Friday, April 22, 2011

Some Blogger Basics For New Bloggers

I'm basically posting this for the Blogs and Blogging class I've been teaching through Ole! at the University of Alaska Anchorage. 

Most (all?) of you have created at least a practice blog to try things out with.  This post is just a reminder of things we've covered (or should have covered) so you can go back, find, and experiment on your own after the class is over.

The basic page is the New Post page.

The Posting tab on the left is lighter than the others to indicate that is the tab we're on.  So is the New Post tab under the Posting tab.  

Try the other two tabs.  Edit Posts  gives you a list of all your posts.  You can see drafts, scheduled posts, and posted posts, plus whether there are comments.  And you can edit them and add or change labels. 

I've never used Add Enclosures - from what I can tell, it's for adding pod-casts. Check this how-to post for more info.

Then play with all the buttons above the post window - there's 
  • undo and redo
  • change fonts*
  • change text size*
  • Bold*
  • Italic*
  • Underline*
  • Strikeout*
  • Change text color*
  • Change background of text (like highlighting)*
  • Link*
  • Add image
  • Add video
  • Make a page break (gives an abbreviated post and allows readers to go to the rest of it if they want to read the whole thing - I've had problems making this work)
  • Line justification (left, center, right, justify)
  • Numbered list
  • Bullet list (like this one)
  • Quote* (indents the highlighted text)
  • Unformats items you paste in (gets rid of links or italics, etc.)
  • Spell Check
*For these tasks, the text has to be selected (highlighted). On my screen the text turns blue.

Also, on the bottom bar [not shown in the screen shot above] of the New Post page is a post options link.  This has a place where you can schedule posts for specific days and times.

You should try out the other tabs (to the right of Posting).  
  • Comments gives you a list of comments made to your posts.  You can delete them there if you like.  There is also a list of comments that were put into spam.
  • Settings takes you to basic settings for your blog - including your header, letting search engines find your blog, and letting people email your posts to friends (or enemies.)
  • The page on the image above is on the design tab where you can add boxes and widgets to your blog.   But you can also do other neat things if you push the template designer.
That would get you to the following page:

Play around with the options on the left to find out what they do.  Here I've gone to the last option - Advanced - where you can make subtle changes to the look of your blog.

With this one you can change the color of the font for the different parts of your blog.  
We'll also look at how to notify Google that you have a blog.    (You can more generally tell the world your site is up in the Settings, too.)

Here's a link to Google's Webmasters Central.  This has Google Basics on the topic of "My site and Google."  But there is a lot of other information too. 

And whenever you have a problem, I find it easiest to just Google:  "How to [whatever you need to do.]"  Somebody has already written instructions or even made a video. 


  1. I do hope that you'll touch on the concept of blogger ethics, you know, little details such as verifying facts by cross-checking sources, that sort of thing......It's kind of important, you know, to maintain some semblance of credibility with your readers.

    Here's a good example of one of your blogging colleagues......

    EdwardTeller July 3rd, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    I’ve updated my Oxdown diary:

    Update: This just in my inbox, from a source connected sometimes to CNN:
    “Here’s a quote I got from law enforcement here in Alaska yesterday afternoon regarding Palin “a criminal indictment is pending authorization.”

  2. Anon, good point. It is on the list of class topics. We have had some discussion in class already about things like crediting photos and other material you use from others.

    After I posted this I realized that I should put up some links to some older posts on blogging ethics.


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