Guide to myblog.arts
There is now a blog devoted to how to use myblog.arts! There are step-by-step instructions on how to do most tasks, as well as a growing knowledge base with tips and answers to common questions. You can find it here: myblog.arts User Manual. It’s also the group blog for the Support Group, so if you are visiting that group you can access it from there.
It’s important to note that your blog is public by default. To edit the privacy settings, go to the blog dashboard, and in the Settings menu, click on Reading. There you can choose to limit access to your blog, if you don’t want it to be visible to all visitors.
Quick Start Videos
Visit the Quick Start Videos page for screencasts on common blog tasks like making posts, adding images to posts, etc.
Signing up for an account
See this page for guidance on what materials you can include in your blog: Copyright, Copyleft and Creative Commons
Frequently asked questions
Why can’t I log in or create a blog?
If you haven’t used myblog.arts before, you will have to create an account. This is a one-off process. You should use your usual university username and password, on this page: create account.
Next time you visit myblog.arts, just log in on the right hand side of the front page of the site: myblog.arts homepage.
If your university username and password aren’t being accepted, you probably have a problem with your password. Check your account on this page: account check. If your password has expired, it will tell you.
The recommended way to update your password is by visiting this page: https://pss.arts.ac.uk. Once you’ve updated your password, wait for 10-15 minutes then try to login to myblog.arts again. If you still have a problem, check whether you can log into other services, such as Moodle. If you can’t, you will need to contact the Information Services support desk, as the problem isn’t related to the blog service. You can call them on extension 9898.
I’ve made my blog, but now I can’t find it! Help!
The ‘admin bar’ at the top of the page, is your friend. It’s always there, on every page, and gives you an easy way to navigate the site.
Click on ‘My Sites’ to see a link to your blog’s home page. The other links in the menu bar should be self-explanatory. Click on them to see what they do.
IMPORTANT! If you don’t have a link to ‘My Sites’, you haven’t created your own blog yet, you’ve just created an account! You will need to:
- Log out of myblog.arts
- Click on the ‘Sign up for an account‘ link on the front page of the site.
- Enter your UAL username and password, and a URL and title for your blog.
- Check the ‘Agree to the terms and conditions’ box.
- When you submit the page, you should be taken to a welcome page with further instructions.
I made a discussion forum in my blog – where do I view it?
You can see any discussion forums created in your blog by going to your blog home page, then adding ‘/forums’ to the end of the url in the web browser address, e.g. http://coolblog.myblog.arts.ac.uk/forums
You can also add various forum widgets to your pages which will create links to forums or forum content created in your blog.
What blog software is this? How can find out more about it and how to use it?
The blog software is WordPress. There is a large community of users at www.wordpress.org
The WordPress site has lots of resources to help you get to know the software. There are lessons here, for example: WordPress Lessons.
Just remember, you don’t need to know anything about installing WordPress – we’ve already done that for you! Just worry about creating content, and choosing a design.
- Go to the Dashboard of your blog, and click on the ‘Appearance’ menu on the left.
- Then click on ‘Themes’. A list of possible designs for your blog are displayed. To choose one, click on its ‘Activate’ link.
- Then click on the name of your blog, at the top left of the page, to see the changes you’ve made on your blog’s home page.
Once you’ve selected a design, or theme, you will also have the option to add widgets to the blog pages, or to tweak the basic design. All the options available to you will appear under the ‘Appearance’ menu in the Dashboard. Experiment, and play around. You can’t break it! (That’s the theory anyway 🙂 )
What is the difference between a post and a page?
In the Dashboard of your blog, you have the option to create ‘Posts’ and ‘Pages’.
‘Pages’ in WordPress are for content you would like to make available all the time. Many blogs have an ‘About’ page, for example, which is always accessible via a link on the front page. When you create a page in WordPress, a link to it is usually created for you automatically on the blog’s front page. ‘Posts’ on the other hand, are chunks of content which appear in chronological order on the front page of the blog. Each new post appears at the top, and pushes the older posts down the page.
- When creating a post or a page, click on the ‘Add Media’ button above the text editor toolbar.
- Select and upload your images all at one time. (To select multiple files on your computer, lasso them with your mouse or use shift-click to select a range of files.)
- When all of your files have uploaded, click ‘Save All Changes’.
- You should be taken to the Gallery tab, where you will have some further options to choose from. When you’re happy, click on ‘Insert Gallery’. The image gallery should be inserted into your post or page.
- Alternatively, take a look at the Portfolio Slideshow plugin. In your blog Dashboard, go to Settings -> Portfolio Slideshow, then select the Documentation tab to find out more.
I saw some content in someone’s blog which I found inappropriate. What should I do?
At the bottom of every post and page there is a link saying ‘report content’. Click on the link and fill out the details, then click the ‘Submit Report’ button. The site administrator will be notified and will check to see whether the content meets the terms and conditions of the blog service. When you report content, your identity will not be made public.
If you can’t see the ‘report content’ link, click on the title of the post or page. You will then see the whole of the post or page, not just an extract, and the ‘report content’ link should be visible at the bottom.
Can I keep my blog after I graduate?
We’re working on it! For the moment however, you will have to export your blog and import it to another installation of WordPress somewhere else on the web. This could be your own personal installation of WordPress, if you have bought some web space, or it could be in a community blog site like WordPress.com. To export your blog, go to your blog Dashboard, then click Tools -> Export. N.B. It’s important that you import your blog to the new site while the original at myblog.arts is still up and running (and while you have access to log in), as the content is pulled from the old blog site when importing the site to its new place on the web. You should have log-in access for three months after graduation, and your myblog.arts blog will remain online for at least that three-month period unless you request it to be taken down.
Please note, blogs which are inactive for two years or more will be deactivated. They will then be deleted 6 months later unless we are contacted by the blog owner. If you don’t want your blog to be deactivated or deleted, log into it periodically and make some updates.
My question isn’t on this list – what should I do to get help?
You can send an email to email@example.com. Please include as much detail as possible, including error messages, your blog name and steps to reproduce the problem. ‘My blog isn’t working’ isn’t much help – we need to know what the problem is to be able to fix it for you quickly!