Learn to Blog
Monday, May 6, 2002 @ 04:20 p.m.
Are you ready to blog?
Actually it's kind of absurd to talk about "how to blog." It's harder to talk about it than actually get out there and do it. The more you do it and experiment, the easier it becomes, and the more you will want to tinker with those templates to make your own, customized template.
And remember, you can always start out basic and think small. Perhaps you want to begin writing your memoirs and keep them up to date, but find that your handwriting is illegible even to yourself. Because many blog sites are free, no topic is too insignificant. Just remember that other people may or may not be reading your blog. And someone like us could even be linking to it!
Later, if you become more ambitious, you can take a peek at the "internal workings" of a blog's template and make some modifications. This would also be a perfect excuse to brush up on your HTML skills or pick up that HTML for Dummies Quick Reference book or a similar title that will get you acquainted with the basics of HTML.
Once you have your template and entries all gussied up, you're ready to debut to your public. Start letting other related blogs know about your blog. Some sites like Libdex keep track of library related blogs; check out their Library blogs page. If you let Peter Scott know about your library blog, he'd be happy to add it to the list. (His e-mail is right there on the site.) Even if your blog isn't a library blog, I'm sure you can find your public by doing some Google searches.
Have fun! Experiment! It's easier that you think to make a professional looking page that you can update quickly and easily.
Monday, May 6, 2002 @ 11:43 a.m.
Why is blogging better than my current WYSIWYG tool?
I know this is one of the questions that seems to come up pretty often. People also wonder how blogging is different from Dreamweaver or Frontpage?
My answer is that rather than having to even worry about setting up your authoring tool and choosing all your colors and telling the software how to layout your page, a tool such as Pitas handles all the coding for you. That is, unless you want to customize your "template" or the layout of your entries. For example, using html tags, I can "code" my entry directly in the little input form to have bold or italics if I want to.
Or, I can just let the template/default entry form handle all of the formatting.
Then, once I'm finished typing out my brilliant insights, I just push a little button, and my blog is automatically updated on the web server of my choice, without my having to worry about ftp'ing, version control, etc.
Monday, May 6, 2002 @ 11:25 a.m.
Webmonkey's "The Weblog Tool Roundup"
What are some tools that I can use to blog?
Yes! This was the article that I was waiting for!
If you're not sure which tool(s) are right for your situation, expertise and environment, this article brings together and critiques many of the tools that are available online (some for free).
And here at http://www.lights.com/weblogs/tools.html (also linked from the above article), is a "Complete Guide to Weblogs" (brought to you by Northern Lights, so perhaps we don't need to be so skeptical about completeness).
Wednesday, May 1, 2002 @ 02:10 p.m.
How do I get started?
Your first step to get on the happy road to blogdom, is to chose which site you'd like to have host your blog. Or perhaps you'd rather host the site on your own web server. Keep in mind if you decide to host the site on your own server, you will need to have ftp access from an outside location (although you might be working on the blog from your work, the page will get ftp'd from the site that you're working with, like Blogger, etc.).
If you decide to host the site through a blog hosting service, which seems like the way to go if you don't want to have to deal with server hassles (this is kind of similar to my philosophy of cooking, pay someone else to do it, everyone will be a lot happier, but I digress....), then you will need to sign up with a user name and a password. Then you can fill out the information forms for your blog - remember that you can change this information later. Finally, you get to choose a template for your beautiful site!
Now that you're all set with the preliminaries, you are well on your way to becoming an expert blogger. It's now as simple as typing your entry into the form, clicking the submit (or similar) button, and that's about the extent of it.
Monday, April 29, 2002 @ 04:53 p.m.
How can I make my blog look like my library's website?
You can customize your site with your own pictures, colors and layout! Usually this does require some knowledge of HTML and a definite willingness to experiment. Most sites do have an "administration" type page, which links to the underlying template for the site. Once you have access to that template, you can modify it by adding images, changing color schemes, using HTML number codes for colors (check out ColorServe Java for some help figuring out those wierd hex color numbers), or even modifying your font type.
Monday, April 29, 2002 @ 11:49 a.m.
How does it work?
Perhaps the easiest way to create a blog is to have a blogging site such as Blog*Spot or Pitas host your site and use their tools which, through the miracle of computer scripting, allow you to automatically update your page without having to worry about the intricacies of ftp or html.
The cool thing about these blogging web applications is that you can choose from a variety of templates in order to give you some control over the look of your site. And as you can see, the template created online at Blogger looks very different from one created at Onclave.
Monday, April 29, 2002 @ 09:32 a.m.
Darlene Fichter's May/June 2001 Online article on blogging
What's a blog?
Well, according to Darlene Fichter in her Online magazine article, a weblog is "an online journal -- a Web page with a series of short entries in reverse chronological order." As such, a blog can come in many different shapes, sizes, formats and can be created using a variety of web publishing techniques.
A page like our what's new @ your library page (at http://www.clunet.edu/iss/new.html), is an example of blogs at their most basic: we host the page on our own server - in fact it's a part of our library's main site. Instead of using the tools on Blogger or Pitas that help users to create blogs without ever having to code HTML or know how to write computer scripts, we edit and ftp our page back to our server whenever we make modifications.
Sunday, April 28, 2002 @ 02:37 p.m.
Where can I find a tutorial?
Turns out that Blog*Spot is not currently working. However, their page and tutorial are pretty helpful for information on how to get started...