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January 2010
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Old stuff

Start your blogging

After we finish our quick look at HTML, CSS and PHP, we’ll talk about RSS feeds. You need to have one set up wherever you work most often.

Then it’s time to jump in. My blog is hosted at (note the URL), which was done with a “manual installation.” You might want to do that after this course if you have an Web host such as that will give you your own URL.

Here are the steps for today and next week:

  1. Go to and open an account. See this Introduction about what blogging is, and this Getting Started page. We’ll try and pull some some relevant videos from WordPressTv as well such as this one on signing up. When you do this, think about your user name, password and URL as this can’t easily be changed. For example my blog on regional table tennis might be
  2. Log in and you will see the Dashboard. You will see this a lot. Go to Settings and change the title of your blog. Obviously, this is something you can do again later.
  3. Add at least two new themes and test them out. If you can get a thumbnail to add later, do that (right-click Save Picture As). Start reading my blog from the earliest posts (third page in) to see how I did along the way. Take a look at this video on Themes, and use the link that should come with your initial blog under Blogroll. There are lots of other sites that supply free WordPress themes such as Dynamic Guru , BogOHBlog and BytesForAll, where I got mine (Atahualpa, which is fairly common).
  4. Create two posts. Three hundred words max. Spellchecked. See Briggs Chapter 5. These should be about the process of starting the blog, including your search for a topic. Go to Posts>Add New on the left side of your Dashboard. Add at least one link to each post (e.g. to another blog, or Technorati). Note that the protocol (http://) is already filled in. I recommend opening in a new window. Also take a look at the HTML view.
  5. Add a photo to your second post (Upload/Insert Image icon above the formatting icons). That might be a self-portrait, or a thumbnail of a scheme as mentioned in point 3. 

See you when I get back from Poynter. I’ll keep an eye on e-mail if you have any problems, or we can pick up again next class. Happy blogging! (And send me the URL of your blog.)

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