5 Steps to a TDL Scholarly Blog

The following steps provide a basic path to getting your TDL Scholarly Blog set up. For more details, consult the TDL Wiki and the documentation provided by WordPress.
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1. PREPARE.

Before you begin, take the time to do the following preparatory tasks:

  • Think about how you will use your blog: What is the focus of your blog? How many authors will be writing for the blog? Will you allow commenting, and if so, will you want to moderate comments?
  • Consult the WordPress documentation on the TDL Wiki and the WordPress site.
  • Consider your customization needs: Will using one the supplied WordPress “themes” be sufficient or will you need to create a new theme or logo? (Blog owners are responsible for customization beyond the pre-packaged themes supplied by TDL.)
  • Consider attending a TDL training session on using WordPress or contact your institutional librarian to see if WordPress training is offered on your campus.

2. CLAIM A BLOG.

Email support@tdl.org with the following information:

  • Provide the following information:
    • Name of the blog
    • URL slug (a short string of text that will identify your blog in the web address)
    • Name and e-mail address of the blog’s manager

    Or you may fill out this form to request a blog. Either way, a TDL staff member will be in touch quickly to help you set up your blog.

3. SET UP THE BLOG.

  • Log in to your blog.
  • Choose a theme: The TDL provides many pre-packaged themes that alter the look-and-feel for your blog. To find the available themes, look under Appearance  => Themes on your blog Dashboard.
  • Configure discussion settings: Decide whether you will allow commenting on your blog posts and under what conditions. On your blog dashboard, go to Settings => Discussion and use the checkboxes to set up the blog’s commenting features.
  • Add pages: You may want to add static content about your blog or yourself by creating web pages in addition to the one on which your blog entries appear. To add pages of content (such as “About” or “Contacts”), go to Pages  => Add New on your site’s Dashboard. Enter a title for the page and the page’s main content and click Publish.
  • Create a blogroll: One of the great things about blogs is their ability to create conversation with other bloggers. One way to do this is to create a blogroll, or list of other blogs and sites that are related to the topic of your blog. A new TDL Blog will have a default list of links under the blogroll. To add or alter these links, go to Links on your blog’s Dashboard. From here you can add a new link and edit or delete existing ones.

4. EXPLORE AND ACTIVATE PLUGINS.

  • Plugins are tools that add custom functionality to your blog, such as the ability to include a discussion forum, generate a sitemap, or automatically send your posts to Twitter.
  • TDL provides a number of plugins that you can turn off or on, depending on your needs. You can see a list of plugins available with a TDL Blog in the TDL Wiki.
  • To view and activate (or deactivate) plugins, go to the Plugins section on your site’s Dashboard.

5. POST A BLOG ENTRY.

  • On your blog’s Dashboard, click “Add New” under “Posts.” Enter the title and blog entry in the provided fields, and click Publish. It’s that easy!
  • If you want to keep your posts organized by topic or keywords, you can add categories (for broad groupings) and tags (for more specific terms).
  • Once you have a first post, keep blogging by adding new posts. Each new post will appear at the top of your blog.