Image Basics for Bloggers

My all-in-one scanner/printer scanned this picture at 1.2 MG. I brought it down to around 50 K for this post.

How does one find, much less decide what images to post on a blog? How does one determine if it is OK to use an image found somewhere on the web? Here’s my overview of images, choosing them, adjusting them, and incorporating them into your blog post.

Photos and Drawings

Personal photos are the easiest and most enjoyable images to use on a blog — yours, those taken by members of your family, and the amazing historical family photographs that we accumulate as we get older (and that almost always interest our children).

With a print or old family photo, the easiest thing is to scan it as a jpg file. The best resolution for a blog is 72 dots per inch (dpi). Some scanners allow a user to chose the resolution and others do not. Some might use the words “prepare or export for web.”

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Conversations on Commenting

… thoughts on commenting in general and on blogs in particular.

One of the most important tasks of a blogger is to set up a commenting policy. It doesn’t matter whether a person writes for a blog professionally or works on a site for fun and family — a clear statement on comments is necessary. The Props Blog, a good source for blogging information, features this informative post, The 10 Commandments of Commenting. I’ve rewritten these 10 commandments for my students using “Thou shalls” rather than “Thou shall nots,” and I’ve attached this document at the end of the post.

In today’s world, many people do not understand the purpose of commenting, and only recently have many websites started to set limits. Moreover, the rough and tumble, devil-may-care attitude that many people assume as they navigate the web (see newspapers — paper or electronic — for the latest digital scandals) leads to individuals not always thinking before they write, send, and post. I wrote a post, also titled Conversations on Commenting, sharing more of my views on this subject.

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WordPress versus Blogger: A Broad Comparison: Lesson #13

Check out the post at Blondish.Net.

Since this online blogging course concentrates on WordPress, I have not mentioned much about other blogging platforms such as Google’s Blogger.

As one of our final lessons, I planned to write a compare and contrast post about the two blogging sites, but just as I got started, I discovered, via a Tweet, that another blogger wrote a great piece back in April 2010, comparing the two platforms.

In her post, Blogger verses WordPress, Blondish.net writer, Nile Flores, not only describes the similarities and differences between the Blogger and WordPress platforms but also provides a terrific compare and contrast chart. I’ve made a large thumbnail featuring the first few rows of her chart, and I’ve linked it to her blog.

Two More Posts Will Finish Us Up

I’ve been diverted this past week by my dad’s heart issues. He is fine, I am refocused on other activities,  and I plan to conclude this online blogging class with two more posts. If there are enough questions, I’ll also do a FAQ post, but I think I am caught up with the e-mail so that may not happen.

If you  have started a blog, and I have not seen it, please share.  If you’ve been waiting to begin later in the summer, I’ll be delighted to take a look once you get started.

Watch for the next post over this coming weekend.

All About WordPress Widgets! Lesson #12

Widgets are mini programs or applications that create digital tools, and these tools can be added to a blog to perform various functions.

The part of WordPress (WordPress.com) that provides free blog access also offers widgets for people to use on their blogs. However, in order to manage and protect these free blogs, WordPress limits widget access to a small number (thousands of widgets are available for blogs out in the blog world). Too many widgets that are not vetted can open the door to digital problems, and WordPress wants to avoid these digital difficulties as much as possible.

You can read this interesting blog post at the Edublogger site, Getting More Out of Widgets, but all of the information may not be specific to WordPress blogs.

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Uploading Multimedia to Your Blog, Lesson # 11

WordPress allows users to upload images, documents, videos, and even audio files into blog posts. YouTube videos can also be incorporated. WordPress has a comprehensive tutorial and support area focusing on adding media to your blog. Another page in this area lists the approved file types.

Image from WordPress support site.

Locate the upload insert media menu — icons just above the editing bars and to the right of the words Upload/Insert. Moving from left to right, the symbols are for uploading images (inside the red square), video, audio, general media, polls, and custom forms.

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Attending to You Blog’s Settings, Lesson #10

On the left hand side of the WordPress dashboard is a long list of links that you can use to accomplish various tasks on your blogs – new posts, links, comments, new tags, etc. If you mouse over some of them you’ll discover an arrow on the right-hand side of each link that expands the category. For instance, if you click on the arrow next to the word post, the menu expands to include five additional links that relate to making posts on your blog. The dashboard is filled with all sorts of activities to do, and as you become more experienced you can expand your skills and learn about more  of the dashboard opportunities.

The most important dashboard menu for you to explore is settings. Below I’ve explored a few of the most important settings, General, Reading, and Discussion. Read the tutorial at WordPress for more detailed information. Continue reading

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