Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blogging Basics--Part 2.. Composing a basic blog entry and embedding images

Blogging Basics--Part 2--Composing a Basic Blog Entry & Embedding Images

     You've picked a blog host. You've picked a photo service. You've come up with a concept for your
blog.  You've named it.  I will touch the whole process up later on with a tutorial on decorating and
accessorizing your blog.    The next thing you'll want to do is write your first entry.  One thing that you might want to do is remember the big picture:  Why are you writing the blog entry in the first place?
Are you writing it for others? Are you doing it for you?   I can pretty much guarantee you if you are
writing it for others two things are going to happen. 1. You won't stick with it for long 2. You will grow
disappointed with it.  Do it for you to begin with. Make it suit you and make it fun for you!
You'll stick with it longer and if anyone else learns to like it and follow it.. then that's great too.
I blog because I enjoy it. I go back and re-read my entries as a way to remind myself what time of year we did a certain trip. A fact checking mechanism for me!  I can include as much or little info as I need or want.

       Let's say you decided to blog about your travels.  You recently took a trip to the beach.
This entry will be about your trip to the beach.  You are going to share your travels and photos and experiences through your writing and photos.   Think about including info on what restaurants you ate at.
Where did you stay? Use it as a review of services. You may find that in the future you can look back and say Wow! I really liked that Comfort Inn. Tell what you liked and why and others can shop for trip ideas,
places to stay, attractions to try, what to avoid. This will end up being useful to you and to others!

    Tell your story by typing a paragraph or so.  Blogger has spell check and also checks some
basic punctuation.   I find that helpful.   It is a matter of personal preference as to how you write and how
many images you include. Pages that are image heavy are slow to load.  Pages that are too wordy
without interjecting photos of the subject can be boring.    I write a little and try to include a link at the top of the page to a gallery of photos.  I'll get to that later on how to include links.  Insert images to spice up
your writing without going overboard.  Once in awhile though I will have a trip that well.. there isn't much to say about it. It is just mostly photos, and that is ok too.

    Our family went to Destin, Florida this year.  We had been looking forward to our trip. We left
on Thursday morning. We drove for ten hours. We stopped in Panama City to eat and refuel.
We made it to Camping on the Gulf at five o'clock p.m.   The campground was easy to locate.
The staff was friendly. We had no trouble setting up.  The campsites were shaded and not too far from
the beach.   We went to the beach that evening for a few hours. I had never snorkled before, but we
had bought snorkle sets before the trip. I was determined to try it.  It was easier than I thought and so much fun!  I loved it!   We had underwater cameras to take photos of what we saw.
Glub glub glub! Dana snorkeling in the Gulf of Mexico
(NOW we're gonna insert an image of snorkeling to show this part)

There are three ways to do this. Let's start with the simplest, easiest way and safest way to prevent image loss.
Way #1-- Embed Photo by Uploading from your Computer
Go to the top of your blog host and on blogger and some others there are two modes.
COMPOSE mode and HTML mode. at the top left of the entry you're writing.

Out from that are a row of tools.  go across and find the little picture.  Click on that.
It will give you an option to upload an image from your computer.  Browse the images on your computer until
you find the one you want. It will give you a choose images to use. upload them from your computer, upload from picasa, your webcam, your phone, from "this blog" (which I'm not sure about and never use) or from URL. (don't worry about the  url thing yet.. we'll get to that later) It will load the photo you want and then left click on it and go to the bottom where it says ADD SELECTED.  click on that and it should insert your image to your page below where you were typing.   I caption my images, but you don't have to. Under an image uploaded and inserted this way you have a blue highlighted set of choices on image size.  Pick the one that suits you and try that. Its easy to play with and try out what looks best. Once you get the size picked out
you can click the highlighted ADD CAPTION and label your photo. Go up to the top row of tools where you are writing the blog entry. There is a set of lines with an arrow pointing down. When you click on that it gives you a chance to align your images or paragraphs and captions.

Way #2- Second simplest --Copy an image from your photo host site.

Go to the image on your photo host site you'd like to insert.  Right click on it. It will give you an option to Copy Image. Come back to your blog entry and left click the mouse over where you want the image and then right click again on the blog entry.  PASTE should come up as an option. Click PASTE and the image should appear embedded in your blog entry where you want it. 

Destin Beach and the Gulf of Mexico on my vacation.

    Way #3-- Using HTML code to add links to images.

This way is simple. It kinda defeats the purpose of embedding images for interest.  I seldom use it, but
its good to know  how to do it.   Adding a link to an image is the SAME WAY to add a link on here to an entire gallery of images or link to any other website.    It is a useful tool to know for a variety of purposes. I pointed out that rather than have a blog entry that is so image heavy and slow to load.. I add the best, most interesting ones and provide a link to the others compiled into a gallery on Smugmug.
An excellent example of when I'd add an image via a link:  Say I went to Bullett Creek Falls and its Summer.
The water flow is low.   I add an image showing how it looks now. Rather the clutter up the blog with tons of photos I might provide a link back to an image from a previous trip that a person can click on to see how the falls looks during normal or high flow of another trip! Works well and is relatively simple.

Here is how to add images via link.

Find the image you want to use or gallery of images you want to link to.
Right click on the image. Find the web address of the image. It will look something like this

Some websites will highlight the web address for you automatically.  Facebook does this.
Smugmug you have to right click and go to VIEW IMAGE INFO 
Highlight the image address. Click copy.   Go to your blog and go to LINK at the top of the blog entry. Click on LINK button. It will open and give you two spots to fill in. Go to the top one first.

Fill in what you want the link to say.  Then go to the bottom space and PASTE the web address into that spot. Then click OK at the bottom of the box.  It will close and insert your link to your image!
Remember.. this works for linking to ANY image, gallery of images, or website!

 Dana & Kenny At the Beach

Way #4-- The most complicated--Adding Images using HTML code

In COMPOSE mode on blogger or VISUAL mode on Go Smokies.. the blog entry you are typing looks like regular writing with images and/or maybe links inserted.  In HTML mode on blogger or Go Smokies...
the script for a blog looks quite different.  It is a bunch of letters and symbols that appear random.
They are not random at all. HTML code in order to be used and have it work has to be done correctly.
Below is an example of a section of this blog entry I'm typing now. I pasted it here to illustrate what I'm talking about. It looks funny, doesn't it? 

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
<a href="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="" /></a></div>
<br />

The way to insert an image using HTML mode is like this:

Go to the web address of the image you want to use--just like I mentioned in Way #3
The http://myimageliveshereonsmugmug

Now Right click, highlight and copy the image address.  

Go into HTML mode on here by clicking that tab. Works the same on Go Smokies blogs.

Now you have to actually write a little bit of script to get the image to work!

Type this:

<img src="insertyourimageurlhere">
<img src="webaddress">    This <img src=" first.  Then PASTE your web address of your image right next to the " mark.  Next put another " mark right after the image web address. close the script phrase with the last >

Once you've done that go back to COMPOSE mode on blogger... VISUAL mode on Go Smokies.
You'll be able to see if it worked.  If it didn't try again.  The spacing, symbols and image url have to be correct or it will not work!  I also insert this symbol while I'm there AFTER I've gotten the image posted.  <BR> will insert a break for you and after that I type HERE 
Then when I click back over to COMPOSE or VISUAL mode there is a nice space left for me and a spot that indicates where the caption should go.

<BR> is the HTML script for a break or space! Simple huh?


Kenny at the Beach with me

Last of all...... let's talk about something called DIRECT LINKING or HOT LINKING

It is bandwidth theft.  I used to do it just to see if I could. I don't anymore and haven't for years.
It's bad form. It is stealing web hosting space and/or intellectual property theft.

That involves going to a website that has an image you want to use on something. Finding the URL or web address for the image.. then creating a link to the image. It is harder to do nowdays.

It makes pages load slower. It costs the person paying for it money for what you're taking.

Just because you know how to do a thing.. doesn't mean you should.  

Next up.. How to embed videos from You Tube 

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