I thought it might be a good idea to have a static page with blog instructions, in case people find themselves unable to navigate, add comments, etc.
The first area to be aware of is the top of the blog where the link to pages like this one are located.
As you can see on the screenshot above, this strip with links includes a link to the main page, “Home,” to our message board, “Forum,” a page with a link to view only the Polls, a page with a link to The Animal Rescue Site, a link to this Using the Blog page, and another one to a page where meetings are posted.
Next, to the right side of the screen, on the very top, you have a Search tool.
You can use this tool to search for specific terms within the blog. Let’s say you saw a post about Forgotten Cats at the blog and wanted to show it to a friend, but you saw it days ago and it is now buried somewhere under all those posts of me babbling about something else. Using the Search tool, you can enter Forgotten Cats and hit the magnifying glass right next to where you typed. This will load a blog page with short headers for each and every post that had Forgotten Cats mentioned in it.
Right below the search area, you will find the Subscription tool.
By entering your email into this field and clicking on Subscribe, you will receive emails when new content is added to the blog. This is a great way to be always in the know regarding all that is going on at the blog, without necessarily checking the blog all the time. It would also be useful if you are tracking certain topics, like meetings or the granny square purse madness, so you would know as soon as a new post on that topic was created so you can come to the blog and check it out.
Below the Subscriptions tool, you will find the Register/Login area.
In order to be able to add comments and interact with the blog, you need to be registered, and this is where you take care of it. Once you are registered, whenever you visit the blog and want to add a comment, you will need to log in, which you also do using this menu.
And, below the Register/Login area, you will find the Categories menu.
This pull down menu allows you to sort through posts on specific categories. It works kind of like the Search tool, but it selects posts that were created under a certain category. So, if what you are looking for is not listed in one of the categories, you would need to use the search tool to look for that specific word. But if you want to look at posts that are, for example, projects related, you would click on the black arrow to the right of “Select Category” and then click on Projects in the menu that opens. A blog page will load with brief headers of all posts under this category.
Proceeding below the Categories menu, you will find the following:
Calendar – Each day that has at least a post will be in a reddish color, and if you move the cursor over those days, it will show the titles for all the blog posts added that day. If you click on a day, a new page will load with the brief headers for the posts added that day.
@CrochetLadies on Twitter! - Here you have a feed of our Twitter posts. Our last posts will show in this area, and if you would like to follow us there, the username is @CrochetLadies. :)
Our Archives - This is where you can select a month and get a page with the headers for all posts added in that particular month.
The next 5 areas are feeds from other blogs I like and recommend. The 5th is a kitty blog!
The 6th area is for an online paper that is all about crochet, crochet bloggers and other crochet-related stuff.
At the very bottom of the page, you have a large panel listing:
Recent Entries – This is useful if you came into the blog through a link that brought you to a page other than the main landing page. Under recent entries, you will see the last 10 posts on the blog.
Recent Comments – It’s nice to know what others have been talking about, and this is where you will find a list of the last 10 comments added to our posts.
Random Selection of Posts – Brings you a short list of some random posts you can check out. Since there is no specific topic or date for these random selections, it may bring you to an interesting post you might have missed.
Whenever you get a list with the short headers for posts, just click on “Continue reading…” below the text, to the left, to open the actual complete post.
To add a comment, just click on the comments link below the text in a post, to the right. If you are not logged in, you will have to do so before adding your comment.
Share this - You can also tweet a post, or add it to your Facebook profile or page. To do so, just go to the post you want to add or tweet and scroll to the bottom of the post. There, you will find buttons to add the content to Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and also to email or print the post.
Right above the “Share this” area in the post, you also have a “Rate This” scale with 5 stars. You can use this to rate the post and let us know how much (or how little) you liked that particular post.
So, play around and have a good time! If you need help, please add a comment and let me know. I’ll be glad to help!