Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Vocational/Blogs

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Blogs
South American Division

Vocational

Skill Level 2
Year of Introduction: 2012


Limited Availability



1. Have the Internet honor.

This Wiki has a page with instructions and tips for earning the Internet honor.


2. Explain the difference between a website and a blog.

Websites were traditionally a place for reasonably static information about a business, organization or topic. A website was built and launched and left. "Blog" is short for "weblog." Blogs have a stream of post or articles with the expectation that more will be added regularly. Blogs usually encourage commenting, and linking back and forth between different blogs to carry on a discussion. Blogs may have a top level domain only like myblog.net or maybe hosted in a blog platform and look like myblog.wordpress.com. Increasingly the distinction is becoming blurred as websites look and function more interactively like blogs and blogs act more like websites with key posts becoming fixed reference material.

Blogs are really just a specialized type of website.

3. What are the main free systems of available blogs and what are the differences between them?

There are many websites that allow bloggers free access. Major ones include Blogger/blogspot and Wordpress.org. Both allow a bloggers free use of a self selected subdomain.

Wordpress.com is one of the most popular platforms for bloggers who want to set up their free software on a server and run a blog (or website). Some consider Twitter to be a microblogging platform.

4. Explain the following terms:

a. Domain

Domain names are used to identify one or multiple IP addresses. Domain names are used in URLs to identify particular Web pages. For example, in the URL http://www.investitureachievement.org/wiki/index.php/Adventist_Youth_Honors_Answer_Book, the domain name is investitureachievement.org

Because the Internet is based on IP addresses, not domain names, every Web server requires a Domain Name System (DNS) server to translate domain names into IP addresses.

b. Difference between .org, .com, .net, .edu, .gov, .info, or the initials of the country .pe, .ar, .cl, .br, .bo, .uy, .py

Every domain name has a suffix that indicates which top level domain (TLD) it belongs to. There are now thousands of top level domains, but only a few that you will encounter regularly. For example:

  • .gov - Government agencies
  • .edu - Educational institutions
  • .org - Organizations (nonprofit)
  • .mil - Military
  • .com - commercial business
  • .net - Network organizations
  • .ca - Canada
  • .th - Thailand

A complete list of top level domains

c. Storage

A place, like a server, where your data is kept for retrieval as needed.

d. HTML code

Hypertext Markup Language, a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects on World Wide Web pages.

e. Embed

This is to incorporate something hosted elsewhere into your blog. Common embeds include YouTube or Vimeo videos. You don't actually copy the video into your server, you just add some code often with a click of a button in the blogging platform, or code found in under the menus in YouTube. The complete embed code includes the URL or distinctive part of the URL specific to the target video. Some videos on YouTube are not embeddable at the discretion of the owner.

f. Server

A central computer used to store information, as opposed to your desktop/laptop/handheld computer you usually work on. Servers can be central to the business/school or iut on the cloud run by a company like Google or Amazon.

g. Upload

Sending data (photos, video, documents) from your device (computer, camera etc) to a server.

h. Download

Getting data from a server or out on the web to your local device (generally a computer)

5. Create a blog (it can be a unit, club, church, or personal blog with reports about Pathfinders and the SDA church) and update it at least 2 times a week for at least 3 months. An instructor should review the posts to certify that they conform to the philosophy of the SDA church.

The practical part of this honor. The three month timeline is because blogs are meant to be interactive and updated regularly to build readership. Dead blogs, with no activities, are no fun.

The reason that blogs in included as a Vocational Honor is that some bloggers are able to create a good living from blogging. As you look into what makes successful bloggers successful a few things stand out:

  • High quality content - accurate, helpful, and well written
  • Focused topics - Your mom might want to read random stuff about your life but it is going to he hard to attract reader without becoming known for something specific.
  • Interaction with readers and other bloggers
  • Attractive clean design for the blog.
  • A well thought out business plan for the blog

Profitable blogs use a combination of income streams including:

  • Ad revenue (Google's Adsense being the most popular)
  • Selling ad space directly (banners, sponsorships)
  • Sponsored posts (be careful with this) where a business pays you to write about them. Bloggers that partocipate in websites that set up sponsored posts get paid almost nothing, write about stuff they don't understand and risk being blacklisted by Google. If you write a post about a good business you know, you are creating useful content.
  • Affiliate income - putting trackable links into the blog that pay a reward when clicked (pay per click) or when someone buys (pay on performance)
  • Direct sales of information products they create. The blogger can create an ebook on the same topic, but more indepth or better organized and sell it to blog readers.

6. Demonstrate in a blog the ways to upload images and documents, incorporate videos, and add links to 3 websites with important material for Pathfinders or of the SDA church.

There are a variety of blogging platforms, but in all of them these functions are pretty intuitive. Determine the spot you want to add the item, click a button and paste in a link. If you are struggling with how to do something on the specific platform you are using, search for instructions online.

7. What caution (regarding copyright and untrustworthy websites) should be taken when copying information from the Internet to a blog?

Copyright

Just because something is on the internet does NOT mean you can republish it. Taking and republishing anything online (text, videos, images) without specific consent is illegal and immoral. It can have real world legal consequences.

What you can publish:

  1. . Material released under a compatible Creative Commons license. (Wikipedia and this answer key are such sources)
  2. . Material not subject to copyright for various reasons
  3. . Material you get specific permission to use - perhaps by writing the author and asking nicely
  4. . Short selections of artistic works for the purpose of critique and commentary
  5. . Short, properly attributed quotes.

Wikipedia article Copyright infringement has good coverage of this issue.

Verifiability

One of the great things about blogging is you can publish anything you want with little to no cost and no control by others. This is also one of the worst things about blogging, because anyone else can publish anything without any control by anyone else. People can and do publish all kinds of untrue things on the internet. Don't join the liars by repeating untrue or inappropriate things.

Bloggers need to understand the idea of Reliable Sources (RS). Reliable Sources include media that has editorial oversight. For example if you read something on the BBC or Washington Post websites you can be pretty sure the information is accurate and has been checked.

Official websites for individual and organizations are usually Reliable Sources for information about that individual or organization (unless there are independant RS that indicate the organization is not reliable). If the Adventist Church publishes something about the Adventist Church you can cite that the Adventist Church made the claim. However, watch out for government controlled press that may put out disinformation for political purposes, and watch out for individuals and organizations that publish lies and omissions to try and protect their reputation.

Review this Wikipedia article Identifying reliable sources because the guidance applies to blogging as well.

Christian standards

You are responsible for the material you publish. Always filter what you publish against Christian values and truthfulness. Is it verifiable? Whould you be embarrassed if your mother or pastor saw what you publish? Restricting what you publish to quality material will also prevent problems later. Anyone that runs for office or applies for a job is facing increasing scrutiny of what they wrote or said online in the past. Even off color jokes can come back to haunt you later.

References