Blogs and Blogging

A Blog is short for Web Log, originally a means of creating a series annotated links. The annotations go more extensive and became more akin to a web diary. This is a blog you are looking at now and it's driven by the original blog tool, blogger.

[more to be added]


examples - maureen, becky, burnopfield, voyage

B2 Evol

Recording Audio using Audacity

[draft - needs editing]

The following instructions will help you create a short sound recording.

1. Open Audacity. File > All Programs > Audacity.
2. Ensure that a microphone is attached to the computer.
3. Start recording. Click on the Record button.
4. Stop recording. Click on the Stop button.

[edit - preferences - mics etc]

Editing the sound recording

Editing Tools

The selection tool
This is used to find specific points in the waveform and to highlight relevant sections so that you can zoom in, cut or copy them. When this tool is selected and you click on the waveform, you will see a vertical cursor within the wave like this:
The time shift tool
This is used to move the waveform around inside its track. Click on the tool, click on the waveform and with the left mouse button held down, slide the wave along the track into the position you want it.
The magnifier tool
With this, you can zoom in or out of the waveform. To zoom in, select the magnifier and then click on the left mouse button. To zoom out, click on the right mouse button. Copying, cutting and pasting sections of the waveform is just like cutting and pasting text in a word document.

To remove a clip of audio that you don't want, highlight the relevant section with the selection tool. The highlighted section will appear darker: Click on 'edit' and 'cut' or press the backspace key to delete the section.
Cutting and pasting

If you want to move one part of the waveform and put it somewhere else, highlight the relevant section, click on 'edit' and 'cut'. Place the selection cursor at the new position for the material, click on 'edit' and 'paste'
Zooming in on the waveform

Sometimes you may need to zoom in on the waveform to find the exact edit point. When you zoom in, you are effectively stretching the wave out. Highlight the part of the wave you want to see in more detail. Click on the 'fit selection in window' icon. This will stretch your highlighted piece across the whole window. If you need to zoom in any further, click on the magnifier tool. When you want to see the whole waveform again, click on the 'fit project in window' icon.

Recording music

To add music to your audio, firstly record the music in to Audacity. Select the appropriate recording input from the drop down bar - usually Stereo Mix - play your CD track and click on record.
Exporting your edited audio

When exporting your edited audio out of audacity export it as an MP3. Audacity will offer to find the Lame MP3 encoder - click yes.

Further resources:
• A complete user's manual available online:
• Installation and recording guide:

Podcasting & Internet Radio (&TV) - How It's Done

We're talking about delivering up audio and or video files on a regular basis that people can listen to online, download or subscribe to: an audio/video diary that contains whatever the individual or group are interested in producing and hopefully what their audience are equally interested in.

The process of "podcasting" involves a number of steps.

  1. Create your media file, audio or video
  2. upload and host your media file
  3. publish your media file
  4. users subscribe to your media

Create your media file, audio or video

The simplest way to create digital audio is with the free and open source Audacity. Click here to learn how to use it. Click here for a guide to simple video creation.

Upload Your Media File

You could upload your media files to your own web space (click here for web hosting) but media files are large and unless you can afford huge server space you will soon run out of space. So perhaps your media files could be stored elsewhere. You could use YouTube,Google Videos or BlipTV for video files. You could also use them for audio because if you record a video with something covering the camera lens what you then have is an audio file.

[edit] Drive-123, Ourmedia

Publish Your Media File

There may be other ways to do this and when I discover them I'll report on it. For now my view is that the best way to publish a podcast or a media file is in a blog which is a chronological mechanism and usually has a means for people to subscribe. Click here for blogs. Ideally a subscriber should receive the audio file inro their PC but I haven't quite cracked that yet. For now the subscriber gets a note about the new blog post which contains the media file.

I can offer up two current examples of podcast activity that use slightly different mechanisms.

1) Two podcast channels at

Both of these examples use (free) open source blogging software as the vehicle to deliver up chronological audio postings. There are probably lots of other ways to podcast but these two require the software to be installed on a web host. The first uses software called B2 Evolution which is excellent and really comprehensive blogging software. The second uses "Loud Blog" which is simpler and concentrates more on the audio blogging and subscribing. As you may have seen both can incorporate multimedia.

There are other blogs you can use to deliver your audio. the blog you are reading right now uses the excellent and free "blogger" which has loads of features and another is edublogs

Your subscribers

Personal Computing - Using iGoogle

[see also iGoogle as Free VLE (virtual learning environment) ]

By making iGoogle the default page your web browser opens up with you can have a range of links and resources to manage your entire web experience (when you are logged in) and this can be your experience wherever you log in (e.g. the library). This can be done with Yahoo too and possibly other resources but my experience is with iGoogle.

By way of example below is my own iGoogle account with explanatory notes below. This posting also contains a complete how to guide on how to set up your iGoogle.

  1. A theme can be set. I have chosen this one assigned to my post code showing different times of the day. As you can see I took this screen shot not long after sunrise.
  2. Tabs can be added and in my example I have “other stuff” in three other tabs besides the home page
  3. This is a set of bookmarks pertinent to my daily online life. This way I can set iGoogle as my home page and be on any site I need within one click
  4. This is my g-Mail email account which I have chosen to show a preview of the most recent messages. Opens out into a full e-mailer. You may elect to have this forwarded to another email address you may have.
  5. This is my files store in which there are documents and spread sheets. It previews the most recently accessed ones but opens up to the full document store. Documents can be shared with the participants for viewing only or could be opened up for collaboration. [note - I'll blog about google docs elsewhere]
  6. The various email groups I am either a member of or managing.
  7. The RSS feed of a particular website I am watching. This shows the most recent postings to the site. The content of many sites can be subscribed to in this way .
  8. This no 8 shows a couple of widgets I’ve added that are useful to me such as a dictionary and a currency converter. Many widgets are available.
How to set up and use your iGoogle

  • Log on by going to - click on "sign in" (top right) and enter your username and password. You have the opportunity to make iGoogle your home page.

  • If you don't already have an account you should still click on "sign in" (one of those strange little quirks that abound on the Internet) but then choose " create an account" (a little lower down on the right)
  • Start by deleting all the widgets on the page. Do this by slecting each box on the screen in turn and tap "delete" on your computer keyboard.

  • You should make iGoogle your home page because it will only be your home page when you log on (on any computer) Once you do this you have the opportunity to select a theme for your home page.

  • Click on “My Account” and you have an opportunity to change your password and the security question. You can also enter your name etc in Personal information [edit]

  • Beside the iGoogle link in “My Account” click on “Add Content” You will see a whole range of widgets you can add and your screen may differ so you may have to look around. When you see one that interests you click on the “Add it Now” button.

  • Some examples that may interest you: In the left menu click on tools and look for “Google Docs” – click on the “add it” now button. Do this for Bookmarks also and also in tools add Google Reader. You may also want to add "Gmail".

  • Now click on "my account" and then "iGoogle" and you will see everything you have added. You can move these around (drag and drop) the screen to your liking.

TABS in iGoogle.

Ideally all your widgets and stuff should fit onto one screen without too much scrolling. If you want to add more stuff it may be useful to create a new TAB.

  • Beside the "Home" tab just below your chosen theme and search box you'll see "add tab". Click on it.
  • You will be asked to name the tab. Leave the box "I'm feeling lucky" ticked because your tab will be populated with widgets Google deems to be appropriate. You can always delete the ones you don't want. Alternatively give your new TAB a name (e.g. cooking) and google will populate your tab with suggested widgets.


  • Click on the little down arrow in the tab and select "share this tab"
  • Now enter all the email addresses of your friends separated by commas and they will receive a copy of your TAB with all it's widgets (providing tey also have an iGoogle account)

Creating Multiple Accounts

It's often the case that you need to set up multiple web accounts in something or other in preparation for a class, workshop or project and all these need email verification. It's risky to leave account set up until class time and then all your participants would need to have access to their email for verification assuming they have an account at all.

I have a pretty effective method of doing this and it also works if you are crazy enough to leave the set up to participants at show time.

Given the nature of this process I am not going to blog it here in full view (it's not illegal) but if you email me and tell me why you have a genuine reason to do this all will be revealed.

Note To Self

personalised computing
digital story telling
animation 3d 2d
Internet radio
image diary
media mapping