Commenting: the good & the bad

Did your mom ever say to you,“If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”? Well, mine did…ALL the time!

There are definitely good & not-so-good ways to comment on a blog post. Following are 5 quick tips to keep in mind when commenting:

  1. Keep it positive and compliment the author. Do it in a specific way by referring back to the one or two thoughts that really had an impact on you.
  2. Be sure to keep it short and make a point. No rants or rambling!
  3. Make your comment meaningful by adding your thoughts on the subject. Just saying ” I agree” or “good job” adds no value to the conversation. You will make a more meaningful contribution if you explain WHY you agree or disagree with the post.
  4. Know what you’re talking about. There is no better way to turn off your audience and undermine your authority then by admitting you don’t know what you are talking about. Do your homework, use other sources to find out more, if necessary, and add ‘content’ with your comment.
  5. Proofread! A lot of typos and misspellings is just another way to undermine your authority, and then – well, nobody’s gonna care what you have to say.

A great look at commenting from  Nicolas Weiss’s Leaving High Quality Blog comments video , with specific examples:

Below is the video mentioned  by Nicolas from Mrs. Yollis’ Class.

Thanks Mrs. Yollis’ class  for sharing How to Compose a Quality Comment! from yourwonderfulteacher on Vimeo.

 Your Task:

Using the quick tips above, Post at least 3 positive comments on your classmate’s blogs. Each of these comments should add or contribute something meaningful to the post.

Happy Commenting!

Mrs. C

A special thanks to Edublogs for sharing information on Good Quality Commenting Skills!

Customize your Menu

In the setup of your blogs, you were asked to add an ABOUT page. Some themes automatically add this new page to your main menu….Some themes do not. In order for your viewers and followers to see this page, you may have to manually add the page link  to the menu.

On our class blog, Mrs. C’s Class Connection, the menu is at the top as illustrated here:

As you can see, I have  “About This Blog” and “Tips for Success & Safety” which are both pages displayed on my Menu. I also have a “Technology of Blogging”, “DTP” and “Student Challenge” tabs . These are categorized posts added as a custom item to the menu. This is just one way you can organize your posts.

To add your ABOUT page to your menu, go to Appearance>Menus from your dashboard:

Capture2menu

You will see :

menu3

 

 

Check your ABOUT page, then Add to Menu

 

 

 


You can do the same with Categories to organize posts. Click the down arrow on Categories to open the screen. Check the ones you want to show on your menu and click Add to Menu. 

 

 

Be sure to SAVE MENU before you exit. That should do it!

 

View your blog to be sure you were successful!

Note: you must add Categories and assign Categories to your Posts for them to display on your custom menu.

Additional instruction on customizing menus can be found in Edublog Help. 

Or just ask me about it in class Or add a comment to this post 🙂

….as always, HAPPY BLOGGING!

Mrs. C.

 

Explore more Media…Let’s talk Video

Everyone loves Youtube!

Adding pictures and graphics to your post is just one way to make your content more interesting and capture the reader’s attention. Let’s take it one step further and also add Video to our posts!

There is no denying that today’s consumers are visual beings. Over the last few years, the popularity of Video has grown tremendously. As a result of this unprecedented popularity, along with the advancements in digital technology, everyone has instant access to filming, editing and publishing videos. 

Anyone with a smartphone can create video content and distribute it over the Internet!

This popularity trend is not limited to personal use and social media.  Rohan Ayyer shares in How to Use Video Content to Accelerate Engagement, “In 2015 , video views accounted for over 70% of all internet traffic.”  Business marketing professionals have also identified that ‘landing pages’ featuring video content increase sales conversions by 80 percent.

Adding Video will create an “experience” for your reader. Video will build  engagement by bringing your pages or post ideas to life.

If you want  your voice to be heard, then use a Video to share YOUR STORY!

Next up: great video tools to create and share your messages. What platform would you use to create and share your story?

Images & Copyright

Let’s talk IMAGES:

A really great photo can catch the reader’s attention and draw them into your composition or post. But unless you are a really great photographer, that perfect shot may be hard to find. Luckily, we have the web and modern technology that does most of the hard work for us.

 

There are literally thousands of free pictures available on the web that are OK to use…and just as many ( maybe more) that are NOT!

Google is a great tool that can search the web and return exactly what you  are looking for. Just type the right keywords and all the data, news, video , images , books ,maps, you name it and it will appear!

BUT, if you plan to re-post or publish even a small part of this creation, you must give the original writer or artist credit for their work.   In research, this is accomplished by citing our sources (more on this later) . With other artistic compositions, this is called attribution. We attribute ( or give credit to) the artist, musician or photographer of the original work.

It is for this reason that Google is not the best source for images. A large percentage of Google Images are NOT free to reuse. Most , as a matter of fact, are copyright protected and cannot be used without the risk of copyright infringement.

Luckily, there are some great alternatives.


There are a few options:

  • Get permission – which is difficult to obtain, or you can Pay for photos- a luxury most can’t or don’t want to  afford
  • Use Creative Commons to help obtain acceptable images and provide the appropriate attribution required for the varying degrees of licensing.  This requires some research. But can be a learning opportunity.
  • Use your own – this could be fun, but may be a bit time consuming, and a challenge to get exactly what you are looking for. And there are some of us that just can’t take a good picture!
  • Use web resources that provide assistance to correctly

    Image: ‘Morning glow’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/77934271@N03/28371947729, Found on flickrcc.net

    attribute the images. Links to a couple of these  services as listed below:

 

  • Use the Compfight plugin. This shortcut tool is available in your blog editor , located to the right of your ‘Add media’ button.

Morning glow I

Jacco Otten via Compfight


All the options listed above are good. But not necessarily easy or efficient or optimal. In the next post , we will explore the last and best option for reusing Images on your blog or any other published composition. You guessed it, Tons of images are available without any copyright restrictions. You just have to know where to look. They are in the public domain or have a CC0 ( no license) and are Basically FREE to reuse however you choose. 

Everybody loves FREE!

Images for blogs and mods

Bing, Google, Yahoo, Ask.com. are common search engines we use every day. But whether  you are posting materials on the web or distributing flyers for an upcoming event, when you create and share to an authentic audience, you really need to consider copyright laws.  Creative Commons is a licensing body that has attempted to bridge the gap between free Public Domain  works and copyright protected artistry.

According to many resources “A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created.”

But it’s hard to understand complex licenses. It can also be time consuming and costly to gain reuse permission from an artist. And we all now know that using Google Images is really not an option. To avoid confusion and possible legality issues, I strongly suggest the use of any or all of the free photos sites listed below.

Unsplash
Pexels
Pixabay
Photos For Class
Openclipart
Pics4Learning
https://www.wpclipart.com
http://www.clipartlord.com

My personal favorite is Pexels. All photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose. So, attribution is not required. Also they have a huge selection of great quality pics!

On occasion when you download one, it is suggested that you include attribution to the artist, which is a courtesy and a good habit to get into regardless of the legal license issues.

Use images as background and/or to enhance your message!


Make your own Compositions with free images!

Try one of the following Graphic Design websites  to “modify, reuse and distribute a unique work” all your own.  

Snappa
Canva
Vengage

This process can be lots of fun and a great way to get creative. Templates are available to help you create anything from a snapchat post to business cards to promotional brochure!

 


To learn more about Creative Commons, try:
https://help.vimeo.com/hc/en-us/articles/224969988-What-is-Creative-Commons
Or  https://sarafhawkins.com/creative-commons-licenses-explained-plain-english/
From Kathleen Morris http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/06/02/creative-commons-infographic/
And Ronnie Burt https://www.theedublogger.com/2017/01/20/copyright-fair-use-and-creative-commons/

Note: Creative commons licenses cover more than just Images. Video, audio, educational resources, music are also protected.

Get Curious!

Time to set up your own blog and start blogging!

Once you login to Edublogs- using the username and password given in class- you will automatically be brought to our class page “Mrs. C’s Class Connection.”

blogsiteBe sure to go the dashboard of YOUR blog for set up and posting.

 

Poke around the dashboard , explore themes and browse some instruction on getting started.

Steps #1&2 

To Begin the Set up for your blog – start by choosing a theme

And then add an About page and tell us ( your class) a little bit about you!

 

Who are you? Share your hobbies, interests, family background, whatever else you want others to know about the you. Your post could be descriptive like Penelope’s About Me or creative like Kimberley’s A-Z description.

Just share what you are comfortable with sharing and/or  talking about.

Step #3

For your first official blog post you can add a new post or edit the “hello world” post already on your blog.

Wondering what to say? Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Your post can be just a brief reflection of what you have learned in class so far.
  • Or how about sharing some goals that you have set for yourself for the semester. An example might be: one goal for this class, one goal for this month, and one goal for this school year. How do you plan to accomplish your goals? Here are some examples others have written.
    Alexis has written a reflection on her term goals, and Kayleigh created a bucket list on her blog.
  • You could write about someone that inspires you. What is it about this person that makes them so special? Terapat (Tony) shares why soccer player, Chanathip, is his favorite person, or it could be someone that is just special to you as in these 2 examples.
  • Answer one of the following questions:
    • If the internet were to crash forever, what would the benefits be for you? The drawbacks?
    • Should we fear failure? Why or why not? Explain.
    • If a wizard could tell you anything about your future, what would you most like to know?

After you’ve complete steps 1,2 and 3 above……

Feel free to Visit other classmates pages– say hello in a comment or comment on the blog articles or topics others have shared. Just get to know one another a bit!

Don’t worry too much … just remember to stay positive, be respectful  and be kind.

 

 

Welcome to blogging!

Many of you are probably New to blogging, so I will share a quick video that explains what this web activity is all about. What is a blog?

As well as two additional resources on the history of blogging and it’s definition that may offer more explanation of the topic.

So even if you are not so new at this and know how ( & why) to blog, as part of this class we are going to learn some of the ins & outs of blogging; the hows, the whys and the what fors.

It will be a learning process that I hope will strengthen your tech skills, your writing skills and your overall communication skills both in and outside of the classroom. We will start out slow and simple.

For your first task, simply view the video and read at least one of the articles on the definition/history of blogging.

Then be prepared to answer my questions in class or ask a few of your own.  Nothing online yet, but it’s coming…. 🙂 Mrs. C

Let the challenge begin!

March 4, 2018 marks the start of the Student Blogging Challenge at Edublogs.org with the collaborative efforts of Sue WyattSue Waters and Ronnie Burt.  To find out more visit the official challenge site at  http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/ about/challenge-faqs/


Starting this week,  ALL Mrs. C,s Marketing 2 students will participate in this challenge, and over the next 10 weeks, complete  a weekly challenge task designed to improve blogging and commenting skills while also connecting to a global audience.

My end goal is to enhance student writing and communication skills through online engagement  and reflection.  My immediate goal is to get your blogs set up , and be sure everyone is comfortable with the how’s and why’s and where for’s of blogging.

Photo by Damian Zaleski on Unsplash

Mrs. C