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AdLib On October - 25 - 2010

Marking  our one year anniversary and dedicated to all of our loyal members and readers, we are pleased to present to you, the new PlanetPOV website!

In addition to what we think you’ll find to be a crisper look, there are a number of cool, new features designed to enhance your blogging and viewing experience.

Before getting into the details, we want to let you know that we’re looking forward to all of your reactions, thoughts and suggestions on the new site. Please comment below to let us know what you think, we really want your feedback (and please let us know right away if you find any errors or bugs in the functionality of the site!).

It’s been a very successful and eventful first year for The Planet and we already have a lot in store for the upcoming year. The start of a new year also means it’s time  again for us to pay our annual operating expenses so if you’d like to help keep The Planet revolving and evolving, now would be a great time to make a donation. It’s quick and easy to do, you can use the Paypal widget in the sidebar to make a single donation or if at all possible, subscribe to The Planet on a monthly basis at whatever rate you choose.

Now, on with the details about the new and improved PlanetPOV!

On the Front Page:

  • A new clickable slider and list of Featured articles at the top of the Front Page with excerpts displayed. Clicking on the image of an article in the slider or on the title of an article in the list box will take you directly to it.
  • RSS, Twitter and Facebook icons/links are at the top of the page making connecting with The Planet in any of these ways quick and easy.
  • Bigger images for better viewing in the articles appearing on the Front Page.

On Each Article Page:

  • A byline for the Author of an article including their Gravatar, their Bio from their profile and a hyperlink on their name linking to all of their articles.
  • A “Click here to leave a comment” button just above the first comment on the page that instantly takes you to the Reply box at the bottom of the page.
  • An “Author” tag appears on all comments made by the author of that post.
  • A “Back to top” link at the bottom of every article page takes you to the top of the page to access the menu, reread the article or scroll down to any selections in the sidebar.

When Writing a Post:

  • A new and easy way to make the image you add to your Post, its Featured image (the image that appears with your article on the Front Page, formerly called the Preview image).

In the Sidebar:

  • A set of links in the sidebar titled “[Your username]’s links” which include instant navigation to your Dashboard, Log in/Log out, Add New (Post), Your Profile and Your Subscriptions (modify email notifications sent to you when new articles are posted).

UPDATE:  NEWLY ADDED FEATURE!!!

When Writing a Comment:

Members can now easily insert images in their comments. A new link at the bottom of the Reply box reads, “You can add images to your comment by clicking here.” Click it, a pop up appears for you to paste the link to your graphic, the code for the graphic is inserted into your comment and your image will appear when you publish your comment.

How To Use Author’s Byline and Featured Image:

Most of the new features at The Planet need no explanation though here are a few brief instructions on how best to use these two new features.

1. Author’s Byline

This is the new byline that appears on the articles you post. In your Dashboard, on Your Profile page, are the details of your account. There is a a section titled Biographical Info, what you type in here will appear in your byline.

You may enter whatever you wish here, your background, a description of your sensibilities, a quote/joke/motto, anything you’d like.  Please be aware, if you have nothing entered in your Biographical Info section, you will not have any byline appear on your articles, not even your Gravatar and Username (though your username will still appear at the top of your article in the standard byline). So, if you want this new Author’s Byline to appear with your articles, enter something in this section, if you don’t want this feature to appear, just leave this section blank.

2.  Add a Featured Image

It is part of our Editorial Guidelines at The Planet that all articles have a graphic at the top. If you don’t include one, we will be happy to add one for you (which you are always free to change if you’d like). However, we are an all-volunteer “army” so when you add your own image and Featured Image, you’re helping us devote time and energy to other areas.

In order to have an image appear with your post on the Front Page, you first need to upload your chosen graphic to The Planet (see http://planetpov.com/faq/how-to-guide-for-authors/ for step-by-step instructions on uploading and inserting graphics in your posts). The Featured Image function will not work with images that are coming from links to other sites.  If you have been adding Preview images to your posts along the way, thank you so much! This new and easier process now replaces that so no need add a Preview image again!

a. On a new post

Once you’ve saved a graphic to your computer then uploaded it to PlanetPOV, you’ll see the following popup window. Scroll down to the bottom, click on “Use as featured image” then “Insert into Post” and you’re done!

b. On an Existing Post

If you forgot to add a Featured Image on an existing post, go to your Dashboard to edit it, scroll down to the bottom of the sidebar to the “Featured Image” menu and click on the “Set featured image” link. The Media Library window will come up,  select the image in your post or any image in our library as your Featured Image as described above and voila!

Lastly, though it’s not a new feature, using Tags makes your post more popular on the web and come up more often in searches so please also remember to add Tags to your articles. It’s as easy as clicking on the “Choose from the most used tags” link as shown above and/or the suggested tags by Zemanta and clicking on the tags that apply. We will be following up with a more detailed article later this week on making your posts more popular !

Thanks again for all of your support of PlanetPOV over the last year. We hope you enjoy our new site design but whatever the case, we’re looking forward to hearing what you think!

Categories: Featured, PlanetPOV

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

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