How to Use the Blog

The Purpose of this Blog

As graduate students in political science, we can only be helped by sharing experiences, tips, advice, and general information pertaining to the pursuit of knowledge. Of course, many of us have day-to-day contact with one another, and as such are given many opportunities to help each other out in this pursuit.

That being said, the internet affords students an increased ability to collaborate, discuss, or simply share tidbits of knowledge. That is the purpose of this blog—to provide another forum for the advancement of each other’s academic pursuits.

How to Use the Blog

Student Pages — You will notice a menu on the main page entitled “Graduate Students.”  If you place your mouse over it, a dropdown menu contains the names of all students currently enrolled in the program.  Each student has their own page that can be used to post information about your research interests, past and current work, or anything else applicable to your academic pursuits. Provided is a simple template for the entry of information. However, don’t feel reined-in by this template; feel free to edit as you see fit.

Additionally, one can also navigate to a specific colleague’s web site and post information that might be useful to that person. Questions will also work. These are just ideas; this blog should provide an endless array of opportunities for the sharing of knowledge.

The Main Page — The main page can be used for any number of purposes. For example, if you come across a web site, news article, or other nugget of useful (or interesting) information,feel free to post it on the main page. This doesn’t need to be anything too complex, a simple description of the site and a link will suffice. On the other hand, if you hope to foster deliberation or discussion, feel free to include more information, thoughts, etc. The sky is the limit.

For Those New to Blogs

If you aren’t technically inclined, or just aren’t familiar with the way WordPress (the blog site this is hosted by) does things, good information can be found at their support site. You can also ask me (Jake) by finding me in my office, or through an email.

Using the blog is actually quite simple.  First, you must register as a User (see below).  Then, if you wish to post on the main page, simply click the ‘new post’ button at the top of the page. Doing so will bring up a text box where one can type what they want to type.

Commenting on posted items is also simple: simply click the ‘comment’ link that is found below the title of the post. Or, if you find yourself wanting to comment on a user’s page, simply fill in the text area at the bottom.

It’s a bit rough to start with, but hopefully with time all graduate students will post, discuss, collaborate, and become enlightened through the modern wonder that is blogging.

If you wish to address the entire graduate student group, post on this main page. Conversely, if you wish to comment on another student’s page, do so on their particular page. Click around. Hopefully as students add info to their pages, we’ll be able to discover each other’s interests, maybe comment or help each other out and whatnot.

Finally (more may be added later), see the ‘RSS’ symbol in the address bar of your browser? Clicking this will add an update feed to our browser/RSS reader. Thus, one could get constant updates from this main page. This page at Wikipedia should provide some illumination for those not privy to the wonderful world of RSS feeds.

Registering

To gain publishing power on this blog, do the following:

1. Go to wordpress.com and sign up for a free account. It will ask you whether you want a blog or not. Click ‘account only,’ unless you want your very own blog.

2. Comment on this post (click ‘comment’ at the top of this post) and enter the email address attached to your account so that I can add you as an editor of this blog.

3. Next, you can go to your own page in the dropdown list and edit your information page. I’ve provided a bit of a template, but don’t feel hemmed-in by it; make your page however you wish.

4. You can create a post by clicking the ‘post’ link at the top of the page (in dark grey). You have to be logged-in to do so. I would recommend that general questions and announcements be posted on this main page. Conversely, specific postings can go on the relevant student’s page.

5. If you have any questions, you can shoot me (Jake) an email. Additionally, thewordpress support page has quite a lot of info as well.

2 Responses to How to Use the Blog

  1. Thomas Flannery says:

    Jake,

    Hi, I am a new graduate student and just signed up as a wordpress member. My account name is “majorvonaffen” and my e-mail is “Tomflan007@aol.com” . Thanks for your presentation today at the orientation meeting.

    Thomas “Tom” Flannery

  2. Tim Collins says:

    Here’s my comment.

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