If you're new on here or just haven't gotten around to writing your own blog, then pay attention. There will be a pop quiz at the end of the lecture. What's that? There's not much pop to a quiz you know about? Okay wiseguy, go see the principal. You have lunch detention.
For the rest of you, here are some step by step ideas for how to blog. If you want to know what to blog about, I can't help you there. Everyone has their own idea as to what's on their mind. But that's the idea. Write what's on your mind at the time.
Whatever you do, avoid using all caps. NO ONE WANTS TO READ A BLOG THAT HAS ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT'S LIKE LISTENING TO SOMEONE YELL THE WHOLE TIME! It also helps to hit the enter key now and again between thoughts. If you come to a new theme or idea then hit that enter or return key. It's easier on the eyes.
It also doesn't hurt to use spell check or grammar check now and again. If you're grammatically and lexically challenged then I would recommend Mozilla Firefox (thanks for the idea Tracy). It has a built in spell check and grammar check almost as if you were typing in Word. You can also always type in Word or whatever word processing software you use and cut and paste.
Now you might be wondering how do you even get started, going, and finished. Let me tell you. If a big ole (not really) Polar Bear can do it then you can too.
1. You have to put some title in the top. Make it catchy and simple. If you can't do catchy than at least make it simple. Complex only turns most readers off. What? You know we're the Short Attention Span Generation!
2. You can fiddle with the Font Family and Font Size to make sure that your font looks good and is big enough for people to read. There's also the "A" with the bar underneath it, which controls the colors of the font. I wouldn't recommend getting too fancy with that until you have a few blogs under your belt. There is also the obligatory B= bold I= for italics and U for underline.
3. Should you wish to get fancy and insert links to other sites from your blog you can click on the chain icon which will immediately give you a pop up window where you can type or paste the link in (pasting is always recommended).
4. Pictures always brighten a blog and gives it that extra zest. If you've seen most of my blogs you know I go overboard with my pictures. But then as the old saying goes a picture's worth a thousand words. Just make sure you paint the right words and that the images are wholesome enough. Otherwise you will find your picture removed with a broken link in it's place.
5. How do you get a picture in a blog? You can't cut and paste. FanNation just isn't designed this way. You have to click on that little tree icon (see picture below) and a pop up window will open. You need to paste the link in the first field, and you can always put a witty title or caption in the Title field. You also have to choose where the picture is aligned. I always pick middle or absolute middle. Experiment and figure out what works for you. Once you're done, click insert. You should see the picture embedded in your blog.
*Now your options for finding links to pictures are as follows (as far as I know):
A) Use a web portal and search the images. Once you find the one you like click the "View Image and copy and paste from the address line into the popup window. This is fine and usually works. Now sometimes it doesn't. So what do you do?
B) Flickr.com, Photobucket or imagedeposit are three sites I know of that you can post images from your computer and get an instant link to put in your blogs. It's a great way to store your pics and you don't waste any hard drive doing it.
C) Forget all of that if you want to keep it simple. Believe it or not, you have a place on your profile to store images. Now what you might not have know about them is that you can right click on those images and you will see a URL on those (Thank you Schwartz for teaching me this handy trick!) that you can copy and paste into the pop up window. What's really cool is you can always delete the image from your profile, and it will still be embedded in the blog.
6. We're getting to the end. I know it's a bit long. You need to choose what category your blog is in. You will see a drop down menu that gives you options for General Sports, NFL, MLB, etc. Specify it so you funnel readers to your blog.
7. Tags are critical because they will link your blog to other blogs, Truth and Rumors, and other areas of FanNation. So if you type something about the Steelers, it will show up in another blog or newspiece dealing with the Steelers. The more specific and varied your tags the more readers you will get.
8. Last step. I swear! Once you're done, you'll notice that all FN blogs have little icons between the blog and the comments. Use the one that says "Share it". You'll shortly get a pop uo window allowing you to either send the blog link to an e-mail account, or a group.
- Be extremely careful with this. It's best to pick the group(s) that you're in that would be interested in this. Send a hockey blog to your hockey group, not the Yankees group.Whatever you do, don't send it out to too many groups. Spamming is frowned upon, and generally not appreciated.
- My best recommendation (shameless plug) is to join and utilize The FanNation Community for this such purpose. It's the largest active group, reaching a wide variety of people who also belong to other groups. This is also a great way to make friends and get connected to other groups BTW!
So that's pretty much it. That's the basics, as far as I know. If they're are any updates, I'll edit the blog. If you have any questions, it's best to put them in the comments. Please do not think by any stretch of the imagination that I'm a blog expert or professor. This is just one user passing on some information to help out fellow users on here. Hope you enjoyed this and here's hoping it's useful to you.