Blogher '06 Session Discussion: Blog in a Box on Day One

BlogHer Original Post

15th in our series introducing you to each of our BlogHer Conference '06 sessions and their speakers, and finding out what you would like to get from each session. Today, I bring you from Day One:

Blog in a Box: All the basics for the beginning blogger, or the blogger who wants to take the next steps toward geekdom. New bloggers will create a blog with RSS feeds, a blog roll, and know how to add links/photos to their blog. Basic to intermediate html will be covered. We’ll also cover how to switch from one blog tool to another. Miss Zoot and Heathervescent are on hand to walk you through. Plus, Melinda Casino will cover the nuances of good blog manners: disclosure, attribution, non-spammy commenting and trackbacks.

You don't have to be blog-less to attend the Blog in a Box session, you just have to want to step up your score on the Techno-Savvy Meter by a notch or two. You know who you are: you've been blogging for months, witty, incisive commentary, but your Blogger side bar still has just three links in it: Google and 2 that say 'Edit Me.' Or maybe you're like me, and you've been blogging for literally years but still don't really get the point of tagging or trackbacks. Or maybe you feel trapped on your current blogging tool, but are convinced that making the leap to a different one is a disaster waiting to happen. Whatever your technical skeleton in the closet, our Blog in a Box session leaders are here to help:

[img_assist|fid=715|thumb=1|alt=Miss Zoot]Miss Zoot (aka Kim) considers herself just a regular person, a non-techie, if you will, but she does creates blog designs and posts them on her site for free (or sometimes a small fee) on the side. Check out her portfolio...that's a lotta bang for the non-buck. Kim feels she is the perfect person to participate in this session because she is just like all of us who have been teaching ourselves how to code, and to hack and to troublshoot, all by our lonesomes, without the benefit of a Computer Science degree or a tech support person!

[img_assist|fid=719|thumb=1|alt=Heather Schlegl]
Heathervescent (aka Heather Schlegl) is one of the first people who showed up at the pre-BlogHer dinner last year, wearing a t-shirt that said 'Blog Stalker' in crystals across her bosom. Yeah, she's memorable like that! :) Heather is a professional blogger, and she's gives blog workshops. She was the very first woman to respond to my Call for Speakers this year, so she's definitely been waiting the longest to share her blogging knowledge with you. Heather is especially anxious to cover a blogging basic that sometimes isn't treated like one: how to find your blogging "voice." Blogging isn't just about the technology and about the transmission of your writing...for most of us it's also about community and conversation. Heather will be discussing the care and feeding of their community that every blogger should at least think about!

[img_assist|fid=723|thumb=1|alt=Melinda Casino]
Melinda Casino is well known to BlogHer as one of our prolific Feminism & Gender contributing editors. Melinda's topic is one of the basic blogging skills that also gets overlooked: how to conduct yourself in the blogosphere, so that you are a shining example of best practices, and not on the receiving end of the two most common "bad blogger" accusations: spamming or plagiarizing. Melinda will briefly outline blog practices such as attribution and trackbacks, as well as discuss the thorny issue of having a blog comment policy. The aim is to give bloggers a better understanding of these topics so that they will leave more confident in how they decide to "run" their blog.

In addition to all of the above, there will be a significant hands-on portion of the session, and depending on your existing skill level you may be setting up a blog, starting the process of converting your blog, or learning a few new tricks for your blog.

The session will close by explaining the rest of the day's workshops and helping people figure out which topics intrigued them enough during the Blog in a Box session to spend another hour digging into in the afternoon workshops.

So, that's what we are envisioning for the session. But what do you think. What do you want to learn? What do you want to hear? What do you never want to hear again? What would make you attend this session?