I want one! Now What? The first decision you must make is: What kind of software do I want to use? Free software with free hosting – entirely free (this is what OPPL uses) Free software with paid hosting – you can use free software but will have to pay for the hosting Paid software that includes the price of hosting – usually subscription based and combines software and hosting in one fee Paid software with paid hosting – you pay for both the software and the hosting
You get what you pay for! This doesn’t mean that free blogging is bad, by any means, it just may limit you as to what you can do. If your library has the budget and the capabilities to spread the wealth, create a free blog and then see how it goes. If all goes well, you can always upgrade later!!!
Free blogging options! There are several companies that offer free software and hosting. The most popular and the most used companies among public libraries are: Blogger – www.blogger.com LiveJournal – www.livejournal.com WordPress – www.wordpress.com I recommend Blogger if this is your first time, as it is one of the most user-friendly blog sites.
When you are first setting up your blog, this takes the most time. You are trying to get it to look the way that you want it to look and include the things you want it to include.
For me, this took about 1 week, working on it here and there at the desk.
After you have initially set it up, you can spend as much time on it as you wish!
I try to update our blog at least once a week, if not more, when I read new news articles or if I know of any upcoming programs I want to highlight.
Remember that teens are online constantly, so if you don’t update frequently, they will lose interest and won’t return the blog.
How hard is it? You don’t have to be an Internet genius to run a blog!!! There are many tutorials available online and with Blogger, for example, it does most of the work for you! Knowing some of the basic HTML does come in handy and most of those codes can be found on the Internet BUT IT IS NOT REQUIRED!!!
How do I know if it is working? Blogger does not offer a statistics gauge, but there are several options online that are FREE that can help you track your blog use.
Statcounter.com – FREE, invisible web tracker that counts page usage and a variety of other statistics
Website-hit-counters.com – Freeware that allows you to place a number tracker on your webpage (The bigger the number, the more popular it looks…the more popular, the more teens!)
An example of our statcounter statistics
More statcounter statistics Entry pages Exit pages Came from Entry links Exit links Visitor paths Visit length
For more questions… Stephanie Wilkes Ouachita Parish Public Library 601 McMillan Road West Monroe, LA 71291 firstname.lastname@example.org 318-327-1470 – phone 318-327-1473 - fax