FAQ

What is a Blog?

Watch this video!

Why should I use the blog service at the UMass Boston?

Using UMass Boston’s blog service allows our IT staff to better support you, as we have admin access to your blog and can help if you are having problems.

I already have a blog. Can I import my blog entries to UMass Boston’s blog?

Yes, WordPress supports the following blog services to import from Blogger, LiveJournal, Movable Type, TypePad, and several others, including any RSS feed.

To import your blog, follow these steps:

  1. On your blog’s dashboard, click “Tools
  2. Click on “Import
  3. Choose the type of blog you wish to import from.

You can also export your UMB blog entries to your personal blog if you wish.

What is my blog’s web address?

Your personal blog’s web address (URL) is http://blogs.umb.edu/[UMB email Username] For example: http://blogs.umb.edu/john.smith004

How can I change the name of my blog?

You can change the name of your blog by logging onto: blogs.umb.edu and selecting the settings tab in the upper right corner. You’ll see the Blog title name in the first field which you can simply delete and retype it. You can not change the name of your personal blog

What are blog avatars and account avatars?

Your account avatar will appear on your blog dashboard, and next to blog comments you make on some themes. Your blog avatar will appear in the “Blog Avatar” widget if you add it to your blog, and will also appear by default on some blog themes.

How do I change my blog and/or account avatar?

Blog Avatars

  1. From your blog dashboard you will see “Settings” in the sidebar
  2. Click “Blog Avatar”
  3. Choose an image file and click “upload

Account Avatars

  1. From your blog dashboard you will see aMy Account” box with your username, display name, and email
  2. Click “Change Avatar
  3. Choose an image file and click “upload

How much does it cost?

This service is free and available to all active UMass Boston students, and to current and retired faculty and staff.

What version of WordPress are you using?

We are currently using WordPress 3.4.0

What is a group or shared blog?

A group blog is a blog shared by several authors who already share a club, department, or organizational e-mail account. Because the UMass Boston Blog network is authenticated against our e-mail server, members use the same username and password as their shared e-mail account to access their blog. Please note that when a group member group leaves, it is the responsibility of the remaining members to change the e-mail password for their account.

How do I request a group or shared blog?

Group blogs are available to clubs, departments and organizations who have a shared e-mail account. If your group doesn’t already have a shared e-mail account then you must request one by filling out this form: MS Exchange e-mail form. Within a day or two of the creation of your shared e-mail account you will be able to access your group blog by logging on with the username and password for the shared account.

How can I change my blog password?

Your blog password is the same as your UMB e-mail password; when you change your e-mail password your blog password is changed too.

Students and student groups can change e-mail passwords by visiting http://webmail.umb.edu and selecting the change password links.

Faculty, staff and department e-mail passwords can be changed by logging onto http://email.umb.edu and then selecting “Options”.

I can’t remember the password for my individual blog. Can I reset it?

Your BlogNetwork password is the same as your UMass Boston e-mail password. If you can’t remember what it is the IT Service desk can help! Located on the 3rd floor in the Healey Library, walk-in hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm EST. You can also phone them at 617-287-5220 or send an email to ITservicedesk@umb.edu. Phone and email coverage is 8:00am to 6:00pm EST

I can’t log onto the UMass blog network. Where can I get help?

The UMass Boston IT Service desk can help you. Contact info is posted above.

What file types can I upload and attach to a blog post?

You can upload and attach a variety of file types including: .avi, .pdf, .doc, .docx, .gif, .csv, .mid, .midi, .mov, .mp3, .ppt, .pps, .jpg, .jpeg, .wmv and .xls, .xlsx.

What limits are set for files and my blog?

Files up to 1 MB can be attached to a blog. Currently a 20 MB limit is allocated for each blog account.

How long after graduation will I have access to my blog?

Students will be able to access their blogs up to 6 months after graduation. Go to http://umb.edu/it/policies for more information.

How can I tell if anyone is reading my blog?

Look at installing the Google Analytics plugin on your blot. This free counter is relatively easy to set up. Just follow the instructions.

I would like to have a private blog, where access is blocked by a username and password. Is this possible?

Yes, you can opt to keep each post in your blog private and password protected. You will see this option under the” Write” tab.

Are there any rules I should be aware of?

Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by UMass Boston or any UMass Boston-affiliated entity. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of UMass Boston.

What is a ‘Permalink’?

Permalink is short for ‘Permanent Link’. It the of URL you can use if you want to cite a Blog post for an Article or paper.

What is the citation format for UMass Boston blogs?

There are a number of different formats for citing a blog post, the APA format which is widely used at UMass Boston is includes the blog author, date of post, subject link (if available), title of Site, url and date of access for example:

Motley, K. (Dec. 4, 2008) Commencement 2009 Speaker, UMass Boston Blog Network retrieved on Dec. 5, 2008 from http://www.blogs.umb.edu/KeithMotley

What are tags?

Tags are one-word descriptors that you can assign to your bookmarks on Delicious to help you organize and remember them. Tags are a little bit like keywords, but you choose them yourself and they do not form a hierarchy.

What is a tag cloud?

A tag cloud is simply a way to view a group of tags in a denser way than a list would ordinarily allow. Since tag clouds arrange tags both horizontally and vertically, you can see more tags with less scrolling. They can be sorted both alphabetically and by size, and we employ some visual cues such as text sizing and bolding to represent more often used tags.

Why do I suddenly see an “Akismet” notification when I log in to my blog?

We have installed efficient filtering software to stop spam on UMass Boston blogs. But, for legal reasons, each individual user must enter the API key to activate this service on her own blog.

How do I add an incoming RSS feed to my blog?

Two widgets are available for displaying incoming RSS feeds: the default RSS widget, and “RSS Just Better.” Both work equally well, but “RSS Just Better” allows for more control over how the feed is displayed.

  1. From your Dashboard, navigate to Appearance > Widgets, then drag and drop the RSS or RSS Just Better widget onto one of your sidebars.
  2. Configure the widget’s options so that it displays the right RSS feed and formatting for your blog, then update.

I would like to format a blog post, but don’t know HTML. Can I do that?

Our blog system is designed to be user friendly. However, should you experience difficulty while editing blog post text on the website, the reason may be that you are not using our Visual Editor.

If, while editing a blog post, you see a blank in the area circled in red on the screen shot (above), you have not yet activated the Visual Editor and will need to do so.

  1. From your Dashboard, navigate to Users > Your Profile.
  2. Under the Personal Options header uncheck the box next to “Disable the visual editor when writing”.
  3. Update the your profile by clicking the Update Profile button at the bottom of the page.

When you return to your blog post, the “Visual” and “HTML” Tabs should now appear. Using the Visual Editor, users can cut and paste text in from Microsoft Word documents while retaining much of the original formatting.

What’s the difference between Categories and Tags?

How can I add video and audio to my blog?

How can I embed video from video website into my post?

How to insert image into your post?

How to add a photo gallery into your post?

How to insert document, PDFs, and PowerPoint into your post?

How to upload file into media library?

How to enhancing posts with embedded media?

How to embed tools and widgets into sidebar?

How to insert a link in post?

How to add tags and categories post?

How can I suggest a question?

You may send them (along with any comments/suggestions you have, or problems you encountered) by e-mailing them to: blog.admin@umb.edu .

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