Trackback Test

The purpose of this entry is for all of us to practice creating a blog entry on our individual sites, in such a way as to create a link from the new page back to this page, and from this page back to the new page that comments on it.

Imagine if you read something in a book, then pulled out a piece of your own paper and jotted down a note about it.  Somebody else who came along and read the same book would never know that a piece of paper exists somewhere with your thoughts on it.

Blogging can seem lonely and pointless unless other people read and respond to what you have written. So follow these steps, and you'll draw more readers to your writing.

  1. Go the blog entry for the individual reading or topic that you want to post about. If the URL at the top of your browser reads something general like "" or "" then click on the title of the blog entry, or click on the word "permalink."  The URL of that page should look something like "" (with some words at the end).
  2. Copy the permalink (click inside the box where the address is displayed, select all the text, and copy it... you can use your web browser's "Edit" menu, or you can type CTRL-A to select all and CTRL-C to copy.)
  3. Go to and log in, using FirstnameLastname as the ID and Firstname as the default password.
  4. You should see a screen with a black bar on the top. If you see "New Media Journalism @ Seton Hill," click the triangle next to it and select your name. When you see your name at the top of the screen, click the "Write Entry" button.
  5. On the "Create Entry" screen, give your new entry a meaningful title. (For now, it can just be "Testing," but in the future this should be something catchy and significant -- not "Chapter 2 Homework" or "Hamlet," but instead something specific and interesting like, "Hamlet is perfectly sane -- it's that Polonius guy who's nuts.")
  6. In the area beneath "Body," create a link that points back to this page.
    1. Type a few meaningful words. For today it can just be "link" or "test," but if you are writing about Hamlet, you should type the word "Hamlet."  You can be more specific than that, if you wish.
    2. Select the words, and click the link button (it looks like three chain links, between the S and the envelope icon). Paste the URL that you saved when you were on the course website. (You can use your browser's Edit menu, or type CTRL-V.)
    3. Press OK. The text will still be selected, so it won't look like a link, but if you press an arrow key or click somewhere with the mouse, you will see that it is blue and underlined.
  7. Write the rest of your entry
    1. Usually, it should include a brief quote from the assigned readings, or a link to a classmate's blog entry, or a link to something you found elsewhere on the internet. (If this is an "Agenda Item" homework assignment, you need a brief quote from the assigned readings and a brief statement of what you would talk about if called on in class.)
    2. Links are what makes blogs work -- they are like currency; the more you link to stuff that you like, the more traffic that those good sites get. If you are generous with links to your peers, they are more likely to repay you by posting links to your work.
    3. Your blogging will be more meaningful and useful if you really are part of a community that seeks out and encourages insight and analytical creativity.)
  8. Save your entry.
    1. Your blog will churn away for a while... you should see a message about "Pinging" various sites, and then a green box that says "Your entry has been saved."
    2. If you see a yellow box with a message like "Trackback Error" or "unblessed reference" or  "no result columns to bind" or any manner of weird stuff, don't panic. This blogging software was just released a few weeks ago, and it may still be a little buggy, but the core functions work well. Your blog actually auto-saves your work every few minutes.
    3. If you're not ready to publish your work -- let's say you're in the middle of a paragraph and you get interrupted, you can change the "Publishing Status" to "Unpublished," and click SAVE.  Your work is saved, but not published. Later you will be able to go back to that entry, finish it, change the "Publishing Status" to "Publish," and SAVE it again.
  9. Check your entry.
    1. Below the green box you should see "View published entry." Click on it, and you should see your new entry.
    2. If you ran into a problem, try the "Preview" button first, and then after you see what your page will look like, click "Save Entry."
    3. If your blog doesn't seem to be working properly, look for an icon that looks like two curved arrows (to the right of the "Preferences" triangle and to the left of an icon that looks like a web page).  This is the Publish Site button.  When you click it you will see an option to Publish All Files. Click on Publish, and in a few seconds you should see a link you can click on to visit your blog.
  10. Check your Trackback.
    1. Click the link that you created, in order to view the course website devoted to the topic you were blogging about.
    2. Now the page on the course website should include a link that points to the entry you just created. (There is now a two-way link between your blog an the course blog, which is extremely important for the development of an online discussion.)
    3. If for some reason the link failed, you can always post a comment on the course blog, inviting readers to come to your blog to see what you just wrote. (In that comment, include the permalink of the page you just created, not the URL of your blog's homepage.)
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