Every BlueBroward member is invited to share opinions, criticisms, candidate endorsements, and tips for more effective organizing on the BlueBroward Community Blog, either regularly or occasionally. I reserve the right to edit or delete postings at my own discretion, but my goal is to encourage discussion, not to be a censor.
Posting a blog is really no more complicated than writing an email, but there are still a few things to learn if you have never done it before. So here are a few tips to get you oriented.
When you first log in, the welcome screen or “Dashboard” shows links to the screens for common tasks, including posting a blog. The “Posts” menu on the left hand side of the screen also gives options for adding new entries or editing existing blog entries. (You will only be able to edit ones that you have posted, although you can respond to other members’ blog entries in the comments section).
When you post a new blog entry, you start with a blank form that includes space for a headline and a web-based word processor for adding the text of your post, which includes controls for marking text bold or italic, formatting bulleted lists, or adding links.
Most of the formatting controls should look familiar if you’ve worked with programs like Microsoft Word.
If you highlight a block of text and click the quotation mark icon, that section will be displayed as an indented HTML “blockquote,” which is a common way of showing that you’re quoting a chunk of text from a source such as a newspaper article.
In other words, it will look like this, where this is a chunk of text I’m quoting from some other source.
To add a link, highlight the words that will be displayed as the text of the link and click the icon that looks like a chain link. You should get a little popup editor for adding the web address for the link. Optionally, you can set the “target” for the link to be a new window. This is shown below. To work properly, your link should include http:// at the start of a web address or mailto: at the start of an email link (as in mailto:email@example.com).
At any time, you can save your work as a draft without publishing it. When you are ready to publish your post, click “Publish” in the publishing control panel at the upper right hand corner of the screen.
You can also enhance your posts by categorizing them. By default, your post will go into the “Opinion” category, but if you were posting an opinion about the Fair Districts Florida initiative you could also check that category. The idea is that readers should be able to find all the posts that mention that topic by clicking on the category link displayed with your post.
I do allow you to add images to your blog posts. As with all other content, I reserve the right to edit images used on the blog as necessary, at my own discretion. Obviously, I don’t want anyone posting offensive images here.
You can upload images using the row of icons labeled “Upload/Insert.” (The same function will allow you to upload other types of files, such as PDFs).
Now choose the file you want to upload by locating it on your computer.
Add captions and alternate text (displayed if a file fails to load into the user’s browser and used by web readers for the blind).
On this screen, you will also choose whether to insert the full size image or a resized version of it. A photo directly from your high resolution digital camera will be too large to fit in the context of your post without resizing.
It’s a good idea to resize images before uploading them, but the blog editor will do a certain amount of that for you automatically.
You can also choose whether to display the image centered or aligned to the left or right of the page (with text wrapping around).
I often find the best option is to choose the “Medium” size image, and align it to the right.
When you have finished making these selections, click “Insert Into Post” to see the image in the context of your work.
Note that most of the instructions given here on formatting posts and adding links and images also apply to posting events, since I use the same rich text editor (the visual “word processing” editor) for both. If you add images to an event listing, please be selective and keep them small, as I don’t want the event listings to become too cluttered.
In addition to the rich text editor, you do also have the option of using a basic HTML editor that allows you to add codes in the web’s formatting and linking language. You can go back and forth between the rich text editor and the HTML editor by clicking the “Visual” and “HTML” tabs at the top of the editing window.
Another way the HTML view can be useful is to eliminate unwanted formatting, such as excessive bold or colored text, when you copy and paste an event description from a word processor or a web page. You can paste the text into the HTML view, then toggle back to Visual. This will get you the text without any formatting, other than the formatting you choose to add.
Once you publish your post, if all goes right you should see a confirmation message, along with a link you can follow to view the published post.
It’s a good idea to view your published post to make sure it is displayed the way you want it to be. You can go back and edit it further, if necessary.
I also encourage you to cross-post your events to Facebook and other social media sites. If you scroll to a the bottom of your post, you will see a series of links you can click on to share your post with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and so on.
Questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. BlueBroward runs on the popular WordPress blog software, so there are many other sites on the web you can look at for additional WordPress tips and tricks.