Blogs

What Is a Blog?

Supported Blog Software

  • ITTS can install and upgrade WordPress software for ALA-affiliated units
  • If you need an "FTP" or "uploading" program in order to work with you blog, one possible option is Filezilla

Links to WordPress Documentation and Info

If you want to design your own WP theme/template, check out the WP Theme Guide, which walks you through how to design your own

Best Practices

  • Since many people still don't know what a "blog" is and it's not a very descriptive term anyway, consider using the word "news" in its place. For example, instead of calling it "Division Blog," call it "Division News." And instead of putting it at the web address division.ala.org/blog, use division.ala.org/news instead. That way, when the next great thing comes along and replaces blogs, you can easily switch to it and keep the same name and URL.
  • Make sure that the template you use makes the title of each post a link to the individual page for the post
  • Use the Subscribe2 plugin to let users receive updates via email.
  • See the comment guidelines on the ALA Marginalia blog for a sample policy for your own blog.
  • Be sure to flesh out the "About" page on your blog with a description of your unit, the purpose of the blog, and a link to contact someone in case the user has a question or needs help.
  • Use "Syndicate this site" with the orange icon ( http://blogs.ala.org/syndicated-feed-icon.gif ) to clearly indicate your RSS feeds
  • Don't forget to include a link back to your site on ala.org somewhere in the sidebar or navigation

Tips

  • RSS syndication can run in parallel with email since not everyone uses a feed reader yet. If you're using WordPress, consider installing the Subscribe2 plugin, which also lets readers sign up to receive updates via email.
  • Categorizing your posts is a good way to illustrate the types of topics covered in your blog and to allow for browsing. Alternatively, you can use "tags" (keywords), which will allow your posts to appear in the Google and other search engine site results for those terms. Consider using categories for broad groupings and tags for more specific topics.

Plugins Other ALA Units Use

  • The Washington Office is using the Subscribe2 plugin to let users sign up to receive blog posts as email notifications instead; it's working well, and ITTS is also using it now
  • ITTS has used the following plugins