I. What is a Blog?

neon_sign.jpgClick here to visit our session blog and add your thoughts on blogging!

A. What is a Blog?

A blog is a shortened term for “weblog,” a special genre of webpage that is organized around one or more authors who “post” regularly to a site with new content or ideas. The term blog can be used as both a noun, and now, as a verb. “What are you doing on the computer?” “I’m blogging!”

Weblogs are usually organized by postings made in reverse-chronological order. This way, when you visit a blog, you see the most recently-added information at the top of the page. Scroll down within a blog to read older content. Many weblogs include a search function to allow visitors to see older content, and some even include a calendar of when authors have posted to their blog.
What distinguishes blogs from other types of webpages are the usually short, focused writings that are each headed with a title covering the topic of the content. Weblogs, in fact, started out as folks who maintained websites wanted to post short commentary and links to items they had found on the Web. A reader could learn about other, interesting content on the Web by reading a blog that pointed visitors in other directions. Early on, then, weblogs linked people to different resources on the Web.

B. How do I make my own?

Patrick Crispen's great tutorial on creating one on Blogger.com

Sites that will host your blog (choose wisely so it suits your level of expertise and control/safety)
  1. Blogger (blog services)Blogger (owned by Google) is a user-friendly, full-service blogging site where you can create free blogs, including "team blogs" that allow multiple posters (great for classroom use).
  2. EduBlogs was created specifically for the education community (teachers, researchers, librarians and other education professionals). When you reach the site, click on "About" to get a feel for the purpose of this blogging site. You'll see a link there to learnerblogs.org, which is tailored to the needs of K-12 students.
  3. Blogmeister – Education Blogging Tools & Community** Education blogging pioneer David Warlick created the Landmark Project as a way to evolve a community of educators interested in the potential of web publishing. As part of this work, Warlick developed Blogmeister, a web-based service that allows teachers to create class and student blogs in a safe environment.
  4. Wordpress doesn't support remote blogging, but it does have a clean, responsive interface that makes creating and editing posts easy, and it lets you upload 25MB of images. The site offers an appealing array of preformatted templates; but unlike Blogger, Wordpress.com won't let you edit the template code--you're stuck with its options.
  5. ePals School Blog Service** Lets you manage a safe place on the Internet that enables collaboration and participation among teachers, students and parents.
  6. KidzBlog** Inexpensive blogging tool for elementary schools. You can password protect all aspects of the publishing process in KidzBlog.