Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Make Yourself Heard, Not Hurt

Alright, you've played around with layout and made some changes to the settings. It's time to write! Go to this page again (not sure what Blogger calls it)

Select the 'Posting' tab and you should be in the same screen as the image above. Let's look at the different parts of the post screen.

  1. The Title bar. You want to have a short, descriptive title and it wouldn't hurt if it were catchy. If someone is scanning posts and your title doesn't stand out, they may not read any further.
  2. The compose tab. This is where you will do most of your writing. It is a wysiwyg editor (what you see is what you get). There will be some occasions when you will want to use the 'Edit HTML' tab, for example, if you wish to embed a video from YouTube, you will have to copy the embed code and insert it into the HTML editor.
  3. Writing area. This is where you compose your post.
  4. Labels. For each of your posts you should choose one or more labels or 'tags' to describe it. This helps people who are looking for posts on specific things.
  5. I've drawn a red box around the formatting tools. It's probably pretty similar to toolbars you've used in word processing programs.
If you are part way through a post and have to stop, click on the blue 'Save Now' button and then you leave the post page. When you want to go back and add to your post choose the 'Posting' tab and then select 'Edit Posts'. You'll get a page that looks like this:

The first post I've circled (#1) is a draft. To edit a draft just click on the word 'Edit' to the left of the title. The second post I've circled (#2) has been published. As you can see, you have the option of viewing it, which takes you to the post on the web or editing it. When you select edit you are brought back to the page where you can write your post. Once you are pleased with your post click on the orange 'Publish Post' button.

Where's the Hurt?
The title for this post is 'Make Yourself Heard, Not Hurt' because I want to highlight the fact that what you post will be published so that anyone on-line can view it. Your current employer, prospective employer, your students, their parents, and on and on. Many employers these day 'Google' applicants as a matter of course. A blog post about how you got hammered at so-and-so's party or how your current boss is an idiot will not paint you in a positive light. Even if you delete a post it is still out there. Sites like the 'Way Back Machine' have archived billions of websites since 1996.

I recommend you read this post by Jabiz Raisdana. Jabiz resigned from his job as a result of complaints over photos that he posted on-line. Check out this article in the Washington Post which looks at some of the things that teachers have posted on-line in the US and the repercussions.

In the next post we'll look at how to add images and video to your posts.

This is post #9 in the 'blogging 101' series.

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