Blog EvangelistPeople have said such nice things about my blog - my kids at work, my fellow librarian at work, (who is also my friend, Kathe, and who TOTALLY needs a blog since she's a great writer and an amazing pop culture expert - you should have seen her expounding upon why Kirk Cameron is evil today), and my classmates and blog teacher - yeah! I'm impressed at how versatile and easy it is to do this. I was experimenting with using the remote email address to post a blog and I did hit some snags - I use FirstClass at work which is an email client for schools and it looked like it inserted a hinky html tag that made my formatting a little wanky and when I went to fix it, the post came up blank even though text was there - I'm going to have to experiment with that and get a sense of learning the html tags just to familiarize myself and head off any problems.
My students thought the blog looked great until I showed them some of the cool templates available at francey.org and then they started Jonesing for all the really spiffy ones. I'm definitely looking forward to thinking about creating a customized template that has everything I want in a blog with a good look that appeals to the kids (they seem to really love the retro look of the 40s and 50s). So far here's what I like about the blogs I've seen and my checklist for a revamped library website:
- I want all my current pages on my website formatted with the headbar and navigation features of the blog template (I'm assuming this is basically a CSS?).
- A calendar feature at the top (convenient for post navigation and quite honestly, handy to remember what day of the week it is!).
- The ability for students and faculty to set up a username and password so they can contribute to the blog (like for book review pages) and I approve the posts before they go up.
- Pictures of book covers and fun photos of our library programming (like movie marathons - all 5 Star Wars movies on the 14th - and our Poetry Slams).
- An upper navigation bar with clean rollovers thus freeing up my left hand navigation buttons on the current website, particularly all the areas I haven't developed yet because I didn't have the time (now a moot point as blog librarian).
- Can I have feeds from This Day in History and The New York Times that put headlines on the blog page, to keep my current events junkies interested?
- A "search this site" feature and a Google search bar (with lots of nearby links to Boolean searching techniques and electronic databases, natch).
- A nifty "contact us" interface that makes people want to contact us - with nice things to say!