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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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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Adding Links to Your Post, Lesson #9

Several people have e-mailed me with questions about making links in posts. They’ve requested a set of simple but clear steps. So here we go. To learn more go to this Word Press Links Tutorial.

Four Steps to Link Making

Step #1

A link name is much better if it has descriptive words rather than an address. Thus Visit GDS is a better name Visit GDS http://www.gds.org.

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Your Blog – Getting Started: Lesson #7

Look for this image and click the get started button.

It’s time to start your blog. At WordPress.com look for the illustration on the right to help you start building your site. Before setting up the blog, however, please read through the following steps.

Step #1

Your blog needs to have a name to use as a part of the blog’s address (or URL — letters that stand for universal resource locator). The words you choose will be a semi-permanent part of the address. For this course our blog address is https://familyblogclass.wordpress.com. Think carefully about what name to use for your blog site’s address. For instance, if you are making a family reunion blog, personalize your address just a bit. (I expect that FamilyReunion.wordpress.com was taken long ago). In a web address you seek a combination of short and descriptive. It’s possible to edit this later on, but that means notifying your readers of a change of address. Continue reading

Blogging Terms: Lesson #6

In a few days, when we begin setting up family blogs, you will encounter all sorts of terms –vocabulary words that literally fly around the blogging world. At the bottom of this post I’ve attached three blog glossary links that you can use in the future, anytime you discover an unfamiliar term.

To get started, however, I’ve chosen a few blogging terms that I believe are most important. I copied some these definitions from Daily Blog Tips, however I tweaked here and there and also appended my own comments in green type inside of square brackets.

  • AdSense: The most popular advertising network on the Internet, owned by Google. Adsense allows bloggers to monetize their blogs by displaying contextual text messages. Every time someone clicks on one of the text links, the blogger will earn some money (ranging from $0.01 up to $50 in some rare cases) Read more about how AdSense works. [I will devote a post to advertising, blogs, WordPress, and how to stop advertising on a personal or family blog.]

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Parts of a Blog, Lesson #5

Blogs come in all sorts of shapes and forms.

Some contain only posts with no other content, while other blogs feature all sorts of bells and whistles — calendars, archives, copyright info, pictures, and more. Check out these links to learn a lot more about WordPress blogging and find out more about the seven essential parts of a blog.

Take some time to examine our course blog, and you’ll observe a number of different parts with different purposes.

Our Start a Family Blog course blog has the following parts:

  • center section features our blog posts. The most recent post always appears at the top, and the older posts are below, going backwards by date. I’ve set this blog to show the seven most recent posts on the home page. As we accumulate more and more posts, links at the bottom of the blog page (at the end of the seventh post) will direct readers to move back and forth to see other posts (older or newer). Continue reading

Welcome to the Online Class! Lesson #1

Welcome to the first GDS online technology class for parents.

In this Start a Family Blog course we will begin by learning some basic facts about blogs, move on and learn about the blog for this class, and then — finally — each of you will begin to create and develop your own blogging site. We will spend the month of June working together. This course site will be up and available all summer long for consultation.  At this time we have 28 participants.

For the class, as well as for your blogging assignments, we will be using WordPress.com to create blogs and add free features. WordPress has some excellent options as a part of the free package, but an advantage of this site is that additional features, upgrades, and a privacy upgrade are available for small fees. The WordPress community also has excellent technical support and a more protected environment, though the blog is still easily available to your readers.

To help you understand more about how blogs are structured, I will add explanations, features, and new bells and whistles to the class site as we go along — the class lessons. Continue reading