This page is a brief manual for students at Baruch, who will most likely be contributing to collaborative weblogs on Blogs@Baruch as “Authors.” What follows details the administrative panel that those users will see when they login to their sites. If you are a student and you are administering your own blog, see this page.
With a Baruch user account, an individual can contribute content to multiple blogs across the Blogs@Baruch system. All that’s needed is for the administrator of a blog to add the user through their administrative panel.
Authors will primarily add content to the blogs to which they belong via “Posts,” which are added in the administrative panel, and “Comments,” which are added by clicking on the “Comments” link attached to each post. What follows is by no mean exhaustive, but it will help authors of blog on Blogs@Baruch navigate their administrative panel. New functionality is being added and upgraded on WordPress all the time. Hard core users interested in advanced functionality should consult the evolving WordPress Codex to stay abreast of the latest developments and documentation.
Table of Contents:
The home page of the admin panel or back-end is called “the Dashboard.” As soon as you log in, you come to this page by default:
From here, you can click on several different options that will bring you to the different areas of the back-end. If you are a member of multiple blogs, you can click on “My Blogs” to see a list and to navigate to the administrative panel for the blog in which you want to work; the active blog will display next to the WordPress icon in the upper left side of the window.
From the Dashboard, you can also post new articles, edit your own posts or comments, update your user profile, and return to the front page of your blog. The Dashboard gives you an overview of your blog activity under “Right Now,” including recent postings, comment activity, incoming links, and how much storage space is available. There is a QuickPress section that lets you write a quick post, and at bottom right you’ll see several links to recent news about WordPress (often containing useful info about updates, features, and more general information about the open source WordPress community).
You can customize your own Dashboard to your liking by simply dragging and dropping each of the sections into place and/or clicking the Screen Options tab, in the upper right-hand corner of the Dashboard, to decide what you would like to make visible or hidden.
This section is where you can write new blog posts and edit existing posts. When you click on the “Posts” button, you’ll see a list of posts on the blog. Posts you have authored will be hyperlinked, and you are able to click into them (via the “Edit” or “Quick Edit” buttons), make changes, and update them.
To write a new post, click on “Add New.” Writing posts is probably the main thing you will do with your blog. When writing a new post you can control the status, e.g. make the post a draft if you are not ready to publish it, password protect it, etc. You can also change the time stamp to control when the post shows up in the blog’s chronology of posts. In addition, you can add categories and tags to posts to create a personalized taxonomy of terms and sections in your site. You can add tags and categories while writing a new post, or later while editing an existing post. Use the Quick Edit function if you just want to change the tag or category or status of your post. If you want to change what you wrote, click Edit. The sub-sections Tags and Categories allow you to manage tags and categories across all your posts. Posts are displayed with the newest on top, with the older posts moving down on the page and getting automatically archived by date.
The visual editor provides an easy way to format and add a range of material to your post. Here is an image of the editor with the “kitchen sink” hidden (this refers to a full display of editing buttons). To expand the editor and show the whole “kitchen sink,” click the button highlighted in red.
Your editor should now look like this:
If you prefer to write a post using the HTML interface, make sure that the HTML tab in the upper righthand corner is selected.
Below is detailed functionality for the buttons in the visual editor, starting in the upper left corner, and moving to the right:
- Bold selected text
- Italicize selected text
- Strikethrough selected text
- Create a bulleted list
- Create a numbered list
- Align text left
- Align text center
- Align text right
- Create link (when you select test, this button will become active)
- Break link
- Insert an image from a URL
- Split post with a “more” tag (used in longer posts, will insert a link that reads “Continue Reading this post”
- Run spellcheck on post
- Edit in fullscreen mode (will create a large text editor)
- Show/hide “kitchen sink”
- Assign alternative style to selected text
- Underline selected text
- Justify selected text
- Change color of selected text
About the next two buttons, WordPress help says: When pasting content from another web page the results can be inconsistent and depend on your browser and on the web page you are pasting from. The editor tries to correct any invalid HTML code that was pasted, but for best results try using the HTML tab or one of the paste buttons that are on the second row. Alternatively try pasting paragraph by paragraph. In most browsers to select one paragraph at a time, triple-click on it. Pasting content from another application, like Word or Excel, is best done with the Paste from Word button on the second row, or in HTML mode.
We recommend that, as often as possible, Posts are composed inside of the WordPress interface, which reliably stores copies of unpublished Posts.
- Paste as plain text
- Paste text created in Microsoft Word
- Remove formatting from selected text
- Insert/Edit Embedded Media: Allows user to embed Flash, Quicktime, Shockwave, Windows Media, and Real Media directly into a post, as well as set the dimensions of the movie.
- Insert custom character
- Outdent selected text
- Indent selected text
- Browse WordPress Help
This line will display Viper Video Quicktags that have been enabled in the plugins menu. To learn more about customizing the options available to on this line, see the Viper’s Video Quicktag plugin page.
- Embed a video from Youtube
- Embed a video from Google Video
Allows you to search media you have uploaded, such as images, music, videos, etc. Keep in mind, however, that your storage space on this system is limited, so you may want to use external services for media such as Flickr, YouTube, or Google Docs.
The Comments tab is relatively straightforward. This is where you can manage, moderate, or delete any comments you receive on your blog.
To establish the settings for Comments, you need to go to the Settings ? Discussion area. This is where all of the settings for commenting are controlled, including turning off comments or requiring the user to log in before commenting. Also, the My Comments tab allows you to track all the comments you have made throughout Blogs@Baruch, which could be useful for keeping up with distributed discussions.
You can access your profile by clicking on the “Profile” link on the left side of the screen. Here, you can enter your full name and a nickname, choose how you want to be identified when you publish to the blog, add contact information, and change your password.