- Definition: What's
A Blog ??
A blog is one of many types web pages -- generally intended to be sort of an online diary or journal, but can be "tweaked" to use as a fairly attractive web page.
- The source I use is Google,aka Blogger.com, aka Blogspot.com. There are many others available.
A. The Concept
- If you want a web page
for either business reasons or just to expand your
skills, there's no longer any reason for you not to have
- For organizations with no web page, even a simple 1 page site with schedule / overview / contact info would be 1000% improvement over no web page.
- Note that pages you create may look BETTER than my mine, as you likely may have more artistic talent then me.
- The Two Main
- You can create and maintain an inexpensive web page of reasonably-nice appearance, at a cost of about $9 per year, that you can easily update yourself, by doing the following 2 steps:
- Create a web page, by using a currently-free blog from Google (Blogger.com) or similar.
- Register a
"forwarding domain name" of the format
"YourName.com" from a low-cost Registrar like
GoDaddy.com, or 1and1.com, or
similar (~9/year), and then forward it to
your web page.
- The domain name is optional. You don't need a domain name to have web page.
B. Advantages Of Using A Blog
- Low cost.
You don't have to worry about finding a web hosting company to host your domain, and all the accompanying details. Google provides you a free, reliable hosting service via a blog page.
You can update it YOURSELF.
- A blog is easy to update. It's almost like sending an email -- except after you finish editing, you click the 'Publish' button for a blog, instead of the 'Send' button as you would with email.
- Any family member, friend, or responsible high-school student could be hired to handle updating.
Photos will display viewable size, but when "clicked", will open FULL size. Blogger software does this automatically.
- For best results, use a photo-editing program to re-size appropriately before uploading -- like Photoshop Elements, or free online Picnik.com (free online PhotoShop Elements??).
- I usually reduce the full-size photo to 1500 pixels wide max, and usually 30% - 60% "quality".
- Blogger will display the photo about 400 pixels wide, and open it to the full 1500 pixels when you click on it.
- You can give (and remove) "Administrators" privileges to people, so they can also update/add/remove pages.
- You can also configure the blog to give a particular user "Author" type "privileges", so they can edit only 1 or 2 pages, but cannot modify the rest of the blog.
- (Negative: Unfortunately, any "adm" can delete whole blog; not like Yahoo groups where "owner" can assign privileges.)
------------More Advantages Of A Blog
- Turnaround Time
This frees you from needing to write an elaborate description of what you need changed, sending it off to a web design company, then having to WAIT for it to get done.
- The only software required is a free web browser like FireFox or Explorer or similar (either Mac or PC).
- This frees you from needing complicated or expensive web-authoring software, that requires continuous updating and relearning
- Any Computer:
You can update your website from ANY internet-connected computer. (Because all data is stored on Google's computers, not yours.)
You can easily change the whole color scheme by changing to a different "Template", & then further "tweak" that template.
C. Disadvantages Of Blogs
- Less Fancy:
You cannot create as fancy a web page using a blog, compared to what can be created by hiring a professional web designer using a professional web page program like Dreamweaver or GoLive or similar.
- Limited Formatting
You can only do only relatively simple formatting; you cannot (easily) have tables, or links to the middle of the page.
* Comment - I put this outline on my own website, rather than Blogger, because I wanted tables.
- Note there are "how to" blogs that deal with "souping up" & customizing your blog.
A blog can become cumbersome if you're trying to build a really large website.
- Backing Up:
Not as easy to "back up" as web site that resides on your hard drive.
- I periodically use my Mac to save the whole blog as a PDF file, as a backup method.
- If you cannot save in PDF format, you can use "save as web page archive".
- Can't Store All
You can upload only JPG, GIF & PNG formats (photos). Other file types you might need,such as PDF files or Quicktime movies, have to be stored somewhere else.
- There is no easy way to tell how many visits to each page of a blog. (Some ISPs include built-in statistics that tell you this.)
- You can apparently add counters by inserting them into the HTML, but seems sort of clumsy.
D. Examples Of Local Blog-based Websites
('Tic-Tac' template, blue background, apparently
- In Greencastle Pa - no connection to me, just a nice example.
- Note the 'automatic para. numbering does not seem to work with this template
* Demo - use "View Source" to see what blog template was used
('Thisaway Blue' template, blue background)
* Demo - Show how this "connects" to Brown Library's main website JvBrown.edu. It gives SeniorNet a way to operate its own "satellite website", to update its own info, without having to bother the Library's webmaster, or worry about disturbing the main website.
- Allows a 2nd person to update the 'Class Details' page.
- Links to YouTube class overview videos.
* Observe - Some templates use black text on a white background, others use colored text on a colored background.
('Rounders 2' template, gray background)
- The support page for this "Easy Web Page" project.
- The concept has been for me to do the initial setup of web page and domain name registration, then "turn it over" to the owner so they can maintain it.
- - The "weak spot" in the concept, is that owners tend to procrastinate doing their updates, and they forget the "training" I have given them.
* Observe - Can make title shorter (example $9web), so page numbers or names show in multiple tabs.
('Minima Black' template, black background)
- This black template nice for displaying photos; probably not so good if lots of text.
- Used logo and photos provided by Don Karaffa.
* Demo - "Masking" is turned on (hides actual address).
* Demo - Clicking on a photo, opens it full size.
- 'Back' button usually returns from photo back to web page, but occasionally not.
('Minima Black' template, black background)
This site displays PHOTOS of unique, custom-made products; an EXCELLENT use for a web page.
('Ms Moto' template, magenta background)
Allows multiple groups to post their dances.
('Rounders 3' template, dark blue background)
Hands-on model railroading program for community kids, a volunteer effort run in Danville
* Demo - the YouTube video allows the organizer to show the program to the whole world (talks 2:15)
RailNet Fall Train Shows
2' template, gray background)
A good example of how a blog works well, for listing a modest-sized calendar of events