Once you have signed up on TypePad and clicked on a link that is labeled "Begin a New Post" or something similar (look for the color green), you will be directed to a page that is dominated by a large blank space under the words "Post Body."
There it is! The place where you will type your blog post that everyone will read!
This is what it looks like:
You may want to click the cursor in that box and start typing, but before you do, you should look at some of the other things on the page. First, there is the Title field (the different blank areas are called fields). Don't forget a title for your post. Next is a Category list (click on it and select the category best suited to your post).
Click on the arrow on the category list to select a category:
Here, Criminal Law is being selected.
Below the Post Body area are some more details. They are a Posting Status list that only has one option, and a Comments list that defaults to Open. Also there is a checkbox that is selected to Accept TrackBacks, and another field to allow you to add addresses to which a TrackBack will be sent. Don't worry--just leave the selections the way they are.
Now, back to the Post Body part. You will notice under Post Body a B, a slanted I, a U with an underscore, and an S with a line through it. As you can guess, these control Boldface, Italic, Underline, and Strikeout text formatting. The color wheel is for adding color. Please don't use it.
You can experiment by typing some text into the field under Post Body. Once you have some text there, highlight it with your cursor and click on the formatting symbols. You should be able to see the results. They may appear simply as bold or italic, or you may see the actual HTML that the buttons create.
If you don't know what HTML is, don't worry. The Compose New Post page will create it for you. Just be aware of one thing. Proper HTML (which, for example, is made by clicking the B icon once while a few words are selected) looks like this:
blah blah blah <strong> bold letters marked off by using the "strong" tag in HTML to highlight </strong>
and when it is published it will look like this:
blah blah blah bold letters marked off by using the "strong" tag in HTML to highlight
Please do not try to undo this HTML the way you are used to with Microsoft Word. If you click the B again, it won't undo what you just did. Instead, it will make a mess that looks like this:
blah blah blah
<strong> < /strong> <str<></str<><p>ong>blah
The sad result will look like this:
Blah blah blah ong>blah
So, please first write the post, and then apply the formatting carefully and just once.
As a precaution, always save a copy of your article in your word processor.
There are some more formatting options to explore. One of the most useful is adding hyperlinks. Think of links as endnotes. When you make an assertion or cite a fact, you may want to link to the online source.
The next icon looks like a chain or a link. This creates a hyperlink. Type some text, for example "Read more about this law here." Highlight "here" with your cursor and click on the chain or link icon. You should be presented with a dialog box with a field in which to type or paste the link to which the person reading the blog will be directed if he or she clicks on the link.
For example, in the Post Body area you write:
Here is a link. You highlight the word "link" and click on the chain (or link) icon, and you should get a dialog box that says "Enter URL" and has the "http://" part of the link already typed and highlighted. Place the cursor after the two slashes, click to get rid of the highlighting, and add the rest of the link, say to Google. Then click OK. Your result should look like this:
Here is the code for a link: "
Here is a <a href="http://www.google.com">link </a>.
The readers of the blog will see this:
Here is a link.
Clicking on the word "link" will take the reader to Google.
However, please avoid citations to Lexis, West, or any other source that the reader may not have a subscription to. When you need to cite a case, statute, or similar material, please either link to a free source or simply mention the case or law in the text, without a link, and leave it to the reader to find. Please do not assume that the reader has access to West or Lexis.
The next icon, an envelope, is for adding an e-mail address by similar means.
The next image is of quotation marks. Select some text and click on the quote marks, and the TypePad software will add some HTML to make an indented quotation. If you don't want the quotation to be indented, just use the regular quotation marks on your keyboard.
Please experiment. Learn by playing. Unless the administrator makes the mistake of publishing your post that is full of "blah blah" text, your peers are not going to see your learner's post.
Your learner's post can be silly or just use the words "blah blah blah." Try using the buttons, selecting categories, and so on, and then scroll down to where you can see two buttons, Preview and Save. Click on Preview to see what the post you are writing will look like when it appears online. Go back and forth, using the "Re-Edit this post" button and the Preview button, until you become familiar with how to create a post and how to add links, images, and so on.
Use the Save this post button to preserve any post that is good enough to keep. Don't worry: Clicking Save this post does not publish it. Only an administrator at LACBA can publish a post.
Click Preview to see what the post will look like:
You will see the post on a new screen. Once there, click Re-Edit to work on it some more:
And click Save to save the post when you are finished and it is ready for publication.
Once you have learned to use the Compose New Post page's tools and have created a real post, you may click Save or Save this post in order to save the post. The administrator at LACBA will be looking for saved posts to publish. The saved posts appear on a list that the administrator can see but that contributors can't. You are welcome to save a post that isn't completed, work on it more later, and then Save it again when it is ready to post. If the administrator sees a post that does not look ready, he or she may ignore it or send you an e-mail asking if it is ready. Do not assume that the administrator will know that a post is ready to publish.
You can send the administrator an e-mail letting him or her know that a post is ready to publish. And if at any time you are stuck or confused, feel free to call Eric Howard at 213.896.6456.