Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Days 19 to 21 of 30 Days to Being a Better Blogger

Day 19

Teach42 challenges us to look at other blogs and analyze what you see there.
“Today’s challenge is a relatively simple one, and likely one that you probably do on a regular basis subconsciously. Today we’re just going to do it consciously. Basically, the idea is to spend some time visiting other educator’s blogs that fall into the same niche as yours, and analyze what you see there. This is one of the challenges that I really liked out of ProBlogger’s 31 day challenge. And I think he has an excellent list of questions to ask yourself while you visit other people’s blogs.”

I love to visit other educator blogs because I like to hear what other educators are talking about, how they feel on certain issues, and then think about how I feel about that issue. I like to read blog posts that aren’t too long and aren’t too technical. I also love the ones that have a little humor in it or are interesting to read. If the font is too small or the topic is too technical, I tend to skip over them. I also like posts that tell about different tools and how they use it with students or the successes they had with the students. I also like to look at their sidebars and see what interesting links or widgets they have that might make my blog look better.

Day 20

Teach42 challenges us to go on a Dead Link Hunt.
“There are two sites and one PC based tool that I’ve had recommended to me. The tool is Xenu, and the two sites are Dead-Links.com and the W3C link validator. All of them do the same basic task, which is to crawl through your site and test each individual link. If it thinks the link is invalid, it flags it for you. Based on the specific way each tool/site does this, it may come up with different results than the others. That’s why you will probably want to do at least 2 of the 3 tests. I’d suggest running one test, checking the results and making changes as needed, and then running a second test.”

Since I am on a cruise and limiting myself to 30 minutes a day on the internet, this will have to wait until I get home but I never thought about doing this. I also never knew there were tools that checked this. I’m excited about testing my site and I hope I don’t have too many dead links.
Day 21

Teach42 challenges us to make a blog post about a comment we made or a comment left for us.
“For today’s challenge, we’re going back to commenting with a slightly different spin. Your challenge for today is to integrate a comment into a new blog post of yours. This can be a comment that somebody left for you on your own blog (like I’ve done in this post), or a comment that somebody left on somebody else’s blog. This may require a little digging, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Honestly, there are times where the comments left on a blog post are perhaps more significant than the blog post itself.”

I like to do this a lot of times if my comment is too long or wordy. Sometimes it gives me room to express my thoughts more clearly without worrying that someone will think I’m spamming their blog post. If my post is referring to someone else’s post, then I link to that original post and leave a comment with a link to my post telling them that I wrote a post about theirs instead of leaving a long comment.


Donald Rush said...

So I took your advice and made a post about your blog post on my blog and linked back to yours. I am interested in following you as you take the better blogger challenge.
Here is the post about your post
Better Blogger

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the deadlinks checks. I use my website with my students, and they get very frustrated if there are links that don't work!

Anonymous said...

I have a question--Have you ever tried to use the broken links websites to double check a webquest's links to see if the links work? Thanks

loonyhiker said...

Donald: Thanks so much for the link! I've added your blog to my Google Reader. I think I can learn a lot from you.

loonyhiker said...

Sunny: No, I never have but that is a great idea!