This will give you a brief overview of the technology and provide links to some additional reading for those who would like to know more.
What it is:
A blog, or weblog, is a format for publishing content on the web. As the name suggests, blogs are, quite simply, web-based logs of information that have the following features in common:
- content is organized in reverse chronological order, with the most recent entry appearing at the top
- dates and timestamps indicate when content was published
- archives are automatically generated by the blog software
- visitors participate in the conversation by leaving comments to blog entries, or posts
Way back in April of 2007, Technorati estimated the existence of over 70 million blogs with an average of 120,000 new blogs being created daily. It’s likely that many of your colleagues, friends, family members, neighbors, and even their pets already have their own blog (ask your cat). You’ll find blogs written about anything and everything; some are focused on a single subject while other bloggers write about whatever comes to mind. Common blog topics include personal stories or insights, technology, politics, news, entertainment, books, business, hobbies, food, finance, sports, and, of course, libraries!
How it Works:
Still confused about blogs? Watch this video from Common Craft. It should clear things up!
Why it’s Useful:
Blogs can introduce the reader to new technologies, generate conversations about a million different things, share ideas and bring people together with a common interest. Here are some examples of blogs related to libraries:
Ready to start blogging? Set up your own blog and add your first entry!
- Use WordPress to set up your own blog. It is a free blogging tool where you can set up an account and start a blog in a matter of minutes. If you already have a blog and would like to use it to track your progress during this program, feel free to do so!
- When you set up your blog on WordPress, your blog address will be http://nameyouchoose.wordpress.com.
- WordPress.com offers many themes/templates so you can choose one that fits you. Depending on the theme/template you choose, you might also be able to customize the header, sidebar widgets, and more. Take some time to explore the dashboard (i.e., the back-end of the blog) to see what options are available to you.
- For detailed instructions on setting up a WordPress.com account, check out this great FAQ page.
- It’s up to you to decide just how much you will reveal about yourself on your blog, but please provide at least your first name in either your profile or an early entry so the rest of the participants will recognize the author of each blog. The title of your blog and your username do not have to reveal your real identity. You can be as creative as you want with this!
- Once you’ve set up your blog, go ahead and add your first entry! For your first entry, please introduce yourself and share something interesting or fun, like your favorite childhood game or your favorite current hobby. Or maybe you’ll want to share your favorite blogs (library-related or not) if you’re already a fan.
- *Important – Please write an additional entry about your thoughts on blogs, blogging, libraries, and your experience setting up your own blog. You’ll be asked to write a blog entry like this for each week of the program.
Keep an eye on your own blog. If someone comments on your blog, it’s perfectly appropriate to respond with a comment of your own. If people see that you usually respond to comments and questions on your blog, they’re more likely to comment and even come back! You are also to read and comment on your fellow bloggers’ posts.
More to Explore:
- Weblogs (list of librarians’ blogs), LISWiki
- 7 Things You Should Know About Blogs (pdf), Educause Learning Initiative
- Anatomy of a Blog
- Blog, Wikipedia article
- Why and How to Use Blogs to Promote Your Library’s Services, Darlene Fichter
This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative Literacies class in the Spring of 2012 (LIBR 281-12). This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was authored by Jody Thomas for Crandall Public Library. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.