Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Anatomy of a Blog: Introduction

The Darling Library introduced its web log (blog) of news and events at 1:31pm on Friday, August 25, 2006. We have posted 176 "articles" and have had more than 10,300 visits from over 4,350 first time viewers since our first post. You might be interested in knowing what you’re looking at when you view our blog. That’s why we’re beginning a series of posts on the anatomy of a blog.

Most people are familiar with blogs by now since they have been around for over ten years, which is a really long time in Internet years. Blogs are web sites used by someone or some organization with something to say and are usually open to commentary by anyone who happens upon them. Anyone with an adequate internet connection can start their own blog for free – and millions of blogs are out there to prove it.

The Darling Library uses Blogger primarily because our Reference Librarian was using it for a personal blog and knew how to navigate its features already. You don’t have to know how to write html code to start a blog or make it look good. Blogger and other blog services provide style templates with matching color schemes that let you simply plug in what you want to say.

So what are the standard features of a blog page? Let’s start at the top of our blog with Blogger’s navigation bar and look at it from left to right. We’ve chosen to use Blogger's dark blue color scheme for the navigation bar.

First, there is a Blogger icon. Click the Blogger icon and you will go to Blogger.com. If you have a Blogger account, clicking the icon will take you to your account. If not, you will be introduced to Blogger and all of the benefits of creating a blog of your very own.

Next to the Blogger icon is a search box for searching keywords in this blog. Enter a term you think might be written about somewhere in this blog and find a list of posts ("articles") that use the word(s) you searched.

To the right of the search box are a few other things you can do:
  • Follow – to “follow” or keep up with us
  • Share – to tell your friends on Facebook or Twitter about this blog
  • Report Abuse – to report a violation of blog terms (such as a hate message) to Blogger.com
  • Next Blog >> takes you to another blog in the Blogger network. You can browse randomly forever from blog to blog this way
  • Create Blog – to create your own blog
  • Sign In – if you already have a Blogger account

Below the dark blue Blogger nagivation bar is our banner with the title of our blog, News & Events at the Darling Library, a brief statement of the purpose of our blog, our address, and a few key links.

Scroll to the bottom of the blog and you will see three links:
  • Home takes you back to the top of the blog page
  • Older Posts takes you to posts published just prior to the last one on this page
  • Subscribe to: Posts (Atom) opens a new window to allow you to subscribe to this blog (read more about subscribing to a blog in our next Anatomy of a Blog post)

Finally, the copyright banner at the bottom of the blog, Hope International University 2006-2011 All rights reserved says, "please don’t violate our copyrights."

Next in the Anatomy of a Blog series (Blog features) we will look at the features on the right sidebar of the blog, starting at the top, with an examination of Subscribe to This Blog.

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