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Getting Back on Track by Splitting Things Up

How many blogs would a weblog blog if a weblog could blog blogs?This blog was intended to be, primarily, my professional showcase. A place where I could display examples of freelance work that I do and also explore some new ideas as they arose. Last week, though, I suddenly found myself extremely interested and excited about something totally unrelated to customizing WordPress installations or creating Microsoft Office templates. My son started blogging. This started me on a quest to see what others had to say about the idea of kids under 13 years of age having their own blogs. While I have heard from a handful of parents with young bloggers, my searchesm so far, have come up a little on the weak side. There are a few blog posts here and there. Many of them were written 3-4 years ago. The blogosphere has changed and grown in that time. Clearly this is an area that is not as saturated with blog content as some of the other subject areas that I’m interested in. Instead of being yet another blog reporting on every little move WordPress makes I could really have something valuable to contribute that isn’t being hammered to death.

So, I have a new plan. I want to write about kids and blogging. I think that this subject has enough potential that it should have it’s own space. I want to create a site rich, community focused, site with resources for parents that either already have a young blogger or are interested in learning about the benefits and challenges of having a child blogger. This site will, hopefully, feature lots of guest writers, and be packed full of tips and suggestions on all types of issues related to kids publishing their work in a public format. This site, initially, will be focused on the parents. I’d love to have things to offer the kids directly and I think the site could easily develop into a resource for both kids and parents. Parent involvement, however, is really what I want to emphasize in the beginning.

Look for some announcements and possibly a poll or two related to the creation of a new site dedicated to kids and blogging. I have a domain name in mind and I am planning to contact a designer to help with the theming of the new site. My instinct is to throw something together tonight and have it live by morning. I’m going to try, however, to slow down and give things a bit more thought and planning. I’m very open to feedback and would welcome any comments or suggestions on this subject.

Creative Commons License photo credit: dullhunk

Another quick poll: Monetizing a Kid's Blog

I’ve been thinking about whether or not it would be appropriate to put carefully selected advertising and affiliate links on a blog written by and for kids. Please share your opinions on this subject!

[poll id="3"]

Kids and Blogging: A Call for Parents to Respond!

PC is my best friendAt the end of one full week of blogging with my son I am seeing some things that work, some things that don’t, and a lot of things that will develop as time goes on. I started writing a Top 10 type blog post and then stopped myself. After all, I have a grand total of one week of experience observing how my son approaches blogging. So instead of claiming to have advice to offer others I would rather gather information from others that are doing this!

With that said, I would like to start gathering stories and experiences from other parents with young bloggers. Here are some things I’d be interested in hearing.

  1. At what age did your child begin blogging?
  2. Was starting a blog his/her idea or did you suggest it?
  3. How involved were you in the beginning
  4. How involved are you now.
  5. How often does your child post?
  6. What types of things does your child write about?
  7. Is the blog public or private?
  8. What blogging platform is the blog using?
  9. Do you have any advice regarding kids and blogging that would be useful for other parents that are considering it for their own children?
  10. If you are comfortable, leave the URL of your child’s blog. I would love to share it with my son.

Alternatively, if your child does not have a blog tell me about how you think blogging would (or would not) be a good thing for kids to be involved in.

You can leave a comment on this post or use the contact link at the top of the page. I hope to get a lot of responses! I think the information gathered here will be very useful as I plan to spend a lot of time writing about this subject over the next several months (and hopefully beyond!)

Creative Commons License photo credit: iwannt

Choosing a Camera for a Young Blogger

I’m sure that there will be those that disagree with my view on purchasing a good camera for a kid. I will attempt to defend my opinion on the matter. My little blogger had been using our old FujiFilm SLR-like 3.2mp camera. A good camera for it’s time. The lack of image stabilization made most of his images come out much less than crisp. I firmly believe that having the right tools will make the adoption of a new routine much more enjoyable and in turn will encourage him to continue on for more than just a few days.

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A cool accessory:

[asa]B000BP4ZQY[/asa] – Pop-Up Shade. This is very cool for him since it both shades the LCD screen in the sun and also protects the screen from scratches and such.

I am not all that much of a photographer but here are some of the points that made me choose this particular camera:

  • 8 MP – Pretty standard for an entry level camera at this time
  • 6X Optical Zoom – About the best I found in this price range
  • Optical Image Stabilization – better than digital for still shots, according to my research
  • Face detection. This works. It even figured out the face of the cat.
  • Takes 2 AA Batteries – NiMh Rechargable batteries are a great choice. Keep a few sets charged for long photo shoots.
  • Uses SD cards – a plus if you already have a bunch of these around the house for other devices.
  • Lot’s of settings and optional accessories available so the camera can grow with him.

Cons:

  • Price – the street price for this camera is around $200. I’ve seen it at low as $169 online.
  • No neck strap. It comes with a wrist strap. Kids are not always coordinated enough to work all the controls AND keep a good hold of the camera.
  • A little too big to fit in Jeans pocket. It will fit in a jacket pocket, but really, a neck strap or bag would be a better bet anyway.
  • Comes with 16mb SD card. A waste of plastic these days.

Once he really starts using the new camera I should be able to come back and report on whether or not this particular camera was the right choice for him.

Poll: Blogging with young kids

With my son recently starting his own blog I have been researching to see what others in the blogosphere might be saying in regard to blogging with children. I have not been finding much information more recent than about 2004. This makes the topic more intriguing than ever. It’s something that would be interesting to start some conversation about.

Here is a quick poll to get things started:

[poll id="2"]

Please visit the website if you are not able to view this poll

Please share more specific thoughts in the comments after voting!  I’m quite interested in hearing what people have to say on this matter.