May 2, 2007

What is a Blog?

A blog is a simple to use tool that empowers you to publish online quickly and easily. Simply stated, it is a website that you can easily update and contribute to from anywhere you have an Internet connection. A blog is a place for personal reflection, a place to take notes, share pictures, publish your movies, and anything else that you can dream. It belongs to you and you have the power to make it whatever you choose.

Remember, for the time being, this is a pilot. To get started, just request an account. If you are already in the Penn State Blog pilot, simply log in and get publishing. If you just want to learn more about the project take a take a quick tour.

Request Your Account

To get started in the Blogs at Penn State pilot project you must first request an account. Because it is a pilot we have decided to not fulfill requests automatically, but we will let people in on a first come, first serve basis. We are very interested in talking with each of you about how you intend to use the toolset. We'd like to include you in announcements and opportunities to get involved with other people using the Blogs at Penn State. What this all means is that someone will be helping you take advantage of the toolset and to offer advice if you need it.

If you request an account we'll do everything we can to get you started quickly. Since the Blogs at Penn State is centrally managed by Information Technology Services, be assured that it is secure and takes advantage of your Penn State credentials.

Everything you write here will be published in your own PSU Personal Webspace so you can always get to it. We want you to understand that this is your space and you are responsible for taking care of it. The only real policies governing your blog are those that govern PSU Personal Webspace, so you'll need to take a look at that. Also, because all your blogs publish to your personal webspace, you will need to have applied for and activated it before trying to setup your blog.

Create your Blog

Getting started is actually really easy. A few minutes after logging in you'll be ready to publish your blog. The Penn State Blog platform takes advantage of your Penn State Personal Webspace so all your files are stored where you can get to them.

After you log in, you'll see your personal Blog Dashboard where you'll be able to create and manage as many blogs as you choose. Want a blog for a course? One for sharing pictures? One for random thoughts? No problem. The Penn State Blog platform lets you decide what you want to share.

Getting started is easy. When you are ready, just take a look at some of the getting started materials and you'll be creating your blog in no time at all.

Publish your Words

Your blog gives you a chance to say what you want quickly and easily. With only a few clicks it is possible to be ready to create content without the need to know HTML or anything about web publishing. Your blog is your ticket to create all sorts of content that is easily shared on the web.

Once your blog is setup you can use it to create content of all types. From thoughts, course notes, managing class discussions, to sharing the pictures, movies, or podcasts you create -- your blog makes it easy. And since it works with your established Penn State Personal Webspace, everything you create belongs to you. Think of your blog as your personal content management system that you will be able to sort, search, and retrieve anything you decide to create with it.

Whatever it is that you want to create, the Penn State Blog platform will enable you to publish it.

Engage your Community

One of the greatest things about your blog is the way you can actively engage visitors. Blogs allow you to accept comments on your posts to create conversations with your readers. If someone reads your words and feels compelled to talk to you about it, all they have to do is click "comment" and share their thoughts. If you want your readers to be able to subscribe to your blog via RSS, no problem. The Blogs at Penn State toolset creates your feed for you.

With the Penn State Blog platform you are in control of how you engage the community. You can decide to accept comments, have them moderated, or just make certain posts read only. It is your blog and we hope you take advantage of the opportunity to engage your community.

Share your Media

Sometimes a movie speaks louder than words, why not just share it? With the Penn State Blog platform sharing the media you create is simple. With a few clicks, you can instantly share pictures you've taken, movies and podcasts you've created, and other the other things you make without any knowledge of HTML.

And since the PSU Blog stores all your media in your Penn State Personal Webspace, everything you share still belongs to you.

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The Blogs at Penn State is a pilot project exploring the use of blogs in higher education. Once you have established your blog, you are free to use it as you see fit. Blogs are published in your personal web space, so they belong to you. If you would like to participate, simply request an account.



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