Creating a Blog

A blog is a web-based journal that is designed to be updated on a fairly regular basis. Unlike a regular website, which is relatively static and designed to provide information and links, a blog is specifically designed for regular updates (called posts). You can have a relatively static blog that acts like an archive (of information) and/or a portal (of links), but a blog's true potential is unleashed when you start updating it on an ongoing basis!

Ground Rules:
Before you start, here are some basic ground rules for successful and safe blogging:
  1. Comments: I would recommend that you don't allow comments on your posts. Allowing comments opens you to spam and unwanted commentary. If you want more interaction, and you're willing to govern your blog for comments, then feel free to allow them, but otherwise this is a blog feature that you may want to turn off. (It's turned on by default in almost all blogging platforms.)
  2. Name:  If you post your name, always use your first name and last initial (e.g. Jennifer S.). That is a standard way to allow for acknowledgement and security.

Creating the Blog: Choose between Blogger and Edublogs. Blogger is more open, better for those who want "traffic" to their blog, and offers many easy-to-install widgets. Edublogs, on the other hand, is simpler and more "closed", and is optimized for education users. 

In both blogs, you'll need to complete the following steps:
  1. Sign in. In Blogger, you'll need a Google account, since Blogger is owned by Google.
  2. Choose a name and web address. These aren't necessarily the same; you can change the name later, but you can't change the web address. Think carefully about the latter, especially, and don't choose anything silly!
  3. Choose a template. [This can be changed later.]
If you like the idea of a blog and want to keep it going beyond school, I recommend Blogger.
  1. BLOGGER: To create a Blogger blog, go here. For instructions on how to start a Blogger blog, go here.
  2. EDUBLOGS: For Edublogs, go here

Building Up Your Blog:
Once the basic blog has been established, I recommend the following:
  1. Write down your blog's base web address and your password! Keep them in a safe but accessible place.
  2. Create a blog post! This is the best way to see how your template looks. By the way, an individual blog post has a different (and longer) address than the home page of your blog.
  3. Play with your blog's features. In Blogger, go to Layout (or Design in the older version of Blogger) and click on Add a Gadget. [Gadgets can be dragged around anywhere in the Layout interface.]
  4. Consider adding a page. In Blogger, a page is a static site that lies in the "background" of the dynamic main page, and allows you to provide stable information and links that won't change with an updated post. On this blog, I have a page for student work and a page on blogging... which is this page!
  5. Add links and graphics. These help spice up and personalize your blog. Unfortunately, most blogging platforms will not host documents and pdf's. Youtube videos can be embedded, though I recommend using the old scripts from Youtube.