How To: Start Your Own Blog - Tech Learning

How To: Start Your Own Blog

"In 2004, this word was the most frequently searched-for term in the online edition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary." "Various studies show that Americans have created more than 8 million of these." The question, Alex, is "What is a blog?" At its most basic, a blog (the contraction of "Web log") is a personal
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0

"In 2004, this word was the most frequently searched-for term in the online edition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary."

"Various studies show that Americans have created more than 8 million of these."

The question, Alex, is "What is a blog?"

At its most basic, a blog (the contraction of "Web log") is a personal journal in which the most recent entry is always at the top of the page. There are some good reasons for the explosion in the popularity of blogging over the past few years. The tools available are inexpensive and very easy to use. They make publishing to the Web simple for anyone, even if they can't spell HTML.

Currently, the most popular tool for creating and maintaining a blog is Blogger, part of the ever-expanding Google empire. All you need to get started is an Internet connection (even dial-up works well), 15 minutes, and something to write about. The service is free and can be accessed from just about anywhere.

Getting started with Blogger is a three-step process. First, you need to create a Blogger account. Go to www.blogger.com and click the button to Create Your Blog Now. The system will ask you to create a user ID, which must be unique in the system, and a password. You'll also need a display name for yourself and an e-mail address.

Next, you'll need to name your blog and give it an address. The name is displayed at the top of your pages and is also the title that users will see when they bookmark the page. The address will become part of the URL that people use to find you and will be in the form youraddress.blogspot.com. Both of these elements can be easily changed later, but the address you choose must be unique within the Blogger system.

The final step is to select the appearance of your pages. There's no reason to sweat over this part right now. During the initial setup, Blogger gives you a small choice of templates for your page design. You can choose a new one from a larger selection at any time. If you understand a little about HTML and cascading style sheets, you'll have the option later to modify your page in many different ways.

Click the button and in a few seconds your new blog will be ready to go. Now comes the hard part: writing your first post.

After completing the setup process, and whenever you log in to Blogger in the future, you'll arrive at the Dashboard. While there's a lot of information on this page, essentially there are two things you can do at this point: write a new post or change your settings. You could also set up another blog associated with your account, but one should be enough for right now.

Clicking on New Post takes you to an HTML editor, which unfortunately is the default setting. If you would rather not compose in HTML, click the tab for Compose to get an interface that looks more like your word processor, and even includes a spell checker.

Give your post a title, type what you want to say, and click Publish Post. In a few seconds, your thoughts are out on the Web for everyone to read. You can always go back and edit or delete them later, but considering the speed of the Web, review your words carefully before you click the button.

There is so much more to the world of blogging and many more features to personalize your blog in Blogger. This, however, should be enough to get you started. Now, it's time to think about creating your wiki.

Tim Stahmer, instructional technology specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, can be found blogging at www.assortedstuff.com.

Featured

Related

How To: Ready for Your Close Up?

from Technology & Learning Create and post a video blog with ease. Blogs, which began as a way to easily post one thoughts online in print, has evolved to include multimedia capabilities. A blog is not limited to text — audio and video can be incorporated. A video blog (commonly called a vlog) is a blog

How To Create Your Own Video-Sharing Site promo image

How To Create Your Own Video-Sharing Site

Flipping Out for Fliggo by Jen FarrI recently came across a Web 2.0 application that makes it easy to create your own customizable video sharing site in minutes. You can use Fliggo to build a class video blog, create a

How To Manage Your Blog Reading

OK, I know it's ridiculous, but I am currently subscribed to 829 blogs. That means if I checked one per day it would take nearly three years to get through them all. What I ought to do is go through

How To: Make Your Voice Heard!

A podcast is a method of distributing multimedia files, usually (but not limited to) audio in the MP3 format, over the Internet to subscribers. Anybody can be a subscriber — all you need is the proper software to receive the subscription, just like you need a mailbox to receive your magazine subscriptions. This

How to Create Your Own CDs

The introduction of the compact disc, through a joint venture between Sony and Philips in the early 1980s, greatly expanded the external storage possibilities of computers. While a floppy disk holds about 1.44 megabytes of information, a CD can hold over 600MB — over 400 times the capacity — all on one thin

Get Your Blog in Shape

Name: Get Your Blog in Shape Stacy Roper teaches Physical Education at J.H. House Elementary School in Conyers, Georgia. Roper created “Get Your Blog in Shape” to provide the school community with relevant health and fitness information. The majority of posts contain links to various articles or Web resources