How to post a blog entry

Instructions for posting a blog on The Intersection

It’s a good idea to write your blog post in advance, in something like Microsoft Word, Wordpad, or Notepad. (Note: You may need to clear the formatting before copy/pasting - see instructions at the end of this post.) As you prepare your blog entry, consider what links you’ll want to include when you post it. Listing them at the bottom of your entry makes it easy to copy/paste them once you get ready to post your blog entry.

1. On the Intersection’s home page (http://disciplesintersection.org), navigate to the Blogs section. At the bottom of that section, on the left-hand side, click on the link that says “+Add a Blog Post.” That should take you to a page that says “Add a Blog Post” with some blank spaces, where you’ll post your blog title and text.

2. In the top section, where it says “Post Title,” Type or copy/paste in the title of your post. This title will appear on The Intersection’s home page, in the Blogs section. When choosing a title, remember that it must be compelling!

3. In the box below the title, copy/paste (or type) your blog entry – the main text of your blog. This is a rich text editor – you will be able to format your entry without knowing HTML. You’ll see the row of formatting buttons (B for bold, I for italic, U for underline, etc) above the space where you entered the text. To change the formatting, use your mouse to highlight the section of your text you want to format. Then click on the formatting button or icon in the row of formatting buttons.

4. After you’ve entered the text, add links, if any. To add a link, highlight the text within your post that you want to make into a link. Then click on the link icon in the row of formatting buttons (looks like a blue chain link). That will open up a dialogue box. In the space within the dialogue box, type or paste the URL where the link should take the reader if he/she clicks on it. For example, if the text you want to make into a link is “Disciples of Christ”, you’d highlight that with your mouse, then click on the link button, and then, when the dialogue box opens, type or paste in http://www.disciples.org. NOTE: make sure you have http:// ONLY once. The dialogue box will already have http:// typed in. If you enter it twice (i.e. http://http://www.disciples.org) your link won’t work properly.

The rest of the options, from “Tags” on down the page, are optional. More on those in a minute.

5. MOST IMPORTANT STEP! At the bottom of the page, click the “Publish Post” button. Now, your post is saved, and is live on The Intersection.

You can hit the “Preview” button if you want to see what it will look like, before hitting “Publish Post.” The other button, “Save as Draft,” is useful if you want to save your work as you go along, without publishing it. It’s not a bad idea to periodically save your work as a draft before publishing. To find your draft later, click on the words “Edit Blog Posts” right above the words “Add a Blog Post” on the Blog posting form. This will bring up a list of your past blog posts and drafts.

OPTIONS for more advanced blogging:

1. Adding a photo to your blog entry. Photos make your post more visually engaging. To add a photo, place your cursor at the spot within your blog entry where you’d like to add a photo. Now, go up to the formatting buttons and click the icon that resembles a tiny landscape photograph (just to the left of the blue link button). A dialogue box appears. Hit the “Browse” button within the dialogue box to locate, on your computer, the photo you want to upload. Below that, click the word “Options” to decide if you’d like the photo to appear on the left or the right side of your blog post. If you want the text of your post to wrap around the photo, check that box. You can also resize your photo. Last (IMPORTANT!), click on the button that says “Add”. The photo should appear. You may need to experiment with sizing and alignment to get the post to look the way you want it to. Also, if you have used a photo from someplace else (such as Creative Commons), be sure to list the photo credit. Please do not use photos without permission or licensing (again Creative Commons is a good place to find photos, just remember to include a credit line at the end of your post.)

2. Tags. Tags are words that help people who are searching The Intersection or the web to find your post. You can enter several tags, separated by commas. They should be relevant to your post.

3. The other options allow you to schedule a post to appear at some point in the future. This is really useful if you’re blogging regularly and want to upload blog entries ahead of time (for example, if you’re going on vacation or will be unable to post your blog on the day you’d normally post it).

4. The last few options deal with who can see your blog and who can comment. Changing these is not recommended. You shouldn’t need to moderate comments, although you may choose to. If anyone’s comments are inappropriate, please notify the community manager, Rebecca Woods.

Special instructions for clearing the formatting before pasting it into the Blogs form: I updated the tutorial on 2/17 -- if you're writing your blog post in Word, and then copy/pasting it in to the Blog form, you'll want to check out the new tutorial for instructions on clearing Word's formatting. Otherwise it will cause some issues when you paste it here.
1. Select all your text.
2. At the top, in the Edit menu, scroll down to "Clear" - then select Clear Formatting.
3. Copy and paste as you normally would, then add in any formatting using Ning's Rich Text editor.

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