As a contributor on Live Blog, you'll be doing all your work in the Blog Edit view, and specifically in its left pane, so let's take a closer look at that. When you first open a blog, this is what you see:
You are in the Editor tab, which is the top tab of three.
The two tabs below it are, respectively, Contributions and Drafts.
The cursor is already blinking away in the text entry box, waiting for you to start typing, so go ahead!
When you've written something you would like to post, click the SUBMIT button. Your post will be queued in the Contributions tab, ready to be reviewed by an editor.
Alternatively, if you'd like to save your post and come back to work on it later, click the SAVE DRAFT button. That puts your post into the Drafts tab, from which you can retrieve it, or delete it, later.
Would you like to add some formatting or a link? Select the text in question, and a formatting toolbar will appear. You can make your text bold, italic or strikethrough, add or remove a hyperlink, create a numbered list or bullet points, and clear existing formatting. The editor even responds to the familiar keyboard shortcuts for bold and italic text (Ctrl+b, Ctrl+i).
If you click the PREVIEW button, you'll see your post exactly as it would be displayed when published. Plain text doesn't look much different when previewed, but previewing can be useful for more complex content. Having previewed, click EDIT to return to the editor view.
If you ever need to clear the contents of the editor tab completely and start afresh, click the RESET button. You will be asked to confirm this -- a chance to change your mind.
You'll notice that the words ADD BLOCK HERE appear above and below the text entry box. Clicking on either of them will bring up a set of four buttons: TEXT, IMAGE, EMBED and QUOTE.
Clicking on the TEXT button will put you back in a text entry box, as seen above.
To add an image, after clicking ADD BLOCK HERE, click on the IMAGE button. An image upload box will appear. You can either drag an image onto it, or click SELECT FROM FOLDER.
When your image has been uploaded, it will appear in the image box and you can optionally provide a description and details of the photographer.
Go ahead and SUBMIT or SAVE DRAFT.
With Live Blog, you can embed content from anywhere else on the Web.
To add some embedded content, click on ADD BLOCK HERE and then the EMBED button. A field will appear into which you can paste a link or an embed code.
At its simplest, you can just copy the address of a web page you'd like to include in your post.
Paste the link into the embed field, and Live Blog will immediately read that web page and display a summary of its contents.
Then SUBMIT or SAVE DRAFT, as you prefer.
If the web page you're embedding contains images, Live Blog will include the most prominent of them in its summary.
Below the image, you will see a remove the illustration link. If you'd like your page summary to appear without the image, click that link. The image will be hidden, and in its place there will be a show the illustration link.
To un-hide the image, just click show the illustration.
Usually, you'll be wanting to embed or refer to an individual item rather than a whole web page.
Most social networks and other content-rich services offer direct links and embed codes as a way of referencing individual items. In Twitter, for instance, it's easy to copy the link or embed code of an individual tweet.
Paste into your blog's embed field, and your embedded content is loaded in an instant, ready for you to add a description if desired.
Follow a similar procedure for any other social media or content you'd like to embed.
Behind the scenes, Live Blog uses a service called embed.ly to turn your links into attractively presented embedded content. embed.ly can deal with more than 300 of the most popular social media services.
When your embedded item is ready, click SUBMIT, or if you'd like to postpone it for later review or publication, click SAVE DRAFT.
Live Blog offers a way of styling plain text as a quote, which can make quite an impact in the timeline. This is how it looks when published:
To add a styled quote like this, click ADD BLOCK HERE and then the QUOTE button. A quote box will appear into which you can type the quote and a credit (for the name of the person who said it).
As ever, when you're ready, click either SUBMIT or SAVE DRAFT.
Starting in version 3.0, Live Blog now lets you create multi-item posts.
To begin with, you've created a single-item post. Now click on one of the ADD BLOCK HERE links above or below it. The TEXT, IMAGE, EMBED and QUOTE buttons will appear.
Click one, and add the next item of content.
ADD BLOCK HERE links continue to appear above and below each item in your multi-item post, allowing you to combine your commentary and multiple items of content with a high degree of flexibility.
When your multi-item post is published in the timeline, it will be combined into a single post with just the one timestamp and by-line. We hope you will find this new feature very useful!
The second of the three tabs in Blog Edit is the Contributions tab.
Here is what Terry Turf, a contributor to our fictional blog 'Racing from Caymanas Park', sees when he clicks on the contributions tab:
The tab contains a post which Terry himself submitted a few seconds ago, as well as posts which have been submitted recently by other contributors.
Terry can't edit, publish or delete anyone else's posts.
He is allowed to edit or delete his own contributions, though, as shown by the cross and the pen icons in the top-right corner of his post.
To edit his post, he can click on the pen. His post will reopen in the edit tab. To delete his post, he can click on the cross. He will be asked to confirm this drastic decision.
It's often useful to be able to single out an individual's posts in the contributions tab. Live Blog enables you to FILTER BY USER. Click the plus sign, start typing a name, then select a user.
The third of Blog Edit's three tabs is Drafts.
This is where a post goes if you clicked the SAVE DRAFT button in the blog editor.
Once again, you have the choice of either deleting your draft post, or re-opening it for editing and submission.
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