I’ve more or less covered Thing 1 in my first post, i.e. why I’ve decided to do cpd23 and what I hope to get out of it, so in this post I thought I’d explore my previous adventures with blogging and what I’ve learned so far.
I started with Anabel’s Children’s Literature Blog at the end of 2007. Part of my remit at Jordanhill is to look after the information needs of student teachers, and promoting children’s books, from picture books to teenage novels, is part of that. I want the students to learn about new authors and not just take the same books out to teaching practice that they themselves read as children. The picture above shows the display area at the beginning of the children’s collection with the colourful reading lists that I and my staff produce. These are also available on the library web page, and I saw the blog as an extension of that – a news site which I could quickly update. I chose Blogger because it seemed the easiest to use. There wasn’t any culture of web 2.0 in the library at that time, so I was very careful to brand it as my own and not the university’s, but because it was work related I kept the appearance fairly sober and business like. I’m still keeping this blog up to date, but since Google updated all its tools it’s become incompatible with the ancient version of IE we have at work, though it’s still ok in other browsers. This puts me off using Blogger again though.
I didn’t start another blog until last summer when I set up Anabel’s Travel Blog. This is purely personal and was meant to be a retrospective diary of some of the fabulous holidays we’ve had in the past. However, I haven’t done much of that (a project for when I leave work?) and it’s mainly been about our days out round Scotland. Still, it’s nice to have – I’m more likely to return to this than to the hundreds of photos on the PC which rarely get looked at again. This time, I chose WordPress – partly because of the difficulties with Blogger, partly because I’d noticed a lot of smart looking WordPress blogs, but mainly because I had acquired an iPad and there is a WordPress app which is fantastically easy to use. I set it up on the PC first though, and definitely found WordPress more footery and less intuitive than Blogger. I haven’t customised this one either, mainly because I really like the theme which is bright and sunny and just makes me think of sky and sand and grass and summer.
So onto blog number 3. At the beginning of this year I stated organising tweet ups for library and information folk around Glasgow. I’ll probably write more about that later in the programme. We’ve had a few successful meetings so far, and several people, including me, wrote their own blog posts about them so I thought it would be a good idea to have one central blog to link everything else up, while also including any other library events and visits I do. I threw Glasgow Library Tweeps together one Sunday afternoon and, guess what, haven’t customised it yet. I chose the only theme I could find with books, but it’s a bit old fashioned looking and I must go back and change it.
And finally, here is blog number 4. This time, I set it up very quickly on the iPad which took seconds. I spent a bit more time later tinkering with it on the PC, but basically it was good to go straight from the app.
So what have I learned so far?
1. Blogger is easier to use than WordPress but Google’s upgrades are a pain and have put me off it.
2. On the whole, I like the look of WordPress blogs better.
3. The WordPress iPad app is awesome.
4. Both Blogger and WordPress are easy to customise but I’m too lazy to do it. Maybe this time?
5. I sort of wish I hadn’t set up so many specific blogs but had one blog with different sections.
So those are my blogging adventures so far. Now for Thing 2, to read about other people.