Sunday, June 27, 2010

how to start a blog

Overview

A "blog", an abbreviated word for weblog, is a web-based journal in which people can publish their thoughts and opinions on the Internet. It is everyone's home on the world wide web and probably their number one venting venue. Anyone can start a blog. It's straight-forward and, in a lot of cases, free.
Steps
                  1. Find a decent blogging provider that appeals to you. The most popular providers include LiveJournal, Blogger, WordPress.com, and Xanga. These sites are pre-made with templates and push-button publishing that don't require much technical know-how.
                   
                  2. Once you sign up, you'll have a gallery of ready-made templates to choose from. With these, you can pick a color scheme and layout for your blog.
  •    Most sites come with a set of predefined layouts and schemes that you can choose from. Select one and personalize it. Then add your name, interests, images, etc.
  •            If you want to, get a more unique template, there are some sites up that have many of these that might make it look better. For example, PimpMyProfile.com or Pyzam.com.
                   
                  3. Add blogging freebies like buttons, images, blog chalks, imoods, tagboards (for example, myshoutbox.com), guest maps, guestbooks, comment boxes for readers' input, etc.
                   
                  4. Explore other blog sites that offer more features for a small fee, such as Typepad.com and ChoseIt.

                  5. Decide whether you want your blog to be private or public: do you want any Internet visitor to be able to read your blog, or do you just want your friends and family to be able to read it? Most blog sites offer the ability to password-protect your published posts so only those who you approve of can view what you've written.

                  6. After you've set up your blog, write a few posts to test it out, and make any adjustments to the layout or style that you see fit. Like if you just got a new template, you'd check your blog to see if you like it, right? At first, it will seem tough to figure out what to write, but once you get into a routine of daily blogging, you will find it addictive. Write about your day, your thoughts, events, ideas, fears, pleasures, the news, current affairs, art, or anything you are interested in!

                  7. Visit other blogs to build a blogging circle. When you leave comments, add your blogging address so they can visit you too. (Note: This will not work if your blog is private)

                  8. Publish your blog by sending the URL to your friends or publish the URL on your website. Add the URL to posts you make on other blogs.

Tips
·      If you update your blog frequently, more people will return on a regular basis to read it. Establishing a reader base will motivate you to write more and in turn more people will read your posts.
·      Get into a routine of blogging. Make it part of your day. Soon, you will notice things during your day and think, "Hey, I'll blog this."
·      Personalize your blog. A pretty blog always catches the eye. Visit blogger.com for ideas; they have a list of their 10 most recently updated blogs.
·      You could Google for "blog California" or "blog Shakespeareans" (or anything else), depending on location, interests, etc. For instance, if you have a blog on lawns, you may want visit www.allaboutlawns.com's forum and other similar type blogs. Circles of interest are the essence of blogging, and it can start to develop you as an authority in the "blog-o-sphere" on lawns or whatever area of interest you choose.
·      Keep the posts interesting. Try to avoid focusing on things that most readers won't find worthwhile (such as "I went to the mall today and saw Kelly.") Write about things you noticed, thoughts you had, and feelings or ideas. Blog about a recent trip to Spain. Write about the chemical explosion during class.
·      Spell check your writing before posting.
·      Some sites allow you to make money off your blog by using an Amazon Associates ID or by placing Google AdSense advertisements. If popular enough, your blog could start to pay your bills.
·      Don't feel bogged down if no one visits your site for the first few months. As with communities this large, it will take some time for your blog to get noticed.
·      Find blog aggregators. They will place a link to your site on their webpage and/or have a feed running from your blog so that every time you post something, it will show up on the blog aggregator homepage. Also, this can help increase readership.
·      If you want a broad (international) readership, do not use too many abbreviations or slang terms that might not be easily understood by people who are not from your country/area.
·      Get interesting news from Yahoo Oddly Enough..., other Yahoo! stories, Crayon.net and other websites that you frequently read.
·      Blog on a specific subject. You can't please everyone, so target a specific audience and go with it.
·      See also How to Write a Famous Blog.
·      Pictures are also a great idea.
·      Always be yourself, this is your blog, but if you're playing a part, that's okay too.

Warnings

·      Avoid posting anything on your blog that might be personal to other people if just anyone can read your blog (example: Your uncle might object that it's published on the Internet that he is an alcoholic). If something is personal, avoid using last names at the very least, or make up a name for that person. Be wary of unwarranted attention. Blogs are for the world to read. If you want a private blog just for friends, use Xanga or any other password-protected blogging site.
·      Xanga and MySpace are good for beginners, but for more public blogs, sites like Typepad and Blogger are much more "respected".
·      Be wary of unwarranted attention. Blog stalking is possible; don't give out too much personal information such as name, location, school, etc.
·      Be prepared for some nasty comments and/or e-mails if you are blogging about "touchy" items, such as bad leadership in a school system, rumors about an official or local government. As long as the messages do not threaten bodily harm, you should be safe.
·      Always back up your commentary with reliable sources, and keep the sources varied (i.e. wikipedia isn't a good source and don't just quote from one newspaper).
·      Read the small print. If you don't, your blog's content may be "owned" by the company that puts it on the web for you.
·      Don't make your blogs like MySpace bulletins (adding random posts to suck in friends) and don't include your friend's name or websites in them either.
·      Write ins ands outs people love them!

Things You’ll Need

·      Access to a computer or any other device through which you will be blogging
·      A site to start your blog on
·      Some content for your blog
·      Willingness to keep up your blog

    Saturday, June 26, 2010

    conversation group guidelines

    Guidelines for ESL Conversation group
    • Come up with a guiding theme or topic (see list for suggestions).
    • Ask open-ended questions.
    • Speak slower than usual but still naturally; that is, talk the way you would with your friends so they get authentic input.
    • Keep error correction to a minimum, e.g. only correct idioms and slang.
    • Ask members what problems/issues they are experiencing with language.
    • Be a cultural and linguistic ambassador.
    • Encourage members to suggest topics and themes for discussion.
    • Don’t be afraid of silence. They are processing, so they need more think time than you. Allow for that.
    • Engage, stimulate, facilitate, empower, and have fun!
    Topics and Themes for Conversation Group
    • Greetings/salutations, e.g. “How’s it goin” is hello; “see ya later” means goodbye.
    • Making friends/acquaintances American style.
    • Customs and morés, cross-culturally (holidays, weddings, graduation, funerals, birthdays, etc).
    • Texas dialect: "y’all", "coke", "fixin' to", "do what", etc.
    • Idioms, slang, and profanity: embrace this as a linguistic ambassador.
    • Stereotypes about different cultures, including our own.
    • Relationship language and culture, e.g. “hooking up” “hanging out”, etc.
    • Text/IM language and its influence on spoken language and the writing system.
    • Criticism, diplomacy, etiquette, indirect speech: how to understand it; how to use it.
    • Pronunciation tips and explanations: wanna, gonna, coulda, shoulda, hafta, useta, Ima (I’m gonna), etc.
    • Pop culture: TV, movies, music, celebrity, advertising.
    • Current events and the media.
    • Travel: world cultures, historical sites, travel narratives.
    • Media: the media’s portrayal and stereotyping of different cultures, e.g. American women are promiscuous; British people are snobby and intellectual.
    • Food: restaurants, grocery shopping, cooking, cross-cultural aspects.
    • Shopping for a variety of items: clothes, shoes, electronics, etc.
    • Money: Americans value money more than most cultures.
    • Politics and religion: now these are touchy topics and they should know this because many cultures openly discuss politics and religion. You don't necessarily have to discuss them but do convey their sensitivity.
    • Social class: America is a somewhat classless society (socioeconomic).
    • Information technology and how it’s affecting the way we communicate and socialize.

    Saturday, June 19, 2010

    unt bus routes and schedules

    Route: Denton Connect Route 8

    Summer Schedule: 

    Denton Connect Route 8 runs from UNT to downtown Denton.

    Route: Mean Green
    Summer Schedule: Click here

    The Mean Green route serves as our signature circulator route. It provides easy and quick access to most points around campus, including the University Union, Fouts Field, residence halls, Rec Center, and academic buildings.

    Route: North Texan
    Summer Schedule: Click here

    The North Texan provides service to the University Courtyard Apartments, Uptown Apartments, the Rec Center, Willis Library, and the University Union.

    Route: Centre Place
    Summer Schedule: Click here

    The Centre Place route serves off-campus apartment complexes along Bernard Street as well as the Campus Park and Forum complex. It provides easy and quick access to campus via the University Union.

    Route: Eagle Point
    No Summer Service

    This route serves as a connecter route between Victory Hall and the main campus. Major stops include the student recreation center and the general academic building. Passengers can transfer to the Discovery Park and the Mean Green at the GAB stop.

    Route: UNT Discovery Park
    Summer Schedule: Click here

    This route services the UNT Discovery Park on HWY 77 / N. Elm St. It picks up from the UNT campus at the GAB bus stop.

    Route: Bernard Street
    Summer Schedule: Click here

    The Bernard Street route serves off-campus apartment complexes. Similar to the Centre Place route, it serves apartments located along Bernard Street and includes The Exchange apartments. It provides easy and quick access to campus via the University Union.

    Route: Colorado Express
    Summer Schedule: Click here

    The Colorado Express route serves off-campus apartment complexes in the Golden Triangle Mall area. It provides easy and quick access to and from The Ridge at North Texas, Pace's Crossing, Golden Triangle Mall and campus via University Union.

    Route: Campus Cruiser
    No Summer Service

    The Campus Cruiser links the Main Campus to the Eagle Point and Discovery Park campuses on Saturday and Sunday. Bus will depart Victory Hall and stop on the Main Campus. Bus will then head to Discovery Park. After departing Discovery Park, bus will stop on the Main Campus before returning to Victory Hall.

    Route: Sam Bass
    Summer Schedule: Click here

    The Sam Bass Route serves student residences on the South Side of I H 35.

    getting started with blogger

    Here are a few links to useful articles to help everyone get started with signing in, posting and editing, and other blog-related tasks:

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    student roster

    Below is the most up-to-date student roster and a list of key terms. According to Katie and Fernando, there may be a few added to the list, but this is close to complete.

    Key Terms
    • Alumno: student names
    • Tipo de Curso: course the student will be in
    • Constancia: certificate the student will receive 
    • Perfeccionamiento: student is just taking the course for enjoyment and improving their English
    • C2: student will get a constancia that says they've passed some specific level of English
    • Profesores: student enrolled in a teacher-training course taught by Katie and Kristan in the mornings
    • Vuelos de Ida: departure flights
    • Vuelos de Regreso: return flights

    volunteer list

    Below is the most up-to-date volunteer list. I'll begin contacting everyone this week about their availability.


    welcome to our collaborative space!

    Hi everyone,

    This blog is where we'll post daily updates about the upcoming LTC/UAEM Summer Institute, including schedules, activities, dorm and cafeteria details, classes, and more. Feel free to start adding content! All team members have full access to do so.

    Enjoy!