Blogging: Writing, Categorizing, & Commenting (on) Posts

If you’re unsure how to get started posting (blogging) on our OpenLab course site, below is a quick overview:

  • Once you’re logged into OpenLab and on our course site, you can easily make a post.
  • Simply click the plus sign (+) on the dark menubar (the admin bar) at the top of the screen, and from the dropdown menu that appears, choose “Post.”
  • You can also go to your “Dashboard” from the same top menubar, and this will take you to the “back end” (the control panel) of the site.
  • From there, you can post (in the left side menu, click “Posts” and then “Add New”) and do a number of other things.
  • Don’t forget to “Categorize” your post before submitting it (see below for more details on that), and then to “Publish” your post (if you only click “save” or “preview” it won’t be public).  Happy blogging 🙂

*A quick note about categorizing blog posts:

  • Make sure to “categorize” your posts so that the site says navigable and organized.
  • A category acts sort of like a folder for posts (or like “labels” in Gmail). It groups all posts categorized the same way together, so they can be easily accessed/archived. Without categories, everyone’s posts will just get dumped  into one general place and our course site will become very disorganized/chaotic as we produce a lot of content throughout the semester.
  • To categorize, after you finish typing your post up, choose the appropriate “Category” from the right side of the screen (e.g., after you create your “Introduction” post, you should make sure to check off “Introductions). If you forget to choose a category, you will be prompted to choose one before you are able to publish your post.
  • I won’t be able to easily locate or grade your work if it is not in the right category, so make sure to categorize correctly in order to get credit for your posts.

*Also, you should chat one another up!  How do you do this? By commenting on your classmates’ posts. Some more details about this:

  • One of the great things about the blog is its interactive, networked nature … people post, others read and make comments, and then conversations happen and ideas get exchanged!
  • Read through everyone’s posts and drop comments if you feel inspired. Your comments can serve to affirm what someone has said, ask clarifying questions, provide an alternate viewpoint, add more details, etc. You can now even leave images in comments.
  • To comment, simply type in a short comment in the “leave a reply” box at the bottom of the post.
  • You can respond either to the original post or a specific commenter (commenting on someone else’s comments).

Getting Started on the OpenLab

To sign-up for an OpenLab account, create your profile, and become familiar with the system:

  • Sign in to your City Tech email account
  • Sign up for an OpenLab account ASAP (no later than Thursday 8/27)
  • If you have trouble clicking the confirmation link in the email from the OpenLab, try cutting and pasting it into the address bar of your browser
  • Log in to the OpenLab
  • Join our course, Science Fiction (ENG 2420), by clicking on its Course Profile (here is more info. about joining courses)
  • Browse through the OpenLab (even if you’ve used it before, check it out again as there are always new sites, people, and feature), noticing how people use it and what kind of materials they include
  • Click on People & browse through a few pages of OpenLab’s 34,000+ (!!!) members, looking at the avatars and reading about the members in their profile sections
  • Now create your own profile, uploading an avatar and including a bio/profile (remember, this info. is available to the public).

Questions? If you need technical support, you should check out the (very detailed/helpful!) Help section of OpenLab, &, if you still have questions, attend an office hour or contact the wonderful OpenLab Community Team via email.