What is Blogging?
A blog, or weblog, is a format for publishing content on the web. They have the following features in common:
- the most recent entry appearing at the top
- dates and timestamps indicate when content was published
- visitors participate in the conversation by leaving comments to blog entries or posts
Chances are, many of your colleagues, friends, family members, neighbors, and even their pets already have their own blog. 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. Popular blog topics include personal stories or insights, technology, politics, entertainment, books, hobbies, food, sports, and, of course, libraries!
Why should I know about Blogs?
Blogs are a great way to connect with your patrons and staff, keeping them up to date on library happenings. You can use blogs to promote programs, news, events, or literacy materials. Blogs allow you to embed a variety of media, so you can feature video book trailers or even host a virtual book club.
Check out some of our favorites covering technology in public libraries:
Blogs in Plain English Video
Still confused about blogs? Watch this video from the Common Craft Show. It should clear things up! (You may need to view the video on YouTube; just click the link).
Ready to start blogging? Set up your own blog and add your first entry!
Note: Throughout the program, if you need a computer to work on, feel free to use the spare computer in the reference office or the circulation computer next to the drive-thru.
- Use WordPress.com to set up your own blog. WordPress is free and you can set up an account and start a blog in a matter of minutes. If you already have a WordPress blog and would like to use it to track your progress during this program, feel free to do so!
- On WordPress, your blog address will be http://title_of_your_blog.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 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!
Here is a diagram that will help you learn the basics of writing a new blog post:
Now you are ready for your first entry!
Please introduce yourself and share something interesting or fun, like your hobbies. Feel free to share your favorite blogs (library-related or not) if you’re already a fan. Also, please write about your first impressions of this tool and/or its potential uses for your work. Think about how it could be used to further your own professional development. If you are already using it, you could write about the kinds of projects for which they have been useful.
We have already started adding links to ‘Participants Blogs’ so don’t forget to check out other people’s blogs. When you’re done reading someone’s blog, post a comment. Try it!
Once you set up your blog, please fill out the following form so we can include you in our Participants’ Blogs List on the website:
This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens’ Transformative Literacies class in the Spring of 2013. This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was authored and adapted by Perlita Payne with the Public Library Group for East Greenbush Library. It is available for use by other libraries or institutions.