From Merriam Webster, a blog (short for Weblog) is "a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also : the contents of such a site."
- “a web application that contains periodic, reverse chronologically ordered posts on a common
web page” (“Weblog”)
- a website organized chronologically
- a journal that is available on the web
- an online diary or frequently updated personal webpage
- a frequent chronological publication of personal thoughts and web links
Don't Just Blog - Blog It To Courseware
Here's an idea for academic libraries that have or are considering a library blog. A library blog can be a great marketing tool, but only if students read it, and my research shows that most students will not voluntarily subscribe to a library blog - and many are not yet familiar with the necessary technology tools to allow that. Instead, take advantage of technology that lets you push your blog postings to your campus courseware. That way, whenever students go to their course sites, which they do frequently, they'll see your library blog postings. You can get more information about the technology that allows this, and some findings from an informal research study that gathered data on student use of an academic library blog and student knowledge of blogs, RSS and aggregators. This information comes from a poster session conducted at the 2005 ALA conference. The handout from the session and the poster - which will provide all the information you need to replicate this idea - can be found at:  - just scroll down to the presentations area - and look for the links to the ALA 2005 poster session material.
Using Blogs in Secondary Schools: High school libraries should educate teachers and students about using blogs in the classroom. With the explosion of sites such as MySpace, many students are blogging. Educators should be aware of the rising popularity of blogs and use it to their advantage. In return, if school librarians educate students and teachers on blogging, it will increase the students' and teachers' awareness of the library and its usefullness. After teaching classes on blogging, school librarians should be prepared to provide teachers with examples of how to incorporate this technology into the classroom. This collaboration is vital to making the school library an important part of any high school. Some ideas for using blogs in the classroom can be found at: http://classblogging.blogspot.com/; http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/techlp/techlp055.shtml; http://weblogg-ed.com/2004/blogging-lesson-plan/. Another fabulous blog is : http://librarygoddess.blogspot.com/ which is a high school librarian [in New Jersery] who reviews books written for, or appropriate for, teens. (This website was obtained from the article Clyde, L.A. (2005). Educational blogging [Electronic version]. Teacher Librarian. 32(3), pp. 43-45. Retrieved July 9, 2007, from Wilson Web Omnifile database.) These are only a very few ideas that can be found on the Internet. Blogging is a part of students' lives. It is now up to librarians and teachers to make it a part of their education.
Alternative Types of Blogs
The Video Blog - aka Vlogs or Vblogs
In addition to the natural human desire to have audio-video content both entertain and educate in lieu of having to read, the advent of inexpensive cameras and recorders (with many computer systems and tablets incorporating these items in their list of features) and free space on websites such as YouTube and Blogger, it can be a intuitive progression from the usual written blog – even those that include pictures and graphics – for those who find that the “traditional” blog is in need of updating or has served its initial purpose of drawing viewers to a library site, but is in need of maintaining them for the long haul.
By giving information via means of audio-visual media instead of word-only blogs, vlogs (pronounced as one word rather than two, as in vee-log) can serve as an economical way to get their messages to patrons in short, entertaining and instructive videos.
However, adding vlogs to one’s site takes more than simply recording a person delivering a message and posting it on the organization website, blog page, or YouTube. Luckily, there are several sites (mostly amateur and in written and vlog form) that not only gives excellent How-To instruction on creating a vlog; but also helps individuals and organizations decide if a vlog is workable for their needs and those of their patrons.
Vlogging is especially valuable for hearing-impaired (sign language can be utilized to assist the hearing disabled), senior, and younger viewers seeking information.
More, vlogging can be integrated within other Web 2.0 applications such as Twitter, RSS, Wikis, and Facebook.
Examples and Information
- Blogging Libraries Wiki - a list of libraries with blogs from blogwithoutalibrary.net.
- Library Weblogs - a list of worldwide libraries with blogs from LibDex
- Thingology-Thingology is LibraryThing's ideas blog, on the philosophy and methods of tags, libraries and suchnot.
- The 'M' Word - a blog about marketing in libraries.
- Top 25 Librarian Bloggers - a list of successful library blogs from the Online Education Database (OEDb).
- LIS Blogs to Follow - a collection of blogs in the format of RSS bundles put together by Hack Library School.
- 100 Helpful Blogs for School Librarians (and Teachers) - a list of great library-related blogs compiled by Edudemic.
- Law Library Blogs - listed in a wiki.
- Blog Writing Workshop for Librarians
- Salem Press - Library Blog Directory
- How To Make My Blog - good information on the differences, similarities and uses of a blog and a vlog.
- Web 2.0 Part III: Blogs, Podcasting, and Vlogs - provides insight on the pros and cons of using podcasting, vlogs, and blogs in organizations.