Archive for May, 2011

Getting Started–Setting up Your Blog

A number of blogging services provide free blogs and others blogs at a modest cost. Here we will concentrate on two of the larger services: WordPress and Blogger. Setting up your blog is simple enough, the blogging services make that very easy, there are some items that you should consider carefully.

Your blog is a website of your own. Blogger and WordPress set up your site when you sign up and you can define the details later and modify it to reflect your style and a “look and feel” that suits your topics. Here are images of the home pages at Blogger and WordPress.

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Each has a button to get you started. The next page is similar a sign-up page for getting an email or similar account.image

Your first decision is to select a web address for your blog. Such addresses take the form myblog.wordpress.com on WordPress,  on Blogger it is myblog.blogspot.com.

The hard part is the “myblog” name. Most people select a term that is descriptive of what the blog is all about – this blog here uses “livewriterbasics” because this is the general topic. There is nothing wrong with a whimsical name. Many people use their own name for their blog address. As you would expect, to get a blog account you need to a user name and password so you can log into your account securely. The blogging service also needs an email address so information and other communications can be sent to you. That is about it, click Sign up and your blog will be set up.

The blogging service takes you to your “dashboard”. Here the various account and design details can be taken care of. Each blogging service has a default design. Your blog will be set up with that design. You can make changes later but some you should do right away. For a WordPress blog go to the General page (under Settings in the navigation pane on the left). Here you can assign the title that should be featured on your blog. There are other choices and options, but this blog is about Windows Live Writer, there are numerous other sources that can help you with the details. Each blogging service has good tutorials that get you going. Take advantage of those help tools.

You can create and publish posts from your blog dashboard. Windows Live Writer makes that a lot easier. So this will suffice for this post. How to get going with Windows Live Writer is the topic of another post.

 

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

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Windows Live Writer–Overview

Windows Live Writer is a desktop application for preparing and publishing blog posts. It supports the major blogging services like Blogger, LiveJournal, and TypePad and is particularly well suited for publishing to WordPress.

Microsoft provides Windows Live Writer as part of the free Windows Live Essentials family of applications. The current version, Windows Live Writer 2011, offers a “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” authoring interface with the familiar “Ribbon” look and feel of Microsoft Word 2010 and other recent Microsoft applications.

In use, Live Writer uses the blog theme settings so spacing, fonts, and similar elements, even background, correspond to the design set up in the blog account. All the normal authoring functions are available including spell checking.

imageFor text editing in addition to normal (paragraph) text, six heading levels (“h1” – “h6” HTML tags) can be used and display in the style settings of the theme. Text formatting offers seven font sizes, a large pallet of colors, and the full array of font faces installed on the computer – something that might mislead the user into using a font that is not supported on the blog reader’s computer.

Photos can be inserted from the local computer or by supplying a web address. The pictures can be positioned, scaled and various effect options can be applied, even a watermark. Live Writer prepares the modified images and uploads them to the blog sites media folder. The image handling is very rich and amazingly easy to use. In addition to photos, videos from YouTube can be inserted, as can maps from Bing Maps. image

Live Writer generates HTML code which can be inspected and edited by just clicking the “Source” tab. The online appearance can be checked with the “Preview” tab. Publishing to the blog is just a one click operation as well.
Although there are minor faults, the tool is extremely easy to use and makes blogging a pleasure.

The 2011 version, released as part of “Wave 4” in September 2010, can be used in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. An earlier version is available for user operating on Windows XP.

Microsoft provides only rudimentary tutorial support online, and the “Help” button invokes a call to the Windows Live Writer Help Center. The Windows Live Solution Center has a forum for questions about Live Writer and Windows Live Writer tips and know-how are the topics of a few blogs. The newest one is Live Writer Basics right here.

This article was first published as Windows Live Writer on Blogcritics.

 

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

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Getting Started–Pick your Soapbox

Just thinking about blogging? Here thoughts and suggestions on getting started. Maybe the first thing to setting up a blog is to pick a topic area that you are passionate about. Blogs can be many things. Let’s start by looking at some of the blogs imageof other folks.

These are some illustrations from a presentation on blogging. Each image is also a link to the particular blog illustrated.

The idea here is to show you a small selection of blogs of various kinds.

As you look at these, see that the blooger is saying, how she or he is saying it, how the blog is laid out and organized.

Don’t be intimidated by the slick looks. yes, all of these are very well done. Pretty much all by someone just like you. This blog is about Windows Live Writer, a tool that makes blogs like this easy and within anyone’s ability. That’s what is so great about it. But let’s take a look at some blogging subjects and sites:

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Certainly this is not an exhaustive collection of topics. You saw a satire blog, a personal, daily chronicle, a photo journal, some personal opinion – the classic soap box, a diary, a couple of technical blogs with how-tos and tips and tricks, and lastly a photo gallery – almost no text, just pictures to enjoy. Has that stimulated your thinking? Are you closing in on your place in the sun, or should I say, cloud?

Keep going! Good luck!

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A collection of posts

Here is a collection of older posts that present various tips, know-how, or just comments regarding Windows Live Writer. This is a temporary post.

 

Shared Blogging with Live Writer

24/04  Different Views

03/04  Vertical Panoramas

01/03  Panoramas of things that are straight

11/01  Sourcing content for your WordPress Gallery Page

10/01  Setup and Maintain a Photo Gallery Page with Live Writer

21/12  Ludwig’s Gallery

20/11  Set Photo Gallery to remove sensitive data from photos prior to uploading

18/11  JPG Options in Windows Live Photo Gallery

 

Can I schedule my blog post to appear at a specific date and time?

Can WordPress categories be managed with Windows Live Writer?

What does this Windows Live Writer error message mean: “”The blog theme couldn’t be downloaded”?

How do I connect Windows Live Writer to my WordPress blog?

Where are the thumbnails stored for a post with a SkyDrive album?

 

Photo Edit Tools in Live Writer

Sourcing blog post images from SkyDrive

Optimize your photos for speedy presentation

Spaces to WordPress – help your readers with post tags

Spaces to WordPress – photos and slide shows – Pages

Spaces to WordPress – photos and slide shows – Widgets

Adding Zoom.It Pictures to your Site or Blog

Live Writer – Windows Live Essentials – beta (Wave 4)

Using fancy fonts in your blog post – Windows Live Writer

Fun with Windows Live Writer and Photo Gallery

Tags in blogs

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Hello world!

Welcome to Live Writer Basics – a blog about using Windows Live Writer 2011 to help you blog like a pro. Here you will find some tutorial help to get started, tips and tricks to make your posts shine, links to other posts on this topic, and some thoughts and observations.

Your comments, brickbats, and thoughts are heartily invited. If you have something to add, please join in!

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