Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Some additional directions in using blogs

So Ruby, first things first. Let's get some paragraphs on these blog posts and change the way the blog looks. (I'll write a different blog post on what we are doing in the "Four thumbs, one toe" blog). Once you have set up your blog on blogger (or most any other blog software), you'll want it to look the way you want your readers to look at your online persona. Yes, your identity (or online persona) can be different than who you are in the face to face world! Or you can have it represent who you want to be, who you think you truly are, or who you think others see you as.

How do you do that?

First choose a template (a background, font or writing style, pictures, blog headings) that suits you. So Ruby, I hate the fact that we can't see paragraphs. The current template we have is way too casual and a bit too "flighty" (could be the birds). So here is how you change the template: Go back to your "dashboard"; in other words the main menu that controls your blog.*

On the side menu on the left, second from the bottom is the "settings" heading. After you click on this, you can click on "template" to change the look of your blog or you can click on "layout" if you want to just move around the various menus and features on your blog. So Ruby, click on templates. You will see a graphic that comes up named "live view". Now play around with any of the templates. When you click on them, you can see what it will look like by looking at the live view. Find one that you like and then save it. You may also want to be more adventurous and click on the "customize" button. You can change the font, heading styles, font and background colors, and layout. Don't be afraid to experiment.

Once you have chosen a template/style, and you have a blog post "published" you may want to see how others see your blog. You can do this three different ways. Once you have the post written, and before you click on "publish" click on "preview (up on the top two buttons down from the "publish" button). The second way is to click on "View Blog" at anytime up in the right hand top of the screen. The final way is in the blog post menu (click on "blog posts") you will see options of edit, view, comments. If you click on view, you will go to the public view of your blog post. After you have chosen the template, you may also want to add pictures to your blog. I will post directions for that in a future post. You may also want to add a "label (on the right side of the post settings) which describes your post. You may also want to identify where you were when you wrote your post. This is especially useful if you are using the blog to record a trip. All of these help the reader to relate to who you are as a blogger.

If your view still does not come out the way you want it to, you might want to change the mode in which you are composing. For blogger, you have 2 options for formatting: compose or HTML. HTML is a computer code used to format a web page. It includes commands for bold, links, line brakes, and/or graphics. The HTML mode shows the commands (the commands will be between brackets <> with an abbreviation or word such as br for line break or bold). When writing in HTML mode, you will need to enter lines between paragraphs. Compose mode shows you (pretty much) how your post will look when it is published. However, if you are going to cut and paste your post from a word document, you should use the HTML mode because Word acts weird/doesn't translate well in the compose mode. You can use the edit buttons (B, I, ABC, Link, ")up on top in either mode (compose or HTML) so don't be intimidated with using the HTML view.**

*Note 1: If you are using blogger and you forget how to get to your blog, sign into google (or gmail if you know your gmail account). Your name will show up on the upper right corner. Click on that and a drop down menu will come up. Click on account (below your name on the left side). Click on "products" on the menu the comes up on the far left hand side. Now all the google products that you have signed up for (google +, youtube, gmail, blogger, just to name a few) will show. Click on blogger and now you are at your "dashboard".

** Note 2: I don't have any knowledge of HTML, however I always compose in HTML mode. I can see where the formatting is, in case it doesn't show up in the blog "view". I can then go back and add bolding, line breaks between paragraphs, quotes (in which sections are indented), and links.

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