Blogs in plain English


How to Blog


Blogging is a great way to set up and run a web presence .Blogs are easy to set up and run. They require no special skills and are a great way to generate a web presence for a campaign , organisation or committee.

There are two popular blogging platforms which you can sign up to for free: Blogger and Wordpress. This wiki is focused on blogging using the more popular (and more flexible) Blogger platform.

Features Blogger blogs

  • It easy to embed and showcase multi media on a blog such as audio, slideshows, video, powerpoint presentations, etc in various formats.
  • You have a choice of various templates you can use with different styles and colours, fonts and layout features.
  • Blogs can be run as single person operations or as team efforts.
  • Blog operations can be customized by tweaking a lot of settings and preferences.
  • Blogger widgets now offer a large range of easy to add options to your blog:links, media, polls, feeds, images, etc without having to know the code to create them.
  • The Blogger hacking community is a rich source of creative hacks that can make it so easy to individualize your blog presence.

How to blog on Blogger


Introduction to Blogger




How to start a blog on Blogger




Steps to a great blog

  1. Blog only if you want to blog. It shouldn't be a chore.
  2. Read other blogs to get a feel for whats' possible.
  3. Pick a niche you can own and concentrate on.
  4. Link to other blogs like yours: establish partnerships.
  5. Write descriptive headline. Don't be smart or obscure.
  6. Use other media: learn how to embed audio, images and video.
  7. Promote your blog and your blog content across sthe web.
  8. Write well.
  9. Always spell check.
  10. Help other people blog
  11. Engage with commentators.

Examples of left political blogs


Inviting others to join your blog team

There are a few traps when expanding the number of people who can post from your blog.
  • How to invite them: Sign in to your Blogger account.Go to Settings > Permissions.Then send an invitation email to the person you want to invite to join the blog.When people accept that invitation you will only be notified if your email address is registered as the BlogSend Address. Only blog Administrators can invite people to join a blog.
  • If you have been invited to join a blog: You need to open a Blogger/Google account. To do that pick an easy-to-remember username and an easy to remember password.Once your account has been set up you can post to the blog.
  • Blog members vs blog administrators:Blog members will only receive posting rights so their interface will look different from that presented to blog administrators.Blog administrators as well as having full posting rights can change the look and protocols of the whole blog by adjusting or changing any aspect of the blog's existence. Administrators can delete content, change design, add gadgets, invite and expel members, etc. They're all powerful --. so sometimes it may be useful to appoint more than one administrator.


    Scribefire: blogging made easier

    Scribefire: is an extension for the Mozilla Firefox and Google Crome Web browser that integrates with your browser to let you easily post to your blog. It is often easier to edit your posts in Scribefire and copy and paste them into the Blogger edit window instead of posting them directly from Scribefire.You can also post directly to your blo(s) from Scribefire without having to copy/paste.
    • Scribefire won't let you easily align images around text.
    • Scribefire makes it easier to create paragraph indentations and quote sections in your text than the Blogger edit window.
    • Scribefire won't allow you to add Blogger labels to your post when you post from Scribefire.
    • Scribefire because of its wide edit window makes it w easier to reformat lines when you copy text from an email for postimng to youir blog.

    Tooltip: Copy and pasting into blogs

    • When copying text into a blog you carry all the underlying code with you when you do and the text will often be a mess in the Blogger published post.
    • To avoid this paste your text into the Blogger EDIT HTML window rather than the Compose one. Then reformat and introduce working links, bold text etc.
    • The main problem usually with copy and posting text into Blogger is line length -- especially when copying from "Plain Text' emails. You cannot easily overcome this except by reformatting each line.
    • You can also copy and paste a lot of other items from the web directly into a Blogger Compose window.: images, media, tables, etc --so long as the layout settles in. If you have trouble picking up the content instead of using the standard "Copy" option, copy and paste using Ctrl C (to copy) and Ctrl V to paste.
    • Many media sites will offer you code to embed into your blog(eg: YouTube, Picasa slideshows, etc). You can pick that up usually by using the Select All and Copy option. I suggest you paste that media directly into the Compose edit window as Blogger will automatically integrate it into your published post and you won't get confused when your embedded item seems to disappear and is not longer visible in the Compose window. To check your layout and contents go to the Preview screen. However, not all media will show up in the Preview screen and can only be viewed in the final published post.

    Tooltip: Extending your blog's resources

    • It is good practice when using Blogger blogs to master your account on Picasa.All the images and graphics you upload directly to your blog are stored on Picasa. You can harness Picasa to explore a lot of graphic potential in way of image sharing. See section in the Toolkit on Photographs & graphics.
    • Another way to extend your blog's resources is to pair it with a wiki -- that way you can upload various files to the wiki (eg: pdf, Word, Doc, zipped, etc) and link back to them from your blog. That way you can offer these files as downloads. Read section on wikis here on the Toolkit.>
    • But it isn't essential that you upload your images and graphics to your blog directly or to Picasa as sites like Flickr will also offer image storage. Flickr images may present on your blog with greater clarity than those stored on Picasa.Similarly you can upload images to your wiki.

    Embedding Multimedia


    • You should learn how to emebed multimedia on your blog as it will extend its utility. Most online muiltimedia can be copy and pasted top your blog by using its embed code. You don't have to be able to read or understand the media's embed code -- only where to find it.
    • The embed code will be located somewhere in or around the video you wish to share. It will be presented something lexternal image youtube_embed.pngike this, below
    • You copy the code (by using Select All) and paste it into your blog post. It doesn't matter where -- either window will do.Add a header to your post. Add a Label. Then click Publish .
    • On some online video players the embed code will be located if you click an icon that looks like this: < But usually when you mouse over the icons they'll display what they do.

    Templates

    The blogger community comprises many creative individuals and as well as developing many hacks for use on your blog, you can also choose from hundreds of free templates to change the style and format of your blog..
    external image socialistalliance-brisbane.blogspot.comexternal image vensol.blogspot.comexternal image leftclickblog.blogspot.com
    In fact it is a good idea to change you template every now and then from among recently designed templates so that you can take advantage of Blogger upgrades. Do a search for "Blogger Templates" and review any of the galleries you come across. Changing your template is easy but make sure you save your widgets as you go and preferably download to your desktop your original template.

    Hacking Blogger



    • The Blogger hacker community has created many tweaks, apps and templates that can expand the tools you can deploy on your blog. But you need to have a little knowledge of HTML code to be able to incorporate most of the hacks.
    • By searching on Google with the words "Blogger Templates" you'll also be introduced to the massive array of hacked Blogger templates.

    Activist Toolkit pages located on SAWiki