Blogging 101

Now that you’ve had a chance to chat a bit about Global Perspectives, it’s time to delve into the digital frontier. This space (i.e. blogosphere) will provide an opportunity for everyone to more thoroughly introduce themselves (interests, research, trip expectations, general thoughts, etc.), explore topics (culture, education, politics, geography, etc. — before, during, and after the trip), and ponder the intricacies of higher education (locally, nationally, globally, etc.). In short, your blog is a space for intellectual meandering that centers on the themes and concepts of Global Perspectives. Below are a few simple steps to get you ready to start blogging for Global Perspectives. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Justin Shanks (jshanks(at)vt.edu) or Dean Karen DePauw (kpdepauw(at)vt.edu).

  1. Open your preferred internet browser and direct it to a blogging provider
    1. There are numerous blogging platforms, two of the more popular and easy-to-use are:
      1. WordPress
      2. Blogger
  2. Follow on-screen directions and create an account
    1. If you already have a WordPress account, all you need to do is create a new blog for Global Perspectives
      1. In the event that you would like to use your existing WordPress blog, please contact Justin for help setting up a unique RSS feed for Global Perspectives content. Doing so will direct pertinent content to the aggregated blog without bringing along all your non-Global Perspectives blog content
    2. If you already have a Google account, all you need to do is sign up for Blogger using your Google credentials
      1. Blogger is owned and operated by Google, so if you have used any other Google products that require sign-in (Gmail, Google +, Google Drive, Google Calendar, etc.), you already have a Google account
      2. If you already have a Blogger blog, all you need to do is create a new blog for Global Perspectives
      3. In the event that you would like to use your existing Blogger blog, please contact Justin for help setting up a unique RSS feed for Global Perspectives content. Doing so will direct pertinent content to the aggregated blog without bringing along all your non-Global Perspectives blog content
  3. A Few Things to Think About When Naming Your Blog
    1. It is wise to pause for a moment, think about the significance (and signification) of potential usernames. Both to you and to all your readers (those who we intend to read our blog and those who may stumble upon it).
    2. Aside from acting as your login credential, the username is also how readers will identify with you as an author of blog content and comments.
    3. While it might be tempting to use your username here, for the blog title/name, you may want to tailor it to better fit the thematic focus of this particular blog. Rather than relying upon “jshanks” (my username) I might create a blog title/name similar to “Academically Abroad” or “Europe 4 Me”. Feel free to demonstrate your creativity.
    4. Although you could use something similar to “Global Perspectives 2012” you may want to make it more personal (e.g. “Adventures in Learning” or “Justin Goes to Europe”).
  4. Complete the signup and creation process
    1. If everything went according to plan, you should receive a success message
    2. You may now proceed to your blog, adjust settings, and begin creating audio/visual/textual content
  5. Send your blog URL to Justin Shanks (via hyperlink @ the left or email address: jshanks(at)vt.edu)
    1. Instead of each contributing to a central blog, you are each going to develop and create your own blog content. These unique and independent blogs will be aggregated to a central Global Perspectives Program – Graduate Deans blog (which will also contain important trip information, links, etc. — located @ https://blogs.lt.vt.edu/gpgraddeans). This should allow for authorial individuality while still fostering a communal atmosphere.
  6. Please begin exploring your amazing new blog. You may want to modify the theme, add some widgets, create a post, adjust some settings, or any number of other things. For more information  about your new blog, please explore the help section or contact Justin  with particularly unsolvable mysteries.
  7. To better acquaint yourself with the blog, feel free to introduce yourself, add some information about your goals and interests for the trip, or any other thoughts tangential to Global Perspectives.
    1. Please do this in whatever frame, fashion, mode, or method you see fit
    2. Feel free to email Justin with questions, comments, and/or concerns
  8. Go forth and blog!
    1. Oh, it’s always a good idea to categorize and tag your posts too. This will help readers (and you too) better navigate the blog.
    2. Don’t forget to add images, embed videos, adjust text formatting, and tweak all types of other exciting features (just play around with the toolbars). And, when you’re feeling ready — start exploring. There are numerous options for personalizing the look and feel of your blog.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact Justin with questions. You can also leave comments throughout this and contributors’ blogs.

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