What Do All Of These Buttons Do?
We’ve had a number of visitors to the blog who don’t know the purpose of the various icons that are scattered around the page. I’m going to take a minute here to try and explain them all. If you’re already familiar with blogs, you can probably just skip this post.
There are four parts to the main page:
The footer had scrolled off the bottom of the page in that picture.
The header’s not very interesting. It’s just the name of the blog. So I’ll skip that.
First I’ll go through the parts of the posts themselves. That’s the wide section down the left.
Then I’ll go through the parts of the sidebar. That’s the skinny section down the right.
The footer is at the bottom of the posts. In fact it kind of looks like it is part of the posts. I’ve been meaning to fix that.
Most of the page is devoted to the posts. The main page shows the seven most recent posts.
Each post starts with a section that looks something like this.
There are three pieces of information here. One is the title of the post. That’s in bold. The second is who posted it. There are four of us posting to this blog and it helps to know who’s saying what. The third item is when it was posted. That’s actually split into two pieces. The date is at the beginning and the time is at the end. That’s because we group posts that were written on the same day. We don’t bother doing that for posts that were written at the same time because it doesn’t happen very often.
If you click on the post’s title or the time, you’ll go to a page that just has just that post on it. That’s useful if you want to bookmark a post. If you bookmark http://blog.garritys.org, you’ll find that it has changed every time you come back. If you bookmark one of those single post pages, then that’s when you’’ll get when you come back to your bookmark.
Next is the actual post. Hopefully it’ll consist of witty and thought provoking text interspersed with cool pictures. That’s not always the case though
At the bottom of the post, you’’ll find something that looks like this:
That’s a list of tags that we thought described the content of this post. If you click on one, you’ll get a list of all of the posts we’ve written that have that same tag. That’s a good way to find more posts which are similar the ones you like.
Also at the bottom of the post is this obscure little icon:
That lets you email the post to somebody. It’ll put you through a web form where it asks for things like the email address and one one of those captcha things. This bottom is useful if you’re reading a post and think of somebody who would enjoy it.
The next thing looks like this:
That’s a link to a page which contains comments other people have made about the post. It also lets you add your own comments. Feel free to use this. We love to get comments.
The sidebar starts with a section labeled News from the Garritys. We don’t really do much with this section except leave a picture there, so I’m not going to talk about it.
This section contains buttons which let you get notified whenever we add posts to the blog. There are two ways to do that. The first one looks like this:
This will send our updates to something called an RSS feed reader. Feed readers are great. They’re kind of like an inbox for all of the blogs you read. I use this one from Google, but there are a bunch of others.
If you don’t want to learn about feed readers, you can use this other button:
As you might guess from the name, this will email our updates to you. We have this service that runs at night and compiles all of our updates into an email and sends it out to anyone who has subscribed.
Search This Blog
This section has a google search control on it. It’ll search through all of our old posts. If you’re trying to find an old post you remember reading here once, try that.
This section has a tag cloud which looks something like this:
Those are the same tags we saw at the bottom of each post. Here we’ve arranged them so that the most popular ones are larger than the less popular ones. If you see a tag here that looks interesting, click on it. You’ll get a list of all of the posts we’ve written which have that tag.
This is where we store links to old posts. They’re grouped by month. You can choose different months using the calendar.
Each day that has a post will have an underline in it in the calendar.
Below the calendar is a list of the titles of all of that month’s posts down below. Clicking on the day will show you all of the posts for that day. Clicking on one of the titles will take you directly to that post.
This section just lists who we are. I’ve been meaning to change this so that it is a set of links that will take you to all of the posts a person wrote, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet.
The final section is another way to leave comments. This will add them to the blog in general, rather than a specific post. It looks like this:
Doesn’t it look sad? Go ahead and try it. We love comments. Maybe you have some ideas for new subjects we should post about.
The footer starts out with two buttons. But if you click on the Older Posts button, two more will appear.
If you know what an Atom feed is, then you know what this button does. If not, go check out the Subscribe Now section of the sidebar. That does the same thing and you might find it easier to use.
This is button will get you to a page that has seven more posts on it. If you keep clicking on Older Posts, you’ll keep going back in time.
When you’ve clicked on Older Posts, this button will appear. It does the exact opposite.
And you’ll also get this bottom. This one takes you back to the beginning.
I hope that you find this introduction helpful. If you have any questions that this doesn’t answer, just add them on in the comments section of this post and I’ll try to answer them. If you have any suggestions for how to make the blog easier to use, send those along too. We’re always tweaking it.