Learning Exercise

Create a Current Events Weblog (Blog)

This assignment provides a step-by-step description of how to create a web page that has current headline news items that are hotlinks to the full text articles on the Internet. The user can also add comments or assignments related to the news stories in the same web page.
Course: any course in which current events are important, such as political science, international relations, finance, information technology, etc.; also courses on web site development

NewsBlogger is an automated service that instructors can use to incorporate news headlines, and their own comments or... see more


Note that this assignment was created for the Beta 0.2 version of NewsBlogger, which was released at the start of August 2000. The user interface and mechanics of use of the site will probably change significantly in the following weeks and months. Be prepared to make some adjustments to the details of this assignment.

Creating a Weblog (Blog)

  1. Use an FTP program to go to your web page hosting account on an Internet server. Write down the Host Name/Address, the User ID, and Password for this account.
  2. Use the FTP program to log on to your hosting account. Use the MkDir command button to create a subdirectory for the weblog page you will be creating. Write down the name of this subdirectory.
  3. Go to the BLOGGER website at http://www.blogger.com/. Read through the material on this site to develop an understanding of what weblogs are, and how they can be used.
  4. Use the SIGN UP input boxes on the lower right of the screen (may have to PgDn to see them) to create an account. Fill in your contact information on the following screen. (You should to use the link to check the Terms of Service before you click the Enter button.) The next time you use BLOGGER, you can use the SIGN IN input boxes.
  5. On the right side of the screen that comes up, click on the blue button for Create a New Blog.
  6. In the new window that opens, type in the Title you want to show for this weblog on the title bar at the top of the browser. Also type in the Description of the purpose of this weblog.
  7. Type in the Blog URL (the URL or website address of your weblog will be http://(address of your website)/(subdirectory you created in step 2)/(blog filename) For example, suppose you have an account at "www.isp.com," your account name is "me," the subdirectory is "weblog," and the blog filename is "blogger.html." Then the Blog URL will be http://www.isp.com/me/weblog/blogger.html
  8. Decide whether you want a Public Blog,which will be publicized on the Internet, or one that you only wish to share with selected people. Select Yes or No in the drop down input box.
  9. For FTP server, enter the Host Name/Address that you identified in step 1.
  10. For FTP path, enter the name of the subdirectory you created in step 2, followed by a / (slash). For example, if your subdirectory is weblog, enter weblog/
  11. You can use the default of blogger.html as the Blog filename, or change it if you wish. Then click the Create blog button.
  12. Read the instructions in the lower part of the window that comes up. Then enter an introductory message in the upper Post to (weblog name) section. You can use HTML tags, such as <p> for a new paragraph, <br> for a new line, etc. to format your message. You can click the Publish button at the top right of the screen when you want to upload the inputs to your server.
  13. In the new window, enter your UserName (User ID) and Password that you identified in step 1 for your FTP account. Then click the Login button.
  14. Wait until the FTP upload is completed (you will see messages on the right side of the bar on the middle of the screen). You can then use the blue Edit link on the left of the lower half of the screen to modify the message you just posted, or the Post to (weblog name) to add another message in the same way as the first message.

Adding News Article Links to Your Weblog

  1. Go to the NewsBlogger website at http://www.newsblogger.com/. Read through the material on this site to develop an understanding of how to add news headlines, with your comments, to the weblog you just created.
  2. In the Sign In section on the lower right of the screen, enter the UserName and Password you just created for BLOGGER.
  3. Use the input box in Section 1 on the top left of the screen to search Moreover's Headline Database, or Select a Category from the drop down list.
  4. Click on one of theheadlines that come up in Section 2 on the left side of the screen. Then view the contents of the article in Section 3 on the top right of the screen.
  5. If the article is what you want, add an appropriate comment or assignment in the Section 4 input text area on the lower right of the screen. You can place your comment before and/or after the hotlink to to article that is now in the text area. You need to use HTML tags, such as <p> or <br> to create new paragraphs or new lines or otherwise format your comments.
  6. Click the Post Only button below the text area to add this item to the temporary storage area for your weblog. (If you have more than one weblog, you will need to select the one that will receive the message.)
  7. You can add more articles in the same way. Be sure to click the Post button after entering your comment for each additional article.
  8. After you have as many articles as you want, go back to the BLOGGER website at . http://www.blogger.com/. Then click on the name of your Blog (red button on the right side of the screen.
  9. View your Blog. Use the blue Edit link if you want to modify any of your messages.
  10. When you are satisfied with your Blog, click on the Publish button on the middle of the right side of the screen, and follow the same steps as you did to FTP your original message to the server.
  11. Use the View web page link in the center of the left side of the screen to view your Blog. You can go back to the previous screen and make changes as desired. (If your web page doesn't come up, you may need to click on the Settings link at the top left of the screen to view and possibly modify your URL or FTP settings.)
  12. Your weblog will be at http://(address of your website)/(subdirectory you created in step 2)/(blog filename). You can give this link to those you want to see the page and/or hotlink it from another page in your web site.


Technical Notes

requires computer with web browser and FTP software; also web page hosting at an ISP or on a school server


computer, web browser, FTP software, basic HTML tags


current events; web page development

Type of Task

Learning Objectives

students will demonstrate knowledge of selected current news items in classroom discussions and/or in written assignments.