Frequently Asked Questions

On this page:

  1. Who can create a blog at MHC Web Journals?
  2. Why should I use MHC Web Journals?
  3. How do I create my blog and write my first post?
  4. What is my blog’s URL?
  5. How do I create a blog for my department, student organization, or other group?
  6. What software is MHC Web Journals using?
  7. Where can I get help?
  8. Can I change my theme or modify an existing theme?
  9. How private is my blog?
  10. Can I import my current blog to MHC Web Journals?
  11. How do I delete one of my blog entries?
  12. How do I delete my blog?
  13. How can I use categories to better organize my blog entries?
  14. What do I do if my blog receives unwanted or disturbing comments?
  15. How do I add pictures?
  16. How do I add a link to a website in my blog post?
  17. Can I copy and paste from a Word document?
  18. Who can comment on my blog?
  19. Who can write entries on my blog?
  20. Is there a limit to the number of blogs that I can have?
  21. How can I add or remove an author?
  22. Can I turn off comments or comment moderation?
  23. Are there any policies about blogs at MHC?
  24. What web browser versions and settings are required to use MHC Web Journals?
  25. How can I tell how many people are reading my blog?
  26. What is RSS/Feeds/Atom?
  27. Can I use a pseudonym or be anonymous when I write a blog post or comment?
  28. Where can I find out about copyyright laws if I'm adding pictures or videos to my blog?
  29. Where can I submit feedback about MHC Web Journals?

1.) Who can create a blog at MHC Web Journals?

MHC Web Journals is available to everyone on campus (students, faculty and staff). Five college students currently enrolled in Mount Holyoke courses may request a guest account to use MHC Web Journals. To request a Mount Holyoke College blog, whether official or non-official, please submit a blog request form.

We're able to support blogs for departments, administrative organizations, faculty research projects, faculty collaborations, student groups, student publications, classes, etc.

2.) Why should I use MHC Web Journals?

MHC Web Journals offers a quick and easy platform for publishing your work without the need to know anything about web design or publishing. Share multimedia (images, movies & podcasts) and connect with your audience with the comment features. Your audience will be able to conveniently subscribe to your content via RSS Feeds (see question #24).

MHC Web Journals as a locally hosted blog tool for the Mount Holyoke College community offers a few advantages over externally hosted blogging tools. MHC Web Journals can help you find your audience, by helping your audience find you. Locally generated quality content will automatically be added to feed aggregations which will be prominently positioned in strategic locations throughout our campus web site. Connect to the MHC community by promoting your events and work, and generate discussions across the campus. Plus, MHC Web Journals has no advertisements!

3.) How do I create my blog and write my first post?

After you login to MHC Web Journals, click on the "create new weblog" link on the main menu. This will take you to the "Create Weblog" screen, which requires you to input a name, description, and URL for your blog, which will then be created.

After you create your blog, you'll be taken to the "New Entry" page. To make composing your blog posts easier, it is recommended that you switch the "Text Editor" to "Rich Text Editor (Xinha). First click on the "Preferences" tab and you'll be taken to the "General Settings" page. Go to "Weblog editor page to be used" and switch the drop down menu to "Rich Text Editor (Xinha)." Next scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Update Weblog Settings." Then select the "Create & Edit" tab, click on "New Entry' and begin writing your first blog post.

4.) What is my blog’s URL?

All blogs have the same URL (https://pub.mtholyoke.edu/journal) except for the one word (handle) at the end after journal.

An example: the LITS (Library, Information, and Technology Services) blog URL is
https://pub.mtholyoke.edu/journal/lits

Please note you cannot change your blog’s URL after you create it.

5.) How do I create a blog for my department, student organization, or other group?

Creating a group blog is the same process as creating a personal blog. After you create the blog (see question #3) you’ll go to Preferences tab and then select the Members item. The Preferences: Menu page allows you to invite members to the group blog and manage the group blog members’ access. There are three different levels of participation for members:

Admin: an admin can create/edit blog entries and publish them on the web. They can also manage the blog by changing the theme and the permission levels of other members. When you create a blog, you are automatically an administrator.

Author: author permission allows users to create entries, edit entries and upload files. But authors cannot change weblog settings, modify the theme or manage other members.

Limited: limited bloggers can create and edit blog entries and save them as drafts, but they cannot publish them on the web. Instead, the administrator can view the drafts and then if approved publish the drafts for the limited blogger.

6.) What software is MHC Web Journals using?

We’re using Apache Roller, an open source blogging platform.

7.) Where can I get help?

Please contact the LITS Help Desk for technical assistance, email helpdesk@mtholyoke.edu or phone 413-538-2600.

8.) Can I change my theme or modify an existing theme?

The look of your blog is controlled through the use of themes. To change your theme, begin on the Main Menu page. Select Theme and you’ll be taken to the page “Select Theme for weblog.” The Shared Theme should be selected and your current theme should be showing. You may use the drop-down menu to pick another theme. You may see what your blog will look like with different themes by clicking on “See how your blog will look with this theme” and you’ll get a preview. Once you’ve made your choice, click “Update Theme.”

For those of you who know HTML, you may select “Custom Theme” and then design/customize your theme with the stylesheets and templates.

For more information on customizing a theme, please check the Roller User Guide, Section 5 - Customizing your weblog's theme.

9.) How private is my blog?

It is not private. Your blog is open to the general public since it is posted on the Internet. Also probably worth mentioning here is that the Internet has a long memory; be wise when publishing your blog entries.

10.) Can I import my current blog to MHC Web Journals?

Yes, please send an email to blog.admin@mtholyoke.edu

11.) How do I delete one of my blog entries?

Begin at the Main Menu page, and click on “entries” for your blog. You’ll be taken to the Find and Edit Entries page and you’ll see a list of all of your entries. Click “edit” for the entry that you want to delete. Once you are on the entry page, you’ll see “Delete Entry” at the bottom. It will double check that you really want to delete the entry and then it’ll be deleted from your blog. Note: once a blog entry is published it is searchable by commercial search engines (i.e. Google, etc.) and they might still find it even after you delete it. So, be sure you want to publish the entry before you click “post to weblog.”

12.) How do I delete my blog?

Go to the Preferences tab and the Settings item, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Remove Weblog.” Warning: this will delete all of the contents of the blog (entries, comments, images) so please be sure you want to do this before you delete. We are not able to recover blogs that have been deleted.

13.) How can I use categories to better organize my blog entries?

Using categories (or the subjects that your blog will discuss) allows you to organize your blog posts in a way that makes sense, in order to improve the usability of your blog. For example, your readers can display all the posts from a single category, or search within a category, or subscribe to an RSS feed (see question #24) of a particular category, etc.

When you create a blog, it comes with some pre-generated categories, but you can change these categories. In your blog's settings, the Manage Categories screen (found under Create & Edit --> Categories) allows you to add, edit, or remove categories as you see fit.

A category can only be deleted if it contains no posts. If you have any existing blog posts in a category that you try to delete, you will be prompted to move those posts to a different category before deleting the category.

14.) What do I do if my blog receives unwanted or disturbing comments?

With comment moderation turned on, you can review and accept or delete comments (see question #20). MHC Web Journals provides the technical architecture for blogging but is not responsible for monitoring user activity; please refer to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy documents for more information.

15.) How do I add pictures?

There are three steps to add a picture to a blog entry. First, you’ll need to upload your picture. Start with “New Entry” tab and go to the File Uploads item. Browse for the file that you wish to add, and after you make your selection click upload.

An important note: avoid using spaces in filenames. For example, save a file as winniethepooh.jpg instead of winnie the pooh.jpg or winnie_the_pooh.jpg.

The file will appear in the Manage Uploaded Files section. Next, you’ll need to copy the URL of that file. Click on the file and it will open in a new window. Copy the URL from the address box.

For example, the picture of the book Caucasia, has this URL https://pub.mtholyoke.edu/journal/Caucasia/resource/Caucasia.jpg.

After you have the URL of the image, you’ll want to add it to your blog entry. Go to New Entry and in the text box, you’ll see the Insert/Modify Image button:

Insert/Modify Image button

Click on the button and a window will pop up and you will paste the URL of your image into the “Image URL” box. You may preview the image or just click Ok. Congratulations you’re done and the image will appear in your blog.

Note: If you do not see the image icon, click on "Settings" and you should be taken to the "Preferences" tab and the "General Settings" page. The sixth item on the page will be "Weblog editor page to be used" and you'll need to switch the drop down menu to "Rich Text Editor (Xinha). After you've done this, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Update Weblog Settings."

16.) How do I add a link to a website in my blog post?

Go to "New Entry" and type your text in the text box. Next highlight the text (for example: FAQ) that you want to make a link and then look for the "insert web link" icon:

Click on the button and a window will pop up and you will type or paste the URL of the website that you want to direct your readers to go when they click on the word. Then click Ok and make sure to save your draft or post for the world to see.

Note: If you do not see the image icon, click on "Settings" and you should be taken to the "Preferences" tab and the "General Settings" page. The sixth item on the page will be "Weblog editor page to be used" and you'll need to switch the drop down menu to "Rich Text Editor (Xinha). After you've done this, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Update Weblog Settings."

17.) Can I copy and paste from a Word document?

Yes, you may copy text from a Microsoft Word document and paste it into your blog entry. However, this may change the font of your entry. Click on the"clear MS tags" icon (shown below) to correct.

mstags

Note: If you do not see the image icon, click on "Settings" and you should be taken to the "Preferences" tab and the "General Settings" page. The sixth item on the page will be "Weblog editor page to be used" and you'll need to switch the drop down menu to "Rich Text Editor (Xinha). After you've done this, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Update Weblog Settings."

18.) Who can comment on my blog?

Anyone can comment on your blog unless you moderate your comments, which allows you to view the comments first and then if you approve the comment it will be published on your blog. See question #20 to moderate your comments.

19.) Who can write entries on my blog?

A person may only write an entry on your blog if you give them permission. See question #5 for the different levels of participation for members.

20.) Is there a limit to the number of blogs that I can have?

Nope, create as many blogs as you want, but please be kind to our network.

21.) How can I add or remove an author?

Go to the Preferences tab and click on the Members item. On this page (Manage permissions of users in weblog) you can “Invite new member,” change a member’s permission status (See question #5), or remove a member.

22.) Can I turn off comments or comment moderation?

Yes, go to the Preferences tab and click on the Settings item. Scroll down the page to the Comments section. You can check or un-check “Allow comments for your weblog,” “Moderate comments,” (where you’ll get an email with the comment and have to approve the comment in order for it to be published on the blog), “Email notification of comments” and change the email address for comment notification.

23.) Are there any policies about blogs at MHC?

Yes, please see the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy documents.

24.) What web browser versions and settings are required to use MHC Web Journals?

It is recommended that you use the latest version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, Mozilla, Safari, Opera, Konquerer, or another standards compliant web browser. Browser cookies, javascript, and CSS must be enabled for MHC Web Journals to work correctly, and are by default in most web browsers. If you have disabled any of these functions, please refer to the documentation for that browser to re-enable them.

25.) How can I tell how many people are reading my blog?

You can see how many “hits” you have each day by looking at the Main Menu page of your blog(s). It will have “Today’s Hits.” You may also check under the Create & Edit tab, the Referrers item. This will show the Referring URL.

26.) What is RSS/Feeds/Atom?

RSS is a format for distributing Web content. When you subscribe to an RSS feed, your news reader software keeps an eye on a Web site’s feed and notifies you whenever a new article is published. If you keep tabs on a lot of Web sites, it can be a real time-saver.

You may subscribe to RSS feeds on MHC Web Journals. Just look for the “Feeds” or “Categories” on the blog and click on the one(s) that you are interested in. You’ll be taken to a page with the URL (website address) of the feed that you may then copy into your news reader (i.e. Bloglines, Google Reader, etc). You may subscribe to multiple feeds.

More information on RSS is available on Mount Holyoke College’s website.

27.) Can I use a pseudonym or be anonymous when I write a blog post or comment?

Yes, please send an email blog.admin@mtholyoke.edu for assistance in setting up an anonymous blog. To make an anonymous comment, you may simply not fill in the identifying information (name and email) when posting a comment. Please note that the blog owner may moderate comments and may decide to not display the comment.

28.) Where can I find out about copyright laws if I'm adding pictures or videos to my blog?

LITS Copyright Guidelines has links to information about copyright, and the Legal Sources for Multidmedia Projects Guide offers more resources on copyright and finding materials (audio, images, and video) in the public domain or under creative commons licensing.

29.) Where can I submit feedback about MHC Web Journals?

Please submit your feedback using the short questionnaire, MHC Web Journals Feedback.