What is a blog?
"Blog" is a 21st century term that is the colloquially shortened version of the word web blog. A web log, or blog, in its simplest form, is a diary that is maintained on the internet. According to Technorati.com, a blog search engine, there are almost 113 million blogs currently being maintained on the World Wide Web. Blogs can be kept about virtually any subject: business, celebrities, sports, politics, gardening...bingo! Gardening, now there's a blog you might be interested in.
Dave's Garden hosts an easy to use blog tool that any member or subscriber can use. Nearly 2,500 blogs are set up at Dave's Garden by users just like you. You can use it to keep up with your gardens or anything else you would want to keep a diary about.
To see how other DG members use their blog, take a look at this link. Don't worry about being nosy because bloggers can put on a privacy setting if they don't want anyone else reading their journal. Hopefully you can find an interesting set up that might also work for you.
Each member of Dave's Garden is automatically set up with a blog. To find yours, click on the "My tools" tab at the top of any page within DG. You will then click on the "Your Gardening Blog" link and be directed to your blog. You will see a welcome message that says, "Think of your diary as a book, filled with chapters. In order to get started, you need to create your first chapter. Do that by clicking on "Add a new tab" over on the right hand side of the page." Tabs can also be viewed as file folders within the larger filing cabinet of your blog.
Go ahead and follow the instructions by clicking on "Add a new tab." You can set up as many tabs as you want in as many different subjects as you would like. Just as with the DG journal feature, users have an astounding spectrum of ways to utilize the program.
Some ideas for ways to use your blog:
- Stories from your garden or life (it is a diary)
- A place to post pictures of your kids/ furkids- remember it doesn't have to be about garden-related things
- Posting 'in progress' shots and stories for a big change you are making at home, along with 'before and after shots'
- A record of cultivars and locations of your prized iris collection
- Monitoring milestones in the garden such as: when the lilacs and forsythia bloom, when the last leaf falls in autumn, date of last frost
- Record the musings of spring seed starting (what worked, what didn't; seedling identification, performance)
Be creative with the way you use your blog. Remember, this is the journal you've been meaning to keep and best of all, it's organized. You will have the option of changing or deleting any tabs you set up, but you have to start with at least one tab to begin with.
After you have set up at least one tab in your blog, you can start blogging. To make your first entry, you need to click on the link on the right hand side menu that says, "Add new entry." You will be redirected to a page that will give you several options, such as choosing a subject, a date, and the tab under which to file the entry. The current day's date is set as the default date for the entry, but you can change it in case you want to post- or pre-date an entry. As you post different entries to your blog, you will notice that each post is logged in reverse chronological order, or above your last one.
You also have the option to post one picture with each blog entry, just as you can do with posts in the DG forums. When you view your blog, the photos will be shown as thumbnail images. If you would like to post multiple pictures to your blog, you will just need to start a new entry for each photo. Take note, however, that multiple entries on one day will be posted in chronological order. That is, an entry that you post at 10:30 a.m. on May 9, 2008 will appear above an entry posted at 1:00 p.m. on the same day.
During this step you can also choose a privacy setting so that no one else can read your entry; Just make sure you check the box between the tab and date options so only you can see the blog post. Under each individual blog entry, you will have the option to edit or delete the post when viewing the blog.
There are not many ways to change the blog feature because it is so straight forward. Any changes that you would need to make to the blog can be accessed through the right hand side menu, as with all navigation of the DG blog. Before you make any changes to a tab in your blog, make sure that you are in the correct tab by clicking on its link on the right hand side menu under the heading "Your diaries:."
You can click on "Delete this tab" or "Edit this tab" to remove any tab or to change the name. Under the "Edit this tab" option, you will be able to change the name of the tab permanently as well as give a description of the tab for your records and for others to read. If you would like to change the posted order of your entries from reverse chronological order (newest on top) to chronological order (newest at bottom), you can also do so with this link. Other than deleting, changing the posted order, and changing the name, there really isn't a whole lot of modifying you will need to do to your blog.
If you notice at the bottom of your navigation window, you might see it say "1 person is watching this tab!" Before you get nervous that someone is spying on you, know that you are automatically set to "watch" your blog. So that one person is you. Because people can subscribe to other members' blogs, you may see the number increase in the future. If you want to "watch" someone's blog (which means you will be alerted when something is updated), you just have to click on the link that says, "Watch this diary's tab" in the top right corner of their blog.
Obviously this tool is very simple, yet so useful. Hopefully you can find a useful application for it in your life. Enjoy your new online blog! Why wait? Get started now!