Take us on your exchange program journey - blog! A blog
is a web log—a documentation of your ideas
and experiences online. A blog is usually in written form, but can
be enhanced by links, images, and videos. You can share your
experience from the time you start applying to the day you pack up
your souveniers to return from your program, and everything in
How to Start a
Tips for Successful
- Go to your profile page and locate the "Blog Posts" module in
the middle column. Click the "Add a Blog Post" link. You can add
links, images, attachments, and even embedded video to your blog
- Although we encourage you to start a blog directly on
ExchangesConnect, you can also import a blog that is hosted
elsewhere, as long as you can copy its RSS feed.
- First, locate the “RSS feed” box on your ExchangesConnect
Profile – it should be on the left-hand side of the page.
- Next, drag this box to the center of your page to give it more
- Then, click “+Add RSS.”
- Change the title that now says “RSS” to the title of your
- Next, go to the bottom of your other blog and right-click on
the orange icon or link that says something like “RSS Feed” or
“Subscribe to this Post.” Select “Copy Shortcut.”
- Paste the URL that you copied into the URL text box on your
ExchangesConnect profile page and then choose the type of view (we
recommend “detail view”) and the number of posts that you will
Voila, your blog will now be automatically inserted into
your ExchangesConnect page.
- Post Frequently and Consistently: If people know when to
expect updates, they will remember to visit your blog regularly!
Try to come up with a schedule – for example, you could commit to
posting one full entry each week.
- Shorter is Better: Sometimes, people are more likely to
read frequent, short updates rather than long essays. Plus, it is
less work for you to post a shorter update.
- Tell a Story: It is more fun to read a story than a list
of facts. Use rich sensory descriptions to describe your
experiences. How were you feeling? What was the weather like? Who
did you meet? Use humor and personalize your stories!
- Insert Photos: Your post will be easier to read and more
visually appealing if you insert some related images or photos. You
can use a digital camera, cell phone, or scanner to share
interesting photos of your experiences. Make sure that you follow
these tips to resize the photos so that they fit well within your
Resizing Photos within Blogs or
Photos taken on a digital camera are typically much larger than the
width of our pages on ExchangesConnect. This means that many photos
appear strange (skewed) when uploaded directly into blog posts.
To display photos at the proper scale, you must adjust the
proportions by hand. You'll notice that when you add a photo into a
blog text box, the image is converted into HTML text that looks
something like this: "img
src="http://api.ning.com/files/.../SAMPLE_1.jpg" alt="" width="700"
To change the dimensions, just replace the width and height with
smaller numbers. Here are some dimensions that work well, but you
can experiment with others:
Horizontal images: 700 x 525
Vertical images: 375 x 500
- Insert Videos: The Videos feature on ExchangesConnect
allows you to upload videos and share them across the web. You can
embed videos from popular video services like YouTube, Hulu, and
Vimeo. For tips on how to shoot video, use a FlipCam, and convert
and upload your video, please see How to Add Photos & Videos. Once your videos are
uploaded, you can embed them or link to them from your blog.
- Tag Your Blog: Most importantly, don't forget to
tag your blog, photos, and videos with descriptive
words to help people search for them!