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All about blogs




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Possible electronic tools for your journal

Feel free to explore these tools (or others) for your research journal. Don't forget to check the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy before signing up.
  • Tumblr - a very simple blogging tool, almost perfect for journalling. You have to do some tricky stuff to get a tag cloud to display and comments to display, but I can help you with this.
  • Blogger - fairly easy to use. A Google service.
  • Wordpress - a very powerful blogging tool, a bit more complicated but you can do just about anything with it.
  • Edublogs - a Wordpress-based blogging tool, normally not blocked by schools, but there seems to be a lot of advertising on the site.
  • MyUC - Create a UC Space under 'Study Tools'. This will allow you to host your work on a UC server.
external image picture-14.pngexternal image blogger_logo.pngexternal image wordpress-logo-300x300.jpgexternal image edublogs_logo.png


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Signing up for web services

Before you sign up for anything ...
  • Note that I am not requiring that you sign up for any external service for this unit.
  • Make sure you read and understand the Terms of Service (or similar) and the Privacy Policy of the service you are signing up for.
  • Be sure to read and understand the info on signing up for an externally hosted web service on this site. We will be going through it in class, too.

Online sign-up basics
  • external image 2007-08-24-username.gifLook for the 'sign up,' 'register,' 'join' or similar button
  • Follow the instructions. At base, you should have to
    • create a username
    • create a password
    • provide an email address
  • Write them down in a safe place if you have trouble remembering what your details are.
  • NB: You will need your username and password to sign in to your account in the future.
  • NB: You will not be able to change your username later, so choose carefully; however, you will be able to change your password and email address.

Some tips
  • Use the same username across the web so that you don't have to create and remember lots of different usernames. Just be sure to choose a username that is likely to be unique. For example, jsmith might already be in use by someone else, whereas jksmith497 might be available on most services.

Any questions, remarks, observations? Leave a post in the forum for this page :)


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Signup tips

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  • Choose a username that 1) you will remember, 2) that reflects well upon you as a professional, i.e., that isn't frivolous ('PinkLadyNo3) -- you will be presenting a public face to the world through your blog and you may want to use it later as a professional portfolio to share with potential employers
  • Choose a password that you will remember
  • Remember the email address you used to sign up for your blog
  • You may change your password and your email address via the profile area.

ESSENTIAL! Write down or remember these things:
  • Your username*
  • Your web address/URL*
  • Your password
  • The email address you used to create this account

You will need your username and password to sign in to your blog in the future. You will be able to access your blog in the future by either
  1. Visiting your blog's web address and signing in via your site
  2. Visiting the service's main page and signing in there.

*You will not be able to change your username or web address later; however, you will be able to change your password and email address.



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Password security

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Use a secure password and use a different password for each site. To make this easier, use a base for your password, e.g., SK*5ci#jO23 but add in a different set of site-specific letters for each site you visit -- perhaps the first two and last two letters of the site. So, for Wordpress, SK*5ci#jO23 might become SK*WO5ci#jO23rd; Google would be SK*GO5ci#jO23le
Also:
  • Don't forget to log out of any open account when you are finished. This is especially important when using non-private computers.
  • Internet security is really important.


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Tags (aka ‘labels’)


external image uni_tag_cloud_wordle.pngTags (also known as 'labels' in some systems, such as Blogger) are keywords that are added to objects and information on the web -- they help you to navigate websites such as blogs.

A tag cloud is a visual representation of all the tags on a website. In a tag cloud, some words appear bigger than others: the bigger the word, the more often it has been used on the site.

You should add tags to your ICT research journal posts and a tag cloud to your journal as a whole. I can help you if you need :)



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Widgets (aka ‘gadgets’)

external image embed1.jpgWidgets (sometimes called 'gadgets') are used to display content from another website on your own website. They're similar to 'Applications' in Facebook. Typical widgets include calendar or map widgets, RSS widgets, and video widgets. Widgets usually work via embed code, which you add to your website via html or similar.

Use embed code to add YouTube to your blog.

Don't worry if all of this sounds too techo for you -- we'll go through it in class.




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Hyperlinks

Yes, I know you know what these are! But there is some etiquette around how to add them to your site.
  1. When adding a link, look for the link icon. It's usually something like this: external image viewed.php?file_id=173
  2. Click on the icon and follow the instructions.
  3. Add the link behind the text. i.e., CORRECT: Visit the UC homepage WRONG: Visit the UC homepage http://www.canberra.edu.au/home/


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Displaying grad dip tweets on your blog

You can display grad dip tweets on your blog. That's gotta be handy.


For WordPress users
  • external image wordpress-logo-300x300.jpgLog in to your blog.
  • Go to your dashboard.
  • Go to Appearance > Widgets > Available widgets.
  • Drag a Twitter widget and drop it into your sidebar (on the right).
  • Add a title as well as the username for the feed you want to display, i.e., ucgd2011, edfounds, elpcg1, ppleucan or sts1ucan. Usernames appear in the table below, for convenience.
  • Click 'Save'!
  • Visit your site and refresh the page and check to see if you have done everything correctly.

external image blogger_logo.pngFor Blogger users
  • Log in to your blog.
  • Go to your dashboard.
  • Go to Design.
  • Decide where you want the tweets to display (top, right side, etc.) and click on 'Add a gadget'.
  • external image icon_feed.gifIn the 'Add a gadget' box under 'Basics', scroll down to the 'Feed' gadget. Click on it.
  • Paste in the URL of the feed you want to subscribe to. Our Twitter feed URLs are listed in the table below, for convenience.
  • Click 'Continue'.
  • Click 'Save'.
  • Visit your site and refresh the page and check to see if you have done everything correctly.

external image picture-14.pngFor Tumblr users
NOTE: If you decide to do this for Tumblr, just be aware that each individual tweet will appear as a post in your blog.
  • Log in to your blog.
  • Go to your dashboard.
  • Go to Customize > Services > Automatically import my ...
  • In the drop-down menu, select 'Twitter'.
  • Add a title as well as the username for the feed you want to display, i.e., ucgd2011, edfounds, elpcg1, ppleucan or sts1ucan. Usernames appear in the table below, for convenience.
  • Click 'Save and close'.
  • Visit your site and refresh the page and check to see if you have done everything correctly.

Account
Username
Twitter homepage
Feed
Hashtag
UCan Grad Dip
ucgd2011
http://twitter.com/ucgd2011
http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/239638014.rss
#ucgd2011
Ed Foundations
edfounds
http://twitter.com/edfounds
http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/239641758.rss
#edfounds
ELPC G1
elpcg1
http://twitter.com/elpcg1
http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/239644518.rss
#elpcg1
PPLE
ppleucan
http://twitter.com/ppleucan
http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/239642353.rss
#ppleucan
STS 1
sts1ucan
http://twitter.com/sts1ucan
http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/239642817.rss
#sts1ucan


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Backing up your work

Just as we back up the main Grad Dip site regularly, you, as a student, are similarly expected to back up your own work online — just as you are expected to retain a copy of other assessment items, such as essays. If you are using one of the possible blogging tools suggested in ELPC G1 Module A, then follow the instructions below. If you have any trouble backing up your site, or you don’t know how to back up your site, then you must tell me.

Tumblr
  1. Go to the Tumblr backup tool
  2. Type in the first part of your Tumblr address. You do not need to add ‘.tumblr.com’. So, if your Tumblr address is ‘elpcjournal.tumblr.com’ then you only need to type in ‘elpcjournal’.
  3. Leave all remaining fields as they are, that is, in the default position
  4. Click ‘Go!’
  5. Once your site has been ‘fetched’, you will need to save it. In your FireFox or Internet Explorer browser, go to:
    • File > Save Page As
    • Download the page to your hard drive (or flash stick or other drive). It will be saved as an ‘html’ file
    • Keep it safe
Blogger
  1. Go to your Blogger dashboard
  2. Go to the Settings tab
  3. Go to Blog tools > Export blog > Download blog
  4. Download the file to your hard drive (or flash stick or other drive). It will be saved as an ‘xml’ file
  5. Keep your exported file safe

WordPress
  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard
  2. Go to Tools > Export > Download export file
  3. Download the file to your hard drive (or flash stick or other drive). It will be saved as an ‘xml’ file
  4. Keep your exported file safe

Advanced tools
If you are an advanced user and you wish to take an html copy of an entire site that you own, I suggest the following:

If you have any trouble backing up your site, or you don’t know how to back up your site, then you must tell me.


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Non-service backup options

external image safety%20first.jpgIf your web service does not offer a backup option, here are some things that might help.





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Adding a 'comments' or 'ask' function to your Tumblog

external image picture-14.png'Comments' in Tumblr are come under the heading 'Ask'. Here's what you need to do to add an 'ask' or comments function to your Tumblog:
  • Log in to your blog.
  • Go to your dashboard.
  • Go to Customize > Community.
  • Check the box under 'Let people ask questions'.
  • Click 'Save and close'.
  • Visit your site and refresh the page and check to see if you have done everything correctly.


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external image picture-14.pngAdding a tag cloud to your Tumblr


To add a tag cloud to your Tumblr, you need to do something a bit tricky:
  • Log in to your blog.
  • In your dashboard go to > Customise > Info > Description.
  • Paste in this code:

<!--Start Tumblr Tag Cloud-->
<script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.4.2/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://rive.rs/javascripts/tumblr_tag_cloud.min.js?css=default&minsize=120&maxsize=280"></script>
<!--End Tumblr Tag Cloud-->

  • Click 'Save and close'.
  • Visit your site and refresh the page and check to see if you have done everything correctly.

Just be aware that not all ‘themes’ in Tumblr support tag clouds. See Tutorial D.06 for themes that support Tumblr tag clouds. If you find another theme that displays Tumblr tags, then why not leave a message on the discussion forum to share your discovery with your classmates!


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external image picture-14.pngTumblr themes that display tag clouds

Not all Tumblr themes will display a tag cloud. If you want to maximise your marks, you should add a tag cloud to your Tumblr journal/blog, as tags aid navigation and provide structure (and you will be assessed on those criteria).

The following free themes should display a tag cloud in Tumblr. If you find more themes that display tags, why not share the info on the ELPC discussion forum?
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  • external image j7g2kn.jpgMunich
  • Astronaut
  • Chunky
  • 1000 suns
  • 101
  • o
  • New Theme
  • Feather
  • The Atlantic
  • Just Plain Theme
  • Esquire
  • Solstice
  • Easy Reader
  • Plaid
  • One Very Important Thought
  • Vertigo
  • Papercut
  • Color Shades
  • Easy Reader 2
  • Bus Full of Hippies
  • Stationery
  • Minimal WLB

Thanks to Gab from 6705 ELPC for this info.


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Importing your Tumblr into WordPress

external image picture-14.pngSome of you want to do this because you have found yourselves wanting more functionality than Tumblr offers. Here’s what to do:
  1. external image wordpress-logo-300x300.jpgMake sure you have an account and blog with WordPress, first.
  2. Go to the Tumblr2Wordpress XML exporter
  3. Type in your Tumblr name, as per the instructions
  4. Check the ‘WordPress.com’ button
  5. Click export and save the file to your desktop
  6. In your WordPress dashboard, go to Tools > Import > WordPress > [locate your file] > Upload file and import