Archive for January 2008

Blogging 101, Part I

January 31, 2008

First some links from last night: Metadata and tags, folks and tax, RSS (more) and Technorati. Here’s a good Seth Godin blog post on Bobcasting too. You should load Seth’s blog into your RSS reader if you haven’t already. He writes one of the best marketing blogs out there.

Also, for next week’s class I want you to watch some vlogs (video blogs) and listen to some podcasts. Here are the links to TWiT, Rocketboom, Webb Alert, and Ask a Ninja. Feel free to explore and see some other vlogs and podcasts.

If you have iTunes on your computer, the best place to find podcasts is in the iTunes store. You can download individual podcasts or subscribe. You can get a ton of your favorite NPR shows (This American Life, Day by Day, Diane Rehm, etc.), listen to speeches, and even download the Sunday talk shows, among the many professional podcasts. More fun, though, are the random podcasts.

For your blog entry this week, talk some about your reaction to Chris Anderson’s idea of The Long Tail and whether you’ve found yourself exploring new areas in the internet’s long tail. Also, write a paragraph about exploring podcasts and what you chose to listen to.

Next week in class, we’ll be talking more about what makes a good blog and some of the various formats blogs have taken. Here are the blogging tips from last week’s class that I didn’t post, as well as some other tips here, here, and here.

Lastly, I think I’m still missing blogs from Sheriece, Lilyanne, Justin, and Diana. Please email me with your blogs as soon as you can.

Notes from Class 2

January 30, 2008

Thanks to Shari for tackling the first week of notes.

Social Media and the Digital Disruption – Blogging 101


1. Setting up a blog
2. Buying a domain name
3. Using our blogs
4. Using

Important Website Information

1. Our site is

2. Always tag out your links with your name or you will not get class credit.

Due Next Week

1. The first reading blog on Naked Conversations
2. Two links
3. Read Chapters 10-13 in Naked Conversations
4. You DO NOT have to read Essential Blogging

A Quick Word from Garrett

There is work involved in the class and if you do it you’ll do fine. The workload will be manageable. Let Prof. Graff know if you’re not having fun. Each week a new member of the class will take notes. Email the notes to Prof. Graff and he will post it on the blog. Thursdays there will be a blog from Prof. Graff and notes recapping the class. Make sure that you have the corrected syllabus. If there is an email aside from Georgetown one let Prof. Graff know. Firefox is a really great browser and you really should be using it.

The Cluetrain Manifesto in a nutshell

Be yourself online. It seems simple enough but at the time of its conception it was seen as upending an entire industry.

Business, marketing, pr and advertising have thought about the market backwards. It’s about the people who are buying or using your product not about the company selling it. They felt that they didn’t need us but we needed them. In actuality it’s the reverse since it’s about the consumers and the products that they require. Companies must be willing to talk and share. Transparency is important between consumers and industry. Throughout the class this will be a running theme.

Jay Rosen NYU prof. and the founder of the press think blog. One of the biggest differences between mainstream media and “we the media” is the difference that web 2.0 comes out of the “gift economy” rather than the market economy (p 29 of We the Media). Content sharers think of what they do as a gift to the larger community. When people give them attention that is a gift that they are getting back from the community, (their thank you note). Since there is so much information out there if someone pays attention to what you have to say it’s a gift of attention. To keep someone coming back your site you must do what is necessary to keep the trust. In turn you expect the community to hold up their end of the bargain by not misrepresenting itself

The web is not for micromanaging.

It is a raw and crazy wide open playing field. If you try to micromanage you won’t have much luck. People want to feel like they’re talking to the guy in charge not the one that was handed the task of talking to the public or the press. It’s a huge shift in the former way of thinking.

Definition of Blog

These started out as web blogs. It started in the early 90s by Justin Hall who was attending Swarthmore at the time. He is considered the first blogger. A Blog is a casual journal or diary published on the web in reverse chronological order. There are lots of variations

Moblogging is blogging from a celli phone
Microblogging is short blogs no more than 160 characters (the limit of a cell phone text message)
Vlogging is video blogging
Technorati a search engine for blogs says it tracks 112 million blogs

Open diary was the first to incorporate reader commentary.

2001 and 2002 is when blogging really exploded. 2002 is when blogging first erupted onto media when Trent Lott made alleged racists comments involving Strom Thurman.

Daily Kos founded by Markos Moulitsas Zuniga has grown to be the largest blog on representing the left wing. Its daily readership is 664,000 per day roughly equal to the weekday circulation of the New York Post. Only (very roughly) 2000 blogs get more than 1000 visits a day. Very few blogs get meaningful traffic but the blogs at the top have a huge readership. Not the same amount as the evening news or American Idol numbers but still large numbers.

What you might see on a blog

You can use a permalink to reach a specific post on the blog. People can write mini blogs inside of the main blog. A blog roll gives other blogs that you recommend. The best blogs will begin to look like the best media sites and visa versa. The lines are blurring every day.

How to set up your blog

1. Go to
2. Hit the sign up now button
3. Create a user name and password
4. Go to create a blog
5, On the next page set your blog domain, which will appear at the top of your blog. You will not be able to change your blog domain name so get it right to first time. The other information can be changed. When you’re done setting up your blog you can start posting. Just go to your blog by typing in

1. Go to (Your domain name)
2. Click on site admin. on the lower right hand side of the page
3. Click on write a post
4. You can select a topic for your post by creating one on the right hand side of the page
5. You can create a link by double clicking on a word and pressing the link button, spell check and such. Just check out the buttons on the top. Underneath you’ll see that you can upload files.
6. If you go to dashboard and then posts you can change or delete your posts.
7. To get the correct time of day for your posts go to options and type in -5 for time.

Purchasing a domain name

1. Go to
2. Pick a domain name that isn’t in use
3. Do not put down your real email or you will get junk email. You can use Garrett’s fake email if you’d like. Use a fake address as well. Try to cycle through without paying extra money. They’ll be lots of options to toss your dollars away.

There are lots of places to purchase domain names. You can be sued in whatever country your domain is registered. So you might want to stick with the U.S. You can purchase your own name for safety. For safety you might also want to get .com, .net and .org of your domain name. Next week we’ll attach our blogs to our domains.

IP is internet protocol. Every computer has a different IP address and every website is portrayed by a series of numbers. The lettered blog doesn’t really exist it’s on a server somewhere and you forward the letters to a registered set of numbers. lets you share links with other people and categorize them by yourself. By using tags you can go back to these sites when you’d like to in the future.

To post

1. Go to
2. The user name is
3. The password is
4. Hit post and Add the url and describe it in notes make sure to add your name and key words to find it again. When you’re done hit the save button.

How To Forward A Domain

January 23, 2008

Several of you asked tonight about forwarding your domain name, which we didn’t get to in the chaos of setting up the blogs. Here’s how to get yourself going. Gather the following pieces of information before you begin: Your blog’s address on WordPress (should be, your customer ID for, and the name of the domain you bought in class last week.

Then begin:

(1) Login to your account at

(2) Go the the “Domain” menu in the upper left, click on it, then select from the drop-down menu “My Domains.”

(3) Check the box next to your domain name and then on the toolbar above select the green arrow that says “Forward.”

(4) Under the “Fowarding” menu, select “Enabled” and then enter your WordPress address in the “Forward To” field (make sure to include the http:// part), and select “302 Moved Temporarily.” Click OK.

(5) Click OK on the next screen.

(6) Congratulations, you’re all done.

Make sure to email me with the address of your blog so the rest of the class and I can start following along. Next class we’ll cover blogging tips and how to write a good blog.

If you’re utterly lost, don’t worry. We can troubleshoot in class next week if people have problems.

Welcome to the Wild World Web

January 23, 2008
Congratulations to everyone tonight for setting up a blog! You’re all journalists now, believe it or not. That’s all it took.I know I threw an incredible amount of information at all of you in a short period of time (and we had lots more we didn’t get to) and I promise that future weeks won’t be so intense. We’ll cover most of the content that I skipped tonight next week in class as we focus more on the craft of blogging.

For next week, you have a boatload to do:

1) Email me the link to your blog so I can start reading and can add you to the class blogroll so you can start reading each other. A reminder that each week’s blog posts are “due” by 10 p.m. on Tuesday the day before class to give me time to read them and choose some points for in-class discussion.

2) You’ll find in the column to the left, by the blogroll, the link to the class feed as well as some Georgetown resources. Make sure you start reading some blogs this week and start posting items—almost anything could be relevant on the feed, from news articles to YouTube videos to favorite podcasts. And don’t forget to to tag items with your name so you get credit for them. You can go either to the website to post or you can install the browser buttons. I recommend the latter and, as I said earlier night, I also recommend switching to Firefox as your browser if you don’t currently use it.

3) Read Scoble—he has some great background on the web and blogging. Skip the Doctorow reading for this week.

4) Get blogging! Read that post on blogging tips and the related articles that I posted in the feed and then take your new blog out for a spin and kick the tires a bit. I expect a lot of this is going to be difficult at first, so feel free to ask lots of questions via email or give a call. Next week we’ll spend a lot of the class on blogging tips, voice, tone, and what makes a good blog entry, and Scoble has tons of tips too. Also keep thinking back to Gillmor and the Cluetrain Manifesto, which along with the “Long Tail” (we’ll get to that soon) will be the three foundational texts of the class.

I promise that future weeks won’t include as much reading but we have to cover these important texts to establish the base on which to build the rest of the semester. As we used as a rallying cry on the Dean campaign, “To the blogs!”

(P.S. As you’re reading about blogs here and there over the coming week, think about what I purposefully did wrong in this entry that’s a blogging no-no. A bonus point next week to whomever can figure it out.)

D-Day and H-Hour

January 17, 2008

Good morning everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed the first class last night—we’ve got a lot to cover this semester but if you ever feel like we’re moving too quickly or you want to spend more time on a certain unit, please let me know.

First off, a correction: Jill pointed out last night that I had the dates for classes wrong on the syllabus. Oops! Here’s a corrected syllabus with the right dates and weeks on it. For each class, you’re responsible for doing the readings assigned under the class title by class time. Each Thursday morning, I’ll post some additional background, reading, and notes here for the following class as well. Please get in the habit of reading this blog on a regular basis since important announcements will appear here as well. The syllabus is also posted as a PDF off to the right here in the blog roll, so if you’re ever out and about and want to it, just come here.

As general background, I wanted to provide you with some readings on the history of the internet. You don’t “have” to know these, but I’d encourage you to at least page through them (as ugly as they may be) and familiarize yourself with the background. Vannevar Bush’s essay “As We May Think” became the founding essay of the internet idea. We’ll cover this very briefly in class next week.
Remember your assignments for next week:

* Create a Facebook profile and “Friend Me.” You can search for me or click on this link to my profile (then click on “Add Garrett as a Friend”). We’ll get to Facebook later in the class in more depth but if you want to know what you’re getting yourself in for, read these articles: Wikipedia, Fast Company’s profile of the founder, Jeff Jarvis’s column, Fortune’s take, and Mashable’s company profile. And stay in touch with the latest on Facebook’s own blog.

* Create a LinkedIn profile and “Connect” with me (find my profile then click on “Add Garrett to My Network”). You may have to enter my email address. Use the Georgetown address on the syllabus. For background, LinkedIn is a more business-oriented social networking site and will be particularly useful for thos who are more PR-oriented as it is increasingly heavily used in the industry. Here’s some background: Guy Kawasaki’s take (you don’t know him yet, but another pioneer), some general background, and someone who didn’t like LinkedIn.

* Figure out a domain name for your blog. If you want to check whether your idea has already been taken, go to and enter in the domain you want to purchase—you can choose any ending available, from .com to .tv to .us to .org, etc.

As for the reading for next week, concentrate on the Cluetrain Manifesto and We the Media. I’d encourage you all to email me if you have questions during the reading. Dan Gillmor is a great thinker, one of the real pioneers of this new media world, and I think you’ll find We the Media very engaging and exciting. In future weeks I’ll try to post some questions to help guide your blogging, but for this week just think about this questions/thoughts:

* The Cluetrain Manifesto may seem a bit dated today but the sentiments and ideas expressed in 2000 when it first came out where mind-blowing.

* As for We the Media, some questions: What’s the impact of the changes Gillmor lays out? How does this affect your job and your life? What’s the appeal of citizen journalism? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the traditional media and of citizen journalism? How do you use media in the course of a week today? How much of what you read is traditional media versus something like Gawker or Pink is the New Blog?

Anyway, enough for one week—welcome to the wide wild world of the web! See you next Wednesday at 7:30 in the School of Continuing Studies at 3307 M St. NW. Don’t forget a laptop and a credit card.