I get lots of email and have subscribed to a number of RSS services that try to keep me in touch with all the sites I try to follow. Nevertheless, I still miss news and email. Just this morning, I realized that I was tagged by another blog 100 days ago and I never answered the tag. So, that brings up two things for today’s blog: Tagging blogs and a great service to help you keep up with your blog feeds.

First, just like the old school-yard game of tag, sometimes bloggers will write a post and then tag specific people to write about the same thing on their blog. I just found out today that I was tagged in an ‘8 Things About Me’ blog… about 100 days ago. Oops! Sorry Kristin!

How does this play a role in my classroom? The ‘tag, you’re it’ method of blogging can be a nice tool for facilitating student communication in an environment where each student has their own blog. This type of activity plays more into the community of learners environment that blogging has become the center of. The students will have to not only write on their blogs about the specific assignment given by the teacher, but they will have to maintain contact with other student blogs to see if they get tagged. (Common courtesy states that you email anyone you tag so they know it.) Teachers can tag certain student blogs to get specific feedback, students can tag each other to broaden the range of responses, and/or the class can tag another class in an effort to get viewpoints from outside their classroom.

Once you start the environment of being responsible for keeping up with many different blogs, you should also introduce RSS feed tools. Called by a number of names, the RSS Reader/RSS Feed/News Aggregator tools automatically go out and bring in any new posts from blogs that you subscribe to. One aggregator can deliver many sites, keeping the user from hitting each one to check for new information.

The second part of today’s post is a gentle nudge into Technorati.com. It is probably the best blog tool on the net. It acts as a reader, a blog search engine, and statistics engine. The reason I found out I was tagged by Kristin was that my Technorati page had a link to her site where she referenced my blog. Any time someone references my page on a blog, there is a record of it on Technorati. Technorati blog searches are probably the most current searches because they constantly update blog feeds.

If you want a good first tool to add to your blog management, get a free Technorati account. They have support tutorials on their site that will help you get it all set up.

Oh, and Kristin’s tag was to list 8 random things about myself and tag 8 other people. I’m skipping the ‘tag others’, but offer up my 8 things: 1) I’ve kept a website for my kids since before they were born, 2) I’m a Mac evangelist, 3) Born on Texas Independence Day, 4) Had braces on teeth 3 different times, 5) Named my son after Great-g-g-g-grandfather and his father, 6) I will present twice at TCEA 2008, 7) I helped establish a 7 yr old digital film festival, and 8- I secretly still love to play with Legos.

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