reach Out to People on the Web


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Presentation from the 2008 MACAE conference.

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Blogs: An Easy Way to Reach Out to People on the Web

  1. 1. Blogs: An Easy Way to Reach Out to People on the Web Minnesota Association for Adult Continuing Education Conference November 7, 2008 Robin Veal & Erin Brothen Capella University
  2. 2. What is a Blog? <ul><li>Blog (noun) short for the word Web log. A Web log is a Web page that allows someone to post entries, which appear in reverse chronological order, for others to view and comment. </li></ul><ul><li>Blog (verb) when you say you or someone else is going to “blog,” it means they are going to write an entry on their own blog or someone else’s blog. </li></ul>Blogs in Plain English
  3. 3. Why Individuals Read & Create Blogs <ul><li>Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Communication among professionals (share ideas) </li></ul><ul><li>Announce important activities & conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction with students </li></ul><ul><li>Simple Learning tool </li></ul>
  4. 4. Reading Blogs <ul><li>How do I read blogs? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit the blog page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bookmark it and go back often </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use on web-based online news aggregator or blog reader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bloglines ( </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Google Reader ( </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>My Yahoo ! ( </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of many new browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer 7 </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. YouTube: RSS in Plain English
  6. 6. Why Would You Set up a Blog? <ul><li>Blogs are also a good way to post your thoughts on a particular topic such as adult education, literacy or technology. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Set Up Your Own Blog </li></ul>
  8. 8. Setting up a Blog <ul><li>Hosting your blog: getting your blog up on the web. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay for hosting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pick your own blog address </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More customization options </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free blog providers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Simple to use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No costs for you </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Setting up a Blog <ul><li>Free Blog Providers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WordPress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live Journal </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Steps to Set Up a Blog <ul><li>Pick a blog provider (we’ll use Blogger). </li></ul><ul><li>Create account. </li></ul><ul><li>Pick blog name. </li></ul><ul><li>Pick layout and design template. </li></ul><ul><li>Now you’re ready to start blogging! </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Posting on your Blog </li></ul>
  12. 12. Posting on your Blog <ul><li>Step 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Write and title a post. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be as long or as short as you want. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Title should be descriptive – help people find your post when they do an internet search. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep in mind that online reading is different. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Posting on your Blog <ul><li>Step 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Add images or video to a post. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Upload an image saved on your computer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use images and videos already on the web. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where do you get images and videos? </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Posting on your Blog <ul><li>What about copyright? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Free” on the web doesn’t mean free for you to use. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for “Creative Commons” images: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make a copyright statement on your own blog. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Posting on your Blog <ul><li>Step 3: </li></ul><ul><li>Add links inside a post. </li></ul><ul><li>Can link words in the text or an image </li></ul><ul><li>Link anywhere on the internet. </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs often link instead of citing. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Posting on your Blog <ul><li>Step 4: </li></ul><ul><li>Publish your finished post. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not finished? You can save and finish it later. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can change a post after it’s published. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Customize Your Layout </li></ul><ul><li>and Settings </li></ul>
  18. 18. Customize your Layout and Settings <ul><li>Add personal information or messages. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>About Me section. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Text areas for blog taglines or greetings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add an image of yourself. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Add gadgets/widgets. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pieces of content or functionality that can be added to your blog. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May be from blog provider or found online. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can copy and paste coding – don’t have to know coding yourself. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: counters, lists of links, polls, photo slideshows, weather, news feeds, simple games, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Customize your blog’s look. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customize your settings: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Time stamps, comments, archiving, feeds, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rearrange items: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Change the order of your gadgets/widgets. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change your template: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personalize a color scheme from a template. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Choose a different template. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>If You Blog It, </li></ul><ul><li>Will They Come? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Getting Readers <ul><li>Things to do inside your blog: </li></ul><ul><li>Use important keywords and descriptive titles when you write. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search engines will find your blog based on these. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep it interesting. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be timely, innovative, and creative. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a fun, breezy style. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include pictures, links, videos, and other engaging add-ins. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Encourage readers to sign up for RSS feeds of your blog. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Readers no longer come to you – you go to them every time you post. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple subscription “feed icons” or “chicklets” available for many blog reader tools. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Getting Readers <ul><li>Things to do outside your blog: </li></ul><ul><li>Register your blog. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure search engines know it exists. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sign up with blog search websites (Technorati). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Link to your blog from elsewhere on the web. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases your visibility. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a Blog Roll: link to other, related blogs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advertise your blog in the “real world.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add to guides, mention to others, put in your email signature. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Keep on Blogging </li></ul>
  25. 25. Commitment <ul><li>Post, post, post! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No one reads stale blogs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practice makes perfect. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Work ahead. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep a list of interesting topics. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write posts ahead of time and publish later. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Commitment <ul><li>Share the responsibility. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include co-authors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up a posting schedule. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build off of others. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read other blogs and news sources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many blogs publicize and comment on the blog posts of others . </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Go Forth and Blog! </li></ul>