1.2.1.3 Blogs

One of the huge enhancements to Moodle is that it now supports blogs. Blogs allow students, teachers and administrators to have a public web log. This online journal has various settings to control who can read them. Every user can create their own blog by going to their profile page. Once you are at your profile, notice that there is a tab called “Blogs” at the top. Click on this tab,and you should see the following screen:

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Here’s some basic Blog terminology… to help you as you create your blog:

Blog: An online web journal (kind of like a published diary)

Entry: Think of this as a new page in your journal. You create a new entry
any time you have something new to add to your blog.

Tags: Keyword identifiers used to classify your blog entry

Add an entry
To add a new entry to your blog, click on the “Add a new entry” link (either at the top of the page, or on the right in the “Blog Menu” section). Here you will see the following screen:

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At this point, you can give your entry a title, type the body of your message, and add an attachment if desired. You can also choose how you are going to publish this particular entry. Your choices will be:

Yourself (Draft) - Only you and the administrators can see this entry.

Anyone on this site - Anyone who is registered on this site can read this entry.

Anyone in the world - Anyone, including guests could read this entry.

Then, finally you can add tags to your entry. If you are writing about your pet cat’sbirthday in your blog entry… you might want to add the tags “cat” and “birthday”. Or, if you’re writing an entry for your CHEM101 class, you might want to use the tag CHEM101. Using these descriptive tags will help other users find your blog entry.

Generating an RSS Feed to Share Your Blog
So… once you’ve made your blog… how do you share it with other people? Well, first keep a few things in mind. If you made your blog entry only visible to yourself… no one else will be able to see it. If you made it visible just to anyone on the site… people will only be able to view your blog if they’re already in the Moodle system. However, most people want to find a way to share their blog with people outside of their Moodle system. To do this, your entries must be set to be available to “Anyone in the world”. Once that is done, you can generate RSS feeds for your blogs. There are basically three types of blogs you can view in Moodle... a user blog, a course blog and a site blog. A user blog is accessed by clicking on the persons profile link. A course blog is accessed by clicking on the “view course entries” in a course blog menu. And, a site blog can be accessed by clicking on the “view site entries” link in a blog menu. Once you see the blog, it will look something like this:

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Notice, how at the top in bold, larger letter there is either a person’s name, a course name, or the name of your Moodle site. That should help you recognize whether you’re viewing a user, course or site blog. Just to the left of the “Blog Menu” block, there is an orange “RSS” button. When you click on that, it will take you an RSS feed for that particular blog, such as this example:

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If you look at the address bar of your browser, you will see the RSS feed URL. You can share this with anyone else interested in viewing that particular blog.