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Writing Diaries

by Joe Bodell on December 1, 2008 · 5 comments

With the premier of the Progressive Project, we wanted to put together a little primer on your role in this community blog thing we have going on here.

Short version: ever seen DailyKos? Same thing here, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. MPP has a core group of contributors called “frontpagers” who write posts that automatically appear in the main content column. But the Recent Diaries area displays posts written by members of the community — namely, you. The vitality and vibrancy of a community-based site like this one depend on how engaged you, the reader, are. It’s not just about commenting on the posts you see from the front page crew — it’s about connecting with other community members like yourself.

To comment on or write posts (also known as “diaries”) you’ll need a user account. Over in the yellow MENU box in the upper right, click the Create New Account link. From there, choose a username and provide your email address — you’ll then get an automated message containing your temporary password. Get that password, and log in in the MENU box. The MENU box will change to contain several links, one of which reads “New Diary.” Click that one, and you’ll see an entry form, with a title, a space for tags, a regular entry, and an extended entry.

The title is easy — what’s the title of your post? Tags are topics, also discussed in a post on tagging here. The regular entry should be no more than 500 words — if the post is going to be longer than that, put the remainder in the Extended entry. Once you’re done, hit SAVE, and your post will appear in the Recent Diaries area on the home page — good posts will be promoted to the frontpage liberally.

Any questions? Problems? Let us know via email, or leave a comment on this post.

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