Monday, 17 May 2010

Week 2: Blogging

Why blog?

People blog because they want to share with others. They may share their opinions, rants on particular topics, or news from a holiday. They may even have a professional blog where they share views on their work, or they may have a blog all about their pet. When you’re blogging, you can adopt any persona you like.

This programme is based upon blog entries and during its course you’ll need to write on your own blog about each Thing you complete. Will you want to continue blogging after you’ve finished? You may change your ideas on this throughout the course – let us know what you think.

Watch this short video about what blogs are. (You'll need sound or a set of headphones for this one.)

We will be using blogs to track everyone's progress on the 23 Things course, so your Things for this week are to get your own 23 Things blog up and running.

You will be expected to record your thoughts and experiences and add any ideas you may have on how to use the different Things for yourself or at work.

The posts can be as long or short as you choose or have time for, from a brief summary of what you did and learnt, to a longer consideration of the pros and cons of that particular tool. Then at the end, not only will we be able to see that you have completed all the things, but you will have your own record of your participation.

There are no wrong answers on your blog – these are your opinions, and as long as you’re not rude or defamatory (remember this is a work project, and your blog is public!), anything goes.

You can choose to use any screen name you like (you may prefer to keep yourself anonymous). This name will be posted on your blog, but your “real identity” will not be listed. All participants will be linked to the blog so as you go along you'll be able to see how everyone else is doing, and comment on and support each other, but you will be as anonymous as you choose to be.

If you already have a blog and would like to use it to record your 23 Things experience rather than setting up a new one then please feel free to do so. However you will still need to register the URL with Isla and please make sure you tag each post consistently as described below.

Your blog is entirely yours to do what you like with other than this - if you get keen and explore further or other tools, feel free to write about those too; or general thoughts as and when they occur to you.

Thing 3 – Create a Blog

Create a blog
  • Go to and sign in at the top right-hand corner with your Google account username and password.
  • This will bring you to a sign up for Blogger screen.
    Some of the information may already be filled in for you, depending on what you told Google when you signed up for your account, but you will probably have to choose a display name, and you will need to accept the Blogger terms of service.  
  • Screen two is called name your blog, and this is where you pick your blog's title and URL.
    The blog title can be anything you like - on this blog it is 23Things@CamMedLib + FollowThat.....  
  • The blog address has to be unique, so you might have to try a few things before you find one that works. You can change both of these later on if you decide you don't like them after all, but be wary of changing your blog address as all links and feeds will break if you do.
  • Screen three is where you pick the template, ie what your blog will look like. There are a number of standard templates to choose from - pick your favourite! Again you can change this at any time in the future, and if you're feeling adventurous you can customise the templates or upload entirely new ones.


Make your first post

  1. Click on the orange arrow that says 'start blogging', or, if you have logged out and are coming back to your blog, then click on 'new post' by your blog's name on your dashboard (the screen you see when you log in).
  2. This will bring you to the posting screen. Enter a title for the post, and then type your text into the box. There is a toolbar at the top of the box which will allow you to format your text and add links and images.
  3. write an blog entry outlining your impressions of 23 Things so far, and perhaps what you already know about web 2.0. That way when you finish the programme you can look back at yourself at the start and see how much you've learnt.
  4. When you have finished, add 'Thing 3' in the labels box at the bottom. Labels are tags, and you'll learn more about these later on, but for now these are just descriptive keywords for each entry. For each post you make on your 23 Things blog, please make sure to label it 'Thing [?]' for the number of the thing it relates to. This means your posts on each Thing can easily be found. You can add other tags too if you would like to.
  5. When you are all done, click the big, orange publish post button at the bottom of the screen, and your first post is now live!
Your second post: Things 1 and 2 and inserting images
  1. To make sure that your blog is a record of the whole programme, please write a second post about what you learnt last week and your thoughts on start pages.
  2. As the programme goes on, it would be a great idea to add screenshots of the various sites to your blog posts, so try this out by inserting a screenshot of your iGoogle page as an image in this post.
  3. If you don't know how to make screenshots, there's some instructions below, or look in the Hints & Tips
  4. Make sure your browser is open and the RSS feeds are showing and maximised on your screen, then press [Ctrl] and [PrtSc or Print Screen] (on the same line as the F keys on your keyboard), and then press [Ctrl]+[c]Now open an image editing program (Paint will do) and paste the image in ([Ctrl]+[v]. Save the image to your computer (perhaps in My Documents/ My Pictures) and give it a name you'll recognise so that you can upload it to Blogger.
  5. To add images, click on the image icon in the toolbar on the posting page (to the right of the 'link' button), which will bring up a box for you to upload your image.
  6. Don't forget to tag the post 'Thing 1' and 'Thing 2' in the labels box before you publish it!
Extra task (optional
  • try adding different gadgets to your layout (perhaps a fish tank, or list of favourite links, or change the archive list)
Thing 4 – register and search

  1. email Isla ( with the address of the blog (www.??? It will be added to the list of participating blogs on  
  2. Go to and open “more”. Pick blogs from the list of options. Search for a blog on a topic that interests you.  
  • Write a blog entry including a link to the blog you found with a sentence or 2 saying why you chose it.
  • Label this blog post “thing4” and publish it.

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