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Dirty Wars and Democracy

Registering for a Username (Only)

1) To register your username, go to the CILC Blogs homepage, and click the Register button.

2) On the registration form, enter a username and your e-mail address, and make sure the “Just a username, please” radio button is selected.

in the case of the Dirty Wars and Democracy class, please use your avatar's gmail account NOT your account

3) Click the Next button, and you will receive an email with a confirmation link.

4) Log into your Oberlin email address (gmail for the Dirty Wars class) and click the confirmation link. Once you've clicked this link to confirm your email address, you will be provided with your initial CILC Blogs password, and can log in immediately.

5) Keep in mind that, when you sign up for a username only, your ability to do anything will be very limited until you have either created a blog for yourself or added yourself to an existing blog.

Logging into CILC Blogs

1) Go to the CILC Blogs homepage.

2) Click on the Log In button.

3) Enter your username and password into the boxes and click Log In. If you have forgotten your username or password, click the Lost your Password link and follow the instructions to change your password.

Finding Your Blogs

If you are not sure where to find the blog for your course, visit the Course Blogs page, where all current and previous course blog links are listed.

To find blogs you have created for yourself, as well as course blogs to which you have already added yourself, log into CILC Blogs and hover your mouse over the My Sites icon near the top left corner.

Adding Yourself to a Course Blog

Some courses require you to write posts directly on a central course blog. To do this, you will need to add yourself as an Author to that course blog.

1) Make sure you are logged into CILC Blogs, then visit the central blog for your course. Remember, if you are not sure where to find the blog for your course, visit the Course Blogs page, where all current and previous course blog links are listed.

2) Look for and click the “Add Me” button – it is usually on the right side of the blog homepage, near the top, but it may also be on the left, or even at the bottom of the homepage. Once you have clicked the button, the page will refresh, and your course blog will now appear under the My Sites menu.

Other Notes:

  • If you do not find the “Add Me” button, but instead see the following message: “If you want to add yourself to this blog, please log in,” this means you are not logged in. Log in and try again.
  • If you are logged in and continue to have a hard time finding the “Add Me” button, ask a classmate or your professor.
  • Once you have added yourself as an author to a course blog, you cannot remove yourself. If you drop the class or otherwise need to be removed from the course blog, contact your professor for assistance.

Accessing the Dashboard

The WordPress Dashboard is the administrative view of CILC Blogs, and serves as the hub for all of the changes you'll make, including choosing new themes, writing posts, updating your password, etc. You can create and have access to an unlimited number of blogs; each of these has its own Dashboard.

You can access your WordPress Dashboard in one of several ways:

1) When you visit the CILC Blogs homepage and log in, you will be automatically taken to the Dashboard of the first blog you created or were given permission to access.

2) If you are looking at the front page of a site on CILC Blogs, you can hover your mouse over the home icon and select Dashboard from the drop-down menu that appears.

3) When you are logged in, you can see a list of sites you have access to by hovering your mouse over the My Sites icon. Hovering over a blog's name will give you quick access to that blog's Dashboard.

4) No matter where you are, you can always add /admin to the end of your blog's URL, and that will take you to that blog's Dashboard. (If you are not logged in, you will be prompted to do so, and then taken to the Dashboard.) For example: if your blog is located at, then your Dashboard can be accessed at

Updating Your Profile

Your profile contains identifying information about you, including your display name, email address, password, and avatar. To access your profile, make sure you are logged into CILC Blogs, and look in the top right-hand corner of the browser window. You should see a welcome message, along with a small picture.

To access and/or update your profile, hover your mouse over the “Howdy” message, and click the Edit My Profile link that appears in the drop-down menu.

Updating Your Name

Most WordPress theme display information about the author of a post; by default, because CILC Blogs has very little information about you, it uses the username you created as your name. To choose how your name should be displayed throughout CILC Blogs:

1) Fill out the Name area of your profile.

2) Use the Display Name Publicly As drop-down menu to pick how others will see you.

The only box that must be filled out in this area is the nickname; if you are uncomfortable in having your real name displayed on CILC Blogs, pick a pseudonym and let your professors know what name you are using.

Changing Your Password

When you first signed up for CILC Blogs, you were given a random (and probably hard to remember) password. To update that password to something you can remember:

1) Scroll to the bottom of the Profile page.

2) Enter your new password in the New Password and Repeat New Password boxes.

3) Click Update Profile to save your changes.

The new password will take effect immediately.

Setting up your Gravatar

Many areas of WordPress display a small image next to your name (for example, in the Howdy menu in the top-right corner of the window). To update this image, you can use a free service called Gravatar (Globally Recognized Avatar). This service allows you to create an account, input one or more email addresses that you use, and then to associate pictures with those email addresses.

To change your CILC Blogs avatar:

1) Visit the Gravatar home page and sign up for an account with your email address. (Make sure you are using the exact same email address that you used to register for CILC Blogs; and might go to the same place, but Gravatar seems them as different addresses!)

2) Upload a picture (of yourself, a pet, etc) into Gravatar, and ask it to associate that image with your email address.

3) Save your changes, and within a little while, CILC Blogs will automatically begin associating the image you uploaded with your CILC Blogs account. This doesn't always happen immediately, so you may need to wait for this to happen.

Other Notes:

  • If you have trouble creating your Gravatar, try checking the Gravatar support site.
  • Gravatars are usually displayed as a small image, so for best results, use a square image in which a single subject takes up most of the space.
  • The account you create on Gravatar can also be used to access Although uses the same underlying software that CILC Blogs does, these two usernames/passwords are completely separate from one another, and are not interchangable. That said, having a account can provide you with access to a number of other features and services, so it's a good idea to create one.

Writing Posts

1) Make sure you are on the right Dashboard by looking in the menu across the top. If you are not in the right Dashboard, use the My Sites drop-down menu to go to the correct Dashboard.

2) From the left sidebar, go to Posts → Add New.

3) In the Add Post editing area, enter a title for your post. Be descriptive, but not boring! Assignment #1, Paper #1, etc are NOT good titles. You may be asked to include specific items in your post titles, so when in doubt, consult the syllabus, ask a classmate, or check with the professor.

4) Type your post into the larger text box. It's best to compose your text directly in the browser window, if possible.

5) If you've already written text in Word that you need to include in your post, click the Kitchen Sink icon near the right of the HTML editing toolbar to expand a second level of icons, then look for the clipboard with a W icon. Click the clipboard with the W icon, copy and paste your text from Word into the box that appears, then click the Insert button. This will strip extraneous formatting from your text and prevent it from breaking the site.

6) You may be asked to add certain tags or categories to your post. Scroll down the Add Post page and look for the Categories and Tags widgets on the right side.

Categories: If the category you need has already been created, you can simply check the box next to the right category. Otherwise, click the Add New Category link and enter the category name.

Tags: To see all existing tags on this blog, click the “Choose from the most used tags” link. If a tag that you want to use already exists, click on its name to apply it to your post. Otherwise, you can add tags by typing them into the box either one at a time or as a comma-separated list (e.g. summer, spring, fall) before clicking Add.

When in doubt about what categories or tags to use, consult the syllabus, ask a classmate, or check with the professor.

7) When you are finished, find and click the Publish icon near the top of the right sidebar. Your post will now appear on the site.

course-tutorials/spring-2014/relg-270-islam-at-oberlin.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/16 14:42 by Barbara Sawhill