"How to" Guideline series is coordinated by Helen Mongan-Rallis of the Education Department at the University of Minnesota Duluth. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions to improve these guidelines please me at e-mail hrallis@d.umn.edu.

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Blogging using University of MN uThink Movable Type

By Helen Mongan-Rallis. Created February 2006. Last modified: March 31, 2006

These guidelines are designed to help University of Minnesota beginning users of the Moveable Type Publishing Platform used by the UM uThink Blog. I created them because, as a beginning user, I found the help guide that is linked to uThink to be confusing and not much help in getting me started. I welcome any suggestions for changes or additions that can make these guidelines more useful to others (e-mail suggestions to me at hrallis@d.umn.edu).

Getting started

  1. Go the the uThink: Blogs at the University Libraries page.
  2. Once there, click on the link to "Start Your Own Blog" (or link to it directly from here). The guides on that page directs you to create your blog with your U of M - Twin Cities Internet ID and Password.

Create a new weblog

When you select this, a dialog box will direct you to enter your new weblog settings.

  1. Type a name for your weblog. In the example below, I have named mine "Exploring Podcasting for Educational Purposes." Below this a note tells you to name your weblog and says that this weblog name can be changed at any time. If you do decide to change the name later, you can do this by clicking on "setting" in the menu bar (see directions on this below).
  2. Enter a directory name. This should be one word, no spaces, no caps. e.g. I named mine "podcasting"
  3. Select your time zone from the pull down menu.
  4. Click on "save changes" button --> this will open new dialog box that confirms your settings (you can make changes here if you wish, before you confirm the changes). Once you are sure that the settings are as you want them, click on the "rebuild my site" button. You will be prompted to select the type of rebuild you want. I suggest choosing "rebuild all files." Once this has happened, you can select the link to view your site, or click on the "close" button.
  5. "View your site" will open a new window and show you what your blog looks like. Since you haven't created anything in it yet, all this shows is a blank blog page with your blog title and the standard blog menus on the side. Once you have viewed it, close this window, and then select "close" from the small dialog box.
  6. The next step is not obvious, as you are left looking at the same screen that shows you the new weblog settings and that asks you if you want to rebuild your site or save changes. Since you have already done this, you are left wondering, "now what?" From the menu list on the left, you can choose the actions you want to take.

Creating blog entries

  1. Click on the menu item "New entry" under "Posting" on the left of the screen. This opens a "Create a New Entry" window with text boxes for you to enter a title for your entry, the body of the entry, extended entry, and excerpt.

Changing the name of your blog & entering a description of your blog

After you have created your blog you can change the name. To do this:

  1. Click on "Settings" from the menu bar in the Utilities section. This will take you to a screen that shows you a text box with your current weblog name. Edit it by deleting what is in this box and replacing it with your new blog name.
  2. If you want a description of your blog to appear under the blog name, you can enter this in the "Description" text box below the weblog name box; you can also change time zone of your blog.
  3. Note: In the same Settings window you can also change:

When you have made the desired changes, click on the "Save changes" button at the bottom of the page. When the changes have been saved, a message in a yellow box will appear near the top of the page that says, "Your blog preferences have been saved. To see the changes reflected on your public site, you should rebuild your site now." If you do wish to see the changes, click on the "Rebuild my site" button. A small window will open asking you which files you want to rebuild. Make your selection and then click "close" to close this small window.

screen shot of view site linkWhat is confusing is nothing obvious happens when you do this! However, your site has been rebuilt, so to see what it looks like, click on the "view site" link that appears near the top right corner of your page.

When you want to return back the the editing view, just click the "back" button of your browser.

How do you add pictures to an entry?

To insert an image, choose "upload file," then follow the prompts, and then ask to show html. Then copy and paste the html.

Using templates

See also the uThink guidelines at: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/templates.html

Other online help guidelines for uThink


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