In July, I launched Tsukublog (http://blog.alientimes.org) as a forum for the international community in Tsukuba to share their thoughts about living here.
The blog is meant to include restaurant reviews, sightseeing spots, interesting things learned about Tsukuba, Japanese language tips (or questions), comments about life in Tsukuba, announcements of events, recommendations of things to do, etc. Basically anything is okay, as long as it has some (at least remote) connection to Tsukuba and it is not offensive.
I think there might be some people out there who are not sure what a blog is, so here is a short explanation.
A blog is a like a journal or a diary that you put online. Blog is an abbreviation of "web log". If you are interested in contributing to the blog, you can become a member and write some diary entries. Otherwise, you can just visit the site and read what other people have written without becoming a member. You can leave comments about the individual entries by clicking on "comments" on the bottom of each entry. You don't have to be a member to leave comments. (Because we have had some trouble with spam, the comments are now moderated. But as long as you are not a spammer, your comments will be accepted, so please comment freely!)
If you think you will want to write up some entries about your life in Tsukuba, you can become a member of the blog. Otherwise, if you just want to enjoy reading the entries and maybe make comments sometimes, you can do that without being a member.
Another feature of a blog is that it can be "syndicated", which means that you can get copies of all entries to the blog sent to a news reader (or, in some cases, your email address). This means that you will be notified of all new entries automatically, so you can keep up with the blog without having to visit the actual site. You can subscribe to TsukuBlog by following the link on the blog that says "subscribe to this blog" (or click here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Tsukublog). You will need a news reader to read the entries like this, but your internet browser may already have one built in. If you are not sure, try clicking on the "subscribe to this blog" link and see what happens. I use Google Reader (http://www.google.com/reader) and that lets me catch up on my favourite blogs from any browser in the world (as opposed to using a reader that is built into the browser on my home computer.)
Here are some links to more information.
More about blogs
More about subscribing to a blog
We already have seven bloggers (thank you!!) and I am hoping to get some more as time goes on. I think it would be particularly good if someone who hasn't been in Tsukuba for very long joined as a member. Getting the perspective of a newcomer would be great. If you are interested in becoming a member (which means that you are interested in writing entries for the blog), please contact us.
If you like the idea of contributing to the blog, but you are not sure how to do it, I will be happy to help you familiarize yourself with the process. You don't need to know any html or anything. You just have to know how to write. Also, I should mention that it doesn't matter whether you are a native English speaker or not. As long as we can understand what you are saying, it doesn't matter whether your English is perfect. It is the message that matters, not the grammar.
If you have any questions, please let me know. I hope you enjoy reading TsukuBlog!
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