Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lesson 2: Wikis

This session will introduce you to wikis and how to set up accounts in different wiki applications. It consists of four parts:

These are two wiki sandboxes that have been set up for your exercises:

Some helpful resources:

Wikis that we recommend you to look at:

Please feel free to leave a comment here. Thanks for your participation!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lesson 1: Blogs & Blogging

This lesson will give you an introduction to blogs, as well as walk you through setting up a blog on blogger. Take a look at the Blogs and Blogging Video Tutorial (about 20 minutes long). After you've set up your first blog, please take a moment to come back to this post and leave a comment with the title and URL for your blog.

A quick note about creating blog posts in Microsoft Word

Although you can type up your blog posts in Microsoft Word, getting the content from Word to Blogger can be a bit cumbersome. You can just copy and paste the content from word into the blogger WYSIWYG post editor but if you do an awful lot of HTML markup will get inserted as well (try it and use the "Edit Html" option to see for yourself). At best, this simply bloats up your posts a bit with some unnecessary markup. At worst, however, it can cause your posts to improperly display- sometimes to the point that content becomes difficult or impossible to view.

The simplest solution to this problem for Word 2007 users is to use the new Word feature “Create New Blog Post” (see “Help with blogging in Word”). Select the Microsoft Office button (upper left hand corner of word, near the Save icon and Home ribbon tab), choose “New” then “New Blog Post.” If this is the first time you are using this feature, you’ll need to register your account. Select Blogger as your blog provider, and provide the email address and password you used to create your blogger blog. That’s all there is to it. Type in your post title and content, and when you are happy with it, click the "Publish" button on the “Blog Post” tab in Word.

One very important thing to consider is that if you are going to be saving the file locally (to post later, or just in case you think you might need to edit the post later) you must save the file in the new word 2007 .docx format (MS Office Button – Save As – Word Document). Make sure Word Document (*.docx) is selected as the “Save as Type” and that Maintain Compatibility with Word 97-2003 is not selected. If you save the file in any other format or with any other options, Word will be unable to publish (or republish) your post from that file, unless you convert the document back to .docx and manually remove and replace the post title ( see, “Help with blogging in Word - Publishing my post doesn't work”).