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Web 2.0 Lab 2
Learning outcomes After this session you should be able to * Define the term “Blog” * Identify what makes a good blog * Describe business applications for blogs * Use Blogger to create and update your own blog * Change the appearance of your blog * Set privacy/security settings for your blog * Link your blog to Facebook * Allow RSS feeds * Delete your blog
Blogosphere is a term used to refer to weblogs as a social network. Weblogs are websites that are frequently updated. Individuals create and update Weblogs or blogs similar to the way one would keep a diary. Many businesses also communicate with their customers through the use of blogs. Not only is it used for communication, it has become an important marketing tool and a way to generate a lot of interest without necessarily being a direct form of advertising. In addition, blogs are also used for public relations as well as advertising.
A blog is also a useful tool for engagement and can be used to invite dialogue from existing and prospective customers. They are often seen as a way of humanising businesses such that customers can relate with them on a personal level. Customers can also be constantly updated with news published on blogs.
Group Exercise
In groups of 3/4 search for recent cases or studies that refer to Blogs and their use in business. The sector in which the business operates is entirely up to you and it may either be a small or large business. Highlight the benefits to the business and any potential pitfalls.
Getting Started
You can search for existing blogs using the blog searcher “Technorati”.
Open a web browser and type the URL “”. We will be searching for blogs used by companies.

Click on Blog Directory as indicated in the image above. You can also select Business from the top bar and select any of the options to view the blogs listed as shown in the following image.

Read through any of the blogs and note any ideas you find interesting for creating your own blog. Although blogging has existed for many years, it was not very popular until the advent of tools that allowed for easy creation, archiving and hosting. One of such tools is Blogger which you will be using for today’s blog creation exercise. You will be creating a blog for a business. The business you choose is up to you but you need to note that it can be viewed publicly.
Type in your browser to create a blog and click on get started.

Type your email address, a password and a name you would like to be identified by in the box shown below

Tick email notifications if you want to receive information and advice via email or leave it blank otherwise. Enter your date of birth, the verification word shown and click to accept the terms of service box. Click on continue
Next, you have to enter a name for the blog. Use the business name you decided on earlier. This is how the blog will be identified by visitors and will appear at the top of the page. You will also need to create a URL for your blog. You may need to decide on a domain name that is different to the business name if it is unavailable.

Click on “check availability”. If the name has been used, decide on another or use one of the suggested names. Click on the continue
Have a look at the available templates and click on any one you like. Click on the arrow to continue.
Your blog has now been created.
You can click on the start blogging arrow to start.
A new page appears as shown in the following image which allows you to enter your first post. Enter an appropriate title in the title box. Next, type in the text area bearing in mind what you write can be seen by anyone. This is an opportunity for you to introduce your business and describe whatever products or services are on offer.
Check your spelling and grammar and if you are satisfied, click publish post.

Comments Allowing comments on your blog means that you can have a discussion about any topic you have posted.
From the homepage, click on the view blog link and click on new post in the top right hand corner of the page. You will be able to create another post at this point but first, let’s allow potential readers the opportunity to post comments. Click on the options tab under post settings as shown in the following image

Select allow under reader comments as seen below.

Privacy and Security Settings
Click on “view blog” from the home page. Click on design in the top right hand part of the page. Click on settings and options as shown below.

This allows changes for basic security settings on your blog.
Under Permissions in the next image, you can decide who you want to be able to view your post.

For further options, click on the posts and comments tab on the LHS to allow specific readers post comments.

Editing your profile
In order to give your readers a bit more insight into who you are, you could add some detail to your profile.
As illustrated in the following image, click on the drop down arrow by your user name in the top right hand corner of the homepage.

Click on blogger profile.
A new window appears. Click on edit profile.

You can provide as much information as you choose to ensure that your readers have sufficient information about you as related to your business and blog.
Changing the look and feel of your blog
Click on “view blog” from the home page. Click on design in the top right hand part of the page. Click on the template tab as shown below.
Click on customize and you can make changes to the background, size and layout of the page. After making your selections, click on the “apply to blog” button at the top right hand corner of the page. You can also make further changes by clicking on layout. You can add an image to the title, or add a gadget to various parts of the page. After making necessary changes, click on the “save arrangement” button.
RSS feeds for blogs
Known as RSS, or Really Simple Syndication/ Rich Site Summary, this allows users to receive your latest posts rather than having to visit your blog every time they want an update. Allowing RSS feeds means your readers can receive an email containing a new post. It allows news from several sources such as weblogs to be published in a single location. The program checks for updates from subscribed weblog feeds and display the content. A weblog feed is a series of posts.
Having RSS means you are likely to have more people reading your posts because readers don’t have to visit your weblog to read the content. As a result, many bloggers use RSS feed readers.
Click design again from your blog and select the layout tab. Select add a gadget and a pop up box opens up. Click on the plus sign on the RHS of subscription links to allow readers to subscribe to your blog.

The title box allows you to edit the text you want your subscribers to see above the subscription link. Click the save button.
This takes you back to the layout. Click on view blog to see the subscription title you entered in the previous step as shown below. Adding a video to your blog
In addition to keeping blogs, some people keep video logs or vlogs. We can also add a video to a blog. First, search for a video to upload acceptable formats include Mpeg, Windows Media, Quicktime and AVI. Save the video on your desktop so you can locate it easily.
Click the pencil icon for creating new posts from the blogger dashboard [homepage]. Click the add video icon on the tool bar as seen below. Click the choose a video to upload button and find the video you saved on your desktop. Click upload. You can insert a title in the post title box above before you click publish. Take note that this may take a few minutes
Linking your Blog to Google+
Your blog can be linked to your google+ account and new posts will appear on your page.
To link to google+, click on view blog and select the options link [bolt icon] on the page as shown below Deleting your Blog
If you do not wish to keep a blog you might want to delete it. To delete your blog, go to your homepage. Click the options icon [page icon] as shown in the image below and select settings.

Select the other sub-tab under the headings tab and from blog tools, select delete blog. Finally, What do businesses use blogs for?
Working with the members of your group, make a list of how blogs may be used in a business. It would be useful if you can support your answers with examples. Be prepared to present your answers to the rest of the class.

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