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These days, it seems like everyone has a blog -- from famous names like Katie Couric to your neighbor down the block. Thanks to easy-to-use tools, sharing your life with family and friends is simpler than ever. Read on to learn how you can start blogging right here at LHJ.com.What is a blog?
A blog is a Web page composed of a series of posts, presented in chronological order with the most recent posts on top. Posts can contain text, images, and links to other sites. New posts can be added whenever the writer wants: some blogs are updated once a month; others add new posts every few minutes.
There are millions of blogs on the Internet, with topics ranging from politics to parenting and everything in between. A person who blogs is called a blogger. Many bloggers simply post family photos and news to keep in touch with loved ones.
Blogs are all about community. A blog's readership can include friends, family, fellow bloggers, and even people the blogger has never met. Often, readers can post comments on a blog, sharing their own thoughts on the blogger's posts. A great post can ignite a fascinating discussion -- and even lead to new friendships.What can I post on my blog?
Anything that sparks your interest! Trying to lose weight? Share your journey with fellow fitness buffs. Love spending time with your grandchildren? Tell the world how precious they are -- and post their adorable photos. Your blog should be as individual as you are. Most important, blogging should be fun!
Now that you know the basics, it's time to get started creating your very own LHJ.com blog.
1. To create a blog at LHJ.com, you must be logged in as a member.
2. Once you've logged in, open a new browser window so you can refer back to this page. In your new browser window, click over to the message boards.
3. Now access your persona page: click on your name (in pink) at the top of the page in your new window. Click on the 'Blog' tab to access the blog portion of your account.
4. A blog introduction page will appear (this page will only appear the first time you set up a blog -- after you post your first blog, a list of blogs will appear). Click on "Blog Settings" to start your blog.
5. Fill in the fields to give your blog a title, a tagline, and an image. Set your local time and the number of posts you want to appear on a page.
Now choose whether or not to allow readers to post comments on your blog. If you select "Comments must be approved," comments will not show up until you read and approve them.
Finally, create a blogroll (a list of your favorite blogs). Fill in the titles and links of other blogs -- either LHJ.com or outside blogs. If you don't want to include a blog roll, leave this part blank.
(Note: You can change your blog settings at any time by clicking on the "Blog Settings" tab. So don't feel pressured to come up with a witty blog title or description in one sitting. You can change it later.)
6. Click on "Write New Post" to begin your first blog entry. Give your post a title, and if you want, a tag.
7. When you're done, click "Publish" to add your post to the blog. If you want to come back to your post later, click "Save Draft."
8. Congratulate yourself -- you just posted your first blog entry!
In the blog tab, click on View/Edit posts to change or delete any posts.Tagging Posts
Tags are used to classify posts. For example, any post you write about food can be tagged "food." Posts about movies can be tagged "movies." When you click on a tag, all the posts in that category will be displayed.
You can give posts multiple tags if you want. Separate each tag with a space. (You don't need commas on tags.) For two word tags, run the two words together, as in "battlestargalactica", "mydog", "bookreviews", or "celebritygossip." Tags are completely optional.Dating Posts
You can backdate or post-date your entry by clicking a date on the calendar. Use the default date if you don't want to backdate or post-date your entry: today's date will automatically be selected.Formatting Posts
You can make your post look pretty by changing the font or by adding pictures and links. The buttons below the post window allow you to make changes.
1. If the blogger has chosen to allow comments, a reader can click on the "Comments" link to post a comment on the blog.
2. The commenter types his or her comment in the window, then clicks "Submit" to post the comment on the blog.
3. The comment appears as a link within the post.Approving Comments
If you've set your preferences to "Comments Must Be Approved," readers' comments will not show up until you view and approve them. To approve comments:
In the "Blog" tab, click on "View Comments." To approve a comment, click the check box in front of the comment and click approve. To delete a comment click the check box in front of the comment and click delete.Reporting Abusive Comments
Any blogger, editor, or reader can report a post or a comment as Abuse. The Abuse reports are monitored daily and comments or posts are removed if necessary. If you feel a users' comment needs to removed from your blog, please report it as Abuse. When you click the "Report Abuse" button, a box will appear. Select the appropriate label from the drop-down menu, then click "Report."
Originally published on LHJ.com, March 2007.