Getting Started

All posts in the Getting Started category

Digital Memoir Links

Published October 30, 2011 by Dr. Tammy Powley

Here are some links you might helpful when writing your own digital narrative.

Sample narrative weblogs:

Free places to blog:

How-to Blogging Videos: (wordpress) (wordpress) (blogger)

Memoir how-to’s:

For some inspiration, go to and watch this video of Carmen Agra Deedy who tells a funny story about her mother.


Starting a Blog

Published May 30, 2007 by Dr. Tammy Powley

Once you know what you are going to write about, you are pretty much ready to get started blogging. The next step is to decide where and those new to blogging usually start with some of the better known free blog networks available such as,, or These are some of the better known free networks, and for the most part, they are fairly user-friendly. Each is a little different when it comes to templates (how the finished blog looks) and interface (how you operate the software).  Start by going to some of the free networks and looking at other blogs to see how you like the templates as well as the general feel for getting around the network. If one seems easier to use than another, then you might want to try starting a blog with that one first. Most of the free blog places on the web try to be user-friendly, but it can be very subjective as to what seems easy to you versus another person. If you like one over another, then this might be a good place to try setting up your first blog.

Blog Topic Brainstorming

Published May 28, 2007 by Dr. Tammy Powley

When starting a blog, one of the most important and probably the most difficult steps is deciding what topic your blog will cover. Many journal-style blogs cover a number of topics. For example, talks about her dog, her daughter, her husband, her house, and her religious beliefs. However, even though she covers a number of topics in one blog, all of them are related to her own life experiences, which mirror those of many of her readers and could be one reason her blog is so popular.  To become a regular blogger, meaning some who will post entries multiple times a week if not every day, you need a topic you are passionate about. Writing about the same thing day after day can get really boring if it is something you are only mildly interested in. It can also become challenging after awhile to think of something to say that some one else will care to read. Make a list of ideas that you are (if not passionate about) very interested in, something you do regularly right now: 

  • What do you do for work?
  • What sort of hobbies do you have?
  • What do you read about regularly?
  • What activities are important in your life?

All of these can give you ideas for blogging.  

Joining the Blogosphere

Published May 26, 2007 by Dr. Tammy Powley

Most bloggers start out as blog readers. They usually have a few blogs they like to read regularly, either by bookmarking them on a web browser and visiting daily or subscribing to an RSS feed. So, if you want to join, that’s your first step: become a blog reader. After becoming a reader, the next step is normally to start commenting on these blogs, thus becoming part of the conversation; however, technically to become a full-member of the blogosphere, you need to blog. It sounds like a large leap from reader to casual commenter to blogger, but because of the free access to blog software and user-friendly platform most of them have, it’s really not that difficult.  You’ll need to determine the answers to the following questions to get started blogging: 

  • What is my purpose for blogging?
  • What type of blog do I want to write? Filter? K-blog? Journal? Combination?
  • Who do I want to host my blog? Assuming you want free hosting, options might be or (for example).
  • What do I want to blog about? Can you word this topic into phrase, tagline, or subtitle?
  • What would I like the title of my blog to be? (This can affect your URL.)
  • Do I want my blog to be public or limit it to a select group who will need a password to access it?
  • Would I at some point want to earn some revenue from my blog?

Blog Hosting

Published May 26, 2007 by Dr. Tammy Powley

Many web hosts (Internet Service Providers aka ISPs) these days can host a blog, so if you don’t want to use a freebie blog any more, you can check first with your local ISP to see if it has this available. The thing is that you will need some place to host (as in store your web files), but you also might need some place to get the weblog software. Tyepad ( is one place that provides both hosting and software to run your blog. However, many regular Internet hosts do not provide the software to blog as well, so you need to buy this yourself. It’s not like using HTML, which is a language, not a software package. With HTML, anyone can create a web page using something as simple as Notepad. You just need to know the language. Blog software isn’t like this. It is software that, if you plan to run your own blog minus a network of any kind, you need to buy.