We will be using blogs to track everyone's progress on the 23 Things programme, so your Things for this week are to get your own 23 Things blog up and running.   Then each week as you complete the Things, please add a post (or posts!) to your blog summarising how you have got on and your thoughts on that week's tool.   The posts can be as long or short as you choose or have time for, from a brief summary of what you did and learnt, to a longer consideration of the pros and cons of that particular tool.   Then at the end, not only will we be able to see that you have completed all the things (and are therefore eligible for the completion certificate and prizes), but you will have your own record of your participation.   Your blog is entirely yours to do what you like with other than this - if you get keen and explore further or other tools, feel free to write about those too; or general thoughts as and when they occur to you.   All the blogs will be listed on the main 23 Things blog too, so as you go along you'll be able to see how everyone else is doing, and comment on and support each other.

If you already have a blog and would like to use it to record your 23 Things experience rather than setting up a new one then please feel free to do so.   However you will still need to register the URL with the 23 Things team (see Thing 4), and please make sure you tag each post consistently as described below.

Create your blog

NB, these instructions are for Blogger, which can be used with a Google account. The other main blogging provider is Wordpress, and if you prefer to use that then you can find instructions here.

  • Go to http://www.blogger.com/ and sign in at the top right-hand corner with your Google account username and password.
  • This will bring you to a sign up for Blogger screen.   Some of the information may already be filled in for you, depending on what you told Google when you signed up for your account, but you will probably have to choose a display name, and you will need to accept the Blogger terms of service.
  • Screen two is called name your blog, and this is where you pick your blog's title and URL.   The blog title can be anything you like - on this blog it is '23 Things Oxford'.   The blog address has to be unique, so you might have to try a few things before you find one that works.   You can change both of these later on if you decide you don't like them after all, but be wary of changing your blog address as all links and feeds will break if you do.
  • Screen three is where you pick the template, ie what your blog will look like.   There are a number of standard templates to choose from - pick your favourite!   Again you can change this at any time in the future, and if you're feeling adventurous you can customise the templates or upload entirely new ones.
Make your first post
  • Click on the orange arrow that says 'start blogging', or, if you have logged out and are coming back to your blog, then click on 'new post' by your blog's name on your dashboard (the screen you see when you log in).
  • This will bring you to the posting screen.   Enter a title for the post, and then type your text into the box.   There is a toolbar at the top of the box which will allow you to format your text and add links and images.   Write something here about your hopes for the 23 Things programme - why you are participating, what you would like to get out of it, what you already know about web 2.0.   That way when you finish the programme you can look back at yourself at the start and see how much you've learnt, and whether you have fulfilled your own aims.
  • When you have finished, add 'Thing 3' in the labels box at the bottom.   Labels are tags, and you'll learn more about these later on, but for now these are just descriptive keywords for each entry.   For each post you make on your 23 Things blog, please make sure to label it 'Thing [?]' for the number of the thing it relates to.   This means your posts on each Thing can easily be found.   You can add other tags too if you would like to.
  • When you are all done, click the big, orange publish post button at the bottom of the screen, and your first post is now live!
Your second post: Things 1 and 2 and inserting images
  • To make sure that your blog is a record of the whole programme, please write a second post about what you learnt last week and your thoughts on start pages.  
  • As the programme goes on, it would be a great idea to add screenshots of the various sites to your blog posts, so try this out by inserting a screenshot of your iGoogle page as an image in this post. To add images, click on the image icon in the toolbar on the posting page (to the right of the 'link' button), which will bring up a box for you to upload your image.  
  • If you don't know how to make screenshots, here's some quick instructions!  Make sure your iGoogle page is open and maximised on your screen, then press [Ctrl] and [Print Screen] (above the number pad) on your keyboard.   Now open an image editing program (Paint will do!) and paste the image in ([Ctrl]+[V] or 'Edit'-'Paste').  Save the image to your computer so that you can upload it to Blogger.
  • Don't forget to tag the post 'Thing 1' and 'Thing 2' in the labels box before you publish it!