Creating Your Blog

It's time to create your blog. The first thing you need to do is decide the focus of your blog. Is it going to be a class blog? A blog where you reflect about teaching and education? Whatever your plans are, keep in mind the following tips:

  1. Remember that even if you blog anonymously, readers may discover your identity, and if you have posted negative material, such as complaints about your students or your administrators, you could lose your job. Blog wisely. If you would not post the material in your local newspaper or on a billboard on an interstate highway in your city, don't put it on your blog.
  2. Moderate your comments. I don't know why, but there is a population on the Internet commonly referred to as trolls. The only way they know how to communicate with others online is through insults. If you look at a few YouTube comments, you can see it in action. If you moderate comments, you might still occasionally receive rude comments, but at least they won't be published on your blog. While you're at it, it's a good idea to establish a sound comments policy.
  3. Photo Courtesy liewcf on Flickr
    Photo Courtesy liewcf on Flickr
    Remember it's your blog. Many bloggers become bogged down by search engine optimization, site visit statistics, and the like. If you create content that readers like, they will visit your site. It may take some time, but don't give up. You will build a readership.
  4. Comment on others' blog posts and link to your favorite blogs on your own blog. That is the quickest way to join the blogosphere.
  5. Don't worry about your blog being in a certain niche. If you want to be in a niche, fine. If not, it's OK to blog about your other interests, too. If you are concerned readers won't like it, you can start other blogs for your other interests. Blogging can be addictive!
  6. Try your blog out in several browsers. I have noticed that some bloggers have content that spills over into areas they didn't intend, such as links from the sidebar leeching into their content. Make sure your content is readable in at least the most common browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. A quick, handy way to check browser compatibility is to use Browsershots.
  7. Most browser platforms automatically publish RSS feeds, but double check that your blog publishes a feed. You will significantly enhance your readers' ability to keep up with your blog if you do.
  8. Subscribe to your favorite blogs in a feed reader. Use other blogs as models. If someone is using a widget or service on their blog that you're curious about, ask them about it.
  9. Figure out how you want to license your materials. Many bloggers license their materials under a Creative Commons license, which you will learn more about in the next module. Other bloggers copyright their content. If you publish any content on a blog, it is automatically protected by copyright, but informing readers of that fact will eliminate any gray areas if you discover someone publishing your content on their site and claiming it as their own.
  10. Personalize your blog. Make it your own. Most blogging platforms have a variety of templates you can use, but you can add content and images that make your blog stand out.

Task One

Your first task is to locate the instructions for creating a blog using the blog service you have chosen. Using those instructions, create the blog.

Task Two

Make sure you are logged in to this wiki. Click Edit at the top of this page and scroll down to this section. Add a link to your blog in the table below. You can add rows to the table by clicking the table. An icon will appear. Click the icon. Click Row. You will be presented with some options. Select Add Row. Select Add Below.

Name
URL
Dana Huff
http://www.huffenglish.com/



Task Three

Later in this part of the course, you will be asked to demonstrate an ability to add certain types of content to your blog. You are free to play with your blog and personalize it, but before you add media, you will want to complete the next module so that you can learn about staying within the bounds of copyright law.

Module 1 | Module 2 | Module 3 | Module 4 | Module 5