Common Craft: Blogs in Plain English

What in the world is a blog? Wikipedia has this to say: “A blog (a portmanteau of web log) is a website where entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. ‘Blog’ can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.”

Blogs can take many forms: individuals can use them to keep online journals or diaries; groups can use them to communicate with each other; institutions (like libraries) can use them to inform their audience and to provide a forum for discussion. Because blogs usually show the newest posts first, they can be excellent tools for presenting updates or new information. Many blogs also allow comments on posts, permitting two-way conversations to occur.

Explore these webpages for more information about blogs:

Class Resources

Explore one or more of the following sample blogs:

  • Ada Community Library’s website is built on open source blogging software. Only staff can post to the website, but anyone can comment on any of the posts.
  • The Special Projects Library Action Team is a group of forward-thinking library employees throughout Idaho that all contribute to a collective blog to share information, experiences and resources.
  • The @thelibrary blog by the Albertsons Library at Boise State University is a shining example of a Blogger hosted blog.

Explore one or more of the following free blog hosting websites:

  • Owned by Google, Blogger is very easy to use and a great choice for first-time bloggers.
  • Another easy-to-use blogging platform, Vox emphasizes optional privacy settings on posts and a huge selection of predefined designs.
  • For more advanced bloggers, WordPress offers even more customization and advanced tools.

Class Assignment

Now it’s your turn! Create a blog using any free blog hosting website of your choice.

If you don’t have a preference or if you want to know where to begin, create a Blogger blog by following these three easy steps:

  1. Create a Google account. (view screenshot)
  2. Name your blog. (view screenshot)
  3. Select a template. (view screenshot)

If you create a Blogger blog, here are two things to remember:

  • To create new posts: The maintenance interface that you will use to add posts, edit or change the setup of your blog is accessed online at Be sure to write down your login and password.
  • To view your blog: Your blog address is http://(xxxx), (xxxx)=the unique identifier you entered in Step 2. Be sure to also write down your blog address.

Once you’ve got your brand new blog, try creating a few posts. Then discuss your experience and, if you want, share your blog address with everyone. If you do, others can leave comments on your posts and create a discussion on your blog!

Extra Credit

If you really want to dive in, why not try blogging on the Idaho Commission for Libraries’ new website? Anne Abrams has provided some instructions about being a part of the New ICFL Web Site Launch!