Getting to know your blog:
What is a blog?
A blog is a Web Log, or online journal. It is a place where you can post whatever you feel like, provided you follow BZP's rules and guidelines.
How Do I get a blog?
Only Premier Members can have blogs. There is only one exception [see next item]. To start a blog once you are a Premier Member, there is a "Manage Your Blog" link in your profile options when you click your username in the top right. You should click it!
I started a blog when I was Premier/on BZP's birthday, and I'm not a Premier Member (now). Can I still use my blog?
Short answer: No.
The blog is visible and you have a few powers such as drafting/publishing entries and editing them, but you will not be able to edit your blog's appearance, launch new content blocks, start new entries or approve new comments [if applicable]. However if you eventually do pay for Premier Membership, you will be able to use that same blog again. If you have a blog but aren't Premier, keep in mind these rules.
Sounds good, but what does a blog do for me?
Ever wanted to post a topic, but it doesn't belong in any of the forums? Done. Got some ideas you want to bounce off of the community? Done. Want to have a place where you can talk about your personal life? Done. Got a cat? Great. Talk about it in your blog. A blog is BZP's answer to having the maximum personal freedom.
Can I advertise my/a Website on my blog?
Provided that it follows BZP's Advertising Guidelines.
Helping the blog team:
Who is the blog team?
The blog team is made up of staff members whose sole purpose is to moderate and maintain BZP's blogging community. It is made up of five Blog Assistants (Shine, Bfahome, Nukaya, Ta-metru_defender, and Takuma Nuva) and one Blog Leader (DeeVee). We read every entry and comment made on BZP, and moderate accordingly. We are also the foremost authority in the blogging community.
I saw something in a blog that breaks BZP's rules and Guidelines. What do I do?
Hit the report button, and explain what bad thing has happened. We will get a report that automatically contains a link to the comment or entry you're reporting.
I saw something that might have broken rules, but I'm not sure. What do I do then?
Still report it. It is not your responsibility to have to prove each report. We will look into it from there.
I can't read some of the comments. They're half blocked by content blocks. How do I fix this?
Read this topic.
Using your blog:
On the Manage My Blogs page, there is a button on the bar displaying your blog that says "options". You will see a drop-down box that says things such as "Go To Blog," "Add Entry," "Settings," "Manage Categories," and "Manage Comments." To change your blog settings, click settings. To do any of those other things, click those things. The main settings you will (and are able to) use are at the top. Here you can change the name of your blog, the subtitle, change your notifications, and change your blog comment approval system. It is recommended you set your comment approval to "moderate all comments" so you can control what is posted on your blog, to minimize portential for spam. However, this is not required. Just be smart about things, okay?
Once you are in your blog, there is a black box in the top right of the blog that says "Add Entry". Click this, and then add your entry! You must have a title, and you can add "tags" to make your blog easier to navigate. On the right you can edit your categories the entry fits into (note, you will have to re-make your categories after the blog software upgrade). Above this, you will see an option to save your entry as a draft, to publish later, or an option to publish now. You can also click "Publish Now" at the bottom of the entry field. When writing your entry, you can use the rich text editor or the simple editor to do your formatting, to change between the two, simply click the lightswitch shaped icon in the top right of the edit box, right above the Bold icon.
In the past iteration of blog software, there were many more options for your content blocks (and some of you are going to have some problems with them that we are unable to fix, sorry). You can no longer change the sizes of your blocks, they are a fixed size. You can add new content blocks by clicking the black box next to "Add Entry" that says "Add Blocks". You will see a drop-down menu you can choose from. (By the way, in case you were wondering, the optimal image size for a perfectly centered image in the new content blocks is 222pixels).
You probably want people to comment on your blog. We've discussed the comment options for how they appear on your blog, but there are other things to note too. In your blog you can edit or delete comments left by members. Remember, you are responsible, to a degree, for content left in the comment section of your blog. While you won't be the one in trouble if someone leaves a spam comment or some other rule-breaking comment once in a while, if it happens too often, you may lose blogging privileges. We expect you to maintain decorum in your blog. Make our jobs easier, by being responsible blog owners. And if something in your blog smashes the rules to pieces or is of exceptional worry, please use the report function immediately. The report button, remember, DOES INDEED work now.
Just like the old board, the default blog view is a list view. There is a link on the top of the blog listing that will change to the new Dashboard view. You can use whichever you prefer, and you can set the default as you see fit. However, clicking the link in the tabs at the top of the forums will always bring up the list view.
How do I favourite a blog?
This is a little more complicated with the new software. You will have to open a blog, and hit "follow this blog". This gives you options to follow the blog anyonymously (so your name does not show up as a follower), and an option to receive notifications for the blog. Set those as you will.
What does adding a blog to content I follow do?
It adds it to this list. You can find this list by clicking on your username in the top right of the screen, and clicking "Content I follow", and then changing the filters to "Blogs" in the top box, and then "Blogs" in the bottom box. (Or you could click the link right here in this paragraph too. I honestly suggest bookmarking that page).