This page is outdated and is only kept around for legacy purposes. The new FAQ is located at http://wiki.case.edu/CaseBlog:FAQ. Please update any bookmarks appropriately.
  1. What's a "Weblog?"
  2. What's "Trackback?"
  3. What's an RSS feed?
  4. What's QuickPost?
  5. What are "tags"?
  6. How do I customize my blog?
  7. Can I upload digital pictures?
  8. Can I use blogging clients other than the web based one?
  9. What plugins are installed?
  10. What's a gravatar? How do I get one? How do I use them in my blog's comment section?
  11. I have a LiveJournal account; how can I crosspost between my Blog@Case blog and my LJ blog?
  12. When people leave comments on older entries, the comment doesn't appear. Why?
  13. How can people subscribe via email to my blog or to a particular entry?
  14. What's a "LinkBlog?"
  15. How do I create a LinkBlog?
  16. How does this connect to wiki.case.edu?
  17. Where can I find more information on learning and using Movable Type?
  18. Where can I find basic tutorials on HTML and CSS?
  19. What's Moblogging?
  20. What are Podcasts?
  21. How do I Podcast?
  22. What's WebDAV?
  23. How do I access my web root or blog contents via WebDAV?
  24. What's del.icio.us?
  25. How do I use del.icio.us as my linkblog? Or, how do I integrate del.icio.us with my blog?
  26. What's Flickr?
  27. How do I use Flickr as my photo album? Or, how do I integrate Flickr with my blog?
  28. How does someone use his or her blog as the centerpiece of his or her "online identity," and what does that all mean, anyways?
  29. What in the world is with all of this stuff? It all seems a little hare-brained. Does anyone need any of this? Do people find this useful?
  30. What's up with all of these nice clean URLs?
  31. What's up with this site's great CSS/XHTML/Semantic Markup?
  32. I have some more questions. Who can I contact?
 
What's a "Weblog?"

Weblogs, or blogs, are a way of publishing to the web one idea at a time. By simplifying the process of publishing, letting authors create posts easily, and making it simple to link to related ideas on the web, blogs make it easy to update a website while still making sure your words retain a clear, personal voice.

The simplicity and immediacy of weblogs has made them extremely popular in a very short period of time, and they're being used today by everyone from media outlets wanting to spread their message to ordinary citizens wanting to keep in touch with friends and family around the world.

As the weblog medium has evolved, it's become evident that the collective posts which make up the millions of existing weblogs, along with the links that they provide to each other and to other relevant content on the web, represent an important new outlet for expression and communication. Best of all, it's easy for anyone with basic internet skills to create a blog or to add one to an existing site.

What's "Trackback?"

Trackback is a means for one Web page to let another Web page know that it's been linked to. Confused? Yes. Trackback is one of those things that is hard to understand until you use it. But, once used, it's potential is quickly realized.

Think of Trackback as a way to comment on your blog about another blog's entry.

And, the greatest part is, there should be no extra work on your part. You merely include a link in your blog entry back to the original blog entry you are commenting on, and the Trackback occurs automatically.

What's an RSS feed?

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary" (depending on who you ask). It is a way to include your blog's content and general description into a machine readable XML format. There are a lot of uses for RSS; the most common being to feed news aggregators such as Bloglines and NewsMonster.

What's QuickPost

QuickPost is a bookmark you include in your web browser that makes it easy to post to your own blog. All you need to do is click on your QuickPost bookmark, and a separate window pops up allowing you to immediately post to your weblog. As an extra benefit, QuickPost analyses the web page you are currently reading and includes a link back to that post in your blog entry. This makes it easy to comment on other web pages.

Interested in whatever web page you are reading, hit your QuickPost bookmark and immediately create a blog entry pointing back to the article.

To set up your QuickPost bookmark, log in to your blog and click on the link located on the lower right entitled "Set up QuickPost". Or, click right here to setup your QuickPost (you may be prompted to login first).

What are "tags"?

When you are creating an entry, there are several fields available such as "Title," "Primary Category," "Entry Body," "Extended Entry," etc. One of those fields is labeled "Tags." "Tags" is just another way of saying "Categories." Anything you type into the tags field becomes a category (each name of the category being separated by a space). This makes it much easier to create and assign categories to entries quickly. If you would like to assign a category/tag with a space in it's name, surround the phrase in double quotes.

To read more about the tagging plugin, read The Tags Power Tool for Movable Type (but note, we do not override the Keywords like their documentation says; we use a totally different field actually labeled Tags; the Keywords field remains and functions as normal). To read more about the concept of "tagging" and folksonomy, start out the Wikipedia pages for them: Tagging, Folksonomy.

How do I customize my blog?

We're working on creating an easier way to do this. But for right now, login to your blog and click on your blog's name to enter the administrative web panel. On the left in the navigational menu, one of the options is "Templates." Click on that link to enter in to your template management area. In there is a listing of the templates that create the look and feel of your blog. You're going to have to be comfortable with HTML and CSS, and you're going to have to acquaint yourself with the template tags MovableType, the blogging software, uses. There is help documentation located here.

Can I upload digital pictures?

Yes, of course! In the left-hand side navigational menu og your blog administrator web interface, click on the "Upload File" button.

Can I use blogging clients other than the web based one?

Yes! The Blogger XML-RPC API is supported and the MetaWeblog API is supported. You can use popular blogging clients like MarsEdit for the Mac OS X or ecto for Windows.

To use the blogging clients, you will need to know the location of Blog@Case's XML-RPC interface and the ID of your blog. The XML-RPC interface is location at http://blog.case.edu/mt/mt-xmlrpc.cgi. To find the ID of your blog, you should log in to the service and click on your blog. When you are at the main screen: blog_id_screenshot.gif You should see in the URL and parameter that specified your blog id. Using the picture above with appropriate highlighting — https://blog.case.edu/mt/mt-ldap.cgi?__mode=menu&blog_id=28 — you can see that the blog ID is 28.

There are a lot of popular blog clients and most will be supported.

What plugins are installed?
Filler
What's a gravatar? How do I get one? How do I use them in my blog's comment section?
Filler
I have a LiveJournal account; how can I crosspost between my Blog@Case blog and my LJ blog?
Filler
When people leave comments on older entries, the comment doesn't appear. Why?
This is a mechanism to prevent spam. Spammers will, often, target old blog entries and fill them with comments. To prevent this, old entries that have not been commented on in over two days have comments set to moderate. To approve the comment, merely log in to your blog and approve the comment. All it takes is one approved comment and additional comments will go through with no problems until the entry goes inactive again for another two days.
How can people subscribe via email to my blog or to a particular entry?
Filler
What's a "LinkBlog?"

A "LinkBlog" is a section of a person's weblog that consists mostly of quickly posted links with some optional, quickly-written, short text. Contrast this to a "normal" blog entry, which is, usually, meatier; consisting of more original content. Linkblogs are where you would say, "hey, look at this!" on your blog.

Anil Dash, Vice President of Six Apart, has a good example in his daily links.

How do I create a LinkBlog?

filler

How does this connect to wiki.case.edu?

wiki.case.edu is Case's hosted Wiki environment. To create a link from a blog entry to a wiki page, just surround the word you want to link in double square brackets like:

[[EECS]]

That will end up creating a link like EECS.

You can, also, change the text that is displayed in the link by separating the name of the wiki topic and the text to be displayed by the veritical pipe character |. So, including the following text in a blog entry:

[[EECS|Computer Engineering]]

Will end up creating the link Computer Engineering.

More information on creating Wiki links can be found at CaseWiki Help.

Where can I find more information on learning and using Movable Type?

Off of Movable Type's web site, they links to their User Manual and Community Forum. However, the best place is the wonderful weblog Learning Movable Type: Tutorials and Tips for Beginners. A rundown of some of the offerings from that site:

Where can I find basic tutorials on HTML and CSS?

There is a very broad topic on which many books have been published. Though, if you are just looking for some basic proficiency to add a little extra formatting to your weblog posts, a great resource is the W3Schools Online Web Tutorials. More specifically, the HTML Tutorial and the CSS Tutorial. If you are one who likes to learn by example and experimentation, try here and here.

What's Moblogging?

"Moblogging" stands for "Mobile Blogging" — posting blog entries from your mobile phone while you're on a plane, uploading pictures from your camera phone while sitting in a cafe in NYC, or even scribbling something up on your tablet PC while you are in a meeting. Think of it as "Blogging on the Go."

What are Podcasts?

From the Podcasting entry on Wikipedia:

The term podcasting plays upon the terms broadcasting and webcasting and is derived from the name of the iPod portable music player, the playback device of choice of many early podcast listeners. While not directly associated with Apple's iPod device or iTunes jukebox software, the company did contribute both the desire and the technology for this capability. Podcasting is similar to time-shifted video software and devices like TiVo, which let you watch what you want when you want by recording and storing video, except that podcasting is used for audio and is currently free of charge. Note, however, that this technology can be used to pull any kind of file, including software updates, pictures, and videos.

In short, podcasting involves the recording of internet radio or similar internet audio programs. These recordings are then made available for download to your iPod or other portable digital audio device. You can listen to the podcast internet radio program while you are away from your computer or at a different time than the original program was broadcast.

How do I Podcast?

filler

What's WebDAV?

WebDAV is an Internet protocol just like HTTP or POP3. And, while HTTP is for transferring files and POP3 is for email, WebDAV is for creating/editing/removing files from remote Internet locations. Technically speaking, it's an extension to HTTP.

WebDAV allows a user to access an Internet site just like a person would access a hard drive (or CIFS or NFS mounted disk). It's supported by almost all common publishing software suites and operating systems including MS Office, Dreamweaver, Frontpage, Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, etc.

How do I access my web root or blog contents via WebDAV?

filler

What's del.icio.us?

del.icio.us is a bookmark management web service.

How do I use del.icio.us as my linkblog? Or, how do I integrate del.icio.us with my blog?

At the Demo Blog, there is an entry describing how to do exactly this — How to Create a LinkBlog with del.icio.us.

What's Flickr?

Flickr is on online digital photo management service. What separates Flickr is its focus on collaboration, its added features, and the ease with which the contents of your Flickr profile can be integrated with other applications (like your blog). Flickr comes with tools that let you organize your photos, perform basic editing procedures, tag/label/categorize your photos, let your friends and family label or comment on your photos, and more. They even have some very nice desktop software that make it easy to upload your photos. Sign up for a Flickr account and give it a try!

How do I use Flickr as my photo album? Or, how do I integrate Flickr with my blog?

filler

How does someone use his or her blog as the centerpiece of his or her "online identity," and what does that all mean, anyways?

People are constantly using weblogs in new and different ways. Many people are using the concept of "Integrating The Internet" centrally into their weblog by comprising their sites of many different services: del.icio.us for managing their linkblogs, Flickr for managing their photos, etc. Furthermore, many "Social Networking" tools are becoming central components to weblogs through the use of FOAF and XFN. Don't worry if you don't know what those acronyms are all about. You don't need to to start using a blog.

The point is, blogs are constantly evolving and exploring the fringe edges of technology; and for sufficiently advanced users, Blog@Case supports all those initiatives. And, it, of course, makes all the normal stuff (like posting content) as easy as possible, too.

What in the world is with all of this stuff? It all seems a little hare-brained. Does anyone need any of this? Do people find this useful?

Some people think cucumbers taste better than pickles.

No, in all seriousness, weblogs and all of their associated technologies are very new; and people are finding out new ways to use them or combine them all of the time. Some ideas end up fizzling. Some end up being nothing more than interesting. And, some end up being useful. Each person will use (or not use) his or her weblog in unique ways. A weblog is an omelette of technologies specifically tailored to how you, the user, want it. And, a simple Ham & Cheese omelette does a fine job for most. But, others who have special dietary needs, we want to make sure our service gives them the capabilities to leverage whatever ingrediants they want.

What's up with all of these nice clean URLs?

Clean URLs are nice. Clean URLs are easier to remember, easier to exchange via email or even phone calls. And, after all, clean URLs follow two very important rules: "Keep It Simple" and "Things should be as simple as possible." For more discussion on making URLs that are useable, read Cool URIs — especially this almost 10 year old document, The User Interface of URLs.

In the end, the Internet is just connected endpoints, and the URLs are how we assign human readable names to those endpoints. URLs are important.

What's up with this site's great CSS/XHTML/Semantic Markup?

We try. Thanks for noticing!

I have some more questions. Who can I contact?

Send us an email! We welcome all feedback, questions, comments, and concerns. Case Blog Administrators