November 12, 2006

Blog learning resource: 10 tips for a great blog

Here's a very nice and concise presentation (PDF) on how to blog well:
10 Ways to a Killer Blog - Getting noticed in the new word-of-mouth network
by Robert and Maryam Scoble,

I also recommend that you read this book for more detailed explanation of the concepts covered in the above presentation:
Publisher: Wiley
ISBN: 047174719X

November 04, 2006

Creating blogs with

[First posted at RamblingLibrarian]
UPDATE - See New Blogger Features (Dec 2006) + updated post (26 May 2008).

Due to repeated requests for the screenshots in creating blogs with, I've gotten over my procrastination and posted them in the blog. Yeah, I should've done it earlier... well, better late than never. The steps and screens are correct as of 1st Nov 2006 (once cuts over to the new Blogger Beta version, the features and interface might have changed).

Click on the images for the larger-sized screen-shots:

Step 1 - Blogger - Login/ Create Blog
Blogger - Login/ Create Blog
This is where you you create a blog, or login to your Blogger account - (additional notes in - click here)

Blogger - Step 1 in Creating An Account
Blogger - Step 1 in Creating An Account
You are required to choose a User Name for your blogger account. Blogger uses Image Verification rather than Email Verification in accepting accounts. The email you enter is for things like "password reminder" rather than for creating an account with Blogger. If your preferred User Name has been taken, you'd be required to enter an alternative. Your User Name does not necessarily have to be your Blog Name or Display Name (i.e. you may wish to choose something totally unrelated to your blog name for additional security).

Blogger - Step 2: Name your blog
Blogger - Step 2: Name your blog
Here, you're required to enter a Title for your blog and the blog URL (these can be changed later; for the URL it will be subject to availability, so it's best to choose wisely at this stage). The Word Verification is a feature for blogger to ensure it's a human being that's creating an account, rather than an automatic program (spambot).

Blogger - Step 3: Choose a template
Blogger - Step 3: Choose a template
Click on any of the design. Tip -- you can always choose a new template, so simply choose anyone to proceed and complete your registration/ blog creation process. My observation is that most "Blogger newbies" spend way too much time at this stage, and adds unnecessary delay in registering the blog.

Blogger - After Step 3
Blogger - After Step 3
You're almost there...

Blogger - Confirmation of new blog
Blogger - Confirmation of new blog
Congratulations! You now have a blog. But you if you try to visit your blog URL, you'll get a 404 Page Not Found message. Don't worry -- you see your blog once you publish at least one post. Which is why blogger will bring you directly to...

Blogger - Create/ Publish Post
Blogger - Create/ Publish Post
This is where you create a new post. It's almost like composing and sending an email. More explanatory notes are at the image - click here)

Technorati Tags: ,

July 22, 2006

Links & References for LAS Blog course, Jul/ Aug 2006 (Part 2)

[This post continues from Part 1. It will be updated up till the 2nd run of the LAS blog course on 4th Aug '06]

Selected introductory readings:
  • Soliciting for ideas on how the Library can reach out to people who find it physically inconvenient to get to the library (via High Browse Online)
  • Ebay will use tagging to help it get organized (via Library Journal Blog - LJ Tech Blog)
  • The Power of Blogs - (Another LJ blog article, with a few related topics in the post. As you read the post, reflect upon the tone and writing style of the post, i.e. similarities/ differences to the print version of Library Journal. Of particular interest is the post's mention about cashless payment in libraries, i.e. did you find that useful? Would something like that be published in the typical print journal?)
  • Portrait of a Blogger: Under 30 and Sociable - article commenting on a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project: "More than half of bloggers are younger than 30, and a majority use their blogs as a mode of creative expression, the survey found. Money-making possibilities motivate only 15 percent of bloggers, and most blog on a variety of topics, with 11 percent focusing on politics."
  • screencast - Quicktime Movie on the newly unveiled (Jul 2006) Technorati website. Includes an overview of the features and services.
  • Laptops give hope to homeless (Wired News) - How blogs are used by the homeless to reach out and express themselves (via Blogger Buzz)

Selected Library Associations with blogs:

Singapore Library Blogs (for public access)

Librarianship-related collaborative blogs (initiated in Singapore)

July 19, 2006 Demonstration

This was taken when the participants went for their teabreak:
NLB Academy - LAS Blog Course 19 Jul 06

July 18, 2006

Links & References for LAS Blog course, Jul/ Aug 2006

References for blog course for LAS: "Blogs, Tagging, RSS, Podcasts: Heresay, Hype, and Hogwash?" Jul/ Aug, 2006.

[NOTE: Part 2 continues here]

On blogs and stuff
- 10 points on Blogs & RSS
- Starting a new blog
- Using Bloglines (via Preetam)
- Using Flickr (via Preetam)
- Using Technorati Tags (via Preetam)
- Using PubSub (via Preetam)

Who's Blogging? (just a sample, mind you)
- Cherian George's Air-conditioned Nation
- Cherian George's Singapore: New Media, Politics & the Law
- Lawrence Lessig (Founder & Chairman of Creative Commons)
- Lam Chun See's Good Morning Yesterday (probably Singapore's oldest blogger!)
- Tan Tarn How (policy researcher with IPS)
- Matt Cutts (google employee)
* Librarians (see Liblogarians links in next section)

Selected links to blogs/ sites with feeds
- Audio feeds
- ASK! Blog (NLB's public library services Advisory & Enquiry weblog)
- Authors/ Publishers Blog
- AustralianBlogs + Australian Podcasts + News2.0
- BookBlogs
- Blog Timeline.SG ("A timeline of significant events in the Singapore blogosphere")
- Education
- Internet Archive
- Instructables
- Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD Blog)
- LibrariesInteract ("Blog central for libraries in Australia")
- Liblogarians - Singapore
- Liblogarians - USA
- Liblogarians - UK
- Liblogarians - Australia
- Law Blogs
- Library - HKUL
- Library - NYPL
- Library - NLB
- Library News/ Research
- Singapore Heritage feeds
- Yahoo! Search Blog
(To view all my Bloglines Subscriptions, click here)

1) Inserting images for blog posts
Here are sample HTML codes. Copy and paste the codes to your blog post and see how they turn out (remember to replace the "*" portions with "<" and ">" respectively):
*a href="" title="Photo Sharing"**img src="" width="375" height="500" alt="Singapore Short Stories"**/a*

*a href="" **img src="" width="240" height="222" alt="Macro_Orchid 0406"**/a*

*a href=""**img src="" width="375" height="500" alt="Mushroom 190406"**/a*

*a href=""**img src="" width="500" height="374" alt="Oven Fresh Cookies - Macro"**/a*

*a href=""**img src="" width="355" height="500" alt="Macro_Gloxinia"**/a*

2) Group Activity - writing blog posts
- Try writing a blog post individually.
- Next try working together in groups of 2 or 3
- Consider a theme/ topic

Course for Library Association of Singapore: An introduction to Blogs and related technologies, and its applications in Libraries

As posted at the Library Association of Singapore calendar page:
Blogs, Tagging, RSS, Podcasts: Heresay, Hype, and Hogwash?
An introduction to Blogs and related technologies, and its applications in libraries

Conducted by : Mr Ivan Chew
Ivan holds a BSc (Econs) & a MSc. (Information Studies). His current job is to develop and manage the Adults & Young People's (AYP) services, working with a team of AYP librarians to look into collection, programmes and services in the public libraries. At last count, he has five blogs.

19 Jul 06, 2pm - 5pm (update: Additional run scheduled for 4 Aug 06)

NLB Academy
Carnegie Room
Toa Payoh Community Library
Level 3, 6 Toa Payoh Central
Singapore 319191

Course Fees:
LAS Member: $50.00
Non-LAS Members : $60.00

Class size : 10 (min) - 24 (max)

Closing date : 12 Jul 2006

Outline of course:

1. "Blogs" in the Singapore context
2. Define & understand "blogging" terminologies
3. Examples of blogs in education and libraries
4. How does one create a blog? (Hands-on)
5. Introduction to blog-related resources for content creation and searching (RSS,, podcasting, tagging/ folksonomy/, blog search engines etc)
6. Discussion of possible applications, legal and ethical issues in the context of libraries

You will have a hands-on experience on blogging.

How you will benefit

After attending the course, the participants will:
- have an overview of blogging
- understand more about RSS, podcasting
- learn how to use these new technologies to better serve your library users

Target Audience

All information services professionals with backgrounds in libraries

Source: (last accessed 18 Jul 06)

July 17, 2006

MICA Innovation Fiesta 2006 - Basics of Podcasting Workshop

UPDATE - 18 Jul 06. Here's a podcast from one of the participant from the course: Mr. Philip Lim shares a story on a Customer Service encounter:

powered by ODEO

Links featured in the course:
1) Definition of Podcasting
- Ask A Ninja: Special Delivery 1 "What is Podcasting?"
- Definition from Wikipedia
- Definition from
- TODAYonline ("What's all the podding fuss about?")

2) Selected podcasts
- Mr. Brown Show
- BBC Radio (Step by Step guide to getting a podcast)
- Daily Breakfast with Fr. Roderick
- Health Promotion Board, Singapore
- Penguin Podcast
- Kevin Lim (on Flu wiki)

3) Other sites & links
- Planning your podcast recording session (Apple iLife GarageBand tutorial)
- Audacity (Open source audio-recording/ editing software)
- (free podcasting hosting)
- Archive.Org (hosting of audio files, but no dedicated feed for the file)
- RamblingLibrarian podcast

[Original post]
I've been roped in to plan and conduct a podcasting workshop for the MICA Innovation Fiesta 2006.

See, Do, Hear: Knowing the Basics of PodCasting
18 July 2006
2.30pm – 5.00pm
Possibility Room, Level 5
National Library Board
100 Victoria Street
Singapore 188064

Listen to the spoken Introduction:

powered by ODEO

The Script:

Welcome to the MICA Innovation Fiesta 2006 workshop titled "See, Do, Hear: Knowing the Basics of Podcasting".

You are now listening to a podcast. What better way to start a podcasting workshop by using a podcast, right?

My name is Ivan Chew. I'm with the National Library Board Singapore (NLB). In my 10 years with NLB, I've been assigned various roles: I've worked as a librarian at a community library; I've been involved in digital & web-based projects. I've managed a few libraries & was part of a team in upgrading one. Now I work with a team of librarians delivering Adult & Young Peoples' Services across our network of public libraries.

But what makes me qualified to conduct this workshop on podcasting? Well, in my personal capacity I have five blogs and one podcast (feed). I am not an expert on podcasting but rest assured I have enough to share for an introductory workshop. Besides, one point we're making here is that you don't have to be an "expert" to produce a podcast.

By the end of our three hour session, you'll be able to do or understand at least three things: One, explain to others what are podcasts. Two, know how to listen to podcasts. And three, understand how they are produced & the ways in which they can be delivered.

We will also discuss possible applications of podcasts. During the workshop we will be listening to a few selected ones. Basically, you'll see podcasting from both the consumer's and the producer's perspective.

Now here's the fun part -- we have a group activity to produce (or attempt to produce) a podcast episode. It sounds challenging but anyway, this IS the Innovation Fiesta afterall.

So let's innovate. Let's play!


July 12, 2006

Intro to Blogs workshop, by Kevin Lim (Feb 06)

Kevin ( posts his workshop content, including links to his presentation slides and PDF handouts. Summary of the outline posted in his blog:

Read his full post here.

Technorati Tags: Blog Workshop, Blog Course

February 15, 2006

SAOUG Blog Course Practice: "Would South African Librarians embrace blogging?"

Question: Would South African Librarians embrace blogging? What is the level of readiness?

Comments & responses please.

February 11, 2006

Schedule: SAOUG - Blogging 101 for Dummies workshop (13 Feb - 17 Feb 2006)

South African Online User Group "Blogging 101 for Dummies workshop":

Participants will learn what a blog is, learn how to create blogs, name their blogs, how to post comments, change the template of the blog, and how to delete their blog (in fact everything you wish to know about blogs). It will be a practical hands-on workshop.

SCHEDULE (Mon, 13 Feb - Fri 17, Feb 2006)
Monday, 13 Feb
Venue Medical Library, University of Pretoria
Session 1: 8:00-12:00
Session 2: 13:00-17:00

Tuesday, 14 Feb
Venue Dynamix Training Centre, Witkoppen Road, Sunninghill
Session 1: 8:00-12:00
Session 2: 13:00-17:00

Wednesday, 15 Feb
Venue Dynamix Training Centre, Witkoppen Road, Sunninghill
Session 1: 8:00-12:00
Session 2: 13:00-17:00

Thursday, 16 Feb
Venue University of Johannesburg, Kingsway Campus
Session 1: 9:00-13:00
[Depart in afternoon from Johannesburg International to Cape Town for session in Cape Town, then back to Johannesburg the next day]
Time 3:55 PM - Depart JNB for CPT on British Airways.
Arrive 6:05 PM

Friday, 17 Feb
Venue University of Stellenbosch
Session 1: 9:00-13:00
[Depart in evening from Cape Town for Johannesburg]
Time 6:45 PM - Depart CPT for JNB on British Airways
Arrive 8:55 PM

Saturday, 18 Feb
Depart for Singapore.

Related post - Blogging in South Africa (SAOUG Blog Course, Part 1)


February 10, 2006

What is RSS? (illustrated)

I thought this illustrates the point rather well. From Kevin:
Web 2.0 Workshop Sneak Preview: What is RSS?
[Click image to see larger picture]

January 08, 2006

Example of using blogs to share a more "human side" of ourselves to colleagues

This was an early post of mine, about my dog. In blogging something as personal and mundane as the name of my dog, I was trying to show how blogging could be used as a tool for social networking and expanding the readers' learning capacity (by introducing them to books in the library collection). Effectively, what I did was to link keywords in my blog post to catalogue entries in the library OPAC.

I also discovered that people who googled for "schnauzer" also visited my blog. From the comments (like this one), my colleagues and I were able to share and discuss something that we normally wouldn't have an opportunity to talk about in a work-setting:
Max, the Mini Schnauzer: Blogs as tools for Social Networking and Expanding Learning Capacity
While thinking of a name for our dog, my wife and I surprisingly came up with the same name, but for different reasons. I was thinking of Maximus, the Gladiator [NLBLink 7821448/ NLBLink 10127342] played by Russell Crowe. My wife too, came up with the name, Max. But she was really thinking about main character in the cartoon series "The Transformers" [NLBLink 11795414], Optimus Prime, except that she mistakenly thought the heroic robot was called "Maximus Prime".

Click on this Technorati Tag () to read similar posts "tagged" by other bloggers (think of "tags" as Subject Headings to link related posts).

Example of using blogs to express opinions that otherwise might not be heard

[I'm using personal examples as I blog about them. If you discover similar ones, feel free to leave them as comments]

In this example, I came across two articles where I felt was grossly inaccurate. While the originating site allowed feedback to be submitted, I wasn't sure if they would publish my comments so my blog allowed me to post my views and share with others. You can also see from the post how others post their reactions in my blog, thus giving a more balanced picture to the original post.

I also deliberately chose to use the same article title for my blog post, so that when someone googles it, my blog post might be picked up with the originating articles:
Brave New Singapore?
Learnt from Loy's blog (From a Singapore Angle, 7 Jan 06) about a two-part series commenting on "the lack of liberty in Singapore" ...

Personally, I think expressing one's opinions & reactions in one's own blog is a more mature position to take, as opposed to flaming someone in their articles or posts. :)

January 04, 2006

Example of information sharing & exchange: Bad experience with fridge

Here's a personal example of how consumers can use blogs to voice their frustration/ opinions over certain products or services:
Ariston Fridges
So I'm frustrated from the entire chain of events. Could Ariston have prevented it? I don't know. Maybe a better hinge design. Maybe some Ariston employee will do a Google or Technorati and find my blog piece. Maybe they will do something about the design.

But they sure won't hear it from me direct via their formal feedback channel (if any). Why should I when I'm not going to try my luck with another Ariston fridge again, no matter how good it looks.

This was a real example that happened to me and my wife -- our fridge went kaput and we had a series of negative experiences as a result. I decided to blog about it because the frustration was very real.

How would blogging about it help?
Well the fridge didn't recover by itself. I doubt if Ariston will replace my fridge for free just because I blogged about it. But it sure helped me ease some sense of frustration, and I'm certainly sharing information to people who care to read it. Sure it's full of bias and presents only my side of the story. But that's what "word of mouth" is about, isn't it?

If Ariston had employees who know how to seek out blogs that mention it's products and services, then they might be able to do something about it. They might even want to contact me to try and convert me back to a customer.

And consider this -- if you, the consumer, was considering buying a fridge, would you consider buying the same model that I had? What thoughts went through you as you read the post?

January 02, 2006

Example of information sharing & exchange: Pair of monkeys

Here's one personal example of using blogs and online tools like for information exchange and sharing among individuals:
Pair of monkeys spotted at Yishun Park
My wife and I visited Yishun Park today and we spotted a pair of wild monkeys in a tree. I happened to have my digital camera along and snapped a few pictures...
Monkeys spotted at Yishun Park_b_020106
[click on image to see more]

How's this useful?