I got an e-mail from a teacher who had just done a Weblog training using Blogger, and the issue of the “Next Blog” button in the top right corner came up, as in what if students click through to some inappropriate site? Oy. If you haven’t tried this of late, you need to. Start here at a test site I put up a couple of months ago and click through to the 10 random “Next Blog” sites that come up. Here’s what I got:

#1. A page full of the same candlemaking link intended only to raise the Google ranking of the link owner.
#2. Another one, this time related to child support.
#3. Another one for sun screen protection.
#4. A site filled with picture of nurse porn.
#5. A personal blog written in Portugese (I think.)
#6. A link site for debt consolidation.
#7. A student blog (believe it or not!)
#8. A blog on quantum algorithms.
#9. A link site for golden retreiver pictures (???)
#10. A political blog.

So, six of the ten sites were either spam or porn. I’m sure your mileage may vary, but the point is pretty clear. Just the chance that a student might click through to a pornography site is enough to scratch Blogger from the list of blogging options. So, what to do? Here are a few options:

  • Take out the nav bar on your Blogger site. It’s easy, but you lose your search function as well.
  • Find another free service, like James’s Incsub or David’s Blogmeister, or Alan’s November Learning site for instance.
  • Find a hosted site that doesn’t cost much like 21Publish.

    I’m sure there are others.

    The bigger point, however, is that we need to continue to try to convince schools to teach students how to deal with the crud that they are going to land on whether they hit it from a Blogger site or not.