Blogs

Sharing knowledge

Overview

A blog, a shortened version of the term ‘Web log’, is an online chronological collection of personal commentary and links. Easy to create and use from anywhere with an Internet connection, blogs are a popular form of Internet publishing and have become an established communication tool. Blogging has evolved from its origins as a medium for the online publication of personal diaries to a respected vehicle for editorials on specific topics.

 

How to use it

  • Increase others’ knowledge of your work and activities.
  • Promote dialogue in your discipline.
  • Streamline communications by minimising emails.
  • Share expertise and knowledge.
  • Encourage peer-to-peer learning.
  • Support learning, express opinions, encourage reflection and debate.

How to apply it

Start:

Phases of learning:

  • In Phase 1 of the Turin Blended Learning Approach (Course orientation and knowledge use)
    • Post links to introductory material or content related to previous knowledge.
    • Make contact with all participants.
  • In Phase 2 of the Blended Learning Approach (Complement course material and free up class time for collaborative activities)
    • Post case studies, news items, best practice for comments.
    • Post links related to course content and ask participants to do the same.
  • In Phase 3 of the Blended Learning Approach (Support & follow-up, Sharing knowledge)
    • Participants post links to their action plans to receive feedback from peers and experts.
    • Review key points and show additional examples and applications of concepts.
Time/Steps:
  • Use a tutorial on how to set up a blog, like the video tutorial on WordPress in the Resources section below.
  • From a computer, set up a blog using a free platform like Blogger or WordPress (Word Press plug-in available for multilingual blogs: http://wpml.org).
  • Set up qTranslate to manage content in different languages from the WordPress editor, using automatic translation.
  • To learn to embed pictures and videos in your WP blog, click http://tinyurl.com/dcnb4d
  • To embed presentations in your blog, upload it to http://www.Slideshare.net and use the same method as for videos and pictures.

Case study

Title:

ITC-ILO Blogging

Activity:

ITCILO course on “Communicating Labour Rights”

Contact:

Vittorio Longhi, labour writer, blog administrator.

Description:

This is a blog for journalists and media professionals interested in labour rights and policies, international labour standards, corporate social responsibility and national and transnational trade union agreements.

 

Link: http://communicatinglabourrights.wordpress.com/about/

Tips

General blogging tips:

  • Get inspired by visiting blogs on similar topics.
  • Always check facts and spelling.
  • Less is more: keep it simple. Short, concise text is easier to read and easier to assimilate, but is harder to write.
  • Organize your categories and tag your posts meaningfully with keywords or categories so that you can find older posts.
  • Incorporate pictures and videos.
  • Understand and explain the learning objectives of a blog.
  • Cover a well-defined topic and end the post with a question to stimulate debate. Ask structured, opened-ended questions that focus on participant’s experience.
  • Avoid passive invitations such as ‘Comment’ in favour of questions such as “What do you think?” and “Do you have other examples?”
  • Use content from related discussion forums as inspiration for blog posts (“Top 10s”, “How to…”).
  • Ask subject-matter experts to write periodic posts and answer questions from readers.

 

Tips for multilingual content:

  • Prioritize what to translate. (Pieces that may have enduring relevance, such as FAQs, are often well worth the effort.)
  • Professionally translate core content and reserve automatic translation for user comments (one common tool is Google Translate).
  • Use a controlled English language model (with words that only have one meaning) to facilitate automatic translation.

Tips for promoting your blog:

  • E-mail links to potential users.
  • Share links to posts via social network sites such as LinkedInTwitter and Skype. Add them as bookmarks on social bookmarking sites like delicious and CiteULike.
  • Comment on related blogs.
  • Use key words to increase referral by search engines.

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