Administrativia — Registering to contribute to web

I was pleased at the response at the Guild meeting today from members who want to contribute to the web project.  However, I see some confusion about what it means to be registered on the blog site.

On the Blog page, there are two places to register.  One is the “subscribe to blog via email” at the bottom of the right sidebar.  This is what gets you email notification of new posts, and is managed by–I have no record of who has registered, and this simply provides you with email notification only.  However, if you are a Guild member and want to eventually contribute to the web, you must also log in, which is in the “Meta” section above the “subscribe”.  When you click on “Login”, you will be directed to a page asking for your username and password, if you have one.  Below that block is a link to “Register”  If you haven’t previously registered, click on that, then enter your profile, including your full name in addition to your email address.

Since we are configured in “self-service” registration mode, we have a lot of non-guild subscribers, most of them spammers from China and Poland (who have no privileges that the non-subscribing public doesn’t have) some of whom have gmail or hotmail addresses, so the easiest way for me to see which email addresses belong to members is for you to include your name.  You can then send mail to requesting elevation to “contributor,” “author,”  or “editor,” which will respectively allow you to write articles, publish your own articles, or edit and approve articles written by others and create or edit web pages.

Once you have been granted one of these privileges, you will be able to access the adminstrative section (which WordPress calls the Dashboard) where you can explore the editor and practice composing posts, previewing them as they will appear “online” and, if you have author or editor status, publish them.  Editors can also create and modify web pages as well as blog posts.  The editor is a simplified word processor that is web-aware.  At the top of the edit box you will see some familiar icons that allow you to format text as bold, italic, bulleted or numbered lists, centered, etc.  An interesting one is the “Distraction-Free Editing Mode,” which gives you a full-screen page with no menu bars that looks like your article will appear on the web. Hovering the mouse pointer near the top of the screen will bring up a toolbar to get back to the “dashboard” editor display. “Show/Hide ‘Kitchen Sink'” will display more editing tools, including a “Paste from Word” so you can compose in your favorite word processor and select and paste into the blog editor later, preserving your formatting.

If you want special web effects (like tables or additional HTML formatting), you can switch from Visual mode to Text mode through tabs at the top of the edit window.  Or, you can save as draft and ask me to “fix” it for you.  If you copy from an email or other document and the result looks strange, you can use the “remove formatting” tool and reformat the content yourself. You can use the “Add Media” button to upload pictures or documents or insert existing media library objects. It may be easier to to insert these into text than to add them as you go, as the cursor won’t go past a picture if it is the last thing in a file (though there is a way to get around this feature, by going into ‘text’ mode, typing some characters after the picture block, then switching back to Visual). When finished, you can preview, save draft, or publish.  Don’t forget to select Format and Categories on the right sidebar before publishing,

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About Larye

New weaver and amateur loom mechanic. 50-year career in information technology, now self-employed and semi-retired: specialize in Unix systems administration, web site development, and bioinformatics applications programming. Other interests include bicycle touring, aircraft construction, and quilting. Married to weaver/spinner/quilter/cyclist Judy.