March 31, 2008

the magic of RSS

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, will make your life much easier because it will help move all the various things you need to check for this class into one place. I use an aggregator called Bloglines to read 135 blogs each day -- a number I could never keep up with if I was clicking on them individually. You can use one to manage less links than that. Like, oh, say, for instance, keeping up with a certain grad group blog. You don't need to know code or even how this works in order to set it up. Seriously.

Here's a screenshot of what a typical RSS reader interface looks like while you're using it.

Here is a pretty good one-page intro to RSS. Here is a quick little tutorial.

Here is a link to Bloglines, which will aggregate anything with a feed, not just blogs.
Here is a link to Google Reader.
NetNewsWire, a premium reader, is now offering a free lite version.
If you use Safari or Firefox, they also have built-in aggregators. Checking the Help pages will, well, help you with that.

March 11, 2008


Here’s a short rundown of what’s going on over there on the right-hand sidebar. All of it is just for you smart, smart people, and as always, we welcome feedback.

Meta: Pretty self-explanatory, really. All the administrative stuff: link to the department, to policies we never need, to the UThink sign-in, and to other WritLife web presences. Which reminds me: If you're not on Facebook yet, come on in and join the WritLife group! It's where we post a fair amount of resources and events, and it’s a good place to build a portable social network you can take with you when you get your dream job. (When you register, make sure you join the Minnesota network. That way we can invite you to the group.)

Flickr Badge: A random selection of photos from the Writlife Flickr Group. If you’re on Flickr, just let us know that you’d like an invitation to the group and we'll send you one. If you’re not on Flickr, think about joining. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s a great way to share photos — especially with us here.

The Stories of Us: This is a space to link to individual grad students’ spaces on the web. We’re hoping this section will be well-populated, so if you’ve got a blog or other webbish thing you’d like us to link, let us know where you are.

Academic and Productivity Blogs: Right now, this section skews heavily toward academic productivity and professionalization. (Adventures of a CC Dean and Reassigned Time skew heavily toward the latter and are often worth your time.) I’ve also included a few links to early- and early/mid-career Rhetoric scholars and one other individual grad blog. There aren’t any links to Comp blogs right now simply because I’m not sure which ones to link, so if you know of one you’d like to see there, let us know. The blogroll should reflect all aspects of our disciplinary interests.

Minnesotaness: A short list of local blogs, citizen journalism outlets, and more traditional media sources. Hopefully, this section will broaden those of us who have been here for a bit as well as provide a resource list for grads who are new to the Twin Cities.

Resources: Places around the U that can come in handy.

Enjoy! And if there are other things you’d like to see, just pipe up in the comments.

(Oh, and a note about comments: the UThink system automatically requires comment approval in order to cut down on spam. So if you see that your comment is awaiting approval, please don't rage against the hegemony of it all -- at least not for the first five minutes. One of the community tech team members will approve it as soon as we can.)

March 8, 2008

Tell us where you are, eh?

If you maintain a blog or other webbish thing you’d like us to add to the “Stories of Us”section of the sidebar, just let Krista, Greg, or Marnie know. Or heck, you can just leave a comment on this post. We’ll be happy to link it up.

February 29, 2008

Posting an entry in 4 easy steps

Since a few of us are new to blogging shenanigans, here are some quick instructions on how to publish your immortal words.

1. You’ll begin by logging on to Uthink, the U's blog system, at You can also just click on the "UThink" link at the top of our sidebar over there on the right. That'll take you to a screen that looks like this:

UThink Login

The log-on link is over on the left-hand sidebar right under the words "About UThink." Once you’ve logged on, you’ll see the main MoveableType menu. Your screen probably won't have all of the same blogs that mine does, but it’ll look more or less like this:

Changing names in MT 1

2. Then you just go to the WritLife blog and click on "create a new entry on this weblog." That’ll take you to a screen that looks like this:

Create New Entry screen

3. Then you can either compose directly in the window or copy/paste over from whatever word processing program or text editor you like to write in.

4. When you’re done, click the "save" button at the bottom of the screen. Et voila! You’ve posted on WritLife!

February 25, 2008

editorial policy

This is a professional space. By all means, please be funny and human and irreverent — but please remember that everything we post here is public and Google-able. All of it reflects on us individually and as a group.

The Community Tech Team may lightly edit your post for usability and searchability, not content. That is, we might add in links, bold topic sentences in instructional posts, etc. Your contributions will never be edited for content or meaning, but if your content is inappropriate you will be asked to to pull the post. In particular, this is not a space for airing dirty laundry. This is a space to create a positive, strong community that each of us can benefit from and contribute to throughout our professional lives.

Comments Policy

There's really no need to say this, but just in case:

Comments are welcome and encouraged, and we hope this space will encourage lively conversations. Respectful disagreement is part of the game. However, obnoxious or inappropriate comments will be removed. After all, this is a public space that reflects on all of us. Also, anonymity breeds jackassery: please sign your comments.