How do I write articles?

December 26th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Before you read another word, read this:

Please write a proper title when you create a new article. When you use postie to send an article the subject line is the title.

DO:
So and So’s Family Outing
Our Las Vegas Vacation 2007
A funny Video from France
Very Important Title!

DON’T:
WhatNotToDo (CamelCase)
this is not a title]” ‘-it’s a mess!
FW: You’ve GOT to see this!!!!
Re: funny video

Now that the title thing is clear, the easiest way to write an article is to use Postie. Even if you want to add a video. You can always edit your article after it appears on the site. To edit an article you posted, click on the article title and find the “Edit This” link at the bottom of the article. Then follow the video guide below. If you don’t see the edit link, leave a comment and I’ll see it.

Using Postie:

Address your mail to g2@trbailey.net, put your article title on the subject line exactly the way you want it to appear and do not include any HTML in the title.

Now, to ensure your article looks clean:

At the top of the message, before you type any text, add a single line with the word “:start”.

Then at the very end of your email add another line with the single word “:end”.

EXAMPLE:

Subject: My Well Capitalized, Clearly Understandable Title


:start

My very important article goes here.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis quis diam eget neque suscipit ullamcorper sit amet ut odio. Donec venenatis vulputate arcu, ut pretium est viverra sit amet. Maecenas nec massa vel lacus vehicula tincidunt non nec nisl. Proin faucibus augue a augue elementum ac ultrices nisi viverra. Ut volutpat justo eu urna pretium adipiscing. Nulla nec neque et nunc molestie commodo in et justo. Praesent ac dolor ac elit ornare pharetra nec placerat nulla. Cras a tellus sed mauris faucibus placerat. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Quisque feugiat malesuada elit, vel porttitor purus luctus at. Phasellus mattis dignissim lectus, a elementum augue feugiat et. Nulla vehicula iaculis eros, ut dictum felis fermentum id. Ut in quam eros. Nullam nec eleifend felis. Praesent scelerisque, augue ac congue tempor, tellus purus sollicitudin dolor, non volutpat odio est id libero. Aenean pellentesque purus at orci viverra sed cursus nisi bibendum. Aliquam enim ipsum, aliquam et volutpat eget, venenatis nec ligula. Sed scelerisque velit vel tortor posuere pretium. Duis tempor neque in nunc laoreet porttitor.

My Nifty Picture goes here.
20081222-002955-8

I still have more to say so I’ll say it here.

Pellentesque sed aliquam sem. Phasellus lorem arcu, porttitor a tempor et, condimentum sit amet velit. Nunc sagittis fringilla tellus id tincidunt. In elementum luctus mi id egestas. Suspendisse massa lorem, elementum at elementum id, scelerisque auctor quam. Donec molestie, justo rutrum eleifend tristique, turpis ante malesuada diam, at cursus est sapien at orci. Phasellus ullamcorper, orci ut pharetra tempor, libero dolor tincidunt enim, nec egestas metus sapien eu sem. Ut adipiscing est ut augue tincidunt lacinia. Sed iaculis magna in lectus suscipit gravida. Donec semper sollicitudin rhoncus. Donec suscipit neque mattis neque interdum id auctor neque dapibus. Cras blandit volutpat risus, sed congue leo aliquet ut. Duis commodo accumsan magna, eu ornare mauris dignissim vel. Maecenas tellus sem, tincidunt eget ornare ac, adipiscing in justo. Cras non magna in odio lobortis gravida vitae sit amet lacus. Mauris quis nisl vel purus interdum rhoncus non sit amet tortor. Proin vitae augue odio. Praesent pulvinar mi non est posuere commodo.

Then I’ll add another picture.
20090131-150022-24

Finally I sign the article so people don’t have to guess who I am.
-Anonymous Author

Lastly I add the ending so Postie knows to ignore anything after the word “:end”, like signatures, advertising, undesirable hidden links, mutant spawn in digital form etc.

:end


Now send it on it’s way. If you have the option when you send it we prefer “HTML” or “Rich Text” messages.

To add a YouTube Video:

  • Navigate to the youtube video in a separate browser tab.
  • Find the box marked “URL“.
  • Click once on the text in the box and copy it to your clipboard (right click then select copy).
  • Switch back to your article and find the green multimedia button, like this:
  • Paste the YouTube URL into the URL box that pops up.
  • Click on the preview window, you should see a preview of the video.
  • Press INSERT.

And that’s how to embed a video. If you don’t see a preview, go back to the YouTube page and make sure you copied the entire URL.

Writing articles in WordPress:

In case you haven’t used WordPress before, here are simple instructions on how to write an Post or a Page. For more detailed instructions see WordPress Lessons

To begin you need to be at the Dashboard. The dashboard is located under the Dashboard link in the upper right corner of the sidebar. At the dashboard are numerous drop down boxes along the left side. To begin writing an article, select the arrow under Posts, a menu appears containing a link to edit or add a new post.  To begin a new post, select “Add New” and the browser editor will appear.

Creating a new article, the basics:

  • Enter a title in the Title box. This is the title that will be displayed on the home page so don’t make it real long. The title is what other people see before they read what you wrote so think a minute or two before you fill this in. While you can change the title later, changing it will mess up the indexing services like Google, Yahoo, MSN, ODP, etc.
  • Now click in the empty area below the menu bar and start typing. Keep in mind this is a family gallery so choose your words carefully.
  • Before you publish your article, scroll the whole page up until you can see an area titled TAGS. Enter a couple tags to help people find your article later. The search box uses these tags, as do the indexing services.
  • To see how it will appear before actually posting the article, click the “Preview” button up on the right sidebar. Preview opens a new tab in your browser with the article exactly how it will look to the user.
  • If this is a private post you can check the box next to “keep this post private” before you press PUBLISH.

Editing/changing articles:

  • If you are logged in as the author of an article you’ll see an “Edit This Entry” link at either the top or bottom of your article that will load the article into the editor so you can change it. The editor will automatically save a copy of your changes every so often but…
  • BE SURE TO SAVE IT BEFORE YOU EXIT. WordPress is fairly good about reminding you not to exit without saving but occasionally it misses.

Using the Editor(s):

  • The default for new posts and edits is the Advanced VISUAL editor (TinyMCE). Since the latest release of WordPress (2.5 as of this writing) the editor seems to work well in both Internet Explorer 6 or later, or Firefox. If you are using Opera, Konqueror, you may not be able to use the advanced editor. In general make sure both Flash and Java-jre are installed and working.You are welcome to ask for help here if you need it.
  • The editor has two modes. Visual and HTML. You’ll normally use Visual mode. If you would like to view or edit the actual HTML for an article you can change the mode:Mode Selection in WordPress 2.5
  • Using the Visual editor provides you with a reasonable approximation of how the article will look and has numerous buttons for formatting, editing links, inserting external images and so forth.
  • The editor also has an advanced menu available by pressing the “Show/Hide Kitchen Sink Alt+Shift+Z)” button. Usually the last button or next to last button on the menu bar. You can also use the editor in a full browser window by pressing the “Toggle Full Screen Mode Alt+shift+G” button.There is an advanced editor with many more buttons available containing Table editor and more precise text control but I haven’t set it up. If you are interested send me an email and I’ll get it working.

You can also insert images located on the internet at large using the “Insert/Edit image” button in the center of the menu. Additionally you can upload images or videos using the “Add Media” links at the top of the editor window. See below for more details on adding media.

[NOTE] Images from internet links are loaded when the page is displayed by the reader using the image URL you supply. Images uploaded to either the Gallery or using the Add Media links are loaded from this server when the page loads.

Example using Google image search. Perform a search. In the result window you’ll see thumbnails. If you click the thumbnail it will take you to the page the image came from. At the top of the window is a link to the original thumbnail or image. Clicking this link shows you the the raw image. More importantly you’ll see the URL in your browser address bar. Copy this link and use it to paste a copy of that image in an article using the “insert/edit image” button.

Adding Gallery Images:

The Gallery is an additional, embedded site where blog users can add (upload) pictures to their personal album and reference them in articles or other sites. A gallery album is automatically created for you when you register for an account here. To use it press the Gallery link in the sidebar or the “Photo Gallery” link at the top of the page. If your pictures are for public viewing, upload them to the Dressing for Articles album as it’s publicly available. This means that anyone visiting the site will see pictures in articles if they are in that album.

  • To add images using the VISUAL editor, find the G2 button. It’s usually the last button on the menu bar. When you press it a pop-up opens (you may need to allow popups from trbailey.net ) showing you the base gallery page. Find the image you want by browsing the gallery using the yellow folder and [+] links to open albums. There are page numbers on the bottom of the pop-up.
  • Check the image(s) you want to insert, double check the formatting box (default is floating left so text will wrap around a left justified image) and press the lower insert button. Be sure to read the top of the screen. The topmost insert button inserts a link to the album containing the image rather than the image itself. If you are not happy with the image placement you may select and drag it or press delete, then try again with a different formatting option. All options are css styles.
  • To maintain more control over image placement by entering HTML, first switch to CODE view, then select the WPG2 tab at the top of the editor page to browse the Gallery and add an image. You can add a single image or a link to an entire album. Be aware that switching to CODE view resets your current position to the top of the document.
  • Example of a link to an entire Album. Wallpapers in this case:
  • Example of a link to an item itself. In this case a specific wallpaper: 
  • Example of a text link to an image: WWII Image photo
  • Example of thumbnail with link to parent album, “Gallery/Article Dressing” in the case:27W1_john

Formatting your Articles:

  • If your BLOG is going to be more than one paragraph, Please use the MORE button after your first paragraph so your entire article is not displayed. If you don’t use MORE the first 70 words or so will probably be displayed with a “Finish reading” link below. I do edit articles for MORE tags so if you want to break it in a specific place, do it yourself so I won’t mess up your writing.
  • To add a new line or to break a current line without adding a new paragraph, press shift+enter
    Like this line here. It was added by pressing shift+enter at the end of the previous line.
  • Line and paragraph formatting options can be changed in the Advanced Editor. The next to last button (show/hide kitchen sing) adds additional options to the format bar at the top of the editor.
  • To add a Quote Block (for quoting previous articles or personal comments), press indent in the formatting bar, or you can enter code view and enter <blockquote>quote text</blockquote> like I did below.

Example of a Block Quote:

A Block Quote is indented and highlighted to set it apart from the article text. You can use shift+enter in block quotes as well to keep the next line from being double spaced. It’s appearance is dependent on the specific theme being used.

  • When you are finished writing you can exit the full screen editor and preview the article using “View This Page” at the top of the right sidebar in the editor window. When  you are satisfied Press PUBLISH to keep and publish your Blog as an article.

Editor Options:

The editor opens with a default of 25 lines for the editing window. You can drag it larger using the diagonal grab bar on the lower right corner if it’s too small for your screen.  You can also click the “toggle full screen” icon in the menu bar for a full browser window editor.

Smileys (emoticons) can be added using simple :) or 😉 and they will be converted to graphic emoticons.

See WordPress Codex Smiley for specifics details.

Enjoy!

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