Week One: Blogging

Welcome to 23 Things! My name is Erin Downey Howerton, and I am excited to introduce everyone to our first activity: blogging. If you get stumped, please click on the “comments” link above to add your question. There might be others with similar problems, and I can answer you publicly in a follow-up comment so all can see & benefit. I am your guide for the week and will do my best to help you succeed!


If you’ve ever kept a diary or a journal, you know the basics of blogging. On a regular basis, you write new entries (we call these posts). Blogging serves much the same purpose as traditional journals, but they go one step further.  Blogs can be a place to reflect and organize your thoughts, and then your thoughts can be amplified by interaction with others via comments on your posts.  It’s a way to start a conversation with people who are interested in the same ideas you are!

Click on the triangle in the middle of the video below to watch a short explanation about blogging from CommonCraft.


Individuals and institutions blog to create a dialogue with their readers. For 23 Things, your blog will be the place where you keep a record of what you’ve experienced during the week. It will also give you a way to communicate with other participants.

Your blog will serve as a springboard into your own personal learning network (PLN), which will last far beyond the time we spend together doing 23 Things.

Blogging Platforms

There are many different platforms to choose from! Shop around and see which site appeals best to you.

SIMPLE and FAST: Try Posterous or Tumblr. These blog platforms are pared down and minimalistic. You can even create a post via email with Posterous! Choose one of these if you want to get off to a quick start.

(Note on Tumblr: You have to go thru a few extra steps to get comments working.  Check it out here.)

FULL-FEATURED and POWERFUL: Try Blogger, WordPress, Edublogs, or TypePad. Blogs created with these platforms are more versatile and can accommodate more customization. They have all the basic features, but also allow advanced users to tinker “under the hood” if that’s important to you. Choose one of these if you’re looking to kick it into high gear!

(Note: If your public library already has a KLOW site (My Kansas Library on the Web) you are using WordPress.  Selecting WordPress would be a good option if you’d like to become more familiar with the interface.)


Want a step-by-step tutorial? Watch this screencast where I walk you through creating a blog in Blogger. You’ll go through a similar experience no matter which platform you select.  (I used www.screencast-o-matic.com to create a quick, free screencast in my browser!)

Follow the next three steps:

1) Pick a platform that you like and create your own blog!

Posterous | Tumblr | Blogger| WordPress | Edublogs | TypePad

Please note: You need to have a separate, unique blog for yourself to use for 23 things.  Please don’t register your library’s blog, or a blog you’re using for some other purpose.  We will be looking at your blogs to see how you’re doing with each thing.

2)  When you are done, click here to register your blog address (URL) with us.

Your weekly blog entries will earn you continuing education credit (for those of you going through the whole program). We encourage you to register even if you are only taking part in selected units – you are part of our community too!

3)  Create your first blog post!

Tell us a little bit about who you are, what library you work for, and why you’re taking part in 23 Things. Since this is an official weekly post (you can write more than once a week if you want), please title it “Week One: Blogging” just like the post you are reading now.

In the following weeks, you will be writing about the other 22 things. Along with the assignments that your mentors will give you, consider the following blogging prompts:

  • What are your feelings (good and bad) concerning the tool of the week?
  • Have you had any breakthroughs? Any failures? What have you learned from them?
  • Create links to resources, other people’s blogs, or other useful sites on the web in order to connect your posts to the wider world (even if you’re only linking back to the 23 Things blog!).
  • Most importantly, visit a few other participants’ blogs and leave comments on their posts so you can start conversations.


What does a successful post look like? There are as many ways to blog as there are blogs themselves. Get a little inspiration from the bloggers below:

70 thoughts on “Week One: Blogging

  1. @Lori: Yes, I tend to do that in these responses. I’m a tweet-head at heart, I guess :)

    @Darlene: When you create a blog, you will also create a URL as part of the process. Watch my screencast especially around 1:10 where I talk about the blog address, also known as the URL. That is what you will eventually need to give us in order to register your participation in the program.

  2. I do want to participate in the 23 Things Kansas series. I tried to register on Tues. 1/12/10, but don’t know if I have done all that I need to do to be eligible to participate. Please advise.

  3. I have determined I love blogging! I mean, what better outlet for my over flowing ridiculous thoughts? I don’t even care (and right now with the plain, uninterestingness of my blog it is probably best) if anyone ever reads anything I blog about. Everyone….blog amongst yourselves. This is great!

  4. I have tried to comment on a couple of friends blogs and a friend has tried to comment on mine, which is posterous. Do I have to register with certain blogs because they are private or do you have to have certain accounts with each blog. I can comment on a friends blog that is on wordpress, but I have a KLOW blog. I cannot comment on a friend that has a Blogger or a blog spot blog because I don’t have an account in google, twitter or yahoo account it seems. I don’t really want several e-mail accounts, I do realize we will be doing twitter later but anyway I was just wondering.

  5. @Cindy,
    Whether you can comment on another’s blog without creating an account or not has to do with the security they set up on their blog, just like on your library’s wordpress page. You can decide whether to open a post up to comments and then decide even more security like if they have to have an account to comment or if anyone can comment on the post. You might be able to find a blogger or blogspot blog that has less restrictions. Erin’s screencast above talks about this a bit at about the 3:15. I hope this helps!

  6. I need help. I checked the list of participants’ blogs and I noticed that my blog is listed under Unknown Library. I am at Wichita Public Library and I don’t know why it didn’t go to the public library list. As far as I know I did everything I was supposed to do. Can someone tell me what I did wrong? If this is not the right place to ask this question, could someone tell me where I should ask it? Thank you.

  7. I would just like to add that when I first heard the term “Blogging”, I thought it was something that our beloved youth had created to keep out the “elderly”. My girls thought this was hilarious and now I enjoy doing it because it enables me to vent and praise.

  8. I thought I posted a link from my blog to facebook but I get an error message saying page cannot be found. Can someone tell me how to post links to and from my blog? Thanks!

  9. @Ashlei,

    If you look at the comments on under Week Two, Online Communities I believe you will find a comment that will help you. I think it’s under Comment 3. If that doesn’t help or you need more help let us know.

    @Sharon, I love it! I also find it as a great stress reliever. I also just love to read what others are blogging about.

  10. @lori yes!

    @darlene: Go ahead and rewatch the screencast on Blogger, then follow it step by step. You will create your URL as part of the blog creation process.

  11. Hello-
    I’m running into difficulties when I try to edit a post on Word Press. Some of the pages have the old edition and some the updated one. My page is at http://techkdout.wordpress.com/ The post is “Benefits of Web 2.0″ and the correct post is the one with the video at the top of the post. If you have any ideas, please let me know.
    Old edition: http://techkdout.wordpress.com/
    Correct edition: http://techkdout.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/what-are-the-benefits-of-web-2-0/

  12. @Alisha, I looked at your blog, and I see the same video at both the links you submitted. Did you refresh your web browser after you posted the post? Sometimes after you’ve updated a post after you edited it and go to view it, you have to refresh your browser. Are you still seeing differences between the two pages?

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