Monday, November 04, 2002



A blog or web log is a personal web site made up of usually short, frequently updated posts that are arranged chronologically. The content and purposes of blogs varies greatly from links and commentary about other web sites to observations about news or politics, diaries, photos, poetry, essays, project updates, even fiction. Blogs are a fast growing segment of the web. An article in the August 26, 2002 Newsweek estimated the number of blogs at 500,000 with a new one coming online every forty seconds.


We will make the following assumptions about users who plan to follow these instructions:
  • You have a personal computer with a connection to the Internet.
  • You have a personal email account.
  • You have a moderate amount of experience using the World Wide Web.

It is not necessary to know html to maintain a blog, but it is helpful if you want to customize it.

We will use the free web-based publishing Blogger and the free blog hosting service Blogspot.


1.) Go to the web site On the right hand side of the page, about half way down you will see a blue box that says, “Sign Up,” (see Figure 1). In the corresponding blanks, enter a username and password for yourself. Confirm your password.

NOTE: Remember your username and password. Write them down if necessary.

2.) In the next screen enter your first and last name and your email address. Then click the link to read the Terms of Service, and click the checkbox indicating that you have. After entering this information, you will return to the home page as a logged in user.

3.) On the right hand side of the home page you will see a blue box that says, “Your Blogs,” (See Figure 2). To start your blog, click where it says “Create a new blog” in the blue box. After your blog has been created, you will return here to update it.

4.) You are now at a screen that prompts you to enter a title and brief description of your blog, (See Figure 3). Also it will ask you if you want this to be a public blog. Enter your title, enter your description, choose public or not, click next. A “public blog” will be listed in the Blogger directory and might appear on the recently updated list on the home page. If you choose no, your “Private Blog” will still be viewable to anyone on the internet.

5.) You are now given the option of hosting your blog at Blogspot or using Blogger to update a website hosted elsewhere, (See Figure 4). Make sure that “Host it at Blogspot.” Is selected and click next.

6.) Now you will choose an address for your blog and agree to the Blogspot terms of service, (See Figure 5). It would be a good idea to use the same address as the title you chose in step (4.)

NOTE: The address for your blog will follow the form:
Remember this address. Write it down if necessary.

The address for this set of instructions is Enter the address you would like to use in the appropriate blank, click the checkbox next to “I accept the Blogspot terms of service” and click next.

7.) This screen offers you a selection of eight templates for your blog. (See Figure 6). The template determines what your website will look like. Select one of the templates and click “Finished.” Select one of these eight right now, but you can change at any time to one of the many other templates available or even create a custom one of your own.

8.) Now you are at the Blogger interface that you will use to update your blog from now on. On this first visit, the following instructions will appear on the bottom half of the screen. I have copied and pasted them here for future reference.
Quick-Start Instructions
Posting: Enter text and/or HTML in the form field above and hit the post button in the upper right. All posts will show up here.

Saving to your server: To transfer the latest version of your blog to your web site, hit the "publish" button on the right of the black bar, above, or the "post & publish" button in the toolbar at the top. (If there are no changes since your last save, the "publish" button will not appear.)

Editing: All posts that you have permission to edit (which is all posts created by you, or, if you're an administrator of a collaborative blog, all posts) will appear with an [edit] link. To get to older posts that are not showing up in this frame, use the filter form on the right. This filter will not effect what appears on your actual blog page.

NOTE: Your blog will not be published and therefore not viewable for the public until you have published some text or html code.

Here are some examples of great blogs to draw inspiration from:
Tony Pierce
James Lileks
Andrew Sullivan
Matt Welch
Ken Layne
Talking Points memo
And Finally:
My Personal Blog