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All About: blogs and Discussions

A blog post within the Verizon Thinkfinity Community works best as a one-way post from a manager to a crowd. As a member of a group, you can create and comment on blog posts. Blog posts are a great way for groups to broadcast information or post announcements. You can also subscribe to blog posts using a RSS Reader.

 

On the other hand, discussions work best to share ideas and resources, provide useful advice, share an opinion or ask questions. Discussions are asynchronous, so you can post anytime, from anywhere and there are always community members willing to offer advice, make a suggestion or just lend an ear.

 

Table of Contents


 

Reading Blogs
  1. Navigate to the main group page by selecting My Stuff > Groups from the gold navigation bar at the top of the page and click on your group.
  2. Select the Blog tab beneath the group name. Note: Not every group has a blog.
  3. By deault, the posts are listed from newest to oldest. You can sort blog posts by author or date by using the dropdowns at the top of the blog post list.
  4. Select the title of the blog to read the full content and any comments.

 

Commenting on Blogs
  1. From the main group page, select the Blog tab beneath the group name.
  2. From the list of posts, select the green conversation bubble button to the right of the post title. Additionally, you can select the word Comments from at the bottom of the post listing.
  3. From this window, you can view the comments already published about this post or select Add a Comment, to add your own comment.
  4. If you add a comment, make sure to select Add Comment at the bottom of the dialogue box in order to publish your comment. In some cases, a group's manager must approve comments before they are published.

 

Subscribing to Blog Feeds

 

If you would like to receive an email or notification through your RSS feed when a blog is updated, please follow the directions below.

 

Subscribe by Email

  1. From the main group page, select the Blog tab beneath the group name.
  2. In the right side of the screen, select Receive email notification under Notifications.
  3. You will then receive email notifications when new information is posted to the group.
  4. If you wish to no longer receive email notifications, click Stop email notifications under Notifications on the right side of the blog tab.

 

Subscribe by RSS

  1. From the main group page, select the Blog tab beneath the group name.
  2. In the right side of the screen, select Group Feed under Notifications.
  3. Locate the Blog Posts URL.
  4. Either click on the link to add it to your default feed reader or copy the URL and paste it into your feed reader program.

 

About RSS

 

RSS (Really Simple Syndication ) is a way for you to keep track of changes or additions to content you care about. By subscribiing to the RSS feed for content, you are asking to have easy access to information about content changes or additions.

 

To view RSS feeds, you use an RSS reader (also known as an "aggregator"). This could be your web browser (recent versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari support this). There are also reader applications that are specifically designed to collect and aggregate RSS feeds.

 

Creating a Blog Post
  1. Navigate to the Group homepage where you would like to create a blog post by selecting My Stuff > Groups from the gold navigation bar at the top of any community page. Please note that you must be a member of a group to create a blog post if the group is a members-only group.
  2. Locate the Actions navigation pane on the right side of the screen, select Create a Blog Post.
  3. Enter a title and the content for your blog post. You can add links, images, and more using the toolbar at the top of the content box.
  4. Add Tags, simple category words, to help organize your posts and make them more easily searchable by the other members of your group.
  5. to add a publish date and time or change the commenting options for your post, select the plus sign located to the left of Extended Options below your content window.
  6. Select Publish. Selecting Save or Save and Continue will create a draft of your post.

 

Editing a Published Blog Post
  1. Navigate to the main group page where your blog post is published. Select the Blog tab at the top of the group page.
  2. Select the title of the blog post you would like to edit.
  3. Under the Actions sidebar, select Edit Post.
  4. Modify the post and select Publish.

 

Adding a Blog Widget for Group Announcements

 

If you would like to use blog posts to post announcements and share information to your group members, consider adding a blog widget in a prominent location on your group's page by following the directions below.

  1. Go to the main group page and click on the Overview tab. Then select Customize.
  2. Under Widgets, select Content.
  3. Select Recent Blog Posts. You will see a preview of the widget on the right side of the customize screen.
  4. Use the green, Drag to Add button to drag the widget from the preview to your main page.
  5. Once added, use the gray drop down arrow in the upper right corner of the widget and select, Edit this Widget.
  6. In this view, you can customize the title of the widget, the number of results and other properties specific to the widget. Select Save Properties when complete.
  7. Once you have made the desired changes, make sure to select Publish Layout in the customized screen at the top of the page.

 

Locating Discussions

 

There are several ways to locate discussions within the Verizon Thinkfinity Community.

  1. Use the Search Bar to locate discussions by keywords.
  2. Select Browse All > Discussions from the gold navigation bar at the top of the page.
  3. Visit the Verizon Thinkfinity 101 Community. This community is very active and it is a great place to find links to other conversations of interest.

 

Reading and Replying to Discussions
  1. To read a discussion, click on the title of the discussion. Replies to a discussion are listed below the initial post. The date of the post can be found in the upper left corner of the discussion window above the title. Feel free to reply to discussions from any time period. By replying, it will bump the discussion back to the top of the list and might catch someone else's attention.
  2. To reply to a discussion post, select Reply in the bottom right corner of the discussion window, write your reply and select Post Message. Your reply will appear in the list of replies below the initial post.

 

Starting a Discussion
  1. From the gold navigation bar at the top of the page, select Create New > Discussion.
  2. A drop down menu will appear asking you to select a location to post your discussion.
    • Educational Discussions can be posted in a specific group or in Verizon Thinkfinity 101.
    • General Discussion not related to education can be posted in The Lounge.
    • Questions regarding the Verizon Thinkfinity Community or Thinkfinity.org can be posted in the Help Center.
  3. Once you have selected a location to post your discussion, it will automatically direct you to a New Discussion.
  4. Enter a title for your discussion.
  5. If the discussion is a question, select Mark this discussion as a Question. People who respond will receive points within the community.
  6. Enter your discussion content and select tag words for your discussion.

    Note: Think of a tag as a simple category name. You can categorize your documents, discusssions, and blog posts with any word or words that make sense. People can also search using tags.
  7. When complete, select Post Message at the bottom of the page.

 

Viewing your Recent Discussions

 

If you have posted a discussion question or replied to a discussion question, a history of your posts can be found by going to My Stuff > Discussions from the gold navigation bar at the top of the page.

 

Worked on by Crystal, Marc, Jane

We may want to link to Cool Tools > RSS readers when we have that up.

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