Thursday, October 11, 2007

Welcome to our comm207fall08 blog


Everybody who was in class Tuesday has been invited to join this blog as an author. This invitation is not only a great honor and your chance to join the ranks of published authors (if you're not one already): Joining the blog, posting to it and learning some of the fundamentals of HTML (hypertext markup language) are requirements for successful completion of the course.

You'll receive an email message from, the commercial service that hosts the blog. Follow the prompts, and you'll get signed up easily. A couple of things we learned the hard way last year: (1) Write down the user name and password you use to sign up; and (2) don't forget it. If you forget it, you won't be able to post to the blog. And you have to post to the blog. It's that simple.

A word about templates: I picked the first one that came up. If you want, we can go through the templates and find one we can all live with. Majority rule, or something like that.

After you're signed up, let's get started by posting a link to my faculty page. Open another window. You'll have several open as you go along. Go to this blog, and click on the Blogger logo -- it looks like a white "B" in an orange square with slightly rounded corners. You'll get a prompt that asks you to enter your user name and password. Remember the user name is the same one you signed up with, and it's really a full email address. Click on "Sign In." This will take you to the Blogger dashboard which is where you work on the blog. In the directory under the name comm207fall07, click on "New Post." It will open a field.

Next, type a title in the field that says "Title." Straighforward enough? In the larger field below it, click on the tab that says "Edit Html." There's another tab that says "Compose," but I want you to get used to using HTML code from the very beginning. I want you to get used to pasting in addresses, too, so I'm going to make you look up my faculty page address instead of telling you what it is in the example below.

Type something like: "Here's a link to ..." that introduces the hypertext. The hypertext is just the part you click on that takes you where you want to go. We'll get to it in a minute. But for now, let's focus on the code you put before the hypertext. By typing in an address (URL) and putting a code around it, using angle brackets and letters, you tell your browser to find the indicated address. Confused yet? Let's just do it. The instructions below are more general tips I've copied and pasted from another blog.

How to Post a Link

I like to do this with two windows open, one to the page I'm posting the link to and the other to the "Create" field in Blogspot. Here are the steps:

  1. In the address field in the header, highlight the address (or URL). Copy it.
  2. Go to the "Create" field. Type in Here's a link to <a href="
  3. Paste in the address with no space between the "less than" and the address.
  4. Type "> with no space between the address and the quote mark.
  5. Type in whatever words you want in the link, for example Doc's faculty page.
  6. Immediately after those words, type </a>
  7. Your link should look something like this: Here's a link to <a href="address">Doc's faculty page.</a>
One last step: Be patient. It takes forever to get all the details right, and even then I get little red-and-yellow error messages all the time in Blogger. If you don't yet know what I mean by that, you will very soon!

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