Public and administrative sides
From Georgetown University Commons Knowledge Base
The public-facing side is the simpler of the two; this side is essentially your blog as it appears to other readers. The administrative side of your blog ("dashboard") is only visible to you. You can write posts, edit and change your content and themes, and adjust your settings here. You can switch from the administrative side to the public-facing side of your blog by clicking the "View Site" link. Similarly, you can switch from the public-facing side to the administrative side by clicking "Site Admin" from your blog. (Please note that you have to log in before doing this).
If you're viewing your blog but can't find the 'site admin,' 'options,' or 'login' shortcut to your dashboard, enter your dashboard by adding "wp-admin/" to your current URL and clicking "enter." Log in, click on the drop down button of the "Appearance" tab on the toolbar on the left, then select the "Widgets" option. On the "Widgets" page, you will be presented with a list of available widgets that you can add to your blog. Simply click on the "Meta" widget and drag it over to the "Sidebar" box on the right, and click save. You should now have a variety of administrative links, including site admin, in your blog's sidebar.