I thought it would be good to provide a little instruction on how to get your blog up and running. So, here is some basics to get you under way.

What is a Blog?

A blog is like an online interactive public diary of you which people can freely view and leave comments. It's there to build a public image, show pictures, text, links etc.

Setup and configuration of your Blog

To access blogs, Click on "Blogs" on the Menu Bar..




This will now take you to the blog area and it will show you the latest Blog entries and random posts from the blogs.




The first thing to do is to configure your blog Options, this can be done by clicking on "Blog Control Panel" as seen below.





Once in the control panel, your next job is to setup the blog and it's options.

So, click on "Blog Title and Description". In this area, You can give your blog it's title and type in a good description of what your blog is all about. For example, tell people a little about yourself, your tanks, etc etc..and then click on "Submit".





Next, go to "Blog Options". Here you can configure things like notifications, whether you allow people to leave comments about your blog or entries, how you want to be notified of a new comments. When you are done, click "save changes".





Next, click on "Blog Catagories". This is where you can assign catagories to each blog entry. This feature enables other members to search through your blog on a specific catagory. For example, Fish as in the example shown below. When you have created your catagories, click on "Save Display Order". From this screen, you can also edit or ammend your catagories.





Next is "Blog Subscriptions". This shows you a list of member's blogs that you have subscribed to. When you make a comment on a members blog, the default option is to recieve instant email notification of the new comment or blog entry. You can change how you are notified in "Blog Options" of your blog control panel.





Next is "Blog Entry Subscriptions". This area will show you the list of entries made to the member's blogs you have subscribed to, which are listed above in "Blog Subscriptions". This works on exactly the same process as the thread subscriptions in the normal forum threads.





Your blog is now configured for you to use. So, what we now need to do is get blogging and turn you into what is commonly known as a "Blogger"..

Click on "Go to My Blog"





This takes you to your blog home page. This is the page that you can add a link to in your signature as a hyperlink.

So, to make your first entry, Click on "Post to my Blog"





This page is very similar to creating a post on a forum thread. You type in a title, the actual blog entry, assign it a "Blog Catagory", add any pictures via the attachments button or the [IMG] links from Photobucket, etc etc.

What you do have the ability to do here is to type it all out, and not publish the entry. You would do this if you want to type out the entry over a period of time. When you use the "Publish Status" and set it to "Draft Blog Entry", it will be hidden from all members untill you finish the entry, and change the publish status to "Publish Now". When you're finished, click on "Post Now".







Congrats, thats your blog underway with your first blog entry.

While viewing your own personal blog, you have the option to delete a blog entry if you wish to via the "Moderation Options" at the bottom of the page.





Another new forum feature is the blog search. This can be accessed in the same way as you would do to search the forum on word strings.





If you click on "Advanced Search" on the blog search, you will be presented with a search page where you can search on title, text, member name and some filters.






Viewing peoples Blogs

Whilst browsing the forum, if you look below a members avatar and post count, you will see two new options :-
  • Personal Blog
  • Blog Entries ( and the number of entries on the Blog )



By clicking on the Personal Blog, you will be taken to that members blog home page. The Blog Entries shows you how many blogs have been made on the members blog. Clicking on either of these will take you to the members blog home page. Here you can view a members entry in short format and by clicking on "Continue Reading" at the bottom of the entry, it will take you to the full entry of that blog. Here you can leave a comment on the entry in the same way you would leave a post on a thread in the forum. One main difference here is that you dont have the option to add an attachment.





You have a few options also available to you here. They are Report a Blog Entry, Subcribe to Blog Entry and to see the little online icon.



Other basics:
General Options are the search facility where you can search on a specific string of words, browse the members blog by catagories, see the most recent blog comment and browse the blog by calendar date.

I hope you find this write up usefull in getting you under way on your new blogging diary.

Niko