For a quick overview of blogs, check out CommonCraft’s video about blogs (approx. 3 minutes)
A blog (short for web log) is a means of easily publishing content on the web. Blogs have the following characteristics:
• Entries appear in reverse chronological order
• Entries are date stamped
• Content is archived
There are millions of blogs available on the web on every imaginable topic. The following list contains links to several blogs that you might want to check out:
- Huffington Post - News
- Boing Boing – A directory of wonderful things
- Seth Godin’s Blog – Marketing/Business Blog
- CNN’s Political Ticker – US Politics
- Global Voices – The World is Talking. Are you Listening? - Current Events
- National Geographic Intelligent Travel Blog - Travel
- Chocolate and Zucchini - Food
Finding Blogs of Interest
There are search tools that you can use to find blog postings on topics of interest to you. Google Blog Search and Technorati are two of the larger ones that you might want to try. You can search them by keyword for blog posts or use the advanced search options to narrow down your search. Try searching for a topic of your choice or Ryerson Library.
Many libraries have created blogs to publish Library news and happenings. One advantage of using a blog is that comments can be enabled on the blog. This allows readers of the blog to comment on the news items that have been posted and provides the library with feedback (both positive and negative about what the library is doing). If comments are enabled on a blog, you will see a "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.
After a slow start, the Ryerson Library news blog has finally started attracting more comments. One of our most commented upon items was the post about the new iMacs in the Information Commons. There are 34 comments on this post.
Here are a few library related blogs you might want to check:
- Stephen’s Lighthouse
- Tame the Web
- Darien Public Library’s Teen blogs
- Regina Public Library
- The Shifted Librarian
A more comprehensive list of Library blogs is available on the LIS Wiki.
There are a variety of blogs in use at Ryerson . Some professors have integrated blogs into their teaching. For a short description of how Vinita Srivastava is using blogs in her classes, check this 2 minute video.
Other Ryerson Blogs
How to Blog
In order to create a blog you will need to use blogging software. This is not as hard as it sounds. There are many blogging services available on the web that let you to create an account and set up a blog. These are called hosted blogging services. Blogger, WordPress and Live Journal are examples of hosted blogs. Your blog exists on a web server somewhere out on the web and someone else looks after the running of the blog service. There are also blogging software packages that you can install yourself, but this is something you would probably only want to do if you are running your own web server. For the purposes our project we will be using a hosted blogging service.
IMPORTANT NOTE: How you choose to identify yourself on your blog is your choice. You can blog under a screen name, anonymously, or as yourself. To qualify for the staff incentives and prize drawings, you will need to let your team leader know the name of your blog (see step 2 below).
- Create a blog using either Blogger or WordPress. For this project it doesn’t really matter which you choose, but if you would like to know the pros and cons of Blogger and WordPress, check out this (you guessed it) blog post. You will be using this blog weekly to track your progress in the RULA 2.0 programme.
To create a Blogger blog, go to http://www.blogger.com and click on the orange “Set up an Account” button.
To create a Word Press blog, go to http://www.wordpress.com and click on the blue “Sign up Now” button.
- Once your blog has been set up, create your first post on your blog. This post can be anything you want – you may want to write about your expectations for this programme or anything else of interest to you. Email your group leader and let him/her know the url of your blog. (If you are using blogger the url will take the form of yourblogname.blogspot.com or if using WordPress, yourblogname.wordpress.com). A link to your blog will be placed on this blog.
If you have not yet been assigned to a group and don’t know who your group leader is, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request that you be added to a group.
Feeling Adventurous (Optional)
Twitter is a service that combines social networking and microblogging (very short blog postings). Users post text-based updates , called tweets, of up to 140 characters which most usually answer the question What are you doing now? Interested, check out the Commoncraft Twitter video or check Twitter out directly.
Other Information about Blogs
State of the Blogosphere 2008 - Statistics about the who, why, what, when and where of blogging.
Weblog Awards - Annual awards for various categories of blogs
If you have any questions, please post a comment here or contact your group members or leader.