At the WITS meeting on Wednesday evening, 31 August 2011, our widely published author and experienced blogger Kerry Ashwin gave us the lowdown on how to start and maintain a free blog. Kerry began with first principles: what is your objective in starting a blog? do you want it to raise your web profile? She showed how you can make your blog stand out in the crowded cyber-space by inventive titles and keywords (tags); and how to compose an effective biography for your blog. The presentation focussed on Google blog -- www.blogger.com -- rather than WordPress, given that both are free options.
Designing your blog was covered in a lot of detail, from templates; to headers; to posting; and editing, once you have begun the process. Kerry's message stressed experimenting with the various settings, and she went through a number of experiments during the evening, prompted in part by enthusiastic questions from the audience. A strength of the presentation was Kerry's use of the technology available, including having the internet live on the big screen, so that she could show us, among other things, several of her personal blogs to illustrate points.
All told, the presentation was excellent. There was so much to take in, it was very information-rich, but Kerry very kindly offered to send those present her power point presentation, which contained her session notes as well as graphics of the various screens she spoke on, and much else besides. A totally worthwhile evening!