Blogs and Microblogs
• Define a blog (e.g., Blogger, WordPress, Weebly) and provide examples in communication, collaboration, and marketing.
• Define microblogs (e.g., Twitter, Tumblr) and provide in communication, collaboration, and marketing.
• Describe “best practice” in using blogs and microblogs in library settings.
• Discuss to process of blogging.
• Discuss the process and purpose of comments and replies to social media postings (e.g., forum, blog, podcast, file sharing).
Over the past several years, personal and collaborative broadcasting has exploded in popularity.
Many libraries are now blogging.
Explore Shelftalk from the Seattle Public Library.
Just a few years ago, blogs were predominately a text-based media. Today, blogging has expanding to include audio and video content.
Many phrases have been created based on the word blog. For example, a mobile blog is called a moblog and involves using your smartphone for taking photos, recording text entries, and uploading to web space. A blog highlighting photographs is called photoblog.
Blogs are web logs that arrange postings (i.e., text, graphics, audio, video entries) in reverse chronological order. Generally a single author or team of authors post messages and encourage people to add comments. Blogs are a one-to-many type of communication space. They're a great place to journal, log ideas, and gather reactions.
Check out the Library History Buff blog.
Blogging has become popular in schools and libraries. Many academic libraries provide multiple blogs focusing on different content areas.
Examine a few other examples:
Many free tools are available for creating your own blog.
First, you can install blog software such as WordPress directly on your library’s web server.
Second, you can use an existing service to serve your blog. Explore the following three services.
Most blogs can handle text, graphics, audio, video, animation, widgets, and other embedded content.
Microblogging has become a popular type of blogging. Rather than longer postings, microblogs are very short entries often uploaded from mobile devices. While some microblogs involve reviews and original works, most are simply status updates.
Microblogs on Twitter are entries are limited to 140 characters. Hashtags # are used to categorize Tweets and make them easier to search. For example, #bannedbookweek
Explore examples of libraries using microblogs:
- JFK Presidential Library
- Milton S. Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University
- West Des Moines Library
Best Practices in Blogging and Microblogging
Authors of all ages can share their reading and writing experiences using a blog. Image a virtual career day where people in a variety of careers share a day in their life using Twitter.
Author Blogs. Many authors are using their blog to promote their writing as well as connect with readers. Use these blogs to encourage both reading and writing.
Current Events. Newsletters, newspapers, magazines, and other current events type publications work well in the blogging format because they allow timely publication of information. Articles can be tagged, archived, and easily searched. An additional benefit is the ability of readers to interact with the article authors. Finally, since no paper is involved, it's virtually free. Blogs can be great sources of timely information.
Journals. The classic use of the blog format is journaling. In addition to personal journals, blogs can be used to chronicle of class, science, or other activities. A series of science experiments, chapter by chapter book discussions, exploration of different types of poetry, and other ongoing activities are great for blogs.
Library Activities. Some blogs focus on resources, upcoming events, and activities connected to the library.
Reading Blogs. Look for blogs that are written by people with similar interests or background. For example, can you find other public library blogs or law library blogs? Also look for blogs with very different perspectives from your own and consider their point of view.
Reviews. Whether reading the reviews (i.e., books, movies, games) or writing your own reviews, simple book review projects are a great way to get started with blogging.
The Process of Blogging
Before you begin blogging, spend some time exploring professional blogs and blogs that are similar to what you want to create.
A blogroll is a list of blogs shared on a blog. This list often includes favorites of the blogger, so it’s a great way to locate new blogs to explore.
One of the reasons blogging is so popular is because of it's simplicity.
Here are the basic steps:
Creator. Create your content including text, visuals, audio, and video elements. Upload resources to a blogsite.
End User. View or download directly from a website. Or, subscribe to the RSS feed. Then, view or play on a computer or handheld device.
Blogs are web logs that are generally presented in reverse chronological order. They can incorporate text, images, audio, video, animation, widgets, and other elements.
Microblogs are short blogs generally containing less than 140 characters. A hashtag # is used to categorize and search for postings.
Blogs and microblogs can be used to access information. They can also be used by libraries to share information and events.