Monday, January 12, 2009

Week 1 - Blogs

What is a blog?

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:

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.


Library Blogs


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:

A more comprehensive list of Library blogs is available on the LIS Wiki.

Ryerson Blogs

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.


Activities

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).

  1. 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.


  2. 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 rula2009@gmail.com to request that you be added to a group.

Feeling Adventurous (Optional)

Microblogging
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.

12 comments:

  1. I just created mine! http://tanyajaneschmidt.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for recognizing the Regina Public Library for our blogs. We are humbled to share space with such groundbreakers as Stephen Abrams, Tame the Web, etc.

    Tony Neal
    Reference and Independent Learning
    Regina Public Library

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you are using Blogger, a useful setting to enable is "Comment Notification Email", found in your settings, under the comments section. It's the last option on that page. You will receive an email messages with new comments, allowing you to follow up in a timely manner. Also, make sure the first comments option is set to Show; otherwise, no one will be able to comment.

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  11. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic.

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