Blog basics
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Blog basics

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An overview of blogging, opensource, and choices for blogging software by robin fay, georgiawebgurl@gmail.com (includes Wordpress, Blogger & more).

An overview of blogging, opensource, and choices for blogging software by robin fay, georgiawebgurl@gmail.com (includes Wordpress, Blogger & more).

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Blog basics Blog basics Presentation Transcript

  • BLOGGING BASICS
  • Overview • Introduction • Blogging: Brief overview of what the UGA Libraries are doing and why • Issues and Challenges • Overview of software: Wordpress vs. WordpressMU vs. Wordpress.com, Expression Engine, Movable Type, Drupal • Hosted blogging vs. blogging offsite (Wordpress.com/Blogger vs. hosted) • Making a decision • Final thoughts & questions
  • Intro • Robin Fay • Head of Database Maintenance (Univ. of Libraries) • Chair, Dynamic Content Group (Univ. of Libraries) • Member, Faculty Learning Committee on Emerging Technologies • Consultant for libraries and others on metadata (including seo), cataloging, web2.0 technologies and web design • Technology book reviewer for techstatic, a library technology website • Write & blog at contentdivergent.blogspot.com • First website launched 1997; first actual blog 2001 (greymatter> movable type> ee > ?) • Find me as georgiawebgurl OR robinfay (facebook; linkedin)
  • What is a blog ? Briefly, a blog (short for weblog) is a web based publication which is updated in a periodic manner. The goal of blogging is to provide an easy means to put content on the web. Most modern blogging software functions very similar to word processor software.
  • …and why would the UGA library want one? Libraries use blogs to promote events & services, provide access to up- to-date information about building issues (special hours, etc.), highlight new databases, and communicate a variety of information from readings to exhibits to new features in the catalog! Users can subscribe to ‘feeds’ via their phones, pdas, special web based reader services, as well as internet browsers and e-mail programs such as Firefox and Thunderbird to get the latest up to date information.
  • UGA Libraries WAG (Web Advisory Group) which works with the Web Editor in oversight and maintenance of the UGA Libraries webpage, charged a subcommittee to investigate blog software as means of keeping our users up to date on Libraries news & events. Not only did we want to add some dynamic content to our website, but we needed another means to push information to our users.
  • This subcommittee investigated many different blog softwares including: • Blogger (Free, Commercial, with ads) • Expression Engine/PMachine (Paid, Commercial) • Movable Type (Paid, Commercial) • WordPress (Free, Open Source)
  • Choosing a software is more than just the software • What do you want it to do? • Do you want the whole site controlled by the software (CMS? Content Management System?) • Funding? Paid vs. opensource? • Project time frame? • Who will update? Who will design? • Hosted on your server or externally? • Who will write/contribute content? How many? Experience levels? • Who will train? • Do you have buy-in/support? • Coolest or most practical? • Other choices may include a static website, a Wiki, a photo gallery, a forum, or other software hosted offsite (such as youtube) • Create your shopping list and then do research – the easiest solution may or may not be the best •
  • Let's look at some software
  • Expression Engine • Free and paid versions (TOS driven) • Hosted on your server • Professional support for paid version • Template based design system offers flexibility but not one push installation • Comfort level in working with code • Add-ins/plug-ins available (authorized only) • Plan for upgrades • Features/add-ins include a photo gallery, tagging add-on, forum, • Multiblog feature built in • RSS feeds and "friendly" URLs • Mobile blogging • Entries can be exported using a template into a single file • Statistics and spam control (blacklisting, throttling, captcha) available • Sticky posts & splash page • Data caching to increase speed •
  • Expression Engine Just a couple of examples • Georgia Magazine, College of Environmental Design, http://www.ced.uga.edu/ • Be Fabulous, http://be-fabulous.co.uk/
  • Wordpress • Opensource -- community driven development and support • Hosted on your server • Very easy to install -- installation script • Template based design system offers flexibility; however, many templates can be installed with one push • Some comfort level in working with code (php, css) but really not necessary • Add-ins/plug-ins available from the large opensource community • Plan for upgrades • Features/add-ins include a photo gallery, tagging add-on, forum, splash page • Multiblog feature is not a basic feature (wordpressmu!) • RSS feeds and search friendly URLs • Mobile blogging can be done but requires some work to setup • Entries can be exported using a template into a single file; some import/export plugins are available • Statistics and spam control (blacklisting, throttling, captcha) available as plugins • Crosswalking bridges into drupal and other opensource software • Drop n Drag widgets!
  • Wordpress Just a couple of examples • UGA Libraries, http://www.libs.uga.edu/blog/ • Ford Motor Co. http://autoshows.ford.com/
  • WordpressMU (multiuser) • Opensource -- community driven development and support • Much smaller community -- much newer project • Hosted on your server • Multiblogs, multiuser -- truly designed for many baby blogs -- different templates, etc. • Template based design system offers flexibility; however, many templates can be installed with one push • Some comfort level in working with code (php, css) but really not necessary • Add-ins/plug-ins available from the large opensource community • Plan for upgrades • RSS feeds • Mobile blogging can be done but requires some work to setup • Entries can be exported using a template into a single file; some import/export plugins are available • Statistics and spam control (blacklisting, throttling, captcha) available as plugins • Very much in development
  • Wordpress.com vs. Wordpress.org vs. Wordpress Mu Wordpress.org is installed – hosted on your server and is best suited for single Admin setup – multiple blog contributors can post have permissions to do things ; primarily, one site, one design Wordpress.com is hosted wordpress blogs at wordpress.com, for full control and features, it is pay to play – including CSS! Blogger and Wordpress.com each have advantages – Wordpress has better organization/category support; blogger gives you free reign over the design. Wordpressmu (multiuser) very rich potential – one admin, but individual baby blogs and sites underneath, each with unique features and design – hosted on your server
  • UGA Libs shopping list Nos • Contracts/subscriptions • Preferably ad free • Coding experience or considerable training needed for contributors Yes • Inexpensive • Easy to use • Categories • Multiple users with levels • Easily configured, support for CSS
  • Blogging • Reasons to Blog/social network: o PR/Marketing o Subscription via RSS feeds; also ability to embed content into other websites (pageflakes etc.) o Ease of updating website o Instant updating/editing o Provide a more informal “face” to the library o Push out content to users, i.e. be in their space o Depending on software, can set up publication of announcements & posts
  • Blogging • Consider: o Guidelines & writing style sheets. Appropriateness of content?  http://www.libs.uga.edu/blogetc/ o Finding contributors o Keeping the blog active and maintained o To comment or not to comment o Advantages of immediate content and high ranking pages in google