Blogging 101: My Class

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Last night I started teaching a new class for me:  Blogging 101.  I'm an avid blogger, and hoped that I could add some value to the blogging experience for those who are new to the idea.  Now, many of you may be asking why someone would *need* to learn how to blog.  It's a valid question for those who are familiar with the concept and ideas behind blogging in particular and Web 2.0 in general.  But for those who are not familiar with these concepts, it can be a bit harrowing and intimidating.  After all, what do you talk about?  The class started well, with 7 registered students.  Everyone looked to blogging as a way to broadcast information to a large group, share experiences, share stories, practice writing, and one student was looking for a corporate application.  It was a great mix of people with different interests.  We covered the following topics: Why Blog?  I wanted people to think about why they were blogging, and what blogging meant to them.  So we talked about the definition of Blogging, who blogs, and the various uses blogging has seen since it's inception.  I focused on the Experts (those who are sharing their knowledge for the benefit of others), the Corporate Blogger (those using their blog to hype products or to build a community around their products), and the Web Journal (those sharing their experiences in a public, very visible way).  Setting Up Your BlogNext we set up a blog.  I pointed out the different blogging servers out there that offer free blogs, and got everyone started on a Blogger blog.  Why Blogger?  Because it's free and it's simple to set up and maintain.  Everyone was aware of my bias to WordPress, as I frequently mentioned it, but I thought it was a good idea to have them start simple and work their way up. Personalize Your BlogWe then covered the dashboard, their user profile, and then the settings.  I wanted to be sure they knew where to set up moderated comments, and why.   I also showed them how to add additional plugins to the blog for features that they could implement in the near future.  Tonight we will cover a lot of those features in more detail.  We then got started with blogging.  I had everyone post at least once, so that they could get the feel of blogging.  It was a great success, at least I think it was.  We will see how comfortable everyone gets tonight for the last class.  ^_^  I'm sure it will be fine.  Tonight we will cover RSS feeds, search sites, tracking visits, micro-blogging, and if we have time, some additional plugins that are available for Twitter, Pownce, Last.FM, and GoodReads.