05 – Blogging Basics

Thing 5

Set up & Post to Your Blog

Skip straight to the task

What is it?

By now, everyone’s heard of blogs and blogging. It’s kinda hard to miss, particularly now that blogging is so popular that it’s accused of being, among other things, the death of print journalism given form. If you’re not sure exactly what all the hype is about, we’ve let someone else find a handy video that will try to explain why blogs have become such a big deal.

There are essentially two types of blogging software tools out there: hosted and installed.

  • Hosted blogs allow users to sign up for an account and a free blog. The company providing the software usually takes care of everything for you, and all you have to do is choose a name for your blog and write! We will be using hosted blogs for the Ten Things. Some of the most popular hosted blogging services are Blogger, LiveJournal, WordPress.com, and Vox.
  • Installed blogging services provide you with the software that you can download to your Web server. Installed software tends to be more powerful and gives you more control over the functionality and look & feel of your blog. Some examples of installed software are Movable Type, Textpattern, and WordPress.org.

Like webmail providers, there are literally hundreds of blogging services out there for you to pick from, all with their own pros and cons, including cost and range of features. Some are better equipped to deal with different types of blogging (like photoblogging) than others.

The two we recommend using for 23 Things are:

  • Blogger – if you want something simple and don’t want to have to remember many different logins
  • WordPress – if you want something that’s a little more complicated but has some bells and whistles

You can, of course, use an entirely different blogging service if you want to.

Why should I use it?

On a personal level, it’s about sharing ideas, interests and the events of your life with other people, be they friends, family or complete strangers.

On a professional level, it works much the same, only you’re using the blog to share important ideas, interests and events from your workplace – and do it in a less formal and more interactive manner that traditional communication avenues allow.

Take student feedback. As it stands in UWA, responding to student feedback is fairly laborious – and dare I say, old-fashioned – process that involves little slips of paper being stuck on walls wherever room can be found. It’s also not one that allows students to easily respond to feedback, or even see what concerns students were raising a few months ago.

Here are three reasons you might put this on a blog instead:

  1. Geographic.
    Feedback for all the libraries is located in one place, meaning that students can read, say, both the complaints about the lack of free computers in Reid and the compliments about the lack of a wait time in EDFAA.
  2. Interactive.
    Students have a greater opportunity to respond to you – and you to them. Your post replying to the complaint about Reid computers might be commented upon by another student, who suggests the coming in before 10am to avoid the queue, but also remarks that she’s always having problems with printing. You can then reply directly to the concern about printing problems, or update your original post with the advice to come in earlier.
  3. Open.
    A blog would make the feedback system a lot more open and permanent. Students could easily search the blog for previous instances of their question, or even just browse back through past months to see what other people have been talking about.

To Complete Task 5

  1. Set up a blog for yourself in either WordPress (instructions) or Blogger (instructions)
  2. Use the address you set up in the last task to e-mail thebookbuster@gmail.com with the address of your new blog
  3. Make your first post to your blog. Don’t forget: you should update your blog this week with two posts – one for last week and one for this week.
  4. See what other people are blogging about through the Participants Page.
  5. Have fun!

Blogger Setup

Quick tutorial (new window)

WordPress Setup

More tutorials (new window)

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