WORKSHOP: INTRO TO BLOGGING

This course is meant to be an introduction to blogging and the Tumblr platform. We will talk--in brief about what blogging is and give a short overview of Tumblr and then help students to set up accounts. Following this workshop there will be blogging drop-ins where students can receive help updating their blog.

 

Class Outline:

 

  1. What is a Blog?

    1. Short for Web log, a blog is a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual. Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author. (webopedia.com)

    2. A Blogger is a person who blogs, and a Blogging site is a site that hosts people’s blogs

  2. Why do people Blog?

    1. Political or Religious Reasons

      1. The blog format can be ideal for spreading messages, issuing statements and expressing opinions for issues that benefit from reader interaction. Blogging is perfect for getting political statements out or spreading human rights awareness. Religious groups find the blog format great for generating interest, encouraging interaction and even sharing on social sites. (http://socialmediatoday.com)

    2. Maintaining Family or Social Connections

      1. Blogging can fill a void that social sites leave when you want to share more detail with things like weight loss or upcoming events. Virtually any interest you can fathom can be found on blogs.(http://socialmediatoday.com)

    3. Personal Journals

      1. Blogs are an easy solution for an online journal or diary. Sharing thoughts, ideas and travels are a breeze with your own blog. Documenting difficult or satisfying experiences, whether for you or to share with others, can be managed with ease on a blog.(http://socialmediatoday.com)

    4. Developing Your Expertise

      1. Blogging can help you build a fantastic reputation and even be recognized as an expert in almost any field. We see bloggers on news interviews and hear radio shows speaking with bloggers to get expert opinions on the subject at hand. Bloggers gain popularity, employment and even new clientele by blogging as an expert.(http://socialmediatoday.com)

    5. Business and Brand Building

      1. Thousands of businesses of every size have discovered the benefits of building brands by blogging. Whether the brand is your personal name, your corporate identity or the next big product launch blogging can handle it.(http://socialmediatoday.com)

    6. Customer Support and List Building

      1. Every business understands the importance of customer support, interaction and development. Blogging is a relatively easy tool for meeting those needs. Blogs encourage customer engagement and can aide in building data and an email list. Displaying FAQs and product testimonials are simple matters with blogging tools. Contact and HelpDesk plugins help with customer support.(http://socialmediatoday.com)

    7. SEO and Search Traffic

      1. Search engines love blogs and using the blog format can help bring in search engine traffic. Blogging makes it easy to build back links by participating on other relevant blogs, submitting to blog directories and blog post rating sites. A multitude of themes, plugins and tutorials help even the most novice blogger with search engine optimization.(http://socialmediatoday.com)

    8. The Ease of Blog -vs. Static Websites

      1. Many website have moved to blogs simply for the ease of updating and maintaining content and structure. Free and premium blog themes can make the simplest blogs look like professionally designed websites. The learning curve is minimal with blog formats and very little HTML or script understanding is required. Another advantage that blogs have over static sites is the ability to regularly backup content and databases. (http://socialmediatoday.com)

  3. Who is Blogging

    1. Individuals

    2. Companies

    3. Newspapers or Reports

    4. Writers

    5. Anyone who feels that they have something to say/share

  4. Popular Blogging Sites

    1. Blogger --- an example of a blogger site: http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/

      1. blogging platform hosted by Google. Blogger sites tend to look less professional than others because they are so basic and user-friendly.

    2. Wordpress -- an example of wordpress site: http://hobbling.wordpress.com/

      1. by far the biggest hoster of this group. Lots of options in terms of customizing how the site can look.

    3. Tumblr --- an example of tumblr: http://msnbc.tumblr.com/ , http://theeconomist.tumblr.com/

      1. In this class we advocate using Tumblr to start and that is the platform we will cover for the remainder of this class. It is the easiest to set up and start using.

  5. Domain Names

    1. Before we talk more about Tumblr and begin looking at the features of the site, I wanted to talk for a second about Domain Names-- or the name of the websites. You’ll notice that with all of the sites we looked at the URL--that is the link included the name of the host site. For example, the wordpress site was: hobbling.wordpress.com.  It was not hobbling.com. The tumblr for MSNBC was: msnbc.tumblr.com. This is the default and if you stick with this web address, your name/name of your blog and the extension for the host site, the account is free. If you want the site to be simply your name (or another name of your choosing) without the .tumblr. com, you will have to pay a monthly fee. Unless you are a business, I would recommend that you do not purchase a domain name (a custom url for your site).

  6. Why Tumblr

    1. Got to Tumblr Site. Log into TechLab or individual account.

    2. The beauty of Tumblr is that it blows hosted sites out of the water when it comes to great design and ease of use. This platform is as basic as basic gets. The reason for that is it’s not just a blog; it’s a blog living on a social network. You can send people to http://yourbusiness.com and have them arrive on your Tumblr page, but other users of the network can also “follow” your blog and all of your posts will show up in their news feed. (Similar to the way Twitter works. And Actually, I think it is easiest to think about Tumblr as a sort of beefed up version of Twitter) (themetropreneur.com)

    3. When you create a post, you start by specifying what kind of post you want to create:

    4. By telling Tumblr what you want to share, they know how to properly display your post with the most visually pleasing presentation, contributing to the beautiful design of your blog.

    5. Tumblr is kind of in a league of its own since it’s also a social network. It’s another one that’s easy to jump into without any costs. If you think your content is going to be more visual than text and you need something really simple to use and and beautiful to look at, I would definitely make Tumblr a top contender.

    6. One thing to note with tumblr that because of its ease of use and the fact that it acts more like a social media site-- where you follow blogs much like you follow people on twitter-- people may use tumblr in addition to another site. MSNBC for example, has a tumblr in addition to their website.

  7. Tumblr Platform

    1. Briefly go through the features of the site

      1. show how to create blog

      2. post

      3. find blogs

      4. follow blogs

      5. search tags

      6. see the blogs they follow

    2. Then log out and show them how to create an account. If they would like, have them do so and then you can go around and help them create their own blog (meaning name it), change the theme of their blog, and find blogs to follow

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Class Materials:

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Tenderloin Technology Lab is a progam within the St. Anthony Foundation