Cell phone book clubs need not exist just in person. They can also live online, and a good first step is to start a blog like this one—with information about your club and its activities, written and video reviews of books, YouTubes of local authors’ appearances, reading and writing advice, family literacy information, cell phone tips, other technical facts, you name it.
WordPress.com is an excellent blogging service to sign up for, since even the free version offers many features. But how to post items to the your new blog there? You could just go to the WordPress.com site, tell it you’re adding a fresh post, then fill in the rectangle that pops up. But for long posts or those with images, you can save time by using a separate Web editor on your computer.
A good free choice is the ScribeFire blog editor, which works as an extension for Chrome, Firefox and the Safari browsers. We used ScribeFire to create this post. Here’s a quick overview, based on the version running within Chrome.
- Go to the ScribeFire Web site and look in the right column of the home page for the name of your browser. Then click on the appropriate link and install it. An icon will appear near the top of your Web browser in the right side. Click on it.
- Fire up ScribeFire and look in the upper left corner for the words “Add New Blog.”
- Specify the kind of blog it is—in this case, WordPress. Also give your user name and password. When you’re done, the name of the blog should appear in the same general area of your screen.
- Click on Start a New Post.
- Give your post a headline, then write it.
- Every so often click on Save Progress at the bottom of your screen.
- To bold or italicize or underline, just double-click on a word or hold down your mouse button to select areas of text and choose the B for bold, the I for italic or the U for underline. Best to keep your typography simple.
- To embed a video from YouTube, go to where you want it inserted—normally the top of the post, in the case of this blog. Then click on the Embed option and use this format to include the URL of the video: YouTubeWebAddressForYourVideo/embed]. Close the embed window. Replace YouTubeWebAddressForYourVideo, of course, with the actual Web address.
- Use the Word-style Center icon to center the video. It’s the 10th from the left in the top row (not counting the downward-pointing arrows).
- To add links to words or phrases, just double-click on a word or hold down your mouse button to select areas of text. Then click on the link-looking icon. It’s the fifth one in the second row at the top of the screen.
- To insert images, look in the second row of the icons at the top of your screen and click on the sixth one from the left—with a jagged object that looks like a cliff or a mountain. Then pick the image from your computer from the list of files there. Choose Left or Right, depending on where you want the image to appear.
- To “break” your post so just the very beginning appears on the home page of the blog, go to exactly where you want the break to happen. Then click on the two rectangles, the icon second from right on the bottom row of the icons. Use the Return key to create a extra space between the video and the text below. Return may also work to tidy things up, so that, for example, the words Read More appear in the right place.
- Look again on the left side of your screen and select a post category. Here, we chose how to start a club. Also select a tag or tags. If using more than one, use a comma and space to separate the second from the first, and so on. The selections here were ScribeFire, blogging and WordPress.com.
- To write on a “full screen” without distractions, click on the last icon in the second row of icons at the top of the screen. It’s the one with the four arrows pointing outward. To restore the missing commands, including the ones to save and publish your posts, just click on the icon again.
- Use the Publish Post button in the lower right of the screen to get the post online.
- To update old posts, just click on the Post rectangle for a list of prior entries. Yes–left side of your screen.
- You can delete a post by clicking on the word Delete, which appears just under Post. Within list that pops up, you’ll see an item to create a new page. Click on it and you’re all set to write. Remember, your WordPress.com set-up might automatically create a link to the page from the home page. If you don’t want the link to show up, you’ll have to go into WordPress.com and tell it not to.
- If you made changes to a Page or Post via WordPress.com rather than ScribeFire, they can still show up there. Just exit your Chrome browser completely and start up ScribeFire again. If you deleted a post or a version of it in WordPress, you still might have to do the same in ScribeFire.
- To create a page, rather than a dated post, just click on Post rectangle.
- Yes, ScribeFire has other commands, but in most cases you can probably ignore them for the moment.
- While ScribeFire will work on a number of machines, keep in mind that it’s best to have a large screen—the bigger, the better (within limits). That way, you can see more of the text at one time.
The above YouTube from Katerina Gasset is for Mac users, but still should help for other machines capable of running Chrome. Please note that Scribe has zillions of options, and tastes in blogs vary. Ideally you’ll keep the typography simple and stick to the existing style of the St. C’s blog, without trying to vary the sizes of the text. As for the headline, the size will be automatically standardized.
Click here for other video tutorials on ScribeFire. Meanwhile huge thanks to Ms. Gasset for her own tutorial!
Unclear about something? Email our tech guy.