- VIEWING POSTS: The main area of the Home page displays a featured page/post (this will change from time to time) and the most recent post, while ‘Recent Entries’ lists the 10 most recent in chronological order, newest first. If you take a look at the newest post in the main area (‘Latest’), you’ll see details of the date it was posted, what category it belongs to, and the number of comments relating to it. Clicking on the date or the title opens this post on its own and displays extra information about it. From here too, you can read the previous post by clicking on its title at the bottom of the main area. You can also go directly to a particular post by clicking on its title in the list of Recent Entries (again, links appear at the bottom to the previous and next post). Use the monthly links in the ‘Previous Stuff’ section to view a summary of posts outside the 10 most recent (open a complete post by clicking on its title). You can return to the Home page at any time by clicking the ‘Home’ link or that big ‘OUR WEBLOG’ title at the top of the page.
- I’ve set this up as a co-operative blog, meaning that we can all submit entries and make comments. You’ll be able to read what’s in the blog as soon as you get here, but you need to be logged in if you want to create an entry or make a comment. In order to log in, you first need to register as a blog member. Most of you are already familiar with registration and login from other sites you use on the web, but I’ll give a quick run-through here just in case.
- REGISTRATION: You register using the ‘Register’ link in the ‘Admin Stuff’ section on the front page. You’ll be asked to provide a Username and E-mail address. An e-mail goes out to the address you provide, confirming your Username, providing a password, and including a link to the login area. (The password is randomly generated and is a mix of numerals and letters. Your best bet is to copy this and paste it into the Login panel on your first visit. Once you’re logged in, you can change your password to something more memorable.)
- If you try to create an entry or make a comment without having registered or logged in, you’ll be asked to do so. Remember that you must register first in order to be able to log in.
- LOGIN: The procedure is the same whether you use the Login link in the ‘Admin Stuff’ section on the front page or use a login link when you attempt to create an entry or make a comment without already being logged in. You’re asked for your Username and Password. You’ll need to enter your Username exactly as you did when you registered. This means, for instance, that if John were to choose ‘Blue Ted’ as his username, he’d need to login just like that — with initial caps and space included. The login screen includes an option to ‘Remember me’. It’s a good idea to check this box, as it saves having to re-enter your password each time you return to the site.
- MAKING A COMMENT: You’ll see an option to ‘Post a Comment’ whenever you’re viewing a post, and any existing comments will appear above this, numbered in sequence. If you’re already logged in, you’ll see a Message box which you type into. If you aren’t logged in, you’ll see a note reminding you that you need to do so before you can add a comment. When you log in, the Message box will appear. When done, click the Post button, and your comment will be added. Remember: You’re commenting on the actual post which you’re viewing on that particular page, so please make sure your comments are being sent where they’re intended for.
- CREATING AN ENTRY: Click on ‘Site Admin’ in the ‘Admin Stuff’ section on the front page. This opens the Dashboard page. Click on ‘Write’ in the top menu to open a page where you write your entry (called a ‘post’ in weblog parlance). Remember to type in a Title, then type your entry into the Post box. You can use the various buttons to change the appearance of your text (bold, italic, and so on), just as if you’re using a word processor or text editor. It’s also a good idea to assign a Category to your post. Do this by checking the appropriate category or categories in the Category list (if the list isn’t visible, click the triangle/arrow in the dark blue area beside the word ‘Category’). You can also assign tags to your post. These can be any descriptive words you like which describe what you’re writing about (musical terms, for instance, or a country or city name — anything at all, really). Tags can be useful afterwards when it comes to displaying a number of posts which have something in common: a sort of shortcut which bypasses the need to do an actual search. (You can also use the Preview button to see what your post looks like and make sure you’re happy with it before you actually publish it.) When you’re done, click the Publish button in the Publish Status box on the right-hand side of the page. This adds your post to the weblog for all to see.
- OK guys. It’s over to you now. I’m sure many, if not most, of you are already familiar with how weblogs work, and are wondering why I bothered going into such detail about something so obvious and straightforward. As usual with things like this, describing what you do takes much longer than actually doing it in reality, so don’t let any of this put you off. Enjoy our new weblog, and do please contribute to it. If you’ve any questions, just let me know.