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A Tutorial for Newbies

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Here we have an in depth and detailed tutorial for blogging newbies complete with pictures. How cool is that?

So, this is your "landing page" this is what the page might look like (this is what it looks like today anyway) when you come to the website. You will notice that the content above the dividing line with the date on it doesn't change often if at all. The content below it changes every time something new is published (or posted). On the right is a long column of links to various pages within The Prosperity Project, as well as links to other sites, and some interesting stuff to explore. The content in the right hand column is subject to changes and rearrangment as I am constantly working to add cool new stuff and delete what is old and outdated.

The Prosperity Project Landing Page

Currently, you will see that if you scroll down, our "front" page has 5 articles. And if you are looking for something older than that you can check the "previous posts" list, or if you are interested in something specific you can explore the "labels" links. I may add a "search this site" box later on this week.

To join the project, you can subscribe. The subscription box looks like this: It's located in the right hand column.
The Subscription Box

This is where you would type in your email address to receive the Prosperity Project via email. You will not get spammed. The subscriptions are handled through Feedburner and are never shared with anyone. It's free and it's easy... so hey, why not do it now?

As you scroll down the page, you will see, at the bottom of each post, and before the next one starts, a number of links. It looks like this:

At the bottom of each post

If you click on the "comments" link, a box will pop up that allows you to leave comments. This is a screen shot of the box that will pop up.

The Comment Box

(On your computer, the colors might be different.) If you click on "comments"; and your computer asks you if you want to allow a pop up, go ahead and say yes. If you have an older computer, or are running windows 95, or if you don't have java or other scripting enabled, your comment box may look completely different. If that's the case, and you cannot figure out how to comment, send me an email and let me know. I'll see if I can figure out how to do a work around.

If the box pops up like it's supposed to, simply type your comment in the box provided. Again, the colors might be different, but it should look something like this:

Writing your comment

After you have written your comment, and under that box, you will find these three options. It's called "Choose an identity".

Comment Box Signing In

I am assuming that you are a blogging newbie and do not have a blogger (or other) account. So, we're going to ignore that option. What you will want to do is select the option that says "nickname" and type your name there. It can be a nickname, a screen name, or your real name. That's entirely up to you.

There is also a space for a website URL. If you have a website, or a MySpace page, or any other web address that you are affiliated with, type in that address. This is also optional. The purpose for it is so that other people commenting and reading your comments can get to know you a little better, see what you are up to, find out what you are interested in, etc. If you do put your website address in, be sure to include all of it, including the http:// part of it.

Comment Box Signing In

Once you have the comment written, and you have "signed in" either as a "blogger" or with a nickname, you can choose the option to "preview" your post.

The preview (as you can see below) will show up in a yellow box, your post, as you can see, is still in the box, and if you see anything you'd like to change, go ahead and change it now.

Previewing your comment

After you click "publish" the comment box will reload and tell you that your comment has been saved. (See the screenshot below).

If you clicked publish, and you didn't get this message at the top, scroll down and look for a reason. It should be written in red.

Published Comment

To close the comment box, simply click on this link (circled in red) and the box will close.

Closing the comment box

The comment box can be moved out of the way so that you can refer to the post if you need (or want) to. Move your mouse to the top of the box, see where the red arrow is?

Moving the Comment Box

Now left click and hold... that means don't click and let go, click and hold down as you drag the box to where you'd like for it to be.

What if you "lose" your comment box? One moment it's there, and the next moment it's gone. If you are sure that you didn't accidentally close it, look down at the bottom of your screen. As you can see in this screen shot, the comment box has been minimized. To bring it back up, all you have to do is click on it.

Lose your comment box?

If you would like to read the comments but not necessarily leave a comment, you can click on the title to the post. See where the red arrow is?

Post Title is a Link

The page will reload, and only that post will be shown. Now, if you scroll down to the bottom of the post, you will see that all the comments are now showing. The bottom of the page will look something like this:

Comments at Bottom of  Post

And at the very bottom of the post it will look like this:

Below the Comments

Do you see the link that says "home"? Clicking on that link will bring up the "landing page" or the first page of The Prosperity Project. Do you see the link that says "older posts"? That link will take you to the previous post. And also, as you can see, there is a link that says "Post a comment". If you click on that link, the Comment Box will pop up.

Another feature that we have is the ability to email posts to friends and colleagues. If you click on that little envelope icon at the bottom of each post, you will open a page that allows you to send the link to the post to someone via email. If you hover your mouse over that little green "snapshots"; icon, you will see a preview of the page that will come up, like this:

Emailing a Post

And as you can see, we have another option for emailing a post provided through Feedburner. Here's a preview of how that looks:

Emailing a Post

So what is that SnapShots thingy anyway? What you are seeing is a preview of the site. This allows you to look before you leap (so to speak). Our site is enhanced with SnapShots. A post about it can be found here. If you hover your mouse over that cute little icon next to active links, this preview box will pop up.

Snap Shots

If you preview a site and you get something that looks like the screenshot below, and says RSS, this just means that that you are seeing are the current posts instead of a preview of what the site actually looks like.

SnapShots of sites with Feeds

If you'd rather see what the site looks like, you can click on that little blue box up at the top on the left side of the snapshots box. It's right next to the orange button. Below is a preview of that same site, but with the image enabled instead of the "feed" (orange button).

Snap Shots Image Option

Be aware that the previews from snapshot are based on the last time Google actually indexed that site, and the pages may be outdated.

You will also notice that when your mouse moves over an image, the snapshots preview will pop up.

Snap Shots on images

In this case, the image in question is hosted at Zooomr and the zoomr page has previewed. And all the shots in this tutorial might possibly preview at Flickr. I tried, but was unable to configure snapshots to ignore images. Personally, I think this is the only confusing part of the SnapShots plug in. And my advice is to just ignore it unless the photo page looks interesting and you want to go exploring.

You might also notice that if you hover your mouse over a link, a box that looks like this might pop up. This is because we have enabled an Amazon Text widget - I did that as a simple way to "monetize" the blog (possibly bring in some extra income) and also as a convenience. This way, I don't have to go to Amazon and find links to all the books and subjects we cover and neither do you.

Amazon Widget

Sometimes, as you can see, their choice of subject matter in this case is way off the mark... but often it is right on and appropriate.

And so this concludes a mega long tutorial about the features available here at The Prosperity Project. I really hope that this makes every thing more clear instead of more complicated. And if you read it all the way through... not only am I impressed, I'm pleased and appreciative. Thank you.

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