- CONTINUING ED
- PUBLIC PROGRAMS
- COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Can anyone at Otis start a blog?
Yes. The Otis Blogosphere Community is where you go to start an Otis blog. You will find policies and instructions. Anyone within the Otis Community may participate. You'll need an Otis email account to sign up. For directions on how to set up a Blog at Otis, you may also go here.
You only need one account for the Otis Blogs, i.e. any site with the URL http://blogs.otis.edu. You may choose your own username. We recommend that you use your email username or a variation; this will make it easier for readers (especially faculty members) to know who has written the post or comment.
If you want to move your old blog to the new system, please follow these directions. If you have any trouble, please reply in the Support Forum topic.
Is there any support available to users of the blog system?
Yes, there is support from the staff of the Library and the TLC. Also check out the Help section of the Otis Blogosphere Community and the Support Forum.
If you have any questions or comments about the service please email hcleary(at)otis.edu. Please also try to find answers to your questions using the WordPress help and forums. Library staff are also more than happy to give a presentation to any group that wants to learn more about blogging and managing blogs.
What is a weblog or blog?
A blog is a website updated frequently with links, commentary and anything else you like. Posts are usually listed in reverse chronological order.
Why is Otis hosting blogs?
Blogs are an excellent tool to rapidly dissiminate information as well as discuss opinions, issues, and ideas. In many ways, it is a easy method to create a personal website.
Who can use the service?
Anyone with an active Otis email address may set up an account and start blogging! The service is for faculty, staff, and students of the Otis.
Why should I use the blog service at Otis? Why not Blogger or WordPress.com?
You are free to use whatever blogging system you wish. However, our system will not insert advertising. We may also promote you in our list of Otis blogs.
How can I move my blog from Blogger or WordPress.com to the Otis blog service?
Basically, you will export your existing blog into an XML file, and then import it into Otis blog space. Although simple in principle, it can be quite complicated in practice. Each blog site, though, structures its information differently, so you will need to find directions specific to your current blog host. Information on importing data from some popular sites is available from the WordPress Importing Content page.
Information is also available within the Otis blogspace within the Tools - Import section of the Admin module. You may need to get help from your current blog host on how to export your data. The Library will gladly help you with this process. Just contact us.
What are some specific ways I can use blogs at Otis?
People use blogs for all sorts of things. Here at Otis, English teachers are using blogs for journalling. Various departments are using blogs as as a means of communicating with students. Some staff are using blogs to publish news about their areas. And faculty are publishing blogs about best teaching practices for other faculty.
You may decide to set up a blog to track areas of research or interests, web sites about a particular topic, or happenings in a particular field. With the categorization functionality of WordPress software, you can quickly and easily manage entries. In addition, each blog comes with its own search engine so you can quickly find past entries.
How much control do I have over my blog? Can I edit entries I make?
You have complete control over your blog. You may add, edit, or delete any entries you make into your blog. You may also delete your entire blog if you feel that is necessary. You may also change the appearance of your blog by choosing from a limited number of themes. If you use the MistyLook theme, you can change the header image.
How long can I have access to my blog?
The College intends to provide access to a blog as long as the blog owner is at Otis and perhaps after graduation as well. If you wish, the content may be migrated to another service at a later time.
I’ve been writing in my blog for a while and no one is reading it.
There are many things you can do to increase the readership of your blog. One way is to tell your family and friends that you have a blog. Blogs are an excellent way to keep your loved ones informed about what you are up to. Another way to get people to read your blog is to link to other blogs you are interested in. Then tell those blog owners that you have linked to them and ask for a reciprocal link. They don’t have to if they don’t want to, but sometimes they will link back to you. You should definitely add your blog to the blog directories like Technorati. Don’t expect hundreds of visitors and comments just because you started a blog. It takes time to build an audience.
Is there a recommended theme for the Otis blogs?
Yes, the TwentyTen theme. Besides having a clean look, you can upload a custom image for the header. The original image has been replaced with an image of Otis students. When uploading the image, make sure that it is exactly 940 x 198 pixels.
Can I suggest a theme?
Yes. If you find a theme you would like in the WordPress themes directory, please contact the blog administrator (email@example.com). She will let you know if the theme is chosen.
Where can I get more information about blogging?
Blogs in Plain English - Excellent introduction
Can I see some examples of Otis blogs?
The "O" Observed by Marc Meredith, Director of Admissions
Otis Fit to Print, by Nancy Jo Haselbache, Assistant Professor, Fine Arts Department
Where are guidelines for what is appropriate to post in OSpace?
Guidelines for Publishing to Otis Web Spaces