DP Blog Getting Started

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DP Official Documentation - General

Be a DP Blogger

This page takes you through all the steps you need to take to write your very first post for DP's Blog, Hot off the Press, and get it published for everybody to enjoy. If you have any problems following the instructions below, please post to the DP Bloggers forum, so we can try to help you.

There are now two ways to create and submit a blog post:

  • Through WordPress, or
  • Through an e-mail or private message (PM) to the DP Blog Editors.

Each method has its own advantages.

  • The WordPress method, which is easy to learn and use, gives you more control over formatting, and the published blog post will automatically list you as the author.
  • The e-mail or PM method obviates the need to learn WordPress, and a DP Blog Editor takes care of formatting for you. Although the published blog post will automatically list the editor as the author, a credit line will be added at the end with whatever name you prefer to use.

Whatever method you use, you'll need to do two things:

  • Before you write, please make sure someone else hasn't already covered the topic you want to write about. You can either post your proposed topic in the DP Bloggers forum, or send an e-mail to the DP Blog Editors at dp-blog at pgdp dot net.
  • Please take a look at the Blog Writing Guidelines for writing tips and for some important rules regarding copyright, privacy, and courtesy.

Submitting a Blog Post via WordPress

Creating a WordPress ID

If you already have an account at WordPress.com, you can skip this step.

Otherwise, go to WordPress.com, click the "Sign Up Now" or "Get a free Blog" links that are somewhere there (or use the "Register" link on our blog), and you'll get taken to this screen:

WordPress login screen

The user name you choose doesn't matter too much, you'll be able to choose the name or nickname with which to sign your posts later. Make sure to remember the e-mail-address you use for registering; you'll need it later.

Unless you want to start your own blog as well (you can always do that later with the same ID if you change your mind), use the "signup for just a username" link.

After clicking "Create Blog" or "Sign up", you'll get an email from WordPress confirming you've signed up. Click the link in the email and you'll be taken to a WordPress Dashboard.

Editing Your Personal Profile

Once you've created your WordPress user ID, you can edit your personal profile. When you're first logged in, you're on the page to edit your profile. To return to this page, you should see <Your Public Display Name> on the upper right. When you hover over it, "Edit My Profile" is one of the choices that appears in the menu.

In the upper part of that screen there are some general options, and near the bottom of the page you can upload an avatar if you want. (They use Gravatars so the avatar can be set up to follow you whenever you post or comment on another site.)

Above that, in the "Name" section, you can choose the name with which your posts are signed. If you enter anything in the different name fields, you need to update your profile, and afterwards you will be able to choose the option you want under "Display name publicly as".

Getting Added to the Blog as a Contributor

Send a PM to alisea that includes the username and the e-mail address you used to register at WordPress. You'll receive an e-mail from WordPress that you've been added to the blog. When you log in, you should now be able to choose the DP Blog.

Writing Your First Blog Post

Once you're logged in, you should find yourself on the Dashboard for the DP Blog, "Hot off the Press":

WordPress Dashboard

In the upper right, marked with that red rectangle, there's a button saying "New Post." Clicking this will get you here:

WordPress Editing interface

This is the interface for actually writing a blog post. You can just start typing in the text window; the buttons above work as expected for formatting and adding links or multimedia files. Give your article a title, maybe a tag or two. You should also choose at least one category. The Blog Writing Guidelines have some tips on adding public-domain images or sound files to your posts.

Your draft is automatically saved quite often. You can use the Preview button on the upper right to show a preview of your post in a new window and see it will actually look when it's posted.

Submit for Review

When everything looks good to you, hit the Submit for Review button on the upper right. Now it's the editor's responsibility to review your blog post and get it published. The Blog Writing Guidelines will give you an idea of what a blog editor will be looking for.

The editor will contact you as to any changes or suggestions. The editor will also give you an estimate as to when your blog post might be published. If your blog post relates to a special day, you can request that it be published on or near that day.

Once any changes are made, the editor will finalize your blog post and schedule it for publishing.


Submitting a Blog Post via E-Mail or PM

Don't want to deal with WordPress? We welcome submissions via e-mail or PM!

Creating Your Blog Post

You can create your blog post directly within your e-mail or PM, or, for e-mail, you can attach a plaintext file. Consult the Blog Writing Guidelines for tips on how to write your blog post.

If you're attaching a file, please name it with your DP name, e.g., lcantoni.txt.

Submitting Your Blog Post

If you're using e-mail, send it to dp-blog at pgdp dot net (remembering to delete the spaces and replace "at" with @ and "dot" with a period) with a brief summary of what your post is about. If you have a separate .txt file, attach it. You don't have to zip it.

If you're sending your blog post via PM, send it to one of the blog editors: alisea, CousinJenny, or LCantoni.

Please indicate what name you'd like to use as author credit.

If you want to include any public-domain image or sound files, please include in your e-mail any links to where they can be found online, and give a brief idea of why you believe they're in the public domain (e.g., they came from a PG e-book). See the Blog Writing Guidelines for more information on public domain multimedia.

A blog editor will acknowledge receipt and get back to you as to any changes or suggestions. The editor will also give you an estimate as to when your blog post might be published. If your blog post relates to a special day, you can request that it be posted on or near that day.

Once any changes are made, a blog editor will finalize the post on WordPress with links and any images, add a credit to you at the end, and schedule it for publishing.

Seeing Your Blog Post

Once your post is published, you can see it on the DP Blog. You can subscribe to receive automatic e-mails whenever there's a new blog post — it's a great way to keep up with what your colleagues are blogging about. You can also sign up to be notified of any comments on your blog post.

If you want to send your friends a link to your blog post, the title of the post contains a permanent link to that particular post (as opposed to the whole blog).

Congratulations, you're a DP Blogger!

To comment or request edits to this page, please contact lhamilton or wfarrell.

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