Badges as Blog Bling? Why not?

Since upgrading to Edublogs Pro, I’ve actually done a lot of the suggestions in the Edublogs Teacher challenge kickstart activity #7. I had a bit of fun playing with the additional themes and widgets. That said, there are free ones out there too like my ClustrMap which I added after starting this challenge. It’s interesting – and heartwarming – to see the increased traffic into my blog from many parts around the globe (Here’s my shout out – thanks everyone).

I like the 3-column view which gives me a lot of options on what to include. While I do have Google Reader for blogs I follow, I have included a couple of blog rolls as my way of recommending sites I like. I absolutely love the Tag cloud as a way of navigating to previous posts – especially Lesson Ideas. An ex-colleague (@plu) recommended having a Follow Me on Twitter widget and though I’m uncertain how effective it is, I like it. I also like having the Meta widget for easy access to administering my blog.

Although I have a few more widgets on my blog, the ones in bold above are my favourites.

Love2LearnAs an extension activity, I created this badge. I think badges are more popular in craft blogs and mine has a few. I checked out the html code of one of them from CASE Study and figured I can do this. Here’s how I did it:

  1. Create a badge. I don’t have Photoshop (yet) in my new mac so I did this using WordArt in PowerPoint (I kid you not!). I changed the text background to one of my underwater photos and saved the whole thing as a GIF. Β It took me 15 minutes. You’re probably thinking I should spend more time on it! πŸ™‚
  2. Upload the badge to the media library to get its URL.
  3. Create a text/html widget. I positioned mine high up so it’s immediately visible.
  4. Write up a bit of html to show the image and optionally have a hyperlink.
  5. I don’t actually know how the CASE study blog managed to show the html code as text (mine just gets interpreted). SO, I created a page which is hyperlinked to the “Grab this for free” invitation. I pasted the paste in the Visual mode (not HTML) so the html code is treated as plain text. It ties up nicely with one of the challenge activities of creating a page, don’t you think?

Cheers everyone and I hope you got something out of this post especially f it’s a challenge to create a better badge than mine. If you do, please leave a crumb trail so I can see what you’ve done.

UPDATE: Thanks to @mimbles, I now know the html tag needed so html code is treated as text – it’s textarea, funny that. More details in the badge page.

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17 thoughts on “Badges as Blog Bling? Why not?

    • malyn says:

      you’re a star Mim – and welcome to my teaching/learning blog.

      Thanks for the lead and I’ll give it a go – will also update my post and page.

      cheers,
      Malyn

  1. tmallen says:

    I just commented on another teacher’s blog that I wanted to know how to create a badge – and voila! Thank you for the directions! I will try to create one as well. Nice creative badge! You really don’t need much sometimes – a little goes a long way.

  2. Kathryn says:

    Malyn
    Good on you for being creative and having a go at making a badge. I want to try one at some point so your pioneering spirit encourages me on!
    Kathryn

    • malyn says:

      Hi Kathryn, I encourage you to give it a go. Try something simple first like “I love books” or “I love reading”. You can then just follow the steps outlined above or go to my badge page linked on the post and you’re away.

      good luck.

  3. Anne Mirtschin says:

    Hi Malyn, Thanks for creating the badge – you are one of the few who have done this in the challenge. The best part of course is that you have shared with us how to make one, so the learning and sharing continues beyond your blog.Also, you have shared your badge for free – very generous of you.
    Clustrmaps are great motivators, and everyone loves to see it get lots of measles. However, it does reset after 12 months. Are you glad that you have gone edublogs Pro? What are the benefits of doing that?

    • malyn says:

      Thanks Anne. I am glad I’ve got Edublogs Pro for the ff. reasons I can immediately see (haven’t played with everything I could yet):
      1 – access to more stuff: themes, widgets, stats, etc
      2 – happy to support even in a little way this organisation (with the strong A$, it’s not so bad either)

      cheers,
      Malyn

  4. Britt Gow says:

    Hi Malyn,
    Thanks again for participating on the Teacher’s Blogging Challenge and for commenting on my post. Well done on creating your own badge – something I had never considered prior to doing this challenge, let alone knowing how to start to make one! So thank you for explaining how you did this and for making your badge available for others. I think we all need a badge for participating in the challenge – perhaps you could design one for us?
    Keep up the great work!

    • malyn says:

      I’ll think about creating one for participating in the challenge – what do you reckon: Teacher Challenge Survivor or just plain I did it?

      cheers,
      Malyn

  5. Kevin Hodgson says:

    I wonder about badges: Why do we need them? I am thinking about to the challenge around avatars and online identity, and I imagine that badges must give us another anchor into identity with our online spaces.
    Kevin

    • malyn says:

      I don’t think badges are needed but it is prolific enough meaning it definitely has popular appeal. Badges can be free, e.g. to declare something like in my one (love to learn) or earned as when you win a challenge (think Edublogs awards). So though badges may not be necessarily needed, they can be useful.

  6. Kay McGriff says:

    I’m impressed you created your own badge. When my brain comes back up to par (bad cold), I will try it out. I’ve grabbed badges from other sites, but never tried creating my own.

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