Help Topic: Blogs
The blog section of the community can be used to read other members' blogs, and to create a blog yourself. To access it, click the "Blogs" tab at the top of any page.
Blog Home Page
When you first go into the blogs, you will see a list of blogs. Important blogs and your favorite blogs will be shown at the top, followed by all other blogs. You may also see a featured blog entry above the list.
Blogs may be local blogs, meaning that they are stored within the community, or they may be external blogs, which are links to blogs not stored within the community.
For local blogs, you will see the title of the most recent entry along with a short excerpt from it, and details of the blog such as the title of the blog, to whom it belongs and the total number of comments, entries and views the blog has had. For external blogs, you will just see the title of the blog, to whom it belongs and the total number of views. To view any blog, you can click on the title of the blog. For hosted blogs, you may also click on the title of the most recent entry.
Changing the View
There are a few ways the blogs can be displayed. You can change the display using the filters at the top of the blog list:
Dashboard - An aggregated view of the latest entries from all blogs.
All Blogs - A table view, which is similar to how topics are shown on the forums.
Local - As above but limited to local hosted blogs.
External linked blogs - As above but limited to linked blogs using 3rd party services.
Following a blog
You are able to follow a blog and subscribe to be notified of updates to it by clicking on the follow blog button.
Below the blog list, you can see statistics of the blogs, such as who is currently reading the blogs, the total number of blogs, the newest blog, etc.
There are also links to see the top 10 viewed blogs, top 10 commented blogs, and 10 blogs with the most entries.
This only applies to local blogs. For external blogs, you will be taken to the blog when clicking on the blog name.
In the center of the blog page, you will see a list of recent entries. You will see the title of the entry, who posted it and when, the entry itself and how many comments and trackbacks it has had.
You can click the entry title to see the full entry, along with trackbacks and comments, or press "comments" or "trackbacks" to be taken straight to those areas.
You may be able to rate a blog by selecting one of the stars at the top of the blog. After rating, you may be able to change your rating by selecting a different star. In some cases, the stars may not be shown or you may not be able to click on them.
In the left or right columns of the blog, you will see blocks containing various content. Which blocks are shown and their positions will vary based on the blog owner's configuration. The most common content blocks are:
You can share blog stories with sites such as Twitter or Facebook, or share them via Email, by using the "Share" buttons found below each entry.
When viewing an entry you may see any trackbacks stored for the entry, if the blog has trackbacks enabled. You can access the trackback URL by pressing the "Trackback URL" link.
At the bottom of an entry's page, you will see any existing comments on the entry. Below the comments will be a textbox you can use to leave your own comment.
Creating and Managing Your Blog
Creating a Blog
You may be able to create your own blog within the community. To do so, visit the "Blogs" tab in your settings panel. Under "Your Blog Settings" you will see your current blog if you have one. If you can create a blog, you will also see a section titled "Create a Blog" - you must read and accept the terms by checking the box, and pressing Next >.
You can then give your blog a name and description and choose if it will be a local or external blog. When you are ready, press Finish.
You will now be taken back to the "Your Blog Settings". Make sure if you are setting up an external blog that you now go into your blog settings and enter your blog URL.
You may be able to create more than one blog, and you may not have all settings mentioned above available to you.
Your Blog Settings
From the "Your Blog Settings" area of your settings panel, you can click on your blog name to manage its settings, including:
To add an entry, you can either click "Post new entry" beside your blog from "Your Blog Settings", or press the Add Entry button from your blog.
You will need to enter a title for your entry. You can enter "tags" for your entry, which can be used to separate entries into categories if you frequently blog about multiple subjects.
You may be able to choose the date that the entry is posted on, and if you have more than one blog, you can choose the blog it should be saved to.
You may be able to add a poll to your entry just like you would on the forums.
You should the type your entry like any message. You may be able to add attachments to your entry.
At the very bottom of the page you can choose to submit your entry as a "Draft", meaning it will not be published right away, or, as "Published", which will mean it is immediately available for others to view.
When you are ready, press Post New Entry.
Changing Your Blog Theme
You may be able to change your blog's theme to a different style by pressing the " Change Theme" button from your blog. This will bring up a pop-up displaying the styles you can choose from. Click on a style to change your blog.
You may be able to create your own theme by choosing the " Create a custom theme" option from the same "Change Theme" Menu. This will bring up a box that will allow you to change the theme of your blog by entering custom CSS code, or using the color picker. Once you have saved your theme, it may have to be approved by an administrator before it becomes active.
You can add content blocks by pressing the "Add Blocks" button from your blog.
The functions of the default blocks are explained earlier in this help file, or you may be able to add your own blocks by pressing the " Add Custom Content Block" option. There may be additional content block options available.
You can move your content blocks by clicking and holding on the title bar and then moving them to the new location, which can be in the left or right columns.
To remove a content block, press the icon.