Weblogs (Blog) for Class
What is a weblog or blog?
Take a look at this article in the Guardian
Unlimited which seems to cover all the bases.
What we're going to do in this session:
- Create the weblog structure
- Post your first article
- Add a comment
A blog is merely a bunch of web pages that are added to using a web browser.
To create your blog, you first have to create the folders in your web area
(H:\www) where the blog pages will go, and then start up the Moveable Type blogging
system to generate the pages.
Create the folders and set permissions
We need to create a folder called "blog" and a folder called "archives"
inside it to contain our new and older blog entries. These folders need to
be inside the www folder so that the blog software (Moveable
Type) will work.
- Start up Internet Explorer.
- In the address box type in ftp://ftp.earlham.edu
- Type your username and password into the appropriate boxes.
- Open the www folder and click inside it.
- Select File —> New —> Folder.
- Name the new folder - blog
- Right-click on the folder and choose Properties.
- The folder needs to be write accessible, so check all
- Open this folder what you have just made.
- Select File —> New —> Folder. Name it "archives".
(Don't use any CAPITAL letters in these folder names)
- Now right-click on the folder and choose Properties.
- Check all the properties boxes and click OK.
- Close Internet Explorer and fire up Windows Explorer - navigate to
your Home or H: drive and open the www folder.
You should now see a folder called blog and within this a folder called
archives. Check that they are both there.
Create Blog with Moveable Type
- Fire up Internet Exploder
- In the address box type in http://www.earlham.edu/moveabletype/mt.cgi
(or click on this link).
- Enter your username and password (the ones you use with webmail).
- Now we want to create a new blog, so click on the "Create New Blog"
All the boxes should already be filled in. Check that they look similar
- Blog name : anything you choose
- Local Site path : /home/students/<your
For example, LaRon Henry's blog would have a local site path: /home/students/henryla/www/blog
- Site URL : http://www.earlham.edu/~<your username>/blog
This is what you type in to your Netscape browser to get to your blog.
The ~ is the tilde character located above the Tab
key on your keyboard (you'll to hold the Shift key down also).
- Local Archive Path : /home/students/<your username>/www/blog/archives
Note that the archives folder is inside the blog folder.
- Archive URL : http://www.earlham.edu/~<your username>/blog/archives
- Timezone : select UTC-5 (Eastern Time). Make sure you set this otherwise
all your postings will have the wrong time.
Click the Save button to get this message:
Now, guess what you should do next.
- that's right, rebuild your blog.
Whenever you make changes (either posting a message or changing preferences)
you'll need to Save and then Rebuild
Note the management strip down the side of the browser window. This is always
Click on the Preferences link at the top of the screen:
- General Settings:
- Type in a description of your Blog. This will appear on the main
The next three (3) options can be left on their defaults.
- default Text Formatting for new entries : pull down to Textile2
- default Post Status when creating new entry: pull down to publish
(otherwise it's a two stage "draft" then "publish"
process, and you can always go back and delete an entry).
leave all the defaults
- Publicity .....
You may want to check 'Turn on Track-Back auto discovery' so that people
can easily trackback to your blog.
- Comment Configuration:
- Do not allow anonymous comments (leave this unchecked).
Skip next one.
- If you want to be notified by email when someone makes a comment,
check this box.
- Text Formatting for comments : I enable Textile2 for text formatting
- Check "auto-link URLs". This means that whenever you type
in or paste in a web address (URL) it automatically becomes linked.
- Allow Comments default - pull down to None. This
means that the default setting is no comments -- you can easily set
this to Open for the blog entries you want.
- Click Save button
- you've made some changes, so Rebuild.
Click on View Site to see what it looks
'Post' an 'entry' to your Blog
- Click the New Entry button in the management strip.
empty fields for Title, Entry Body, Extended Entry, Excerpt, and some
- Title : type in a pithy title for your blog entry. You can go back
and edit this later if you wish.
- Entry Body. This should contain either a
brief summary of the blog entry or the first paragraph of the
- Extended Entry. Write your main text here.
- Excerpt. This is the text that appears in the RSS
feed from your blog. You can write a summary here or leave it blank and
the first 20 words of the posting will be used instead.
- Allow Comments: select Open
- Click PREVIEW button to see what your
entry will look like.
- Make any changes you need.
- Click SAVE button to save your work.
This will do a Rebuild also.
Note: the same
editing screen now returns and there is no indicattion that you've actually
saved anything. To make sure that you are OK, do:
- Click VIEW SITE to check your blog entry.
Observe the appearance of your blog
Note that the Entry text appears on the Main page.
Clicking the MORE... link takes you to the 'Archives' and you see the whole blog entry consisting of the Entry Body and Extended Entry.
This looks a lot nicer than cramming all your text onto
the Main page.
Woops. I made a mistake.
Click on Post : Edit Entries in the
Here, you can either delete the entry or click on the entry link in
the list of Entry Names to change the contents.
Save and View as before.
Formatting with Textile & using MS Word
Textile2 is a wonderful way of formatting the text in your blog entry without
having to use HTML codes.
The full manual is at http://bradchoate.com/mt/docs/mtmanual_textile2.html
A neat introduction to Textile2 is here
You might want to put a graphic file (gif, jpg, png) into your Blog or a Powerpoint
file or Excel file perhaps.
- In the Management strip click Post:Upload File
- Now click Browse to choose a file:
Navigate to your home folder (H:) perhaps and choose a gif or jpg file
(graphics) or other that you want to display.
- There should be no spaces in the filename you are uploading. If
the filename does have spaces in it, you'll need to open the Windows
Explorer and rename it.
- You can view thumbnails of what the graphics look like.
- Click the "Local Site Path" radio button
- Click Upload.
The file is copied up to the blog folder in your Home directory.
Now the system will generate the HTML code needed to access the uploaded
Linking to the uploaded file
Now the system gives you some options for how your blog entry can link to
the uploaded file.
- "Create new entry using this uploaded file"
This will create a fresh message and stick into it the html code which
refers to the graphic you uploaded. Then you can add your own comments.
Use this option if you haven't started an entry and want to use the graphic
as a starting point.
- "Show me the HTML"
This just displays a window with the code in it that you would copy and
then paste into the entry you currently have open.
- You will usually always want to choose
'show me the HTML' -- otherwise you end up creating a new blog entry
If (and only if) your uploaded file is a graphic (.gif or .jpg) you can
have the graphic display in one of two ways:
- Popup image
This makes the graphic popup in a separate window when you click on it.
Use this if you have a large sized (>150 pixels wide) graphic to display
- Embedded image
This will display the graphic directly with the other text you type in.
Use this for small images (< 150 pixels wide)
- I started by clicking Post: New Entry
- I have just uploaded a graphic image of Marcel Garvey scoring a try
for Gloucester. Now I want to link to this.
- I select the "Show me the HTML" radio button.
- I click on the "Embedded Image" button. This gives me the following
- I now click inside this window and select all the text (it turns blue)
and press Ctrl-C to copy to clipboard (or choose Edit —> Copy)
- Click the "Close" button. Yes, do this.
- Now switch back to the main browser window and paste it in (use Ctrl-V
or select Edit —> Paste)
You should get something like this:
- Now click Preview and you'll see this:
- Happy with this? Click Save This Entry
and then View, and Bob's Your Uncle :-).
Changing your Blog's looks
You'll want to change how your Blog looks, now won't you? here's how:
- Click on the Manage:Templates button.
- Now choose the "Stylesheet" Template Name:
- Click on the Moveabletype logo at the top on the screen. This will go
to the Moveabletype site in a new browser window.
- Click Styles
: 2.6x Default Styles. There are seven syles here to choose from; "Clean"
to "Stormy". Click the Screenshots to see what each looks like.
- When you've decided, click inside the box and highlight the whole of
the text there.
Press Ctrl-C to copy to the clipboard.
- Now go back to the previous browser window and click inside the box
labelled "Template body:"
- Select all this text by dragging down.
- Press Ctrl-V to paste the new style in.
- If you make a mistake, just go back to the MT site and try again.
- When you are satisfied you have done it right, click Save
and then Rebuild.
- Now View
- That's it. All your configuration has been done. You can always go back
and change things around
18th February 2003. Last edited 11th Jan 2006