Using blogs

If you’ve never used a blog before you’ll find that it’s helpful to know the terminlogy that is often used:

  • a “post” is a short message, like this one; posts usually show on the front page of your blog with the last one that you created at the top of the page. Think of a post as a short newspaper article – each time someone looks at your blog they see the latest edition. A post has a title and a main entry. You can edit the post (and the title) after you have posted it on the blog, so don’t worry about spelling mistakes!
  • a “page” is like a post, but it is not usually on the front page of your blog. People use pages to keep information – for example, what this blog is about. This kind of information doesn’t change often, so it’s perhaps easier to have a new page for this. If you are using a blog as a teaching tool, for example, you may want to use pages more than posts because you want to be able to order the pages in a particular way that doesn’t change.
  • for posts and pages other people can leave comments. Most blog settings can allow you to decide if you want to allow anyone to leave a comment at any time, or if you want the comment to wait until you have checked it before it is seen on the blog. I suggest you leave the comments open – and then if there is some issue or problem with this we can change the settings later. One of the most stimulating things about writing your blog posts is getting comments, so you don’t want to put people off leaving comments! Most new blogs are set up with a default of having to “moderate” the first time someone leaves a comment on a post or page. Once you have approved the comment, that person can post comments without you having to moderate each time. This is to stop automatic spam and junk being added as comments.
  • “spam” is what people identify as the biggest problem with blog comments – messages left by someone advertising something, or an automatically-created comment that directs people to a dodgy site. If you use WordPress for your blog then this company has an automatic “spam filter” – the computer looking after your blog will stop messages that look like spam and will not publish them
  • “categories” are labels that you can give to your blog posts. You can create as many labels as you like, although you might want to limit them to a few of the most important ones. On the blog you should find a list of all the categories that have been used on all the blog posts – this is an easy way to find particular posts again. You should see that this blog post has been given the category “instructions for use”. Any other posts with instructions like this will be given the same category – if you need to go back to find any you can use the category listing to find what you want.

This is just a starter! Are there any other words of terminology that you are unsure about? Leave a comment for this message and we’ll try to give a definition!

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