Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Advice for students who are setting up an account at blogger.com

Step 1: Create an Account
User name-create one that is nebulous and doesn’t reveal personal info such as age, sex, location or other personal info. Tell your user name to your parents/teachers

Password-should be a “strong” password and should never be shared with anyone

Display name-this is the name used to “sign” blog posts. I would recommend using their user name

Email address-this is fine to reveal (as a matter of fact, an email is required) but make sure it isn’t revealed in the profile and don’t give permission to blogger to share this

Step 2: Name your blog
Students will have to come up with a name for their blog page. Something simple that might reflect the nature of the blog would do…for example, “A View from a Historian,” for a blog dealing with a little history. Or “My Little Corner of the Web,” for a blog that is going to deal with a wide range of topics. Or “Thoughts on World Events” for a blog dealing with the topic of current world news events.

Again, you'll need to come up with a name for your blog...but you don't need to write any posts (what you are reading now is a post).

Step 3: Pick a template
After the blog is created, here is what I suggest the students do:

After the account is created, students should then work through some of the settings and controls of the blog. See below:

Go to the settings portion after logging in.
In the basic tab:
Add your blog to our listings: choose no.
Take the rest of the default settings

In the formatting tab:
Change the time zone to central

Comments tab:
Under who can comment, take the default setting of only registered users. If there is a problem later on with offensive and/or unsolicited comments, this can be set to “only members of this blog” which would allow the blog owner to better control who can comment.

Consider turning on comment moderation. This allows you to read the comments and approve them before their posted. This might be useful for a post on a very spirited and lively topic. The comments will be emailed to you and they you'll have the option to approve them or not approve them. More on comment moderation at: http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=42537

Take the defaults for the rest of the tabs.

Be certain that you do not fill out any information in the profile section of your account. This is extremely important-you do not want to fill anything out about your favorite movies, location where you live, etc.

Click the Edit your profile link and do the following:
Share my profile: leave unchecked
Show my real name: leave unchecked
Show my email: leave unchecked

Identity: your username, email address, and display name should appear here...you may leave this alone.

First name/last name: leave blank

Leave everything else blank...do not specify your gender, city where you live, state where you live, etc.

Leave the fields empty that ask about your favorite music, books, movies, about me, etc.

Revealing this kind of information in the profile section of blogger.com, your IM service, your myspace page, etc raises your risk for being contacted by strangers who may want to harm you.

Addendum for new features at blogger.com as of 11-12-2006:
Google Accounts:
Blogger.com now has a partnership with google...when you create an account at blogger, you'll need to create a Google account. Everything is pretty much the same. Google actually has some really cool features like "Writely," which is a really awesome word processing program that is free and allows you to access your files from any web based computer in the world via your google account.

This is now a new tab that appears once you login with a google account...this is totally a cool and useful feature of blogger. Permissions allow you to let other people author or create posts to your blog. In the past, blogger only allowed the account holder to create a blog post. This might come in handy for a group presenation or project for a class. In order to add authors to your blog, click the add authors button and enter their email address. They'll be sent an email that they have to respond to in order to begin writing posts to your blog. You can also define who may read this blog by setting it to Anybody, Only People I Choose, or Only Blog Authors. If you want or need more privacy for your blog, set this to "Only People I choose," or "Only Blog Authors."


  1. I think that the advice I would give the a 5th grader is just mostly on the rules and how to be safe and not giving out any personal info. Don't give any phone numbers, addresses, full name and exact age. Thats pretty much all that they need to know!

  2. The advice i would give to a fith grader about internet saftey would be not to post any personal information. I would also tell them that when they go on IM not to talk to anyone you dont know, and if someone you don't know won't stop talking to you then tell an addult and block them.

  3. If I had to give advice to a 5th grader I would tell them not to tell anyone their real name, age, phone number,adress, or anything else personal. Also to tell a parent before setting up an account. Thats it!

  4. My advice would be, if your iming, and someone that you don't know ims you, start by asking them what there name is, if they tell you, then if you still don't know who they are, block them.

  5. if there was a fith grader that got an im from some one they didnt know they should block them and ask for there name so if any problems come up you know there name. and never give your name to them