Professional Blogging

When blogging was first introduced, I was under the impression that it was just an online journal where people would post their daily events and personal thoughts.  However, I have come to find out that blogging is a great tool for businesses and educated professionals.

To become a professional blogger, one doesn’t have to necessarily be a professional in the field they are discussing.  To be a successful professional blogger, they just need to be well educated on the topic.  The author must also be willing to dedicate the required time in order for their blog to be successful.  Anyone can become a professional blogger, and I think that is what attracts most people to it.  Anyone can be successful in this area if they are willing to dedicate the time and effort that is required.

Once someone has a blog up and running and some entries, the question that begins to develop is: “how do I get more visitors to my page?”.   One simple way to tag and bookmark entries.  By doing this, it allows a user to find a link to the blog by typing in certain key words.  Another simple solution, is for the blogger to comment on other blogs that relate to their topic.  By doing so, users will click on the link and be directed to the new blog that relates to their interest.  The last suggestion I found to improve the amount of visitors is to include a Feedburner on their site.  A feedburner allows users to subscribe to their RSS feed, and allow them to be instantly updated on posts.

The idea of being a professional blogger amused me in the sense that people can make money just by posting about their thoughts.  But as I researched more, I learned that professional blogging was much more detail oriented and took a lot more work than I had originally thought.  I think it would be an interesting thing to test out and experiment with.

The internet never fails to amaze me at the endless possibilities it creates for our world.  The ability to communicate ideas though blogging and communicate with individuals you would never of been able to interact with otherwise is a tool that is very beneficial.  Especially for individuals who have interesting insight and ideas, and need a way to channel them the right audience.

Problogger
Professional Blogging
Blog Tips

Advertisements

What is RSS? How does it work? And how do you make one?

As I have stated in one of my previous blogs, RSS is a product of Web 2.0. RSS was first introduced by Netscape, as a way for users to find webpages more efficiently and be able to read a description of the webpage before clicking on the link, to be sure it was a good fit (Cadenhead, Rodger). As RSS became more popular, it soon became a craze that we are far from getting rid of.   RSS is an amazing tool in todays world, how it works totally facinates me.

Before the introduction to RSS, if an individual wanted to check a couple news sites and blogs before bed, he would just type in each address and scroll down the pages to see what is new.  However, as more sites showed up with loads of information, this process became very time consuming.  And may even now be seen as the “cavemans” way of doing it.  With RSS, an individual can look at one page, or even their desktop to see what is new on multiple pages at once.
What RSS does, is communicates with an aggregator set up by an individual and delivers what is new from that page, and is automatically updated on that persons account.  If you are more of a visual learner like myself, here is a link to a video that describes the processes perfectly. Video

I understood how the RSS feed worked with sites such as blogs, however with a normal webpage, I could not understand how it worked.  It felt like a smack in the head when I realized how simple creating an RSS feed was.  It really stayed true to is name, Really Simple Syndication.  Creating an RSS feed is just as simple as any coding can be.  It is a part of XML, which is HTML’s granddaughter you could say. A newer, and more advanced version.

If someone were designing a website for a golf tournament, and wanted to remind players there was only a few weeks left before the final signup date, they would post that on their webpage.  They could also put in some extra coding, so that they can alert those who have access the the RSS feed.  All they would have to do is put in a new item, and it would go to the subscribers.  Inside the RSS code the programer would then put in

<item>
<title> Sign up date </title>
<description> Sign up now! The closing date is fast approaching. </description>
<link> golfcourseexample.com</link>
</item>

It truly  is as simple as that.  The simplicity is something I find comical and extremely encouraging. Comical in a sense that hearing about it sounded very confusing and very time consuming to create.  It is encouraging knowing it is not as difficult as it seemed, and it is something anyone can create.

Sources:

What is RSS?

RSS and Live Webfeeds

RSS Basics

RSS manual feed

Can of Worms: Created RSS

Personal Learning Environment (PLE)

If someone were to describe him or herself as well educated, most people would assume that they were educated in a learning environment such as a college or university.  What most would not relate being well educated to, is someone educating themselves.  What most do not realize, is that someone could educate themselves on a topic without having to attend a school.  With loads of information available to our fingertips, it is hard to not become educated in things happening around the world, or educating ourselves on subjects we are interested in.  The term that is used to associate with educating one self is Personal Learning Environment  (PLE).

Continuing learning outside of a university began when it became evident that as technology grew, employees had to be educated and continuously trained on their occupational skills and processes (Atwell, Graham).  To meet theses needs, employees would have training sessions and office meetings to be introduced to the new information.  In today’s world,  information is literally a click away and incredibly easy to access, that an individual may be able to learn one subject in numerous ways.  Instead of reading a book, they could listen to a book on tape, watch a video on the topic, listen to a pod cast or talk radio show, or read news articles or blogs (Knittle, Beth).

The development of PLE is the introduction to web 2.0.  As a student researches a subject online, they will no longer have to worry about topics being outdated, and can easily find more resources.  The ability to quickly access information allows one to quickly learn a topic and move on to new topics (EDUcause).

I believe that PLE’s are an amazing advancement in our society.  No longer does someone have to rely on a teacher to become fully informed on a topic.  If someone really wants to become educated on a topic, they can easily find it.  Unfortunately, I feel that people in the near future, may become spoiled with the information at their grasps, that they resist fully learning a topic.   For example, if a student is learning about the War of 1812, they will grab resources that give them the basic information, and will not fully grasp the whole concept or meaning behind it.  It is great to know when the war started and why, however, it is the story line I fear will become a distant memory.  I am worried the passion of learning will deteriorate, as a passion of education will no longer be a requirement.

Web 2.0

The Internet is an everyday tool that is used by a majority of today’s population.  It is a tool that helps us connect with friends and family.  It also helps us to connect and branch out to businesses and find job placements, as well as a fun tool to find and play games and read the news.  The Internet has become such a vital tool in today’s world; it is a scary thought to what life would be like without it.  What most people don’t know is that the Internet we all know and love today, is referred to as web 2.0.
Web 2.0 is a term that was coined by Darcy DiNikki.  Prior to Web 2.0, the Internet was very basic. It had web pages that were written by the creators and informers such as businesses.  The web at that time was a one-way information highway, as opposed to a user-friendly atmosphere. The web has slowly developed into a place that has become a playground for programmers and hackers (Graham, Paul).  As they experiment more with code and design, it becomes more user-friendly.  Web 2.0 now allows for the web to be designed not only by the creators and informers, but also the users.
The fascinating thing about Web 2.0 is how much it constantly updates itself.  This version has so many bells and whistles it is difficult to not get excited about it.  A few of these bells and whistles include: RSS, blogging, tagging, social networking sites, and widgets (Tech Soup).
Another exciting aspect of web 2.0 is the coding that has expanded from basic html.  As well as being user-friendly, web 2.0 is all about being useful for the computer (Digital Web).  A styling code called CSS was introduced to help make loading pages faster, which is helpful for the computer, but also makes deigning a page less tedious, which is helpful for the designers.
Researching this topic excited me for a number of reasons.  If this many things can be added to the Internet within a short amount of time, what kind of possibilities are there for the future?  For web 3.0, or even 4.0?   It fascinated me that all the things I am used to having available to me, all the things I am now spoiled with was just created within the past few years.  I do remember when facebook.com was new and the idea of signing up for it worried me, but now, I cannot imagine communicating without it.
Aside from the personal and social aspect of web 2.0, I find the professional ability to be enormous.  Not only can another in their field influence someone over the web, but they can also find jobs, and become more educated on their interests.
Something I continue to get geekishly giddy about is Google.  The reason it tickles me is because no longer does someone need to pull out his or her dictionary to define a word, research through libraries on a topic, or even consult an expert for advice.  They can simply, as the phrase has been used, “google it” and the information is at their fingertips.
The Internet allows me to educate myself, communicate with my friends I left when I moved a 24-hour car ride away, and it also allows me to be creative.  All of these are made possible by web 2.0.