University of Southern California

Site Tour

Getting Started

To log in, click on the — you guessed it — Log In button at the top of the page.

If you’re logging into this version of the blog for the first time, you’ll need to reset your password. Click on “Forgot Password” on the login page and you will be emailed a reset.

If you’re not a member of the site (look for yourself here to find out), you can sign up for a guest account by clicking the appropriately-named Sign Up button. You’ll need a email address in order to become a member.

Profile Management

This version of the site uses BuddyPress, a WordPress plugin that enables all sorts of cool features, such as front-end profile management.

To view your profile, you can click on your avatar/name on the People page (or anywhere else it appears on the site). You can also use the drop-down menu at the top of the screen, which is accessible to you once you’re logged in. Click on My Account -> Activity to see how your public profile looks.

It should look something like this:

You can edit your profile by clicking Edit Profile. You can also change your avatar without leaving the site using the cropping tool…

…and you can modify other things, like your email address, password, and so on:


This site uses the same WordPress blogging interface as the previous one. Once you’re logged in, you can write new posts and manage your old ones by clicking on the Dashboard link at the top of the screen.


If you need to make a blog post for a course, simply tag the post with the course’s number, e.g. 511.

You can access course blog archives via the Courses page.


The Backchannel is a way to share quick thoughts and links with other students and faculty, both during and outside of class.

Once you’re logged in, you can easily post updates through the input box on the Backchannel page. Your posts will appear in real-time on the screen of anyone else who happens to be looking at the Backchannel. You can filter what you see in the Backchannel (and on any member’s individual profile) using the filter drop-down: limit your view to blog posts only, or see all the public activity by using the “No Filter” setting.

Links to YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr and other media sharing services will automatically embed the media into the Backchannel stream. You can also use #hashtags and @username mentions.

If you want to post code snippets to the Backchannel, put your code between backticks (the left-leaning quote mark on the tilde key at the upper left corner of your keyboard).


Groups are a way to filter the Backchannel. The Backchannel displays all the activity going on across the site, including anything being posted to a particular Group. Individual Group pages, on the other hand, like this one, only show the activity updates that have been posted to that Group. Groups also allow you to share documents and set up web forums.

You can access the Groups directory through the sidebar on the Backchannel page, through your profile, or via the drop-down at the top of the page:

The Groups directory looks like this:

From here you can join and leave Groups, as well as search Groups or browse them by tag. You can create Groups of your own, too…Create a Group to help coordinate work on a project, or to facilitate topic-specific conversation in a class.


We want to keep developing this site and adding more features…and we want you to help us do that. Join the conversation about how to keep improving our information systems by joining the Website Dev Group.