Anatomy of a Blog
If you click on the thumbnail to the left, you will open a very large picture in a new window. This will allow you to see what I am explaining in each paragraph below. Keep in mind though, that, even though it looks like a "real" web page, it's only a picture of a real web page; so, none of the links will work. I have entitled this post, The Anatomy of a Blog, since I will show and describe each piece of a typical blog window on MabryOnline.org.
Starting at the top left, the MabryOnline.org logo is actually a link. If you click on it on any page on which it appears, it will take you back to the main welcome page of MabryOnline.org. Not pictured (The picture is already too large!) is the bottom logo and the additional links at the bottom of every page. The bottom logo is also a link to the main welcome page.
Across the top are links to the various sections of this web site. Each link, except for the calendar link, is actually taking you to another complete blog--pretty cool design. :o)
Each section of the website has a "You Are Here" indicator. In this example, Parent Info, the Parent Info link appears dark to let you know you are presently in the Parent Info section of the site. If no section title at the top is darkened, you are in the main welcome section.
The gray area is the sidebar. It contains some very helpful sections for locating information, starting with the calendar. On each date in the calendar that information was posted, that date is a link. Clicking on the date will take you to everything that was posted on that date. If nothing happens when you click on a date, it means nothing was posted on that day.
You can search each blog individually. (As of this writing, you can not search the entire website...yet! We're working on that.) Simply type in a word or phrase and click on the "Search" button. A window will appear listing all of the posts in this section that contain what you typed. Searching is a powerful way to locate information quickly as the site grows larger and larger.
Tip for searching: Try various words that mean the same thing. For example, try "test," then try "quiz," then try "assessment"... Or, if your search didn't yield the needed results, you may click on advanced search options in the search results window. You're on your own there.
Below the search section are the blog categories. Each section of the site, and each teacher's blog, has categories that were assigned by the teacher or blog administrator. Hopefully, each post is assigned to at least one category. These categories appear here. If you only are interested in reading the posts that relate to one category, click on the name of that category.
The 10 most recent post titles are always listed next. You can click on the title of the post to read it.
Sixceed, a web page (blog) written by the 8th grade Language Arts students in Mrs. Hartnett and Mrs. Collins' classes last year is conveniently linked here.
The Archives section contains a link for each month in the past. Clicking on the name of a month will bring up all of the posts added to the site in that month. They will be listed by date.
The bottom of the sidebar contains a link to one of the xml files that feed readers will use to subscribe to this page. This link is really meant for computers, not really for mere mortals like us. If you click on it, what you see will probably not make a lot of sense to you. However, subscribing to a blog is outrageously powerful. I strongly recommend that you subscribe to each of your children's teachers' blogs, Dr. Tyson's blog, the Media Center Blog, The Nurses, Blog, and the Counselors' Blog.
Why should you go to the trouble (which isn't hard) of learning how to subscribe to a blog? Well, let me tell you! When you subscribe:
- New information posted to each blog comes to your browser or news reader automatically when it's posted. This means you don't have to go see if new information is there. It comes to you!
- The information comes as a summary, not the full text. This means you can quickly pick and choose what you think is important.
- If you think the summary is important, you click on it and up comes the entire post.
- You will then know how to subscribe to news readers. You can have just news related to events that are of interest to you come to you as they happen! Do you see the implications of this for student research?!
I have written some information on how to set up an RSS Feed Reader. Please, take the time to try it! You can read that post by clicking here.
OK, this post is already much longer than I like. Let's wrap up the remaining anatomy. Notice the date, title, and name of the person who posted the entry for each post. If multiple posts were made for a single date, they all appear under that date heading.
Links and pictures that appear in the main section of the site almost always have additional "hidden" information. Simply move your mouse over a link or a picture without clicking on it, and almost always, after about one second, a little bit of additional information about the link or picture will appear. Try it with the link to Blogger below.
Now you know the basics of a blog. Blogging is really easy. In fact, I would encourage you to set your own up for free! Check out sites like Blogger. They bill themselves as the Amazing Web Site Machine, and this one is free, but you have those ads to deal with. Many excellent blogging systems and services are out there. I can't think of a better way to share with your friends and family all over the world. And it's as easy as sending an email. Seriously, setting it up is simple enough, as long as it's not as complex as the school site! And then posting is a snap.
Thanks for reading this long post. I hope it was helpful. If you would like to read additional overview information about our site, blogging, and syndication, click here.
Posted by Dr. Tyson