This post is a summary of the ideas. tips and resources shared in the advanced blogging session.
You’ll find the recordings to the session here:
- Complete list of archived ETMOOC Blackboard Collaborate Sessions
- Introduction to Blogging – Jan 17 incl. Sue Wyatt, Peggy George (see supporting materials here).
- Introduction to Blogging (Director Cut) – repeat Jan 23 incl. Sue Wyatt, Alan Levine, Penny Bentley (see supporting materials here).
- Advanced Blogging – incl. Alec Couros, Sue Wyatt, Penny Bentley
The Advanced blogging session was a blend of what participants wanted to know mixed with skills they needed to know (Refer my Blogging questions Storify to see how this session was planned and the blogging tips shared by my network — thanks to all who helped plan this session!).
- This is a long post! Feel free to scroll down to the sections that interest you!
- I’ve kept it in the same sequence as the recording so you can use it to supplement the information covered.
- I’ve also added some quick videos to demonstrate some ”how to’
- You can download it as a PDF by clicking on the PrintFriendly icon at the top of the post.
Stop, look, link
Failure to link is a common mistake of all new bloggers! Linking to articles, websites or other blogger’s post when you write about them is an important part of blogging.
Your readers want to be able to easy check out the information without needing to Google.
Links are the building blocks of the web.
When you link:
- You are crediting those who inspired your post.
- Making it easy for readers to check out resources and information for themselves.
- Building community, continuation of the conversation and reciprocity.
How to Link
Other common reasons why new bloggers fail to link include confusion on which words you link and which URLs you use.
It’s good blogging etiquette to link to:
- A person’s blog if you mention a blogger
- The post if you are talking about a particular post on a blog
- Website or article if mentioned in your post
Here’s how simple it is:
Listened to Sue Waters’s session on Intro to blogging.
And it looks like this:
Adding a link is as easy as:
1. Copy the URL of the website you want to link to.
2. In the post that you are writing (1) highlight the text you want linked to the website and click on (2) Insert/Edit Link button.
3. Paste the URL into (1) URL box and then click (2) Add Link.
It’s good practice to paste the link; it’s less likely you’ll type the link wrongly.
4. When you view your blog you should now see the text is now linked in your blog post.
Commenting Etiquette and Tips
Commenting is as important, if not more important, than publishing posts. Besides all the learning you achieve when commenting — it is important part of being part of a learning community and developing connections with others.
Commenting etiquette and tips include:
- Stay on topic.
- Contribute new ideas to the conversation
- Be polite .
- Respond back to comments on your own posts.
Here are tips shared by participants in the session:
Digital Copyright and Fair Use
You can’t just use any image you like in a blog post.
Why? Because unless stated otherwise, the law automatically grants full “copyright” over any creative work a person makes.
I’m sure you’re probably thinking it is okay because as educators, we have a few more flexible rules, called “Fair Use”, to play by. Fair use, in some cases, if an image, text, video, etc. is being used for educational purposes, means you may have more flexible copyright rules.
The trouble is, most of the laws and rules that cover fair use and education were written well before the invention of the web. They don’t apply to use of copyright material on the Internet. Using copyright material leaves you open to copyright infringement.
So what does this mean?
You need to:
- Learn what images you are and aren’t allowed to use, and why.
- Learn how to attribute images you are allowed to use.
- Educate your students that you can’t just use any images off the Internet in their blog posts, show them how to source and attribute images they are allowed to use.
Understanding digital copyright is an essential skill we need to understand and teach our students.
Refer to The Educator’s Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons for comprehensive information on the use of images, curriculum docs, text and quotes, music, videos.
The safest way to source images for blog posts is to either use your own photos, images you created or use Creative Commons images (learn more about Creative Commons here).
Here’s a list of websites you can use for sourcing images:
- Flickr Blue Mountains
- Flickr Storm
- Simple CC Flickr Search
- Creative Commons Search
- Wikimedia Commons
- Open Clipart Library
Check out Joyce Valenza’s Comprehensive list of Copyright Friendly Image websites.
Using Creative Commons images
It’s a requirement of all Creative Commons Licenses that you attribute the original author. This means you can’t just use a creative commons image without acknowledging the person who originally created it.
Below the image or at the end your blog post you must:
- Attribute the image
- Link the photo back to it’s original photo page
- Specify and link to the Creative Commons license used.
Check out links below to see how they work:
Tools for Sourcing Creative Commons Images
The easiest way to do this is using a Flickr Creative Commons tool such as:
Check out this video on how to add Creative Commons images using the Compfight Plugin:
The faster option!
Check out this video on how to add Creative Commons images using the Compfight:
Use this option if you don’t have access to the Compfight plugin!
Using your own photos in blog posts
An alternative option to using Creative Commons images is to use your own photos.
However it is important to realise your photos are automatically copyrighted to you unless you state otherwise! So you let others know how you allow them to use your photos.
This is easy! Add a Creative Commons licences to your blog.
It’s as simple as:
1. Go to Creative Commons Licences.
2. Complete the form to choose the type of license you want to use.
3. Copy the code.
4. Log into your blog dashboard.
5. Go to Appearance > Widgets.
6. Drag a text widget into your sidebar.
7. The widget will automatically open — just paste the code for your Creative Commons licence, click Save and then Close.
8. You should now see your license in your blog sidebar!
Post Sharing Etiquette
We’re far more social now and more likely to use social network sites like Twitter and Facebook as a buffet; consuming whatever we want at our leisure by selecting posts from links shared by our networks.
So whether we feel comfortable or not — we need to be sharing our posts on social networks. The trouble is how do we balance sharing our posts? What is the appropriate etiquette?
Larry Ferlazzo provides excellent advice on this:
Use other social media to develop an audience for your blog, but don’t primarily make it about you.
Here are tips shared by participants in the session:
Making posts visually engaging
If you look closely at blogs you’ll notice many of them add cool interactive tools to their blog post.
They do this because things like slides, videos, comic strips, quizzes, polls in blog posts grab attention, engage and create opportunities for interaction in ways not achievable using plain text and images.
How you embed, or if you can embed, depends on what blog platform you’re using.
Here’s where you’ll find more information on embedding on Edublogs.org blogs:
- Embedding Flickr, YouTube, Tweets and more with a URL
- Embedding media including slides, quizzes, comic, polls
- Popular web tools that can be embedded
Check out this video on how to embed media using the URL:
Your Post Workflow
Some bloggers find having a workflow of how they create their blogs helps the process.
Here are the workflows shared by participants in the session:
Here is my post workflow: