Introduction to Blogging in University Communication External Relations (U of R) April 28, 2005 Presented by Alec Couros
Introduction What are Blogs? How can I set up a Blog?
Overview of Blogging • A blog (or weblog) is a web-based application that enables users to post text, images, audio or video to a webpage. Posts are (ideally) periodic, and usually arranged in reverse chronological order. • Advantages of weblogging: • Simple, assisted html production, as easy as sending an email message. Publication is live and instant. • Customizable templates via CSS. • Ideal for group communications. • Simple syndication and subscription through various aggregators (no need to check page for updates).
Overview of Blogging (cont.) • Blogging has evolved from its early origin as a medium for the publication of simple, online personal diaries, to the latest disruptive technology, the ‘killer app’ that has the capacity to engage people in collaborative activity, knowledge sharing, reflection and debate (Hiler, 2003). • The nature of blogging engines allows for the creation of a legitimate warehousing of captured knowledge, and archiving for later retrieval (Bausch, Haughley & Hourihan, 2002). • In business, "Blogs can be valuable for storing business communications, collaborating with colleagues, and sharing information with clients and vendors” (Lawlor, 2003)
Anatomy of a Web Log – Moveable Type 3 Post Title Static Address Post Date Notification Calendar Link of Interest Feedback/ Conversation Archives
Blogging Software/Services • There are various tools that allow one to publish a blog. These are often split between software and web-based services. • Web-based services • Software
Blogger • Web-based, owned by Google • Very simple to setup (takes a few minutes) • Easy to setup group blogs, but users must be • Blogger.com members • Limited customization (just styles) • Possible to serve Blogger blogs on external • FTP servers
Moveable Type • Software – created and supported by Six Apart • Must install on server, but easy to setup • User interface simple • Easy to create group blogs • Large user community • Used to be free to use, but version 3+ must belicensed (outside of personal use). • Much easier to customize to specific use
WordPress • Open Source – free to use and modify • Must install on server, but easy to setup • User interface simple • Easy to create group blogs • Large user community, and many plug-ins available • Easy to customize style
What Makes Blogging Different? Key Attributes
Ease of Use • Let’s take a look at just how easy • IABC Blog – http://www.educationaltechnology.ca/IABCBlog
Customizable • There are templates and/or themes available for many of the blog engines (e.g., Moveable Type, Wordpress, Blogger). • You can change the look, feel and style of your blog without losing any of the data. Style and data remain separate. • Wordpress, for example has many downloadable themes that are available for free. Additionally, each theme can be tweaked or modified with some technical skill.
RSS • RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. • What it means to the common user is that one can subscribe to a blog using a feed reader or aggregator. • There are many free aggregator packages. Some include: • Bloglines (web-based, great if you read from more than one computer). • Feedreader (free and works great) • Net News Wire Lite (free LE version, Mac only, very popular) • Shrook (Mac only, my personal choice) • Many other applications (browsers, email clients) are integrating RSS reading into new versions of software.
Collaboration & Groups • It’s obviously very easy to set up a group blog. • A couple of excellent group blogs include Slashdot, and Boing Boing. • There are also some excellent sites that are not strictly blogs, but incorporate blogging technology into their services to develop shared communities. Some examples include: • Flickr (photosharing) • See examples transparent screens, “what’s in your bag”. • MSN Spaces (Microsoft integrates blogging, mail, instant messaging, photos, etc.) • Yahoo! 360 (new blogging and integrated space from MS’s biggest competitor)
Types of Blogs Social Action Diaries Business Politics Scholarly Course Enhancement Conference Collaborative Learning Space Knowledge Management ~ Photo/Moblogs PodCasts
The Future is Here Moving Beyond Text: Multimedia Blogging