Blogher '06 Session Discussion: Primp Your Blog on Day One

BlogHer Original Post

17th 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:

Primp Your Blog: Maura Chace & Megan Garnhum will help you make your blog as attractive, accessible and just plain cool as possible. Learn the latest widgets, counters, mash-ups and cool tools to add to your blogs...and why you’d want to. Also, Skye Kilaen shares a few tips on how to make your blog more accessible and user-friendly.. Plus a Screencasting demo from Jan Kabili (a method for adding computer demos w/voiceover to your blog.)

Primp Your Blog is all about going beyond the basics with your blog functionality and design. It's about taking that extra step to provide more value to your readers...and let's face it, to simply look cooler than most of the blogs out there.

[img_assist|fid=776|thumb=1|alt=Maura Chace]
[img_assist|fid=780|thumb=1|alt=Megan Garnhum]
Meet Maura Chace and Megan Garnhum. They are going to be tag-teaming to bring you all the best in widget, plug-ins and assorted other goodies for your blog.What kind of goodies? Well, first and foremost they'll be surveying the room to get an idea of what you all are interested in. (Giving them a heads up via comments on this post would also be much appreciated.) But we're talking about things like incorporating photos, calendars, media and geo-locaters on your blog...dynamically and automagically. We're talking using an RSS parser to import various cool stuff to your blog. We're talking widgets and plug-ins...and how to find them. Sure we will also talk about creating them, but chances are just knowing how to find what's already out there may save you some wheel re-invention!

[img_assist|fid=788|thumb=1|alt=Skye Kilaen]
Skye Kilaen (photo courtesy of Melinda Casino) would like you to take one extra step when installing all of these goodies on your blog. She would like you to check whether the code for those goodies takes accessibility for those with disabilities into account. And if it doesn't, she would like you to know how to make everything you put on your site accessible. Being aware of accessibility issues will make your site more professional and more, well, accessible, to all your readers. It's a good thing.

[img_assist|fid=784|thumb=1|alt=Jan Kabili]
Jan Kabili is going to introduce you to something called screencasting. I have a feeling next year we'll devote an entire session to some hands-on learning of it, because it's pretty cool. Basically you can create slide shows that are linked to a voice-over. [Update from Jan: Actually, screencasts are not slideshows. They are actual movies of the activity on the creator's screen. I'll be showing how to create Quicktime movies (.mov files).] It's a perfect application for conducting a how-to seminar, complete with capturing mouse movements, while you add audio instruction on top. Think revenue source, even. She's going to show you how it works, and where to find the software to create these screencasts.

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?

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