Blog Activity

From Foss2Serve
Jump to: navigation, search


Create a Blog


Learners will create a personal blog and post to it.



After successfully completing this activity, the learner should be able to:
  1. Explain the purpose of a blog.
  2. Create and post a blog entry.
  3. Use tags to aggregate blog postings to a planet.
Process Skills


According to Wikipedia: [1]

"A blog (a truncation of the expression web log) a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject. More recently "multi-author blogs" (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other "microblogging" systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into societal newstreams. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog."


  • Provide immediate availability with long term accessibility
  • Require no HTML knowledge

What makes a Web site a Blog?

  • Personal writing with byline
  • Contributions by one person or a group
  • Short entries – a paragraph to a few pages
  • Dated entries – usually displayed in reverse chronological order
  • Themed and often opinion based
    • Business topic
    • (for personal blogs) hobby, diary, report of the cat's daily activities

Blog to blog connections are common

  • Blogs cite each other
  • Multiplies visibility of postings
  • Expands communities

Blog posts can be threaded discussion triggers

  • Many blogs allow comment posting
  • The blogger controls thread topics by always posting the initial thread item

Blog posts can have tags and categories

  • Can assist with routing or selection of posts
  • RSS (and RDF and Atom) provides a push technology letting people “subscribe” to a blog
  • Blog planets provide a way to collect a stream of related blog posts

Blogs in the Open Source World

  • Many FOSS developers use blogs to reflect on their work or to make observations on FOSS events or new technologies.
    • For instance, the forking of LibreOffice from OpenOffice was a source of several blogs weighing the merits of the split.

Blog Planet There are many cases where it makes sense to pull together all of the blog postings either from a particular group or all blog postings related to a particular topic. In fact, blog planets are software that accomplishes this. For instance, Fedora has a planet that collects all of the postings for people blogging about Fedora. TeachingOpenSource also has a blog that aggregates the blog posts from the faculty members and FOSS developers that belong to that community. In order to have a blog post sent to a planet, the blogger must "sign up" for the planet and then use the appropriate tags to identify a particular blog post as being relevant to the planet. More formally, a Planet can be defined as both:


Part 1 - Create a blog

If you do not already have a blog, create one at (or other blog host of your preference). Do the following:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Get Started and fill out the form provided.
  3. Fill in basic information in your profile
  4. Fill in the “About” page

Part 2 - Post to your blog

Now that you have a blog, it is time to make a post.

  1. In an earlier activity you completed the FOSS Field Trip and looked at projects on sourceforge. Create a blog post that talks about the type of FOSS project you searched for (education, finance, health care, etc.) and what you found (refer to the notes you took when answering the questions). What projects caught your eye? Were they active projects? Did language or platform seem to match your curriculum? Any thoughts you are willing to share about the activity, what you learned and/or how you hope to incorporate FOSS into your classroom would be great to include in your blog post.
  2. Add a link to your blog by adding to your entry on the POSSE participants page (This entry was created in the Wiki Activity.)

Part 3 - Introduction to Planets

  1. Read the following Wikipedia page about planets.
  2. Go to the Teaching Open Source Planet and observe the recent blog posts that the planet has aggregated. You'll note that there are posts on a variety of different topics from a variety of different people. (It is not expected that you understand all of these posts.)

Part 5 - Sign up for the TOS planet - OPTIONAL for the POSSE Workshop

NOTE: the TOS wiki is currently locked down while being rebuilt and you will not be able to complete this part. However, you can browse the planet feed list to see how a blog gets connected to a planet. - 2016-09-16

  1. Go to the TOS Planet Feed
  2. Tag your post with whatever tag you will use for posts that you want to appear on the Teaching Open Source Planet (suggestion: TOS).
  3. Go to Teaching Open Source ( and create an account if you have not already: (
  4. Follow the instructions to add your URI for the feed the Planet Feed List ( You will have to edit the Feeds section to add the URI and your name. Follow the format of the other entries there and be careful to read and follow the Feed Info Format section.


POSSE: Post a link to your blog on the POSSE Participants page (see Part 2.2)

Students: A blog posting on the student's own blog.

Notes for Instructors

The remaining sections of this document are intended for the instructor. They are not part of the learning activity that would be given to students.


  • How will the activity be graded?
  • How will learning will be measured?
  • Include sample assessment questions/rubrics.
Criteria Level 1 (fail) Level 2 (pass) Level 3 (good) Level 4 (exceptional)
Criterion 1
Criterion 2


  • What should the instructor know before using this activity?
  • What are some likely difficulties that an instructor may encounter using this activity?
Area & Unit(s)

(SP) Social Issues and Professional Practice


Professional Communication



Estimated Time
to Complete

60 minutes

Environment /

Access to Internet/Web and web browser.


Karl Wurst and Greg Hislop


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

CC license.png

Suggestions for Open Source Community

Suggestions for an open source community member who is working in conjunction with the instructor.

Personal tools
Learning Resources
HFOSS Projects