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General Info

What is so unique about this blog?
PlanetPOV was founded by bloggers for bloggers, it’s in essence a 2nd Generation blog site. Having the benefit of blogging for years on the initial wave of blogging sites, we’ve built this site to be more in tune with what bloggers prefer and more responsive to the issues bloggers have had with other sites.

There are already numerous sites dedicated to delivering the news. There are also a number of sites that enlist politicians, celebrities, corporate CEOs, etc. to write most of their opinion pieces.

Instead, PlanetPOV is a Citizens’ Think Tank. An Op-Ed site, offering real world perspectives and analysis of the news, politics and other issues of substance from thoughtful, informed and real people who live in the real world.

What you won’t see here are articles that are  exploitation or provocative just to stir up controversy and site traffic.  Our goal is to provide genuine, constructive and enthusiastic conversations and debates on issues that really matter.

Can anyone join?
Yes, membership is open to the public and free.

Why should I sign up to become a member?
Only members can write comments on any post and write their own posts.

What is Speakers’ Corner?
This category is named after an area (most famously in Hyde Park in London though there are others around the world) where people are allowed to stand and publicly speak out on any issue.

It is the one category in which any article by any member may appear (as long as it doesn’t violate the Terms of Use). Typically, articles of a meaningful length about topical issues may appear on the front page. Posts that are more personal or less issue-oriented may appear in Speakers Corner instead of on the front page. Even so, all articles posted in Speakers Corner are promoted to our membership by email and appear listed on every page under “Recent Posts”.  They often receive as much readership and comments as articles on the front page.

Can I change my username and my password?
You can change your username in your Dashboard by using the menu on the left hand side and going to User – Profile then typing in a new username in the Nickname box.  You can change your password in the same Dashboard screen (User – My Profile) by typing a new password into both of the password boxes. In either or both of these cases, please remember to click the Update Profile button at the bottom left to save these changes.

Expressing Yourself

How do I create a new post?
1. To begin a new post, you can either click on the “Add New” link in the “Links For (your username) ” widget in the far right sidebar of any page or in your Dashboard, click on “Add New” under “Posts”.

2.  Begin by entering a title for your post in the top bar then write your post in the area below. You can include images, videos and links by clicking on the desired button above the text area.

3. ADDING AN IMAGE IN YOUR POST – You must always add an image to your article at the top. Since this is a commercial site, the images must be royalty free/public domain (you can also modify an image you find or create your own graphic if desired).

a. FINDING AN IMAGE -  Here are some sites where you can search for public domain images. When you select an image, copy its URL from your browser:

http://search.creativecommons.org/

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.everystockphoto.com/

http://www.picfindr.com/

You can find more sites at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Public_domain_image_resources)

b. INSERTING AN IMAGE IN YOUR POST – Click at the beginning of your article so the cursor is in front of the first word then click the square icon beside “Upload/Insert”. To use an image on your computer, click “Select Files” and select the file on your computer to upload.  When it has uploaded,  click the “Use as featured image” link at the bottom of the uploaded image’s box, for “Alignment” select “Center”, for “Size” select “Medium then click on “Insert Into Post”.

c. RESIZING AN IMAGE IN YOUR POST – To change the size of the image you’ve inserted into your post, click on the image to select it. You have two options to resize it, first, you can click on any corner of the image and click and drag it to the desired size or, when you click on the image you’ll see two icons appear on it, click the first icon that looks like a picture of a mountain and a window will open that allows you to scale the picture by percentage.

4.  ADDING A FEATURED IMAGE – The Featured Image is the small image that appears beside your article on a page and must be included. If you clicked on the “Use as featured image” link in 3b, you’ve already done this. If you haven’t,while editing your post,  scroll down to the Featured Image widget and click on the “Set featured image” link then follow the same instructions in 3b for inserting an image to add a Featured Image.The Preview Image function only works with images that you have uploaded to our site so if you used a URL to another site for an image in your post, save that image onto your computer then upload it to our site as described in 3b.

5. ADDING TAGS – Enter at least 3 -5 descriptive words in the” Post Tags” box, this is the only way a Search will find your post so please use as many descriptive words about your post as possible. If you are in Visual mode (there are two tabs, Visual and HTML in the upper corner of your post box, click either to activate that mode), there will already be a set of tags suggested in a “TAGS” section, you can click the “Add All” link to quickly and easily add all those links to your post. You can also delete any links by clicking on the “x” on them.

6. When you’ve completed your article, click on “Publish” and your article will go into the Editorial Queue, to be reviewed for technical aspects (we never rewrite your posts though we may correct misspellings) and technically adjusted to be complete as described above, then published by the staff. Articles about issues will often appear on the front page, articles of a more personal or less issue-oriented nature will appear in Speakers Corner.

How do I insert Links and Quotes in my posts and comments?

1. ADDING LINKS IN ARTICLES – You have to manually add a link to to a URL or any word or phrase you want to use as a link.

a. Make sure the “Visual” tab is selected when you are in your Dashboard writing a new article.

b. Highlight the URL, word or phrase you want to be a link. Click on the button above it that has an icon that looks like a chain link.

c. A small window will pop up. In the top box, paste the full URL you want the link to go to. In the second pulldown box select “Open in New Window” then click the “Insert” button at the bottom and you’re done.

2. ADDING LINKS IN COMMENTS – Our site automatically turns any URL you type or paste in a comment into a link so there’s nothing you have to do. If you would like to use a word or phrase in your comment as a link instead of showing the URL, here is an example:

<a href=”http//planetpov.com”> This is a link </a > that you can click.

Appears in a comment like this:

This is a link that you can click.

The URL that this link will send people to is “http”//planetpov.com”. Whatever is typed after the URL ( in this case, “This is a link”) will be the words that are the link and the “/a” ends the link so whatever words appear after it will appear as normal text.

3. ADDING A QUOTE IN A POST OR COMMENT- When using the “blockquote” feature, you can display a quote from an article or person in a highlighted box so it will be clearly seen as a quote.  Here is an example of how to use this feature, by adding the specific “blockquote” tags around what I want to appear as a quote like this:

<blockquote>BREAKING NEWS: Palin declares snow “cold”.</blockquote>

Causes the quote to appear like this:

BREAKING NEWS: Palin declares snow “cold”.

Can I write anything I want to write in posts or comments?
You can freely express yourself at PlanetPOV though as explained in our Terms of Use, off topic comments, personal attacks, fighting words, racism and hatred, cut and paste propaganda and any other type of disruptive posts or comments will either be moved or removed. Our goal here is to respect and protect freedom of expression. We try to promote and protect thoughtful and constructive discussions so hatefulness and troll behavior that necessarily undermines this will not be tolerated.

How do I set up an image (an Avatar) to appear with my username?
This site uses Gravatars, which are avatarsimages you assign through Gravatar’s website to your email address. All websites that support Gravatars will display the same image for you.

To select an image for yourself, go to http://en.gravatar.com/site/signup and register the same email address you used here when you signed up. After responding to a confirmation email from Gravatar, you can select an image from your computer or the internet to assign to your email address and that image will appear here with your user name (and on any other Gravatar-friendly sites you visit).

Other Info on Posting and Commenting

These two links can be very helpful and informative about posting at PlanetPOV and understanding our editorial practices on selecting front page articles:

http://planetpov.com/2011/02/23/memo-to-members-how-we-choose-front-page-posts-and-other-editorial-policies/
http://planetpov.com/2010/11/12/please-don%E2%80%99t-neglectsome-housekeeping/

Where Members Hang Out

To see which articles other members are currently commenting on, check out the Recent Comments widget in the sidebar on the right. You can click on any comment to go right to it. Aside from members often commenting on the newest articles, there are two other “cafes” where you may find other members commenting. In the mornings, many members congregate on our Morning Blog page to share a cup of coffee and discuss the latest international issues. In the afternoon and onward, members frequent Time Out for O/T (off Topic) to discuss anything and everything (no issue is off topic here). There are links to each in the four-square buttons in the right sidebar on every page.

On Fridays at 7:00 pm PST we host Vox Populi, a live weekly chat about the week’s events that’s open to all members, on our Vox Populi page (the link is under Live Events in the menu at the top of each page).

On weekends, members can be often found on our Weekend Music Thread.

Help and Questions

If you are in need of help with an issue, please visit our Help Desk and post a comment there describing the issue. One of our admin staff or fellow members will reply to assist you.  You can also contact us by email at adm...@planetpov.com with any questions, comments or suggestions and we will reply to you shortly. Please keep in mind that we are an all-volunteer site, we do try to address issues and emails ASAP but we appreciate your understanding that sometimes it may take a little longer to get back with you than other times. Even if there is a short delay, we will always respond to your Help Desk comments and emails.

We hope you enjoy this unique community and are very happy to have you on The Planet.

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