Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The end of this journey, for now

 Well, in 10 weeks we achieved some quite difficult tasks.

Not everyone will continue blogging, but most have discovered the joy of telling stories, creating online journals, collaborating with others, and some have even decided on creating a new, special purpose blog.

For me I have been really pleased with the fact that we have often jointly collaborated on solving problems and learning new things. Well done!

The pleasure of achieving the unexpected

Adding a Picasa slide show into a blog post

Every now and again you manage to do something that seems difficult. We've been working on doing this for a few weeks now in our blogging class and I'm still only vaguely sure about how I managed it. Thanks to Pauline, one of our classmembers for finding the links to these YouTube videos.

I used the instructions in the second YouTube video to produce the slide show below.
They utilise some photos that are publicly available online in my Picasa Photo Album.
The clue is that they must be publicly shared. My album is here.
I've also put these links into Usefuls

Herer are step by step instructions
1. Open your blog
2. Decide whether you want to put the slideshow in a Gadget or a new post
If a gadget look for HTML Gadget. If a new post create new post and go to html side of page
3. open a new window and load Picasa Album (and login if you aren't logged in)
4. Choose an album to display. It needs to be shared and public.
5. In the right hand margin look for Link to this album and click on that
6. Click on embed slideshow - this will display code
7. choose size - if a side gadget probably Medium is ok, if a gadget at the bottom of the page or in the post, then you can use large or extra large.
8. Copy the code (Ctrl-A then Ctrl-C) and Paste the code into your blog (Ctrl-V) and save.
Slideshow should work - check preview

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Online Communities, Conversations, Blog Tours, Memes, Challenges

When you became a blogger you probably didn't see yourself as becoming part of an online  community but by now you will have realised that you are.

People mainly blog because they want to share and pass on their experiences, and while you may be quite happy to remain a casual blogger, there are online communities and challenges that you can join to make new friends and to share the experiences of others.
They go by the name, among others, of blog tours, memes, and challenges.

Quite often you formally join the challenge/community through an online form (Mr Linky) and the duration of the challenge is the calendar year. (However you can join at any time - or drop out if you wish)
The challenge may be to make a daily blog post, or weekly, or monthly, on a particular theme. The extent of the task is up to you. Participation in a challenge does help to stimulate your blogging.

Here is a search to start you off but you can modify this Google search to suit yourself.
e.g. Blog Challenge Sewing
Blog Challenge Garden
Blog Challenge Travel
Blog Challenge Reading
Capture 365 (Photos)

See how a Mr Linky works

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Write about subjects dear to your heart

You'll find your blog easier to write if you choose subjects you know a lot about or that you are familiar with.

Don't try to say too much in each post and give your pages lots of space to make it easier to for your visitors to read them.

The most popular topics for non-commercial blogs seem to be

Book Reviews




and Family

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Use your blog to pass on news

Blogging is the beginning of communication.
Use your blog to pass on news and items of interest.
Remember to give your readers a link where they can find out more information.

Are you in Adelaide, read crime fiction and/or interested in gardening?
Here is an event for you. See more here.
Click on the image to read it more clearly.

A joint event for crime fiction and garden lovers

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Task Summary

I have been surreptitiously adding tasks and there are now 13.
  • Task One: Decide what your blog is about, what you will call it
  • Task Two: Get an email address and set up your blog
  • Task Three: Settle on a template
  • Task Four: Write your first post
  • Task Five: Set up Comment Moderation
  • Task Six: Check Your settings
  • Task Seven: Write your second post. Decide how often you will post.
  • Task Eight: Learn to add Gadgets, including an Email subscription so people can follow your blog
  • Task Nine: Add a Blog Roll
  • Task Ten: Add a Page
  • Task Eleven: Add a Slide Show
  • Task Twelve: Add a Counter
  • Task Thirteen: Add a Poll

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

How often should you blog?

This is a question new bloggers often ask and the answer really depends on the purpose of your blog.

Sometimes the purpose of your blog will determine the frequency of posts.
For example, if the purpose is to store reviews of the books that you read then the frequency of posts is determined by how often you complete reading a book.

If the purpose is to record changes in your garden, then you are dependent on your observations.

If your purpose is to start up conversations then you might blog daily, every few days or weekly.

If you are serious about your blog, then weekly is probably the minimum.

What do you think? 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

What is U3A?

U3A stands for University of the Third Age, a not-for-profit organisation providing a shared learning environment for people over 50 and not working more than 20 hours per week.

The U3A Campbelltown South Australia is one of many U3As in South Australia, other states of Australia and around the world.

We are located at the Marchant Community Centre, 338 Gorge Rd., Athelstone, (Bus stop 35) in premises provided by the Campbelltown Council.

We operate courses led by volunteer teachers, and provide special interest groups and organised outings.

For more information, including contact details, and course information, see our website.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

What else can you do with U3A Campbelltown?

This is a video made in 2011 when we were based at the St. Bernard's Leisure Centre, Campbelltown

Monday, 13 May 2013

Blogging and humour

Just in case you are still unconvinced about blogging, have a giggle at these:

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

How many people blog?

Blogging is really a form of self-publishing and has become far more popular than ever envisaged, although it is regarded by many as being in decline these days.

Blog writing has become less popular in the last year or so as people have swapped over to social networking e.g. Facebook, Twitter etc.  Maintaining a blog seems a little more old fashioned - after all the first blogs appeared in the 1990s. (Explore some interesting social networking stats here)

A recent estimate of blog numbers gives the number of people using Wordpress as 64m websites read by 371m people each month. An estimate gives Blogger blogs as 76m.

Here is an interesting graphic - it basically relates to bloggers in the US and shows what people are using blogs for. Original page is here.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Beginning Blogging

What is a blog?

Technically a blog is a web-log but really it is whatever you want to make it.
Whatever you want it to be
  • an online journal
  • a website
  • an exploration of a hobby/interest
  • research results - e.g. family history
  • a record of events
  • book reviews / author profiles
  • the beginning of a conversation - others will read your post
What can it contain?
  • text
  • photos/images/movie
  • RSS feeds
  • blog roll (favourite blogs)
  • quizzes
  • extra pages
  • information about you - email address - as much or as little information as you want
  • even movies from YouTube (below)

Basic elements
  • We will use Blogger to create your blog. We could just as easily use Word Press. Both of these "platforms" are free. Blogger creates blogs in and is owned by Google. 
  • In Blogger the basic blog consists of a main page with gadgets/widgets in a margin.
  • Widgets/gadgets can be an index of posts, a blog roll - Blogger has many to choose from
  • An initial post usually describes the purpose of the blog
  • Posts then appear with the most recent at the top
  • You decide how often you post - you can log into your blog wherever you are
  • You can schedule posts for future dates
Post structure
  • Title - something brief, perhaps eye catching, related to the content
  • Text - this is the main content of the post, not too much, not too dense, plenty of space, font about size 12
  • Image(s) - upload these from your computer or USB or link to an existing image on the internet.
  • Tags - keywords that connect similar posts on your blog
  • an invitation/question for readers to comment
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