Monday, 20 June 2011

Week 1, Thing 2: Creating a Blog

Welcome to Week 1, Thing 2!

After completing Thing 2...
You will have a shiny new blog to use throughout the programme to record your progress. You will also have begun to think about how you want to present yourself online via your blog and what makes for a good blog.

What is blogging and is it relevant to libraries?
Check out the Wikipedia entry on blogging for a perfectly acceptable definition and brief history, then come back here. There are numerous blogs and bloggers within the field of librarianship. Many librarians pen individual blogs which they use to reflect on their professional experiences and to offer their opinions on the library world, while many libraries on the other hand maintain organisational blogs in order to promote services and enhance communication with their users. There are of course also many blogs written by people participating in 23 Things programmes at other institutions.

Blogging during 23 Things
Blogging is a key element of the 23 Things experience which we'd like all participants to engage with. Every time you complete a Thing we ask that you blog about it. Your blog posts should aim to constructively evaluate each Thing, giving an indication of what you liked (or didn't like) about it. They should also offer the reader an ongoing flavour of your experience of the programme. It's worth mentioning that any blogs which contain posts which say little more than 'Done Thing 3' will not be eligible for completion as that is neither entering into the spirit of the programme nor the purpose of blogging. 

Blog platforms
We have chosen to give instructions on creating a blog on the Blogger platform as its very quick and simple to get going on, however, you may choose to use the other main free blog provider WordPress instead. If you already have a blog, there's no requirement to create a new one for 23 Things. 

Blogger: step-by-step instructions
1. Go to and sign in with your Google account username and password. This will bring you to a Sign up for Blogger screen. Some of the information may already be filled in for you (depending on what you told Google when you signed up for your account) but you will need to choose a display name and to accept the Blogger terms of service.

2. You now need to create your blog by clicking on the blue Create Your Blog Now button and choosing a name and a web address (URL) for your blog. The address has to be unique so your first choice may not be available.

3. Now choose your preferred layout template for your blog. You can change this at any point for a different one.

4. Congratulations, your blog exists! 

Your first post
You now need to create your first blog post.

1. Click on the orange arrow that says start blogging (if you have logged out and are returning, then click on new post by your blog's name on your dashboard - the screen you see when you log in). This will bring you to the posting screen.

2. Enter a title for the post, and then type your text into the box. There is a toolbar at the top of the box which will allow you to format your text and add links and images.

3. Write something here about what you hope to get out of Cam 23 and your previous experience of Web 2.0 and social media.

4. When you have finished writing the post, type Thing 2 in the Labels box under the text box. You will need to tag all your posts with the number of the Thing being blogged about and any other descriptive words you want to use to help you find the post later on (just as we librarians add subject headings to catalogue records in order to help users retrieve books).

5. Click the orange Publish Post button at the bottom of the screen, and your first post will go live. 

Any problems?
If you got lost at all at any point above, I can recommend this Blogger tutorial (from YouTube). 

Register your blog
You will need to register your blog it so that it can be added to the list of Cam 23 bloggers on the lefthand menu of the Cam 23 blog. All you need to do is visit this URL and fill in the details. 

Remember, you are required to blog about each Thing on your blog in order to complete the programme. Your blog needs to record your progress through the whole programme so you need to take a bit of time now to write a post about what you thought of Things 1 and 2.

Add tags
Don't forget to add tags (Blogger calls them Labels) to your post - Thing 1, Thing 2, iGoogle etc. 

Get social
Blogging is much more fun and interactive if you receive comments on your posts, so now you need to visit a few Cam 23 blogs and comment away. You may have to wait for more blogs to appear on the left-hand Cam 23 blog list before you can go visiting - it really depends how speedy you are compared to everyone else. If someone leaves you a comment from a blog that you have not yet viewed then go and visit it and comment back. Cam 23 is not just about learning about how new technologies work but also about using them to network and share.

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