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Intro to Blogger
Each student in the class has been set up with a directory in the Deutsch im Internet web space and an account at blogger.com that will make it easy to post to a personal web log ("blog") with comments and discoveries. Here are the basics on how to use these tools.
To make an entry in your blog, go to www.blogger.com and sign in on the right side of the page under "If you have a Blogger account, please sign in." Your username is the same as your RCS userid, and your initial password will be this same string (i.e. initially your Blogger user name and password will both be your RCS userid: I'll show in class how to change the password). If you are working on your own computer, you can select "Remember me" to avoid having to sign in every time you visit Blogger (don't choose this if you are using a computer in a public lab, for example). Click the "Sign in" button and the Blogger home page will reload with the "Sign In" area replaced by "Your Blogs."
Click the "Deutsch im Internet" link in the "Your Blogs" section to bring up the page you can use to post to your blog. Type your post in the text area underneath "Post to Deutsch im Internet [userid]" (instructions on HTML markup etc. follow this section). When you are finished, click "post & publish" to submit your comments and upload the new material to your blog. Your post will vanish from the text box, reappear in the lower frame, and a window will pop up asking you for your FTP user name and password. These are your RCS userid and the password you currently use on your RPI account (i.e. not necessarily the same as your current Blogger user name and password). Publishing status will be shown in the black bar in the middle of the page; when the "last published" date is updated to the current date and time, the upload is complete: your blog has been updated.
HTML Basics: Special characters
Since we will be posting in German, sooner or later you will need to use umlauted vowels and eszetts. This is done in HTML using "escape codes": strings representing these characters. Insert them in words where the special characters need to go. Each escape code begins with an ampersand and ends with a semicolon, and the codes are case sensitive (upper- and lowercase matter):
ä = ä
Ä = Ä
ö = ö
Ö = Ö
ü = ü
Ü = Ü
ß = ß
Usage examples: Tür = Tür, Äpfel = Äpfel, schließen = schließen, größer = größer... fairly simple once you get the hang of it.
HTML Basics: Linking to pages
One of the best uses of your blog is to tell classmates about an interesting German web site you may have found. You can add links to posts to your blog using some simple HTML. Say, for example, you found the site of the Swiss newspaper Die Neue Zürcher Zeitung (http://www.nzz.ch/) and wanted everybody to know about it. You could write a little bit about the page in your Blogger text box, and to provide the link, you would insert code like this:
Ich habe die Website der schweizerischen Zeitung <A HREF="http://www.nzz.ch">Die Neue Zürcher Zeitung</A> gefunden.
Note the escape code used to get the umlauted "u." (Obviously you would write something better than this though, right?) The result of this code would be a sentence formatted like this: "Ich habe die Website der schweizerischen Zeitung Die Neue Zürcher Zeitung gefunden." Insert <A HREF="http://xyz.de"> (naturally with the appropriate URL in place of "xyz.de") where you want the link to begin, and </A> where you want it to end. Always make sure you remember the </A>, otherwise all text on your page after the initial tag will be linked.
If you have found a page with a very long and/or complicated URL, a good tactic is to copy and paste the address directly from the Internet Explorer or Netscape address bar to prevent typos. Be sure to use the HTML markup exactly as shown:
<A HREF="http://xyz.de">Text you want to serve as the link</A>
The quotes, the greater-than and less-than symbols, each character is important. Unfortunately, using incorrect HTML code will often cause problems for readers of your page, so be careful.
With this information, you should be able to get started using your blog right away. Experiment and explore, and have fun. Good luck blogging!