Monday, November 07, 2005

Schoolhouse blogs

Teachers and professors have begun experimenting with classroom blogs. They believe "online journals will spark students' enthusiasm for computers, writing and opining."

Read on at

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Future post topics

As an aide-mémoire for me, and to whet the readership's whistle, here are a few things we're working on for future postings on NDLA Blogging for Beginners:

Tagging and social bookmarks (, Technorati)

Photo blogging:

I can post photos directly. Brilliant!

Listing your blog, marketing and promotion

Conference Blogging (Go, Shari, Go!)

Expect this list to collapse and expand as appropriate.

Blogs and wikis at Internet Librarian 2005

There's so much good stuff coming from LibrarianInBlack today on blogs and wiki presentations at the Internet Librarian 2005 conference, I'll just link up to what she's already done:

Blogs vs Wikis : who will win? What's better for detailing a conference on the fly? Blogs or wikis? Do you want clear chronology? Do you want designated authors, or a constantly evolving writing and editing free for all? Includes links to two different library wikis.

You've started a blog. Great! Now, how do you get people to read it?
Marketing, of course! Includes websites and writing tips from IL2005 presenters. A separate posting will follow in the not-too-distant future on NDLA BfB on marketing your blog.

Ethics schmethics? Not if you know what's good for you. A
summary of the Free Range Librarian's presentation on blogger ethics available as a PowerPoint presentation at the FRL's blog.

Want to know what's on the cutting edge of blogging today? An
overview of Library Stuff's Steven M. Cohen on blogging trends, including a link to his wiki on blogs and wikis. Whew!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Will this increase blogging @ your public library?

Interesting news story out of Sussex County, New Jersey via the folks at Boing Boing and originally written up in the Asbury Park Press.

Does maintaining a blog open students up to harassment and targeting by child predators? The principal of the high school in Sparta, N.J. passed the ban on Myspace and other similar blogging sites not only in the school's computer labs, but also in the privacy of student homes.

Will the public libraries in New Jersey see more high school-age patrons because of this ban?

We've talked about blogging policies before, but only as they apply to the workplace.

Even more for you to think about over your next cup of coffee.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Wiki wiki woo: blogging taken to the next level?

Yesterday's entry talked about wikis as presentation and blogging tools. Word today from Steven at Library Stuff, currently on the road at the Internet Librarian 2005 conference in Monterey, Calif. that his presentation on advanced weblogs is available in wiki form here at pbwiki.

I'm still exploring the wiki concept as a learning tool myself. I don't mind writing and posting here on the blog; allowing comments and discussion, but giving other people the ability to edit my material? I'm not sure I'm ready to take that step.

Maybe I'm just a frustrated wiki writer myself. I want to sign up to write and revise so many articles (British comedy, Canadian educational programming, the works of L.M. Montgomery, P.G. Wodehouse, authority control in library catalogs) but worry about being a master of none.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

More on blogging and learning

More of your blog, wiki, and RSS questions answered at Trey Martindale and David Wiley's PmWiki entry Blogs, Wikis, and RSS for Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development. This wiki (an information site available for editing by its readers) was developed for a session at the 2005 AECT (Association for Educational Communications and Technology) Conference. The electronic options available for dynamic, collaborative learning seem limitless. Don't be afraid to think outside the listserv!

Via Michael Stephens'
Tame the Web blog, here are a few examples of what library science students are doing with their blogs at Natalie's Who Moved My Library? blog. Sure, they started as a class assignment, but who knows where 5 years will find them? Today's library school bloggers are tomorrow's blogging librarians. Give them a read! There are lots of good intro to blogging insights and tips.

More from Michael Stephens and advice for library bloggers (nascent or veteran) in his June 2004 post Ten Things a Blogging Librarian Must Do. As quickly as the online environment changes, some advice remains timeless.

I've heard that some of our conference session attendees have taken the plunge and started their own blogs. Good luck and good blogging!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Finding your way around this humble blog: Q&A 2

Q: How do I get on your Links listing?

A: We only link to sites that we think are of lasting interest to librarians who are new to blogging, or sites that are local to North Dakota or the Northern Great Plains, where NDLA BfB is officially headquartered.

Feel free to send us an
email if you'd like to be included. The Blogs We Like section of NDLA BfB is still under development.

Q: How do I find your post on blogs as presentation media?

A: You have a choice. You can look for the title of the entry in our Previous Posts section, located in the sidebar on the right hand side. The 10 most recent posts are listed for you there.

Or, if you're more of a search hound, use the search box and a few keywords found at the top of the page.

If you're looking for older items (we currently keep 50 entries on the main page), use the search, or visit the Archives section of the sidebar. The archives are updated on a weekly basis.

Q: How do I link to one of your entries in my own blog?

A: To get to the permanent URL for a particular entry on NDLA BfB, you can click on the individual entry title from the Previous Posts section of the sidebar. This will display the individual entry you were looking for. You can then cut and paste the URL into your own blog.

You can accomplish the same thing by running a search in the Blogger search box, which has been discussed previously.

Finding your way around this humble blog: Q&A 1

Q: How do I search your blog for a particular entry?

A: You can enter search terms in the text box in the silver Blogger bar at the top of the page. Then, to search entries in NDLA Blogging for Beginners only, click the Search this Blog button. You will be rerouted to a search results page. You can then click on our individual entry titles there.

Q: Can I search multiple blogs from the NDLA BfB blog?

A: Yes! Perform the same search as outlined above, only click on the Search all Blogs button instead.

Q: How do I leave a comment for you on your blog?

A: Just click on the hyperlink that reads comments at the end of each entry. You'll find it on the same line as the author's name, and the time the entry was posted. This will take you to the comments screen.

Enter your comment in the Leave your comment box provided, and then click on the appropriate Choose an identity radio button. If you have an account with Blogger, you can sign in with your username and password, or you can leave an anonymous comment, if you're shy.

Then, enter the text string in the Word verification box (we do this to prevent spam comments), and click on the Login and Publish button.

We've set up our blog to receive comments by e-mail, so your comment will now wing its way to our inbox!

Q: I really like (or hate) one of the entries you have on your blog. Can I email the entry to myself or someone else?

A: Of course! Click on the envelope icon after the comments link. This will take you to the Email Post to a Friend page. Fill in the appropriate boxes, and include a brief message, if you wish. Click on the Send Email button, and a copy of our blog entry will be delivered to the address you indicated.

Check back for Q&A 2 on linking, archives, feeds, and profiles.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

From blog soup to blog nuts: designs and theses

If you're still waiting to take the blogging plunge, then Jakob Nielsen's recent article
Weblog usability: the top ten design mistakes is a must read. It's comforting to see that NDLA BfB is doing a pretty good job. I'll see if I can get my fellow bloggers and myself together for a group photo in our Halloween getups.

I wondered how long it would take to see a thesis produced on blogging. James Torio, a master's student in advertising design at Syracuse University has made
Blogs: a global conversation: a master's thesis on the social phenomenon of blogs available on his blog as a PDF file (145 pages, 4.5 MB) , and as 4 chaptered blog entries. I haven't read it all myself yet. As no doubt this blogger's future boss wants to know (see Jakob's point #9), I'm going to save it for my after work hours.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Assorted RSS goodies

Even on my day off, I'm trolling the web to find the best tips to get you blogging, RSS-ing, and eased into the world of online library delights.

Here's a few more RSS related items to wet your collective whistle:

Heard of an Ego Search? You can perform a search on your library's name, yourself, or even a favorite celebrity in a variety of blog and news-friendly search engines, and then subscribe to an RSS feed of the search, so that you can be kept continually updated on new developments with the same keywords! A how-to article and other links available at Search Engine Tricks.

Thomson-Peterson's has started a beta project compiling RSS feeds from a variety of university libraries. Take a look and see how academic libraries are working RSS!

Addicted to library news in a way that can only be cured by RSS? Check out, who boast of monitoring news headlines from 269 library blogs....soon to be 270 if I get my way!

Monday, October 10, 2005

ACRL blogging webcast

Here's a blogging related professional development opportunity for members of ACRL, or any of you who may have PD money to spend before the end of the calendar year.

If I can find a legitimate link to the proceedings after the webcast (I'm not brave enough to run afoul of ALA), then I'll look into linking to them from here.

If the dead can dance, then why can't blogs teach?

In addition to reading the first non-NDLA related mention of this humble blog in the great big blogosphere at Steven M. Cohen's Library Stuff (permit us a moment of self-congratulation), there is another link to a great blog for learners and teachers!

Marianne Lenox's I Am So Gonna Blog This is designed as an online course for novice bloggers. It highlights some of the basics of Google's Blogger product (the same used for NDLA Blogging for Beginners), and details how to start a blog, setting up RSS feeds, and basic HTML and template editing. As an extra bonus, she provides plenty of screenshots to help you along the way!

To paraphrase the late, great Don Adams as Maxwell Smart: it's so nice to see people using blogs for niceness instead of evil.

RSS: what the heck?

Simply put, RSS is an easy way for readers of a particular website or blog to be notified of updates to the site or blog's content. The content is syndicated, really simply (RSS). For a longer, more complicated explanation of RSS' technical specs, visit this Wikipedia entry.

RSS uses the XML file format to deliver web content right to an interested reader's desktop, mobile phone, or PDA-type device. Think of your favorite news site, blog, or online comic as the newspaper, and RSS as your newspaper subscription.

But, just because you have a newspaper subscription, you still need an intermediary to deliver the content to your door; the paperboy. In terms of RSS, an aggregator or feed reader can be used to check your favorite sites for updates, and deliver them electronically.

You have your choice of aggregator types. You can download a Windows, Mac, or cross-platform aggregator to your desktop, or you can go with a web-based aggregator. Here is a list of the different types of aggregators available for your perusal.

How do you know if your favorite blog or website has an RSS feed available? Look for an orange rectangle on the page marked RSS or XML. This means that the administrator has established a site feed to which you can subscribe. NDLA Blogging for Beginners has established such a feed to keep you updated of new entries to the blog without you having to return to the site itself. Have a look at the sidebar to the right.

Also, look for a button that says "Subscribe." Many online aggregators, such as Bloglines will allow you to subscribe to blog updates simply by clicking on the button provided. This blog has an easy Subscribe with Bloglines button available to you in the sidebar to the right. Just make sure you sign up for a free account with your online aggregator first! Most online aggregators will provide related links, or a directory of other blogs and websites with RSS feeds, so that you can keep up to date on any topic that might interest you.

How are libraries using RSS?

The University of Alabama Libraries use it to notify students and faculty of recently cataloged books.

Minneapolis Public Library provides a daily calendar of events and what's new in internet resources.

Hennepin County Library includes custom catalog searches, events, and booklists, and other items in a list of RSS offerings that would make any librarian salivate.

What could you use RSS for at your library?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Lib-bloggers in the news

An interesting article from the October 1, 2005 issue of Library Journal here.

Authors Brian Kenney and Michael Stephens talk to blogging librarians about their blogs, their motivations, and the impact they feel their library blogs and blogs in general are having.

If you liked Rachel's discussion of blogging and academics earlier in the NDLA blog, you might also be interested in the remarks of danah boyd and Michael Gorman at the LITA Blog.

Blogs as presentation media?

Finally! An alternative to PowerPoint poisoning!

Any of you who attended the conference presentation for which this blog was designed, know that a blog may be used in lieu of PowerPoint for presentation purposes.

Blogs as presentation media are visually interesting, communicative, and allow session attendees to take away a synopsis of the presenter's information without lugging around a half pound of paper slide printouts. Also, if the presenter continues to update the blog, the learning process can be extended far beyond the confines of conference time limits.

Here are links to a few articles and blogs who are finding the same results!

Cindy Chick explores blogs as-slide-substitutes on LawLibTech in a two part series here and here.

Steven M. Cohen of Library Stuff points us to Dan Karleen's presentation blog entitled Blogs and RSS in Business and Marketing. Dan's blog has the PowerPoint inspired 'bullet points,' but is a fun and different way of presenting to his audience nonetheless. I especially like his blog template! ;)

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Just added an RSS feed for NDLA Blogging for Beginners!

Right click on the little orange XML button on the right hand side, choose copy shortcut, and then paste the location into the aggregator of your choice.

Don't worry. More to come on RSS later!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Coming soon-ish

You asked for it!

RSS Primer.

Library blogging links.

More articles, books, and news.

Please leave us a comment if there's something else you'd like to see here!

Blog hunting season

Looking for a few good blogs on cooking, legal topics, knitting, or anything else you (or a patron) can think of?

Here are a few blog finders, indices, and search engines to help you find your way.

Technorati Blog Finder




Google Blog Search

You can also register your own blog with these sites, if you are keen to share with the rest of the world.

Ted gets it wrong!

Click on the comic to enlarge.

If only Ted had read NDLA Blogging for Beginners earlier, he'd know that freedom of speech isn't guaranteed under the First Amendment at private companies.

Score one for the Pointy Haired Boss, in this case. Blogger? Blog safely with help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Supervisor or policy maker? Be sure to write and distribute a policy on blogging for your library or workplace.

Friday, September 30, 2005

How do I create a blog?

Thanks to everyone who attended our Blogging 101 session at the NDLA conference!

After the session we received a lot of good feedback as well as follow-up questions. The most frequent question was, "so, exactly how do you make a blog?".

I've created some simple instructions outlining how to create a blog on Click here for the instructions.

For further information, look at Rachel's blog bibliography and Get Blogging! posts.

For those who attended the session, this is your assignment:

Leave a comment on this post. I'm not going to tell you how. You have to use your saavy librarian skills to figure it out. You can do it!

Happy Blogging,

Monday, September 19, 2005

Intro to blogs

Welcome to the blogging world!

blog (n): a web page containing brief, chronologically arranged items of information(pictures, articles, personal thoughts) , also called Weblog, Web log

  • Blogs are a new aspect of the online world. They started around 1998.
  • Blogging really took hold when cheap (as in free!) software allowed the public accessibility.
  • Warbloggers took blogs into a new direction.

Different ideas exist about what constitutes a blog

  • Some believe that blogs are personal
  • Constantly updated with new information

Others believe blogs ae "a cross between a diary, a web site and an online community."

Why blogs are hard to define

  • New technologies
  • Boundary testing
  • Features are more important to users than definitions.

How are blogs useful?

  • Help readers cope with information overload
  • "Contextualizing"
  • Range of perspectives otherwise ignored
  • Specific subject field

Problems with blogging

  • Comments on blogs
  • Spam
  • Vapid content

Libraries and blogs - How can blogs help you?

  • sources of information on a range of topics
  • repositories of ideas and community experience
  • tools for delivering information to those who need it
  • promote services and allow for communication with our patrons

Blogs make kitties happy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Christine on…Why People Blog

Rationale about why people blog is as diverse as the blogs themselves. Some people view blogging as a new, grassroots form of journalism. Some view the personal web page as outdated and the blog as the newer, better choice.

“Blogs combine the immediacy of up-to-the-minute posts with a strong sense of the author’s personality and point of view”.

Weblogs and Libraries by Laurel A. Clyde

Who blogs? "Almost anybody."

Individuals, groups of individuals, organizations, institutions, companies, professional associations, universities and colleges, libraries, clubs...

Why blog? "Many reasons and motivating factors have been suggested."

Community service, share expertise, provide alternative to trade magazines, create opportunities for cooperation, make money, career advantage, have fun...

In a study done by Nardi, et. al, five major motivations for blogging were discovered:

1. Blogs as Journals to "Document my Life"
2. Blogs as Commentary: "A Point of View, not Just Chatter"
3. Blogs as Catharsis: "Me Working Out my Own Issues"
4. Blog as Muse: "Thinking by Writing"
5. Blogs to Build Community: "Getting in Conversation with Each Other Electronically"

The Blog Phenomenon by John C. Dvorak

1. Ego gratification
2. Antidepersonalization
3. Elimination of frustration
4. Societal need to share
5. Wanna-be writers

Libraries Join the Blog World

Why and How to Use Blogs to Promote Your Library’s Services

Why and How:
1-Promote library events
2-Support dedicated users
3-Engage your community
4-Support your community
5-Build new ties

4-Community tools
5-Subscription lists
6-Headline Syndication, i.e. RSS

(I'm a list person. Can you tell?!)

Examples of library blogs:

Upcoming releases in publishing and entertainment

Online book discussion group in blog form

News for LIS professionals

Photos and updates on new library building construction

Library news, events and resources

News on library resources and libraries around the world

List of library blogs


Christine on...Writing a Good Blog

What makes a blog a "good" blog?

1-Write in a way that's understandable by the masses.
2-Don't use acronyms and slang that only a few people will understand.
3-Keep sentences grammatically simple, short and concise.
4-Post on a regular basis.
5-Ask questions.
6-Stay focused.
7-Make your posts "good reading".
8-Proper sentence structure, grammar, spelling...SPELL CHECK PEOPLE!
9-Who are your readers/Why should they return?
10-Choose colors/fonts/images/font sizes/styles carefully.


Christine on...Examples of Good Blogs

In my opinion, a good blog is a blog with the following attributes: proper grammar/syntax/spelling, nice template design, entertaining, member/guest comments and feedback, has a PURPOSE.

Here are a few examples of good blogs, in no particular order:

Family reunion blog:

Library and information science blog:

Community blog:

Celebrity blogs:


Babs has a blog?! I’m feeling verklempt, talk amongst yourselves...

Funnyman Dave Barry:

Religion: (impressive template)

OCLC has a blog?! that’s right, folks:

Ahem…shameless plug:

Blogs on books:

Best blogs according to

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The ugly side of blogging

Think your blog will allow you to stay completely anonymous?

Think again.

Here are a few case of people being fired, disciplined, or worse as a result of their blogging:

Ellen Simonetti used to be a Delta Airlines flight attendant until she posted pictures of herself in her uniform on her blog.

Rachel Moesteller used to write for a North Carolina newspaper until human resources found out about her blog.

Penny Cholmondeley was fired from her job at Nunavut Tourism after her supervisor received an anonymous complaint about her blog detailing life in the Canadian Arctic.

Iranian blogger was arrested in February 2005 and initially sentenced to 14 years in prison for blogging, but was released later in March. Three other Iranian bloggers are still being held in prison.

Read more about bloggers who have been "dooced" (fired because of their blogs)
here and here.

What about the First Amendment?

The First Amendment protects speech from regulation and censorship from the government, and is not applicable to private employers.

You could use your blog in your favor if you use it to talk about specific topics protected by state laws, such as unionizing, whistleblowing, reporting on your work for the government, and talking about legal off-duty activities.

Check out the International Bloggers Bill of Rights
here for a list of freedoms asked for by the "Inhabitants of the Blogosphere." This, of course is just a website and is not legally binding.

Very little exists in terms of legal precedent on blogs or blogging. Most likely, individual companies will have to set up their own policies on worker blogging.
Sun Microsystems is one of the few companies with a prominently displayed blogging policy.

One example that might generate some case law is
Apple vs. Does. Apple subpoenaed the email service provider of three online journalists in an effort to identify Apple employees who leaked information on a new product to online news sites Apple Insider and PowerPage. Even though this case involves journalists and websites, not bloggers and their blogs, the case might be made that no one can be guaranteed anonymity online.

Copyright is also a thorny issue with blogs. Copyright guru Lesley Ellen Harris writes in The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter (2005, issue 1), that individual bloggers would retain the copyright to items in their blogs for 50 to 70 years after the author's death. Will your blog last this long?

She also addresses the topic of people who blog for work, as part of their job duties. In this case, it is the employer who would own the blog's content.

In terms of 'ownership,' today's copyright laws allow only the owner of a work to authorize its reproduction. As blogs are designed to be freely accesssible and widely read, is permission really necessary or even desirable to reproduce blog content? Bloggers are notorious for picking up and linking to content in each other's blogs.

Blog safely!

The best way to protect yourself and your blog from woes at work, home, and with friends is to restrict how much information you release about yourself and your work.

Electronic Frontier Foundation has several good tips on how to blog anonymously, including:

  • using a pseudonym
  • using anonymous blog hosting and other anonymizing technologies such as (an anonymous blog publisher), or Tor, which circuitously routes your data packets, making online activity harder to trace
  • limiting your audience to friends, or people you allow to view your blog with a password
  • don't let search engines index your blog
  • register your domain name anonymously to prevent WHOIS record searches

The EFF has a wealth of other resources on the legal and anonymous aspects of blogging at their Bloggers webpage, located here.

More help on staying anonymous and blogging safely (albeit designed for journalists) from Reporters Without Borders via their Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Blogging? You cannot be serious!

New technology is not always quick to be embraced by the mainstream.

Even some luminaries of the library world have been slow to embrace blogs, or have been downright hostile.

ALA President Michael Gorman wrote a particularly strong
piece that coined the derivative phrase "Blog People" after he received emails of complaint after expressing his reservations about Google digitization projects. His complaint was that Blog People consume information in tiny dribs and drabs, and are probably unfamiliar with the sensation of sitting down and reading a paper book.

Dean of the library school at Indiana University-Bloomington Blaise Cronin was even harsher in his Dean's Notes, calling blogs "the fusion of vanity publishing and the bully pulpit. Every idea, no matter how trite or crazy can see the light of digital day."

Cronin's remarks provoked the Blog People to return fire, prompting his revisiting the issue in another
Dean's Notes. This is despite SLIS students and the school's faculty winning an award for excellence in blog research.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Blogging, bloggers, and influence: Memogate

Bloggers have been thrust (or have thrust themselves) into the mainstream media spotlight over the past year with their coverage of several news stories.

The 60 Minutes II story about President Bush, his service in the Texas Air National Guard, and a series of memos regarding this service was pounced upon by bloggers in 2004. A 'blogstorm' soon descended, with bloggers using their enormous numbers, technical expertise, and freedom from restrictions of time placed on the mainstream media to wade through the story's sources.

You can find a timeline of the story and the involvement of bloggers

The way bloggers kept their questions and doubts aloft gave the mainstream media (who bloggers refer to as MSM) a bit of a black eye. More to come later on whether bloggers can be 'trusted' or abide by ethical standards.

Blogging, bloggers and influence: Eason Jordan

Former CNN executive Eason Jordan also experienced online pressure in January 2005 when he made comments at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland about journalists killed in Iraq.

You can read the details of the story

Bloggers at the event and around the world demanded a transcript of Jordan's remarks so they could study them for themselves, but WEF forums are typically not recorded. Amidst claims of bloggers that they were only looking for accountability in media, and Jordan's attempts to qualify his remarks about journalists and the military, Jordan resigned.

Bloggers claimed a victory for transparency in media, while mainstream journalists and academics said that "[t]he salivating morons who make up the lynch mob prevail" (
Steve Lovelady, editor of the Columbia Journalism Review)

Blogging and journalism or Blogging vs. journalism?

Blogging and journalism aren't the same thing, so decided a conference called Blogging, Journalism & Credibility: Battleground and Common Ground. Librarians even attended this conference to weigh in on the differences.

A few main points discussed at length at the conference were:

  • Ethical standards for bloggers cannot be set for bloggers as they can for journalists. Who do bloggers ultimately report to, or who are they responsible to? No editor or chief of news has an office upstairs from a blogger.
  • Bloggers are not completely without bias, even though they claim to be. Every living, breathing, functioning human being brings experience, education, and life to the computer with them everytime they sit down.
  • Bloggers believe that the mainstream media lacks credibility, as they have to respond to editors, advertisers, the Network. Free from these shackles, bloggers feel that they can investigate and follow stories without restrictions of time or influence
  • Journalists believe that bloggers are fly-by-night operation without standards, ethics, or journalistic training.
  • Anonymity and blogging. Can you trust someone who doesn't even use their real name?
  • Collaborative nature that bloggers and their commenters have that doesn't exist between news viewers and news readers.
  • Fact checking and editing in blogs. Lee Rainie speaks at the conference of the distinction being that journalism is edited before being published, while blogs are edited after they are published.
  • Lawsuits: how to sue a blogger?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Caveat lector : evaluating blogs

Ultimately, the decision on believing or disbelieving; reading or ignoring blogs falls to the reader.

As librarians, we know a thing or two about evaluating sources. While we can't browbeat people into reading what is good for them (nor should we), we can at least be prepared when people come to the reference desk with questions on blogs and blogging.

The nuts and bolts of blogging design have already been covered by my colleagues. Here, then, a few things to remember when evaluating the reputation of a blog:

Note: these are more for news and current events related-blogs. Online personal journals may have a different set of evaluative criteria.

  • Look at the coverage of topics, the depth of investigation, interaction and discussion on the blog (both comments and replies). Is it active or static?
  • Don't base judgments on the frequency of updating alone. Is the blog updated frequently with meaty and interesting material, or just quizzes and song lyrics?
  • Who is the audience of the blog?
  • Is there objective reasoning, or just rants?
  • What is the writing style? Is it appropriate for the audience?
  • Are there any external reviews of the blog? Who are these reviewers?
  • Who is the author? Who are they affiliated with? Where is the URL coming from?
  • Is there overall integrity? Can you track down the data cited independently of the blog?
  • What is the tone? Ironic or satirical?
  • Can you spot a bias?
  • Are there citations and references provided for the material?
  • Can you spot propaganda, mis- or disinformation?

The above criteria were compiled from the following sources:

Cornell University Library's Critically Analyzing Information Sources

University of California Berkeley Library's Finding Information on the Internet : a Tutorial

Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries' Evaluating Internet Information

Friday, August 26, 2005

Blogging books: a bibliography to get you started

What sort of library conference presentation would this be if we didn't leave you with a bibliography?

Here are some books to get you started on the road to blogging. Enjoy the reads, and the ride!

Bausch, Paul. We blog: publishing online with weblogs. Wiley, 2002.

Blood, Rebecca. The weblog handbook: practical advice on creating and maintaining your blog. Perseus Books, 2002.

Clyde, Laurel A. Weblogs and libraries. Chandos Publishing, 2004.

Gillmor, Dan. We the media. O'Reilly, 2004.

Gosney, John W. Blogging for teens. Course Technology, 2004.

Hewitt, Hugh. Blog: understanding the information reformation that's changing your world. Nelson Business, 2005.

McFedries, Paul. Complete idiot's guide to creating a web page and blog. Alpha, 2004.

O'Brien, Barbara, ed. Blogging America: political discourse in a digital nation. William James & Co., 2004.

Powers, Shelley et al. Essential blogging. O'Reilly, 2002.

Stone, Biz. Who let the blogs out? A hyperconnected peek at the world of weblogs. St. Martin's Griffin, 2004.

We've got blog: how weblogs are changing our culture. By the editors of Perseus Publishing. 2002.

Also enthusiastically recommended is librarian Susan Herzog's
BlogBib, a blog-based bibliography on all manner of blog information. It contains links to articles, books, studies and presentations on blogging, and highlights library blogs and some of the blogging software available.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Get blogging!

Ready to get started blogging? Here are some links to the most popular "ready made" blogging sites to help you get started.

Each of the sites have minor differences as to account types, having free and paid options, and other bells and whistles. Once you pick a service and start an account, all you need is a computer and an idea!

Blogger Owned by Google. NDLA Blogging for Beginners is hosted by Blogger.

LiveJournal Originally started by a small group of friends. And who doesn't like Frank the Goat?

Myspace is popular with kids and teens and has a blogging option.

Xanga is another site that allows you to share your thoughts with the world.

Journalspace is another popular option that can help you get blogging.

Each of these sites are good for blogging novices. If you have some programming experience under your belt, you might be ready to try more advanced blogging options such as
Movable Type, WordPress, or b2.

See you around the blogosphere!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The end??

We hope NDLA Blogging for Beginners has been helpful to you.

Please drop
Rachel a line if you have used the blog innovatively or interestingly, or if you have any further ideas for its development. Also feel free to leave us a comment to any of our entries above.

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