Sharpen your virtual pencil and shine up your screens. We are discussing web logs or blogs. Blogging can fulfil many purposes but in this program we are using this method of recording and sharing our learning. Educators have learnt the value of this process, both for their own learning and integration into teaching. Blogging can be useful to:
- Track what you have done to provide evidence and help your memory
- Share what you know with others and positively impact other’s development
- Through comments, engage in conversation with peers outside your local area and assist in building your Professional Learning Network (PLN’s we discuss more in Thing 5)
You can read more about Blogging in ‘More Detail’ below, then create a blog under ‘Try’ and finally, share your blog address and comments under ‘Share’.
- Choose a platform
See the comparisons below
- Create a blog
Choose a short name that is easy to remember
- Create a blog post
Suggested Heading: 23 Things, I blog because….
To help you with Step 1 here is one comparison of 10 website builders which include blogging. Webcreate.io There is also Blogger and Google Sites that are super easy to setup if you have a gmail account or want to create one. Read a comparison between WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger. For CDU staff there is a blog option in the CDU Wiki but this is only open to CDU community.
When choosing the blog platform I’d keep in mind these three things:
- What is your level of expertise (i.e. WordPress is great but can be complex)?
- Would you be willing to pay for extra features or full functionality at some point?
- What backup or export facilities does it provide
If you already have a blog, you can:
- Revisit the theme and see if it needs updating
- Back it up!
- Check the security settings
- Check out the statistics on visits to your blog
To get another perspective it’s worth reading a blog post titled Another year, another post. In summary:
- you have to get used to just cranking the words out
- you have to grow accustomed to the very idea of readers
- you have to accept the idea of being read
- A blog is an archive of activity and of thinking
Maybe just one platform will not be sufficient. There are many different types of blogging. Wendy blogs in a number of places. Blogger for edtech and MOOC outputs and Pinterest for pictures of crochet projects. Twitter for social connections and micro-blogging online events. Tumblr for specific projects that are visual based and Soundcloud for audio blogging. Mastodon for creative writing and social. Are all these platforms necessary? Probably not. Each platform has a slightly different audience and sometimes output from one platform is used to enhance a blog post in another. See these various places collected in an About Me page for Wendy.