A weblog, or "blog", is really just a website. Weblogs cover as many different topics, and express as many opinions, as there are people writing them. Some blogs are highly influential, some have enormous readership, some are university course websites, while others are mainly intended for a close circle of family and friends. It is common for people to write blogs to describe their work, their hobbies, their pets, social and political issues, or news and current events. And while blogs are typically the work of one individual, blogs combining contributions of several people, ‘group blogs’, are also popular.
At UBC, there are two services where you can use or create your own blogs: UBC Blogs and Connect Blogs.
UBC Blogs uses WordPress a personal publishing platform designed to provide individual or group spaces for instructors and students. Some of its features include social networking enabling people with similar interests to connect and communicate. You can join groups, build course websites, allow group authoring on a blog, provide peer review (editing with comments) of authored content, provide class webspace development (adding annotated links/building a shared resource for a class), and provide a personal portfolio for students, faculty and staff (upload media - slides, video, images of your artwork). With Connect's UBC Blogs Tool Link, it's now easier to link your Connect course with UBC Blogs.
A screenshot of the UBC Blogs Homepage
Connect also has a built-in blogging system that is fully integrated with many of Connect's other tools. Depending on your course objectives, you can use a single course blog for full class discussions, provide group blogs for collaboration or individual blogs for personal reflections. All conversations are kept within the course and only available to course participants. Connect blogs are integrated with the Grade Center making student activities easier to grade. You can also attach rubrics to the blog so students understand how they will be graded.
...blogs and wikis have been applied in hundreds of instances for a wide array of teaching and learning applications. Professors use blogs to make big classes feel smaller by sharing resources and news, and allow students a quick means of offering feedback or questions. Graduate students use these spaces to document research processes and to connect with peer communities from around the world. Course blogs give students a unique, personalized platform for finding their own voice and sharing it...The blog is essentially a parallel conversation to the one held in-class, facilitating tangential inquiries, commentaries and responses in a way that not only increases the calibre of class discussions, but actively contributes to an open, web-based intellectual community. - Matthew Blunderfield, Science Fiction and the City 
Blogging allows you to share your thoughts, views, ideas, observations and learnings via an online journal of sorts. Most blogging applications allow you to upload your own (or other shared) media files. An important feature of blogging is that (through reader comments) it allows you to build a community of people who are interested in what you write and you want you to read what they write. Blogs can come in many flavors and have many uses beyond the single author, journal type blog. It may look like a website or a portfolio. It may include many authors or just one. It can be about text or just images.
Why would I choose a Blog?
No use of HTML editors (or even knowledge of HTML) is required.
A blog is basically an easily updated web page.
It gets as simple as maintaining an email account.
You can customize the look and feel of your blog space.
Multiple authors/readers can contribute to content.
Visitors can engage with other readers and your content through comments.
group authoring on a blog
peer review/editing with comments
class webspace development - adding annotated links/building a shared resource for a class.
personal portfolio - upload media (e.g. slides, video, images of you artwork)
connect with others in the university community to share thoughts and resources
Regular support clinics are available for people using UBC Blogs. They are currently held every Thursday from 1:00PM - 3:00PM at the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.
Video on the BuddyPress plugin, which adds social networking features to UBC Blogs.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document according to the terms in Creative Commons License, Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0. The full text of this license may be found here: CC by-sa 1.0
Write an About page to inform visitors immediately what your site/blog is about and who are as an author.
Use tags and categories wisely as they can help you and visitors to see the different you write about.
Check your privacy settings and think about which one are you most comfortable with.
Getting an RSS feed for a tag, category or author:
If you want to get the RSS feed of only a category, tag or author you can use the following conventions: