Adding One or Several Club Events. Plus: Adding Multiple Event Editors for Your Club

I’m writing this in response to a query from Barry Butin of the Westin Democratic Club President, who said he always gets confused about the mechanics of adding a new club event. He is not the only one who has told me the website is not as simple to use as I like to think it is, so I thought I should share my answer publicly for the benefit of others.

As a club officer who is authorized to update the club’s events, you ought to be greeted by a display like this after logging in:

add_from_dashboard

This main dashboard listing is supposed to guide you through the process of adding one or more events based on your club’s event template. The template is a place for you to record your regular meeting schedule and location, plus other boilerplate details like a standard location and club contact information. If you set up a schedule like the Weston Club’s “Last Monday,” the software tries to project out future meeting dates, according to that schedule. You always have the option of tweaking the dates and other details, if your schedule varies from the norm for a given month.

Add a Single Club Event

To add a single event (your club’s next meeting), you would click the “Add from Template” button under “Add One” at the top of this listing. That will create a draft event that imports all the boilerplate details from your club event template. I recently changed the way this works slightly: When you add a single event, you will now be taken to the editing screen so you can add details like the names of speakers or activities you will be conducting prior to posting your event to the website.

You Are Not Limited to Posting Club Events

Just because you typically add events for your club does not mean you cannot also post other types of events. You can post one-time events such as campaign events, not just events based on a template.

The option for doing that is Calendar -> Add New, which gives you a blank editing screen that you will use to provide the title, schedule, and other details.

calendar_add_new

You can post any event that would reasonably be expected to be of interest to the BlueBroward audience. (If you post a Republican fundraiser, expect it to be deleted).

Adding Multiple Club Events

BlueBroward also allows you to add events for several months into the future, based on your club event template. You can post them as placeholders and then edit them later as you establish details like the names of guest speakers.

add_multiple

Check off the dates you want to add (or click “Check all” to select all of them), then click “Add From Template” – you should get a confirmation that all the dates have been loaded into the system, with links that will allow you to view or edit them.

add_multiple_confirm

If you have previously posted events in the system, you will see them on the Dashboard (and on the Projected Dates screen under Club Event Templates), with links that allow you to edit, delete (Move to Trash), or view them. Existing events are listed before the options to add more events based on the template.

dashboard_existing

Editing a Club Template and Delegating Editing Rights

Most people ask me to set up a club template for them, which I’m happy to do. However, you can do it yourself from the Club Event Templates screen, by clicking the New Template button up top.
add_event_template

If there is an existing event template for your club, but you do not have access to it, write me to request that you be made the new owner of that template. If you’re not already a BlueBroward member, please establish an account first. Let me know the email address associated with your account, the name of your club and your role with the club.

I recommend giving more than one person editing rights for your club template (for example, both the President and the Secretary) so that more than one person can post and edit events for the club.

If you scroll way down on the Event Template editing screen, you will find a section labeled “Additional Editors.” If you know that the person you want to delegate to or share with has a BlueBroward account, you may be able to find them on the drop-down list of members. Alternatively, you can enter that person’s email address. If they are not already registered with that address, the system will add them and email them a password.

One of the downfalls of this system over the years has been the lack of a handoff of editing rights when the officer who previously took responsibility for that leaves.

Make it Count

The purpose of BlueBroward is to provide services to Democratic activists and give people who are interested in becoming active Democrats with lots of opportunities to connect and get to work. Please take full advantage of the website — and let me know how I can make it better.

Sharing Photos, Photo Galleries, or Video on BlueBroward.org

Sharing photos and videos can be be a great way to get your message out, add interest to your posts and events, and build a sense of community for your campaign or cause. If you have an office opening or rally, consider sharing a photo gallery or a video in a blog post on the website. As always, I reserve the right to exercise editorial control but try to do so with a light touch.

You can also add images to your event listings (I’d ask that you limit yourself to a single image, not too large).

To upload one or more images, click the Add Media button on the editor, which will open the utility you use to upload and select images and other media (you would also use this to upload a PDF, such as a flyer or ticket order form, and insert a link into your post).

Here’s where you will find that button:

Add Media button
Add Media button

The Insert Media utility allows you to select from previously uploaded images or click the Upload Files tab to upload new ones. Once you have uploaded or selected the images you want to include, click the Insert Into Post button. You can see a more detailed tutorial on wordpress.org.

Note that if you select multiple photos, then Insert Into Post, they will be inserted one after another. Alternately, you can click the Create Gallery link, select the photos you want to include, and then click Insert Gallery. The images will be displayed in a gallery format with the option to click to see them displayed larger.

Uploader
Pick from library or upload photos, then click Insert Into Post

This video shows how to create a gallery (the essentials are in the first few minutes before the narrator starts to talk about adding special effects):

The easiest way to share a video is to upload it into YouTube and then embed the video in your blog post.

Here is how to share a video from YouTube (or similar service):

Short version: You should just be able to paste a YouTube web address into the body of the post, and the website software will insert the video player in that spot.

How to Delete An Image

To remove an image from a post, or change the size, alignment, or caption, click on it to display the edit icon (the Pencil) or the delete icon (the X). To delete the image click on the X. You can then add a different image, if appropriate. Click the Update button to save and publish your changes.

delete-image

Note that deleting an image from the post does not remove it from the Media Library – it’s still available on the server, just not referenced in your post any longer.If for some reaons it’s important to delete it completely, you can click the Add Media button to go into the Media Library and delete it permanently.


delete-permanently

 

Video Tour of BlueBroward: Gearing Up for 2014

This tutorial covers all the basics of how to post events, blog articles, and campaign listings to the website.

Democrats need to win some important campaigns in 2014, and I’m trying to make sure BlueBroward.org is as useful a tool as it can be. I’m checking that everything is up to date and working properly.

BlueBroward.org is based on WordPress, a popular blogging tool, with the addition of my RSVPMaker plugin and additional customizations.

If you have bugs to report or features to request, write me at david@bluebroward.org

Maintaining Club Listings: Updated Instructions

Because the BlueBroward.org Calendar is most frequently used by Democratic Clubs who hold meetings on a regular schedule, I’ve always tried to make it as easy as possible for club officers to post events months in advance and update them as needed. The latest update to the events editor takes into account several things I’ve learned over the years about how to manage this process better. The general approach is the same, but the editing screens look a little different.

Note: you always have the freedom to add additional, stand-alone events, unrelated to a club template. Candidates can post their fundraisers and other events, for example. Or you may want to alert people to attend a candidate’s debate hosted by the city or county that is not your event per se. The Club Events Template function is specifically for club events that should be tracked together.

The Club Event Templates are also tied into my system for sending email reminders to club representatives reminding them to update their events on the website. If you post club events without associating them with a template, they will not be tracked properly.

The Club Event Templates screen (a sub-menu under Calendar, also linked to from the main Dashboard) shows all the clubs that have templates or profiles in the system. If you have editing rights to one of these templates, the name of the club will show as a link. If you don’t have editing rights and need to, contact david@bluebroward.org or ask whoever has handled it in the past to add you to the list of editors (see below).

If you are establishing a new club, or yours is not listed, you can also click on New Template at the top of the screen. To prevent duplication, please be sure that the club is not already listed before you create a new template for it.

The Club Event Templates listing shows organizations currently registered.
The Club Event Templates listing shows organizations currently registered.

Editing Club Event Templates

The editing screen for templates allows you to set an event schedule, such as First Thursday at 7:30 pm as opposed to a specific date. This should be the schedule you follow most of the time. If your group’s schedule is more variable, you can also leave it at Schedule Varies and still take advantage of some of the other features of the template function, such as the ability to share editing rights among several club officers.

The Event Template Editor lets you establish a recurring event schedule, such as First Thursday at 7:30 in this example.
The Event Template Editor lets you establish a recurring event schedule, such as First Thursday at 7:30 in this example.

Important: The template is meant to contain the details you want included with every event, or almost every event. I recommend always including the name and email/phone number of a contact people can call with questions. If you have a standard meeting location, also include that.

People sometimes get confused and include the name of a specific speaker in the template, resulting in the same speaker being listed for months in advance. The idea behind the template is to establish a placeholder event on your planned schedule, with boilerplate details, then update it with specifics as the time of the event grows closer.

Additional Editors

You can specify additional editors with rights to modify the template and any events derived from the template. There are two ways to do this. If the person is already registered with BlueBroward, look for them on the drop-down list under Additional Editors. Alternatively, you can put in the person’s email address, and they’ll be sent a password to join if they are not already a member.

You can add editors for your club listings by picking from the drop-down list of BlueBroward users or putting in the email of an additional editor.
You can add editors for your club listings by picking from the drop-down list of BlueBroward users or putting in the email of an additional editor.

If you are one of the editors for the club, you will be able to access the Projected Dates screen that shows a projected series of dates for the schedule set in your template and also any previously posted dates that you might want to update. Club event editors will also see this information displayed on the main Dashboard that is displayed when you log in.

The projected dates screen shows events that have been posted and projects your future schedule of events.
The projected dates screen shows events that have been posted and projects your future schedule of events.

To add a single event, set the date (or accept the default) under Add One and click Add From Template.

Or, to add multiple dates at once, check them off under Projected Dates and click Add From Template. If the projected date is incorrect, or your schedule will vary in a particular month (for example, because of a holiday), you can always change it. If you post an event and your schedule later changes, you can always edit the event or delete it (go to the editing screen for that event and click Move to Trash).

Another thing that sometimes comes up is you may post a series of events and then find that your standard club meeting location or club contacts need to change. Changing these details in the template does not automatically alter the events you have posted previously. I wouldn’t want to automatically overwrite listings that you have already spent time customizing, so the software will only do that if you tell it to. You do that from the Projected Dates screen (or the Dashboard).

To update listings from the template, check the checkboxes next to the previously posted events and click Update Checked. This will overwrite the title and body of those event listings with the content of your updated template.

No Meeting

If your club is not meeting in a particular month, there is also an option to record that fact in the system so nobody shows up on a date when you are not meeting. The entry will be labeled “No Meeting: Your Club Name Here” and show up on the calendar on your regular meeting date. Optionally, you can add a note like “We will not be meeting because of the holiday.”

Post a note that there will be no meeting for a given month.
Post a note that there will be no meeting for a given month.

Web Developer’s Note

As a side effect of my work on BlueBroward.org, I’ve published a WordPress plugin for event scheduling, RSVPMaker, that’s now used on thousands of websites around the world. Part of what’s going on with this latest batch of updates to BlueBroward is that I’m making the Event Template functions developed for BlueBroward part of the standard plugin and reconciling the way I do things on BlueBroward with those updates, and improvements I’ve made along the way.

Adding a Campaign Roundup Email

To make BlueBroward’s free services to campaigns more useful, I am starting a second email roundup of campaign profiles posted to the website starting Monday. It will go out every week, if new campaign profiles have been posted to the site since the last update.

In addition to providing a pointer to the campaign’s own website or Facebook page, I encourage candidates to use their BlueBroward profile to publicize their volunteer needs.

This an experiment. Suggestions on how to make it better are welcome.

Note: I created the basic stub of a profile for Nan Rich’s campaign but will gladly assign editing rights to an official campaign representative. There are only a couple of campaigns that have created their own listing on the website so far. I’m interested to see whether that will change.

How to Share Events, Opinions on BlueBroward.org

All members of BlueBroward.org are invited to post events of interest to the community of active Democrats and share opinion articles on the community blog. You can, for example, post your endorsements of candidates on the blog. Candidates are also welcome to post campaign profiles.

BlueBroward is intended to be a self-service tool, meaning you sign in with a password and post your own events or other items. I will occasionally post items I receive by email, but the most reliable way to place a listing is to do it yourself. As the volunteer editor and operator of the site, I reserve the right to remove inappropriate posts, but I have rarely felt the need to do so.

I’ve included links to some instructional articles below. It’s not supposed to be hard. If you run into technical difficulties, I’ll do my best to help. If you’re a Democratic Club officer who is just not comfortable with posting material to the website yourself, I recommend you delegate this task to another member who is.

If you don’t know your password, you can reset it here.

Event Posts vs. Blog Posts

There are two major types of content you can post to the website. If you want something to show up on the event calendar, post it as an event. Make sure you set the event date and time in the control panel below the main editing area.  If you want to post an opinion article, make that a blog post. An email containing all the event listings that are in the database as of Sunday at 10 a.m. goes out once a week. Links to the latest blog entries are also included in that email.

For more details:

Video: How to Post Events to the Calendar

These are general instructions on posting an event. Any member can post events to the BlueBroward Calendar. There are a few extra options available for members who are registered to edit the events for a Democratic Club or other organization that holds regular meetings (see How to Post and Maintain Club Listings). But these general […]

How to Post and Maintain Club Listings
This is an update for Democratic club presidents and other people who hold official or unofficial meetings in support of the Democratic cause on a regular basis. When an organization registers with BlueBroward, I create an event template that includes the name of the organization and boilerplate details like the regular meeting schedule and meeting […]

How To Post to the BlueBroward Blog

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 […]

How to Post a Campaign On BlueBroward.org

Just as any BlueBroward.org member can post events or blog entries, any BlueBroward member can post a campaign listing. When you log in, you should see Post a Campaign Listing as one of the first options on the welcome screen or “Dashboard.” Click there to display the data entry form. (The “Edit Campaigns” button on […]

How to Share/Delegate Editing Rights for a Campaign, Club, or Organization
BlueBroward allows officers and representatives of Democratic clubs, allied groups, and campaigns to appoint multiple editors for their event listings and related information. For example, both the president and the secretary of a club could have editing rights on this system. A candidate might create a campaign profile but then allow a campaign manager to also[…]

When To Add an Event vs. a Blog Post on BlueBroward

Because this is a point of confusion for some members, I wanted to clear up the difference between an event and a blog article on BlueBroward.org.

This website is best known for its event calendar, and all members are invited to post relevant events. I provide some additional features to the leaders of Democratic clubs and allied organizations, but these are mostly to make it easier for people to post recurring events.

A couple of years ago, I converted this site to run on blogging software called WordPress, which makes it easier for members to post opinion articles and carry on discussions through the website. The editor for blog posts and the editor for events use the same basic user interface, with buttons for marking text bold or italic and for adding links.

The major difference is that blog posts are displayed with the most recent posts shown first. So blog posts are shown in reverse chronological order.

Events, on the other hand, are shown are shown in the order that the events are coming up, starting with today’s date. When you add an event to the calendar, make sure you set the event date and time in the control panel below the main editing area.

In general, I’d ask you to put information about your events in the event listings. After you have a great event, come back and post a blog article with photos and commentary to show people why it’s worthwhile and important to get involved. Also use the blog to give your take on important issues like healthcare reform, tax policy, war, peace, and effective tactics for organizing. Democrats are supposed to be the party of ideas, and I invite you to share your best ideas here.

For more details:

How to Post Events to the Calendar (RSVPs Optional)
These are general instructions on posting an event. Any member can post events to the BlueBroward Calendar. There are a few extra options available for members who are registered to edit the events for a Democratic Club or other organization that holds regular meetings (see How to Post and Maintain Club Listings). But these general […]

How to Post and Maintain Club Listings
This is an update for Democratic club presidents and other people who hold official or unofficial meetings in support of the Democratic cause on a regular basis. When an organization registers with BlueBroward, I create an event template that includes the name of the organization and boilerplate details like the regular meeting schedule and meeting […]

How To Post to the BlueBroward Blog

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 […]

Also, as we get into the next campaign cycle:

How to Post a Campaign On BlueBroward.org
Just as any BlueBroward.org member can post events or blog entries, any BlueBroward member can post a campaign listing. When you log in, you should see Post a Campaign Listing as one of the first options on the welcome screen or “Dashboard.” Click there to display the data entry form. (The “Edit Campaigns” button on […]

How to Share/Delegate Editing Rights for a Campaign, Club, or Organization
BlueBroward allows officers and representatives of Democratic clubs, allied groups, and campaigns to appoint multiple editors for their event listings and related information. For example, both the president and the secretary of a club could have editing rights on this system. A candidate might create a campaign profile but then allow a campaign manager to also[…]

Updated Member Dashboard; Option for Club Officers to Add Multiple Dates

The next time you log in to BlueBroward, you will see an updated member “dashboard” showing all the things you can do with your BlueBroward.org account.

If you have previously published events to the site (or have editing rights through membership in a club or campaign), your event posting and editing options will be shown on the left side of the screen.

The options that apply to anyone — any BlueBroward member can post an event, a blog, or a campaign listing — are listed on the right.

In response to a request from Democratic club leaders, I’ve added the option to check off several dates and add them in one shot. When you do this, your event listings will be completed using the location and contact details set up in your club’s event template. You can then go back and add details such as the names of speakers as appropriate. An earlier incarnation of the website had this feature, and some club leaders missed it.

I have also tried to provide clear links to previously entered events so members know they can edit them rather than creating a new event. Some people seem to get confused and create duplicate entries, which I then have to go back and delete.

dashboard
Member Dashboard

Creating a Facebook Page for Your Campaign or Cause

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This post from the blog of my consulting firm was written for a business audience but applies just as much to political campaigns and organizations:

How to Create a Facebook Page: The Simple Steps Are The Most Important

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