Blog Assignment

In reading though everyones final blog post everyone seemed to enjoy writing a blog throughout the class. Some people even talked about Oncourse and how they proffered using a blog instead. Everyone had the opportunity to create a blog using a free service of their choice and configure it the way they wanted to. In doing so this made it easier for all of us to understand how the blogging software worked and be able to allow comments etc the way we chose to.

Another thing that most everyone mentioned in there final post is that they hope to continue with their blog. This may be hard to do if you do not have a reason, but by keeping a written record of would you do in class might be the motivation to continue. Maybe we should encourage professors and instructors to incorporate the use of blogs in more classes. It would help eliminate the confusion of using Oncourse and giving people the ability to take ownership of what they do. The blog like most people have talked about is a written record of what you have done throughout the class. It will exist for future reference.

If you have not done so you may want to read through what other people have been talking about. I found creating a course blog to be useful because I could easily post additional information that would help people out on there assignments. It was a good experience because like most of you this is the most consistent I have been in keeping up a blog.

Here is the IUCAT record for the Teens, Technology, and Literacy book I talked about in class:
Teens, technology, and literacy [electronic resource] : or, Why bad grammar isn’t always bad
Braun, Linda W.Publisher: Libraries Unlimited,
Pub date: 2007.
Pages: xix, 105 p. :
ISBN: 9780313090714

RSS Feeds and Blogs

Yesterday was a busy day in class where we explored both RSS Feeds and Blogs.  The two items are synomous with each other.  When creating the RSS Feed we took an example RSS Feed and edited to point to a resume or another online doucment.  RSS stands for Really Simple Syndictaion and it comes in two flavours RSS 2.0 and RSS 1.0.  Atom is a third standard to create a feed.

Here is the samle RSS Feed that we used yesterday evening to edit:

<?xml version=”1.0″ ?>
<rss version=”2.0″ xmlns:atom=””>
<atom:link href=”” rel=”self” type=”application/rss+xml” />
<title>Patrick Patterson</title>
<description>My personal website</description>
<description>Patricks Resume</description>


The feed is located at

Inside the item tags in the name of a story that is made up of the feed.  When looking at the feed in conjunction with a Blog the link and title that appears just below the channel element would be the name of the blog.  The item relates to each post that you make to your blog.
Blogs can be used by one individual or several other people.  A blog is essentially a Content Management System (CMS) consisting of three main components.  The components are:

  • Database – the database is the back end where all of the information is stored.
  • Programming Language – is considered to be the middle layer that interacts between the interface and the database
  • Interface – it is what we use to set up and configure the appearance of the blog

In class we used a self hosted Word Press blog as a group in which people were given different roles.  Word Press consists of the following roles:

  • Admin
  • Editor
  • Author
  • Subscriber
  • Contributor

Most CMS systems that I have used have some system of roles that determine what access you may or may not have within the system.

Blogging Software examples

There are many different types of blogging software packages that have been created over the past few years. Most software will fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Hosted software – by far the most basic and easy to create because you do not have to worry about anything, but creating an account.  It is similar to creating a free e-mail account where you enter a few pieces of information such as name and e-mail address.
  2. Open source software – most blogs will fall into this category where you can download the software and install in on a web server that you have access too.

Most software is free to use; However, if you are interested in having more control or features many of the hosted software allows you to upgrade your account for a fee.

Here is just a short list of blog software that is hosted and available for free:

  • Live Journal
  • Blogger
  • Word Press – has both a free hosted service and a version that can be downloaded and installed on a web server
  • Opera
  • Typepad –  a paid  hosted subscription that allows for a 14 day trial

There are plenty of different blogging software packages to choose from and my no means this list is an endorsment.  Please consult the Create A Blog web page at Stanford University for some more information about blogs.