Recently, there has been some gnashing of teeth about the frequency some people post blogs.

"You're forcing other good blogs off the front page!" or "It's just too much to read at one time!"

I actually don't understand the latter, because if you're reading through the list of blog posts, and reading each blog that comes up, does it really matter if it's from the same person?

However, I do agree with the former. We have a number of good bloggers on GIO, and it's not really fair to be posting a bunch of blogs at one time, thus forcing those other blogs off the page.

Saint left a good comment the other day about why this is bad for both the reader *and* the blogger:

"When you post three blogs back to back, you hurt your views and in one day your blogs are going to start the downward spiral until they're off the front page whereas if you posted them over the course of three days you extend their presence."

The common response to any criticism of frequent blogging is something like "but I have a lot to say and I don't want to forget it!"

Fair enough, but you could always write them out in a word processing program and then post them once a day (I'm ok with twice, though I know some people think there should be a stricter limit than that).

However, if you don't want to have to remember to post them manually each day,  you could write them all out but schedule them to post once a day.

Since I've received a few questions on that whenever I mention it, I thought I would just do a post about it. And there's some other helpful hints that might make your blogging experience on GIO easier and better as well. Then there will be nothing but joy in the GI Land.

1) How do I schedule posts?

For scheduling posts, you just go into "Advanced Editor" when you post to your blog. See the tabs above that are "Write," "Comments & Feedback," Publication Settings," etc?

Click on "Publication Settings" and there's a place where it says "When this post should be published." Just change the date and/or time there.

Keep in mind that, if you schedule a post to go out in the future, it doesn't show up on your list of posts until it's actually published. If you want to come back and edit it,or change the scheduled publishing time, you have to go back to the Dashboard screen for your blog where you can manage your posts. It will show up in your list of posts there. If you want to edit it, do *not* click on the post title. Click on the "Edit" button instead. If you just click on the post title, the post will come up but it will be in Basic mode, and clicking on "Advanced Editor" again will bring up a blank blog page.

2) What is this "dashboard" thing you mention? And how do I access it like you told me to do if I want to edit it?

Good question!

To get to your blog home (dashboard), here's what you do:

1) Go to "Post to your Blog"

2) Go to "Advanced Editor"

Up at the top of you'll see four things: Dashboard, Write (which is highlighted, because right now you're in "write" mode), Manage, and Configure. Click on "Manage

That will produce a bunch of stuff right underneath that menu: "Comments, Posts, Content Pages, etc" Most of that, you can't use, but you can manage comments on your blog by clicking on "Comments" and you can manage your posts by clicking on "Posts."

Just click on "Posts" and there is a list of all your blog posts! Including the one you've scheduled.

Managing comments can be useful because it allows you to delete comments. Now, you don't want to be deleting legitimate comments or anything, but how about spam ones? They do pop up occasionally. Also, sometimes people post duplicate comments. You can just go here and delete one of them.

Or, perhaps, you want to delete "trackbacks," which show up when somebody links to your blog. You can actually disable them too, but I like them because it tells me if a blog I missed has linked to me.

Finally, it's useful to see if anybody left a comment on one of your earlier posts, as it shows the comments in order.

If you care.

3) Wow, that sounds easy! Thanks! But, that still seems kind of complicated and convoluted. Is there any way to not have to do all of that again?

Glad you asked! Yes, there is. You can bookmark the dashboard page. Unfortunately, you do have to take a couple of extra steps, or the page you bookmarked won't be the one you want bookmarked.

To do that:

1) Up at the very top, under where it says "Managing (name) blog" (where "(name)" is your username, mine says "hist blog"), it says "Dashboard>>My Blogs>>(name) blog>>Recent Posts."  (Or, if you just follow the first two steps above on how to access your dashboard, the "Recent Posts" will say "Write a blog post" instead). Click on "(name) blog"

2) This will take you to the main dashboard for your blog. Bookmark that page. That way, you can come here directly from now on, rather than having to take all those steps. 

4) Clicking on some of the links on the "Dashboard" brings up some "Sign In" screens that I don't know what to do with. What are those?

I honestly have no idea. I think the blog area is still under construction, and I would love some GI employee's input on when those features are going to be available.

For example, *nothing* is available in three of the five links when you go to the "configure" tab. Only "Post Options" and "Advanced Configuration" work. However, those tabs are still *very* useful, especially if you want to track subscribers to your blog feed.

Play around with some of the links. You may find some cool stuff to do with your blog.

And who knows? GI may actually make it so you can do *more* cool stuff!

But in the meantime, at least you can schedule your posts.