Thursday, September 18, 2008

23 Things for Learning 2.0 - Post #4

Discovery Exercises (Things)
9. Tag a blog entry
10. Find and set up Bloglines feed reader
11. Set up a account

#9 (Post 4) Tag an entry in your blog (Estimated time to complete: approximately 20 minutes)

You now have a blog. If you like, you can use this blog to report your progress on your 23 Things. If you use this blog for other purposes, be sure to explain what you’re doing. Feel free to link to any part of The online Instructor (this blog) in your blog. But, first, let’s explore just a bit more so that you become more comfortable with your blog.

A tag is metadata (descriptive information) - it’s a key word that helps you index something, like a blog entry or a set of online photographs or bookmarks. You choose your own tags when it comes to your online content, so it’s helpful to think through (and sometimes go back and edit) the tags you set up in your blog or other online collection. You are setting up an indexing system. Depending upon your application, it may also link to others who have chosen the same tags.

First, let’s tag a blog entry. Go to your blog (and be sure you’re logged in to your blog host; if you have to log in, then do so and then go to your blog page to continue with Step #2.)

In Blogger, click on the word Customize (top right). (In other blog hosts, look for the tagging option on the page where you write the post or in the administrative area.)

Next, look at the tabs that appear just below your blog name (top left). Click on Posting.

You are now in the Create Posts mode. Below the Posting tab, click on Edit Posts.

Now click on the word Edit next to any post in the list.

At the bottom of the box with the blog post in it appears a blank line. The words Labels for this post appear to the left of it. Essentially, this means that what is typed here “tags” your video with a topic or label.

Type a tag in that line. Make it something that other posts will have in common with it. For example, if you chose your a post with a link to a video in it, you might tag it video. You can give it several tags if you like.
Click the Publish button.

When your view your blog now you will see the tags show up below the entry. Readers who click a tag will see a list of your blog entries that are tagged with that label; depending upon the application you are using, you may also see other people’s posts that are tagged in the same way. So it can bring to gether a community blogging about the same ideas (like, say, Learning 2.0).

If you have not yet set upyour blog, check out how in this Slidehsare "creating a free blog with blogger" from Visualthink

#10 (Post 4) Set up and use a Bloglines account. (Estimated time to complete: approximately 30 minutes)

Feeds allow you to subscribe to a blog, photo archive or other web-based information that provides an opportunity to track new entries via a feed reader. It’s often referred to as syndication, sometimes used interchangably with the word feed or aggregator, or to mention a specific type you may have heard, RSS (which stands for Really Simple Syndication). On the left side of this blog, below the blog posting archive links, you will see the word subscribe next to an orange button.
You can click on the button or the word subscribe and see the feed page, or (if set up by the blogger) a page that lets you subscribe to those feeds.
We’re going to use a simple web-based feedreader called Bloglines to subscribe to this blog.

Visit Bloglines at /.

Click on SIGN up now - It’s free! in the middle of the page.

Enter the requested information and click register. Close your browser. (Record your user name and password!)

You will get a confirmation email: click the link in the email to confirm your subscription.

Go to this webpage and bookmark it so that you can find your way back later.

You will automatically be placed in a page that gives you one feed. Feeds are in the left column, at the top. Your feed will be Bloglines News. Click on the title of the feed, and the right column will now show the text in the available feed. Under Additional Features (left column), click on Easy Subscribe Bookmarklet. Choose the appropriate browser name and follow the instructions.

Now, let’s subscribe to a blog. Go back to and then from your Bookmarks or Favorites, choose Sub With Bloglines. Don’t bother changing any settings on the page you go to; just click on Subscribe at the bottom. Look in your left column. You are subscribed to a new blog!

Choose at least one more blog or website with a feed to subscribe to - CNN, somebody’s Flickr account, etc. More ideas for feeds are at

Use this link once a day or a couple of times a week to check on updates to your favorite sites! If you like, blog about your experience on your own blog.

#11 (Post 4) Social Bookmarking

Have you made it this far? Yay!!
Social Bookmarking is a way to save and share your favorite websites in a web-based format. Why? Well, you might wish to have particular collections of bookmarks available to you when you travel (not computer-based but rather more accessible). You might want to share collections with friends or family. Or, you might use social bookmarking to share a web bibliography or set of resources with students or other instructors. Students might use social bookmarking to develop a collaborative collection to support research or project-based work. Some people or institutions develop their own “social bookmarking” tool and may use the word tag interchangeably with social bookmarking. Here are a few examples:

Set up a account. ( ) is a website that allows you to store your Internet bookmarks online. This means that you can access your bookmarks from any computer. When you book mark a webpage, you can “tag” it with keywords of your choosing which will help you organize similar pages. This is more versatile than bookmark folders since you can “tag” a website with more than one descriptor. For example, one could save a link to this blog on and tag it with “blog” “web 2.0” and “distance education.” is most commonly known as a “social bookmarking” site. This means you can share your bookmarks with friends if you choose (but you don’t have to!) You can also see what websites other people are bookmarking and what tags that they assign them.
Go to and create a account. provides easy to follow, step by step instructions through this process. As part of this process, you will be offered the opportunity to install “post to” button on your web browser. If
you choose not to do so, that’s okay! You can always go to and enter the URLs of the websites that you’d like to post to

Find five websites that interest you (they don’t have to be about Web 2.0).

Assign them tags based on whatever organizational scheme makes sense to you.

If you make a mistake or think of another tag later, don’t worry…you can always go back and edit your tags.

You can also import bookmarks from your browser.

After finishing this, look at your list of bookmarks.

Click on “saved by – other people”

Click on one of the usernames of the people that have saved your page. See if they have saved some pages that you may find interesting.

Write a quick blog post in your own blog with a link to your account.

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