Welcome Contributors

Hi Guys,

First of all, one note: this page is only available to registered users. I’ll be adding more info here regularly in hopes of answering your questions. So add comments here as you encounter difficulties. Think of this as our little forum for learning how to use this system.

Second, there is a bit of a difference between users:

Contributors: can write stories that have to be approved by Administrators (Peter and Jim). Contributors cannot upload pictures. Contributor is the default for new users, until Peter or I upgrade you to Author (some of you are already there).

Authors: can write posts and upload pictures AND publish without Peter or me intervening.

Logging In and Out

I’ve added a Login/Out section called “Meta” on the nav bar at right. You’ll want to log out if you’re on a public or shared computer, to keep others from posting in your name.

Once logged in, you’ll be taken to the “Dashboard” which is the admin area of the site. Depending on your user role (author, contributor, administratator) you’ll see different things there. Contributors see the bare minimum, as about all they are able to do is write some text or edit previous posts by them.

For some of us, the “Save” button says “Publish”. But for Contributors, it says “Submit for Review.”


To write a Post, click on New Post at the top right of the Dashboard (or do a quick post on the Dashboard home). Type a headline and type your content:

Picture 6Note that I’ve shown you some simple formatting. To format something as BOLD, first select the text then click on the B. I is for italic, then strikethrough, numbered list, bullet list, quote (indented), flush left, centered, flush right, link, unlink, page break, spell check, toggle fullscreen mode and Kitchen Sink.

Not also that button on the far right: show Kitchen Sink. It’s really badly marked, I think, but when you click it, you get a whole other line of buttons, some of which are useful:

kitchensinkThe FORMAT button pulls down to useful things like Headlines (1, 2, 3, etc.). Don’t go too crazy with all this but it’s good to know it’s there.

In all cases, these formatting options only work when the text is selected.

Adding Photos

Once you’re upgraded to Author, you’ll get even more buttons: Upload/Insert, which comes in above the others:

Picture 7

That first one (again badly marked IMHO) is for inserting pictures. Click it and you’ll be asked to “SELECT FILES” on your hard drive. It’s best to make your pictures a reasonable size (about 1000-1200 pixels) and save as JPG before uploading. (If you don’t do that, it may take a while to upload.) Then insert into the post as “medium” size with a link to the full size.

Make sure your picture has the suffix: “.jpg”     Ideally, the filename should be lower case and have no spaces or odd characters ie: myprettypic.jpg    Bad forms include “my pretty pic.jpg”  “MyPrettyPic” “!@#prettypic.jpg”

A couple of further notes:


One of the most common complaints is: I wrote a post and it didn’t show up. You need to click the dark-blue PUBLISH button. For some of you with the user level of Contributor, it will be “Save Draft” or “Submit” or some such thing. You don’t have the right to publish. Alert an Admin (Jim or Peter) and they’ll publish, edit, etc.


Once you’ve published a post, the Publish button changes to Update. You can (and should) go back to a post if you find a typo or inaccuracy to correct. Just log in, click Posts, then Edit in the left navigation bar, find your post, click on it to edit, make the changes to the post, then make sure you click Update.

What if I forget Publish or Update?

Luckily, the system saves Drafts, even (most of the time) those that we’ve never actually saved. It’s pretty smart. They’re sometimes hard to find so feel free to ask Jim if you wrote a masterpiece but can’t find it.


The category of a post is pretty crucial, as it allows viewers to see a full list of posts in that category really easily. Some rules:

  • A post should ideally have only one category (need more, add “post tags” instead)
  • You should choose from the list if a category exists for your post
  • You should only add a category if your post does not fit any already there (category creep is a bad thing).


Email Peter or Jim

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