This week, you get to dig in and create your own blog! You’ll learn:
- what a blog is
- why libraries (and individuals!) write blogs
- how to create your own blog
Listen to our second podcast and read the content below. If you have questions about anything along the way, be sure to contact us. We’re happy to help!
Listen to the podcast by clicking on the play button below or read the Week 2 Podcast Transcript (pdf).
What is a blog?
Grab yourself a fresh cup of coffee/tea or a Coke, and enjoy this 3-minute video about blogs:
Grab yourself a fresh cup of coffee/tea or a Coke, and enjoy these brief introductory articles about blogs: Wordpress Introduction to Blogging: What is a blog? (stop when you get to the header “The Blog Content.”) Academic Blogging: Anatomy of a Blog (read sections 2.1 through 2.5.)(updated 30 Nov 2007)
Explore some library blogs
So, why would a library blog?
Darlene Fichter explains at Information Today: Why and How to Use Blogs to Promote Your Library’s Services. Here’s what she says a blog can do for your library:
- promote library events
- list new arrivals of books, movies, music, etc.
- review books
- provide important community news (about elections, community events, services, etc.)
- reach a new audience of web-savvy patrons
WebJunction’s article Blogs for Libraries is a fantastic case for libraries using blogs.
Take a moment to explore some of these library blogs (some may be familiar to you!):
- Feel-good Librarian - “the true stories of one small middle-aged Reference librarian, sheltered safely somewhere in a Midwestern public library”
- Library Garden - a group blog from several NJ librarians
- MADreads - Madison Public Library’s book review blog
- The Shifted Librarian - Jenny Levine and cool technologies for libraries
- Tame the Web - Michael Stephens’ blog about libraries and technology
If you like, go to the Blogging Libraries Wiki for dozens more.
You’re going to use a blog as an online journal for your PP2.0 experience. Each week, we’ll ask you to post your homework on your blog. (That’s how we’ll track your progress, too.)
You can sign up with your real name, or use a pseudonym. You may decide to retire your PP2.0 blog after the project is over, or you might like blogging so much you’ll keep it up - which would be awesome!
- Register for a blog at Blogger and write your first post.
- Go to this online form and register your blog so the PP2.0 coordinators can track your progress.
Help with Blogger
These are instructions for setting up a blog at Blogger. If you are comfortable using another blogging service, or your library is providing you with a blog, please feel free to use it instead (though the PP2.0 coordinators may not be able to answer all your questions about blog services other than Blogger). One thing we do ask is that the blog you use has an RSS feed - most do by default.
- Go to Blogger and follow the “Create a blog in 3 easy steps” instructions.
- Step 1: Create a free Google account if you don’t have one already (because Google owns Blogger).
- Step 2: Name your blog and give it a URL.
- Step 3: Choose a template.
- Write a blog post. Type a title and some text in the body, and click “Publish.”
- Look at your blog - click “View Blog.”
- Bookmark your blog and the Blogger start page.
- Log out and log back in again just for practice.
Fun Extra: Lifehacker
Every week on PP2.0 we want to give you a little extra something fun. Let’s talk about Lifehacker!
Lifehacker is a blog of tips and tricks “for streamlining your life with computers (and sometimes without).” “Hack” comes from “hacker,” and in this sense means a faster, better way to get something done. From the Lifehacker FAQ:
blog, Blogger, blogging, LifeHacker
A hacker believes that information-sharing is a powerful positive good, and that it is a hacker’s duty to share her expertise - so we will.