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Posts Tagged ‘blog’

#4 – Setting Up an RSS Feed

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Time for.. Thing #4 – Setting up your RSS account. 

 a. Decide whether you want to use Google Reader (NB you will need a Google email account) or Bloglines.  If you need some help deciding between the two, take a look at this article.

Of course If you feel like exploring, and you have the time,  feel free to set up accounts on both sites, play around in them, get a feel for the interfaces, and decide for yourself!

 b.  Set up your account – following the guidelines, both are fairly simple to set up and use.

 c.  Add a few of your favourite websites, news sites and of course-  blogs to your account.  To get the most out of your reader, you need to add lots of feeds. Try to subscribe to 10 or more feeds in either Bloglines or Google Reader.

Of Course…… First of all you can add the 23Things blog so that you will know when new content is added!

 Heres how:  Copy this link to the blog : https://23thingsdevlibs.wordpress.com

If you’re using Bloglines: login to your account, click “Add” at the top-left of the screen, paste the link into the “Blog or Feed URL” box, and click “Subscribe”. The next screen will give you some options on where you’d like to save the feed (you can organize your feeds in folders), once you’ve made your choices, click “Subscribe” at the bottom of the page.

If you’re using Google Reader: login to your account, click “Add subscription” at the top-left of the page, paste the link into the input box that appears, and click “Add”.

 Next Step: Once you’ve subscribed to the devlibs feed, take a look at some of these sites and subscribe to their feeds as well. To find their feed addresses, you will have to visit the site and look for the RSS icon or an ‘RSS/Subscribe’ link. They’ll be there somewhere….

Guardian

The Times

 Final Step: Still looking for more feeds to subscribe to? Getting addicted? Go to some of the library news blogs listed below. Some of these links go straight to the RSS feed – for the rest you’ll have to find the feed yourself…. Subscribe to feeds from the list. Read them weekly until October Daily is better. Why? Because you only really understand RSS by using it regularly.

Library blogs to set up feeds to:

Librarian in Black: Sarah Houghton-Jan covers many of the important stories in the ‘biblioblogosphere’ (!) in short and snappy posts.
Phil Bradley’s weblog
: Phil is a professional librarian and his blog is very useful way to keep up with new Web 2.0 tools.
Stephen’s Lighthouse:
Stephen Abram blogs about future strategic developments in libraries.

.Information Wants to be Free: Meredith Farkas’s blog. Meredith has written a very useful book on the uses of social software in libraries.
UK WebFocus
: Brian Kelly’s blog. Brian is based at UKOLN and his blog focuses on all aspects of digital information management, but especially Web 2.0 developments.

Make sure to visit your aggregator at least a couple of times this week to check for new content in the feeds you’ve subscribed to! (you’ll be surprised at how addictive RSS feed-reading can become!) And don’t forget to blog about your experiences using these tools!

 Further Readings (entirely optional!)

Categories: Week 4 Tags: , , , , ,

#1- Setting up your personal Blog

January 1, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Now you’ve got a bit of background about blogging – its time to start your very own blog.

Below are some activities to get you using and exploring this technology. Have a go, but if you get stuck remember you can either ask a colleague or you can email me at fliss.clooney@devon.gov.uk  and I’ll try to help.

Activity 1– Sign up to Start your blog!

Follow these simple steps to create your own blog.

  • Go to WordPress.com, click on the ‘Sign up now!’ button.
  • Enter your username, password and email address (you can use either your DCC email or your personal email account)
  • Tick the Terms of Service box. You can read the ‘terms of service’ by right clicking on the link and opening the page in a new tab. You must check the box to confirm you’ve read these before continuing
  • Click the “Gimme a blog” box and click continue.
  • Edit your domain name if you want to. Your blog address will be http://yourdomainname.wordpress.com so choose carefully!  If you want to remain relatively anonymous do not use your own name for this!!
  • Edit your blog title if necessary. This will appear at the top of your blog page – choose carefully , but you can always change it later on so don’t spend too long thinking about it!  Same advice as above if you want to reamin realtively anonymous!  I shall be adding your blog title  to the main 23 Things blog when you have set up your blog.
  • Choose your language – N.B. English would be easier for me!
  • Decide which privacy option you prefer – if you want your blog to remain relatively private then uncheck the box.
  • Click the ‘Sign up’ button
  • Check your email account for your WordPress activation email
  • Click the link given in the email and you’re off!
  • Congratulations!
    You’ve created your blog!

Activity 2:

Email your blog details to me

Just send these details:

Your name

Your blog address: that will be the one that looks like this – http://yourdomainname.wordpress.com

You will not receive an email confirmation. After about a week, your blog will appear on this page. Your real name and library affiliation will NOT be included. If you don’t see your blog’s name after about a week, please send another email. I promise I’ll get round to it in time!!

A note about privacy and responsibility
Remember that your blog is public, so anyone might be reading it. For this reason, it is recommended that you use caution in what you post on your blog. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want to be revealed to the world. In fact, this same caution holds as you start to explore other Web 2.0 tools. Additionally, you may also want to avoid using your real name or library affiliation on your blog.

Activity 3:

 – Write your first post

You will see a page with your blog title – and a blog entry that says something like “Hello World” – this page gives the option of editing this post. This is what you should do now. Delete the Hello World message and add one of your own. How do you do that?  Follow the instructions below….

First,  you will see a screen where you can edit the post or delete it.  Now is your chance to have a look around the site and to type your very first blog post.  Maybe you can take this opportunity to say hello to your fellow 23 Things participants.

Be sure to give your post a title. If you want to see what it looks like – click Preview. You can change this draft post as many times as you like until you are happy with the way it looks. When you’re ready , click on “Publish.”

Congratulations on writing your first blog post! Now, you can see what your blog looks like to visitors. Just click on “View Blog.”

Each fortnight you will be expected to post an entry on your blog. This will be the way to record your progress on the programme but it also the way that you will set the tone for your own personal blog.  Eventually this blog could be about anything that you are particularly interested in.  You may have a hobby or an interest that you would like to explore further.  You may have had an idea for extending your library services through an information blog – or you may just want to use your blog as an online journal.  Several libraries have started their own blogs to keep customers and staff up to date with news, events, photos etc.  The only limit is your imagination!

However – initially the blog will be a way of recording your own journey through the 23 Things programme – so one of your first posts could be about blogs and blogging and maybe what you think of the 23 Things programme so far.

Activity 4: – Explore templates and widgets

There is a lot more that you can do to make your blog more personal. There are many options that you may want to experiment with over the next couple of weeks. You can change the way your blog looks, you can add different widgets, you can change how posts are displayed etc etc. So now is the time to play around – here are a couple of options you may want to try out:

Changing the look of your blog through templates

  • Click on the ‘Design’ tab in your dashboard and select ‘Themes’
  • Click on the template to preview how your blog would look
  • If you don’t like it, click the X in the top left corner
  • If you do like it click ‘Activate’ in the top right corner and you’ve got a new template.

Explore widgets

A Widget is a fancy word for a variety of tools or content that you can add, arrange, and remove from the sidebars of your blog. Widgets make it easy to customize the content of your blog sidebar – the part of your blog to the left, right or sometimes top or bottom of your main content. For example you can add a calendar, or a list of your most popular posts.

Note:  Some “Themes” that you may have chosen above do not support the use of widgets. So if you can’t see a Widget option and you desperately want to add a calendar then you will need to choose a new theme for your blog!

To find out more about your blog and the different options you have for customising it then follow this link to WordPress. It will take you to a very comprehensive guide: First steps to Blogging

If you really want more in depth information about how to customise your blog – or, if you get really stuck and don’t have a clue what you are doing then here is a link to the Help section in WordPress. Help Section A word of caution to beginners – some of this information is very “techy”!!

So – here we are – you have completed the first “Thing”.  Congratulations.

Enjoy playing around with the look and the style of your blog – experiment, make mistakes but, above all, enjoy! In the next part of the programme we are going to be looking at using images, uploading photos , sharing them on Flickr and playing with online image generators.

See you in a couple of weeks 🙂

Categories: Week 2 Tags: , , , ,

Adding Photographs to Your Blog

January 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Uploading Photographs

Before we look at the wonderful world of photosharing the first activity for you to complete is to upload a photo onto your blog.

One of the simplest ways to upload photos is from your computer hard drive – so – first of all make sure that you have a photograph in your “My Pictures” folder on the computer you are working from.

Roskilde Cathedral

You could take a photo of your library or of something that will enhance the focus of your blog, or just something that interests you.

IMPORTANT:
Keep in mind that when posting identifiable photos of other people (especially minors) get the person’s permission before posting their photo in a publicly accessible place like your blog or Flickr. Never upload pictures to your Flickr account that weren’t taken by you (unless you have the photographer’s consent) and always give credit when you include photos taken by someone else in your blog.

Step by Step Guide:

• Go to the Dashboard of your own blog
• On the left hand side of the screen click onto Posts and then Add New
• Add a title for your new post
• If you want to add text to your photograph – add it in the posting box.
• Now click on the ADD IMAGE icon that can be found straight after the words Upload/Insert.
• You will then be asked to add media files from your computer.
• Click browse
• Select a photo from your My Pictures file
• Click Upload
• You will be taken to another page where you can add a title, a caption and a description of your photo.
• You can then choose whether you want your photo displayed on the left, the right or the centre and can decide what size you would like it to be.
• Click Insert Into Post
• You will then be taken back to your Add post box.
• You can preview the post by clicking the preview button ( right hand side in Publish box)

Of course you can edit this post as many times as you like
I suggest that you play around with various options here until you like what will be seen on the blog
Once you are happy with this post then you can publish it to your blog

Activity:  Upload a photo to your blog

Categories: Week 3 Tags: , , ,

#2 – Discover Flickr

January 1, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Even if you’ve never used Flickr, you are likely to have heard of it.. Photo sharing websites have been around since the 90s, but it took Flickr, a small startup site, to catapult the idea of “sharing” into a full-blown online community.

 Within the past few years, Flickr ( now owned by Yahoo) has become one of the most-popular photo sharing sites on the web. It’s become so popular that even public libraries are creating accounts, which emphasizes the online community aspect even more.  Here is a link to Devon Libraries very own  Flickr page:

Devon Libraries – Flickr

 Flickr is also known as one of the first websites to use keyword “tags” to create associations and connections between photos.  Users can “tag” photos with descriptive words and phrases to help other users identify and search for photos. (And if you’re not familiar with tagging, Don’t Panic! We’ll cover that in more depth in a later Week!)  Photos can be marked public or private so that you can choose who sees what.

Before you start to explore Flickr;

watch Common Craft’s common sense introduction to Flickr and photosharing.

ACTIVITY

To complete this weeks activity you now have 2 options:

A.  For those of you who do not want to set up a Flickr account

1. Take the Flickr tour and find an interesting image that you want to blog about. You can explore Flickr photos, search the tags, view various groups, and more without a Flickr account.

2. Use any keyword(s) (football, cats, llamas, library, Devon, whatever…) to find photos with those tags.When you find an interesting image or group, comment on your experience finding images, using Flickr, and anything else related to the exercise. Upload an image to your blog (be sure to credit the photographer). You can include a link to the image in the post.

However I would like to recommend the following:

B.  The better option for those of you who want to create a Flickr account

1. Create a Free Account in Flickr (note that Flickr is now part of Yahoo! If you have a Yahoo! account for email or MyYahoo!, log in with that. If not you will need to create a new Yahoo! email account).

2. Then use a digital camera to capture a few pictures of something in your library.

3. Upload these to your new Flickr account and tag at least one of the images with Devon Libraries – 23 Things. Be sure to mark the photo public. Read more about Flickr tagging. Go ahead and add your tag(s).

4. Add one or more of your images to your blog. You can add the image in one of two ways:

  • Flickr’s blogging tool (need a Flickr account to see the button) lets you click the “Blog This” button (right above the picture) and add any public photo on Flickr to your blog. Be sure to give credit to the photographer, if it is not your photo.
  • WordPress blogs allow you  to add photos from your computer or from the Web and choose the placement in your blog post. Click the little image icon in the toolbar on the New Post page—it is in the row of tools above the post box after Upload/Insert. Follow the instructions in the pop up box.

5. Once you have the photo uploaded and tagged, create a post in your blog about your photo and Flickr experience.  Will you use Flickr for the library or  for your personal photos, or in another way?

6.  Understand Creative Commons and licensing your photos at Flickr by visiting the Flickr Creative Commons page.

OPTIONAL: If you have a Flickr account, consider joining and contributing photos to a Flickr group. Here are two you might want to try:

Librarians’ Desks

Libraries and Librarians

So go ahead, explore the site and have some Flickr photo fun!

Finally, visit some other photo-sharing sites from the list below to see what else is out there.

                               Fotki

                               Photobucket

                               Picasa( need a google email/account for this)

                               Share on Ovi

                               Smugmug

                               Shutterfly

So. You have now completed the second “Thing”..take a look this week at adding Photos to your Blog 🙂

Categories: Week 3 Tags: , , , ,

#3 – Online Image Generators

January 1, 2010 Leave a comment

The image above has been created by an Online Image generator.  These generators  allow you to easily manipulate pictures and graphics to create fun images like these.

For this activity, we just want you to enjoy these applications. Find a few  image or text generators to play around with and write a post in your blog about one of your favorites. And don’t forget to display the results of your experimentation on your blog!

Often adding the image you want to add to your blog is as simple as copying and pasting code that the page provides. If not, you may just need to right click on the image and then save it to your hard drive before using WordPress’s image button to add it to your post.

Here are some of my favourite generator tools:

  1. Play around with some of these image generators and find one that you like.
  2. Post the result of your discovery process in your blog. (Be sure to include a link to the image generator itself, so other participants can discover it too.)

Finally – think about how these applications could be used in your library.

newspaper

Categories: Week 3 Tags: , , , , ,