To Blog or not to Blog. What do Anne Frank and Samuel Pepys have in common?. Image by: Shutterstock/Janis Smits. They are both famous for keeping a diary…. (WW2 and Fire of London).
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What do Anne Frank and Samuel Pepys have in common? Image by: Shutterstock/Janis Smits
They are both famous for keeping a diary…. (WW2 and Fire of London) • Samuel’s and Anne’s diaries are not a record of appointments, like going to the dentist on Tuesday; their diaries are more concerned with the recording of news, events and thoughts of their day… • If they were keeping this kind of record today what would they be using?
Blogs are referred to as an online diary by many, but they have a whole host of other features and functions. They are becoming a common aspect of ‘My Space’ in the digital world in which we live. Image by: Shutterstock/Liviu Ionut Pantelimon
In this lesson students are learning about: • functions and features of blogs and microblogs • functions and features of public social networking
At the end of this lesson students will be able to: • distinguish target audience of different blogs • explain the social aspects of blogging • demonstrate the use of blogging in collaborative knowledge creation
Blogs and blogging “A weblog is kind of a continual tour, with a human guide who you get to know. There are many guides to choose from, each develops an audience, and there’s also comraderie and politics between the people who run weblogs, they point to each other, in all kinds of structures, graphs, loops, etc.” So by the looks of it, blogs are a bit like a jigsaw, made up of various features. You will all know something about blogs, I am sure… “A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.” “From ‘Web log.’ A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is ‘blogging’ and someone who keeps a blog is a ‘blogger’.” Image by: Shutterstock/Franck Boston
What do you know about blogs? 1 Minute… With a partner share your experience / ideas on blogs and blogging Think Pair Share Image by: Shutterstock/KOUNADEAS IOANNHS + Air0ne
Areas you may have experienced… • online diaries • different audiences for different blogs: • sport • personal • club or society • celebrity • informal web page • work of an individual • interactive: • ability to leave comments • ability to send messages • part of social networking • blog elements: • text • photos • video • music • types: • personal blogs • by genre • by media – e.g. vlog
Although blogs sound like a public diary, they can include more: • Blogs not only provide a place for the author to write, they invite readers to comment on what has been said. • They can also include links to websites, other blogs, news articles, or anything on the Web. • Blogs can include pictures, videos, polls, maps to show where readers come from, and other ‘widgets’. • Blog writers can also ‘tag’ their entries with key words. • Tags are like categories, so blogs can be viewed by tag/category as well as by date. • Newspapers use blogs to build online readership by inviting public comments. • Blogs are generally written in an informal style. • Many blogs include short quotations with links to other websites and blogs, instead of reiterating what has already been said. • Bloggers, like any writers, need to know their audience. Successful bloggers aim their writing at that target audience, even though other ‘lurkers’ out there may be reading them. • Blogs allow people to ‘share’ in unique ways. Instead of simply using the Internet for reading information to ‘look something up,’ blogs let people write, react, and share, using the Web as a participant. • Not all blogs use comments, but most do. If the comments feature is activated the blog is not a monologue. It becomes a conversation. • Some blogs are narrowly focused on a specific topic, such as music or politics. • Some blogs are strictly personal, such as blogs shared with family members or groups of friends. • Some blogs are created to promote a product or company. • Some blogs are more like op-ed columns in the newspaper, with commentary on events in the news, such as the war in Afghanistan or environmental issues. • A few bloggers are paid for their blogs as part of an online magazine or newspaper. • News sources routinely use blogs to assess reactions about the goings-on in different parts of the world and to learn about public opinions. Image by: Shutterstock/Kosta Kostov
When it’s a… When is a blog not a blog? Image by: Shutterstock/Matthias Pahl
So what is a microblog? • Allows users to exchange small elements of content such as short sentences, individual images, or video links. • A form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates, usually less than 200 characters. • As with traditional blogging, posts can be about topics ranging from the simple, such as ‘what I'm doing right now’, to the thematic, such as ‘favourite TV programme’. • Some microblogging services offer features such as privacy settings, which allow users to control who can read their microblogs. • Users tag posts with key words so that others can search topics and follow comments and conversations. • Some applications indicate where microbloggers are and when they will be away from home. Providing a street-level image that indicates where individuals are when they post to Twitter. (Discuss the potential danger in this process.) • Does all this sound familiar? What site is a well known “micro blogging” site? Twitter!
Social networking I am sure you will agree this is a term we hear a lot. Again it seems to be a bit of a jigsaw. We will need to be clear… Image by: Shutterstock/Franck Boston
Hot potato Social networking What do you think a social network is? What does it include? Image by: Shutterstock/AnatolyM Image by: Shutterstock/Liviu Ionut Pantelimon
Activity… • Think back over what we have considered in the last few lessons and write down one feature or function of social networks. • Pass your paper on to somebody else. Read what is written on the piece of paper you receive, then add a different feature or function. Points cannot be repeated.
Social networks Socialising and networking from within your own online space is all part of the ‘My Space’ concept. Examples of today's social networks include social networking sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace and others as you have mentioned. With increasing mobile phone technology, even Twitter might be considered a social network of sorts where you can let your network of friends know what you are doing or thinking at any given moment. Today's social networks are predominantly free to join, which makes them extremely popular with people of all ages and different audiences. Do any of you use a social networking site? While, traditionally, social networks were made up of people who might gather face-to-face, today's social networks are predominantly online. Image by: Shutterstock/Jojje Image by: Shutterstock/Andresr
Yes!... Well most probably! • adult professionals use social network sites as part of their jobs • clubs and special interest groups use social network sites to recruit members and share important information • businesses use social network sites to help employees communicate with each other and with customers
Different audiences… • There are a number of different social networking sites available. They are all targeted at different audiences. Some are specifically designed for: • the very young - 7 year olds • young teens • young adults • Professionals • Can you name one for each?
Social networks • ‘Private’ or ‘Public’ • So when you are thinking about using a social networking site, ask yourself what you want out of it before making your choice • For example, you could consider the following questions to inform your choice: • Is the functionality designed primarily to let friends touch base with one another? • Can I make it private? • Is there email included? • Is there a library for sharing documents (other than photos and videos)? • Is there a wiki included for collaborating together on a document? • Does the discussion board only allow plain text, or a feature-rich WYSIWYG editor and the ability to embed images and attach documents? • Does it have search capabilities? • Does it facilitate any real collaboration or is it just part of the collection of tools you consider to be ‘My Space’ in the digital world? Another important point to remember is that social networks and indeed blogs can be Image by: Shutterstock/Franck Boston Image by: Shutterstock/StuartMiles
And Finally • Blogs • Microblogs • Social networks Image by: Shutterstock/AirOne
And Finally Image by: Shutterstock/AirOne
Homework Describe two advantages and two disadvantages of using a Blog (4) Describe what is meant by “social Bookmarking” (2) State two features of “Social Networking” sites (2) Some profiles on social networks can be “open”. Why might this not be a good idea? (2) In 2010, students organised protests (riots!) using social websites such as facebook and Twitter. Discuss the impact on society of widespread use of social networks (6)