Introduction to Blogging, Part I.

Welcome to the start of the Philadelphia portion of this blog. Between now and our meeting in April, I want to try to lay out at least some guidance so that you can start playing with your class blog before we leave in June. It’s not a necessity for you to be versed in blogging by that time, but if you got the time to experiment it wouldn’t hurt.

First, I want you to know I recognize that some people are scared of technology. The word “blogs” with a circle around it and a line through it on the back of the Red Sox pennant I got last summer was all the indication I needed. So my first advice is just relax. If you experiment with any technological tool with an open mind and a little common sense it can be mastered. That’s probably why your average 5th grader can do PowerPoint better than you can, but you can catch up!

This post is on the central class blog for History 591. Future posts will appear on top of it on the blog home page (which can be reached by clicking the words “Philly Trip” at that top of the page). For this reason, a blog is kind of like a reverse diary where the last posts come first. Therefore, if you don’t follow these instructions right away, you’ll need to scroll down to this post to get started.

To find your blog, click on your name in the blog roll on the right. If you haven’t already accessed the blog on the computer you’re using you’ll have to log in with your name and password where it says “login” in the bottom righthand corner.

Once you’re logged in, you want to access the main dashboard for your blog. It will go automatically there when you log in, or if you’re logged in already click the word “admin” in the bottom righthand corner.

If you want to just start writing, click the word “write” near the top and give it a go. Before that though, you might want to try sprucing your blog up a bit. Try clicking the word “Presentation” on the first line and choose a theme. There are something liek 35 themes avaialble to you right there to make your blog look like more than just a blue and white blob. When you find one you like, click “apply.” You can try as many themes as you like until you’re happy with the way it looks, but one recommendation: If the theme you like has the words “Custom Image Header” near the top when you apply it, that means you can import your own picture into the them. [That’s how I got the Liberty Bell at the top of our class blog.] I’m not sure I can duplicate the steps I took to do that without messing it up for this blog, but if you can get a picture you like on your desktop, it’s really not that hard.

That’s all for now. In a few days, I’ll write a post about writing posts.


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