Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Introduction to Blogs- Week #2

Watch this video – Episode 1
Listen to this podcast: Week 2

What is a blog? Here is a great definition taken from the Southwest branch’s Blog. I love their definition and I am a subscriber to their blog. Examples of other blogs at OCLS include: Library Leader, Orange Slices, the Southwest Library and Techno Teens Live

Why would or should you blog? Blogging can be used to share information about any topic or any thing. Some folks post in a style very similar to a personal diary, others post for business reasons. Campaign managers will surely use blogging as a method to get the “word” out for the upcoming presidential elections. Regardless of the reason, our patrons are blogging and they may come to you for help.

What should I know about blogs? Blogging is a great way to share insight and information, but you have to be careful. Blogging has been cited as the source of information used to make admission decisions to various colleges and universities. The potential students posted information that painted them in an unflattering light. Or they posted the actual pictures that showed them in the unflattering light!!!! Either way, the point is, people are reading your stuff. Last year, I found that one of our students was posting too much personal information on her Myspace account. In a school of over 2000 students, it took me 3 days to identify her, without using the yearbook or any other source of student information. She was shocked that we were reading HER myspace account. Maybe she forgot that it was on the INTERNET!! Once you post your thoughts and ideas to the Internet, they are no longer private; the entire world can read it. Here is another example from the recent news. Be a smart blogger!

eXplore – Create your own blog and introduce yourself. Tell us as much as you feel comfortable with. You can be anonymous, but don’t be afraid to be real. If you are working with a group or team, every member of the team has to do this activity in order to be considered a course participant.

To get started, we first need to create a Google Account. To create your account, click the Google link below and enter your work email address. Create a password (use a familiar password)and make sure that you enter the green security text in to the text window. When you are done, click the I Accept, Create My Account button. Google is going to send you an email to verify your account. Open the email when you receive it and click the verify link - a Thank You window will appear. Your log in user name to access your blog will be your work email address. Now we are ready to create our blogs! (note: this process changed recently and is relatively new)

Google Link

Now, Let’s go to Blogspot and create your blog in 3 Easy Steps. Three. Easy. Steps. Remember you must register the your blog so I can keep track of your progress. The registration link is below.

1. Click the orange arrow and create an account. It’s free.
2. Create a name for your blog. This can be a silly name, an anonymous name or your own name. Whatever you want to do.
3. Create a background template for your blog. This is very similar to choosing the look of a Powerpoint presentation.

Now that we are done with the three easy steps, click the orange arrow and start posting. If you need some starter ideas, check the Share area below. When you are done, click the orange Publish button. Tada!!! You are now a blogger!

One more step, and this is an important one. Once you have completed your first post, you need to send me the blog address. This is how you are going to register for the course and it is how I will keep track of who is participating. It is the only way I will know who to send the MP3 player to, especially if you choose to blog anonymously! To register your blog, copy your blog URL (for example http://xyz.blogspot.com), click the link below, enter your name and paste your blog URL in the provided space. Hit Submit and you will come right back here.

Blog Registration

Disclaimer, Warning, Danger, Legal Notice, etc: if you skip this step, I will not honor your claim for an MP3 player later.

ShareThe eXplore activity takes care of sharing for this week. Don’t know what to write in your blog? Think about these topics: How was the process of creating your blog? Scary? Frustrating? Easy? Can you see a use for blogs inside the Library? How about blogging for a patron audience? Comments are the fuel that blogs run on. Feel free to comment on your colleagues blogs.

Adventure – visit Technorati and search out other library related blogs. Share your discoveries in your own blog. Remember, this is an optional activity.