Blogging with Windows Live Writer 2011. 4. Inserting Everything bar the kitchen sink.

Insert Ribbon.

Up until now during this tutorial, we haven’t moved from the HOME ribbon, which has contained most of the choices that we needed to make.  We’re now going to take a closer look at the INSERT ribbon, where there are lot’s of other things we can insert into our blog posts.

1. Click on the INSERT tab above the ribbon. Immediately the ribbon changes to a much more detailed one featuring everything that you can insert into your blog posts. Let’s take a look at all the other things we can insert into our posts shall we? 

Insert ribbon

As you can see from this screen shot, we can insert (under the Break area) a Horizontal line, a Clear Break and a Split post. (The latter being where you can post a short summary to be shown on your Home page, and then continue to read the full post by clicking on ‘more’ etc. You can also add a Table into your post, and under the Media area of the ribbon, we have the previous Hyperlink, Picture and Photo Album (which work in exactly the same way as before) Video, Map, Post Tags and Emoticons to show your readers how you are feeling at that time in your post.

Lastly you can add some Plug-ins to Writer which add enhancements such as the Facebook plug-in or Twitter plug in, which automatically send an update to either as you publish a post. Let’s try working our way through the BREAKS area first.

2. Click on Horizontal Line.

A line is then placed inside your post. Next, try the Clear break choice.
Your cursor will do a return and move to a new line.  Next let’s try out the Split Post.

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Blogging with Windows Live Writer. 9

Adding some plug-ins.

What on earth are plug-ins? And why should you use them in Writer?  Plug-ins are usually small additional programs that you can download to your computer to enhance the use of Writer. They add such useful  additions as sending an announcement automatically to twitter or facebook as your new post is published,  so that  all of your friends/contacts on Twitter/Facebook etc are made aware of it.  They add other features to Writer such as being able to show a picture as a Polaroid for example. There are quite a few Writer plug-ins to choose from, and there is certain to be at least one that you will find useful to add to Writer.

Let’s now take a look at some of my favourite plug-ins and how to use them in your posts.

In the choice of items to insert on the right hand side of the compose window  at the bottom of the list you will see Add a plug-in next to a green plus sign. Click on it to be taken to the Windows Live Gallery where all the different Writer plug-ins can be found.  At the top of the list you will see the Polaroid Picture plug-in.  Of course Writer already has the ability to make your photo or picture look like a Polaroid picture by default, but this plug-in will also let you write a caption underneath your picture as well , so download it and then we can take a look at it. Don’t worry if you receive a warning before installing any of the plug-ins that we are trying out, I use them all the time and I can assure you that they are quite safe to use.

The next plug-in to download is the Twitter Notify one which should also be available from the first page, so download that one as well.  Many of my readers know that I often insert an Emoticon into my blog posts and one of my favourite plug-ins to enable this is the Cool Emotion one so let’s download that as well.  Yet another very useful plug-in for writer is the TweetMeme plug-in coded by my friend Scott, and this will place a button inside your post once its published that allows your visitors to click onto it in order to send a Tweet about that particular post.  To find more Writer plug-ins, just type in the name of the plug-on if you know it into the search bar at the top, or alternatively select Writer from the Gallery list on the left hand side of this webpage. The plug-ins such as the TweetMeme and the Twitter Notify plug-in will not be visible in the Insert list in Writer, you enable them in the Edit Blog Settings under the Blogs tab.

The Cool Emotion and the Polaroid Picture plug in will now have been added to the Insert  list. Let’s try the Polaroid Picture one.  Click on Polaroid Picture and all of your picture files will open in another window in Writer. Now simply choose one of your pictures from your files. When you click on it once it is placed into your post, you will see a familiar Menu appear on the right hand side. This is the Polaroid Picture Menu. At the top you can choose your pictures size, followed by a Caption box where you can add a caption to your Polaroid picture including choosing the font and the size of font to use, you can then choose to tilt your picture to the left or right by varying degrees, have the text wrap around your picture either to the left or right hand side, and lastly add some corners to your Polaroid picture so that it looks as if it is placed in an album.  Try them all out in your blog post.  The Cool Emotion plug-in contains loads of Emoticons for you to add to your posts. Just simply click on it and check them all out.

Cool Emotion plug-inIn order to invoke  the Twitter/TweetMeme/Digg/or Facebook plug-ins in your blog post you will need to enable them by clicking on the Blogs tab at the top of Writer, choosing Edit Blog Settings from the list and then clicking on Plug-ins. You then just need to tick those that you wish to invoke as you publish your post. NOTE. At this time the TweetMeme plug-in will not work at the same time as the Digg This plug-in, you will need to choose just one of them.

settng up your plug-ins for your blogSo there’s a lot of choice in available plug-ins for you to add to Live Writer in order to enhance its already great features. Have a browse in the Gallery and try some more of them out.


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Social Networking overload.

thumbnailCAH8WGQV Are you like me suffering from Social Networking overload? Lately I seem to be subscribing to more and  more social networking sites that profess to be the latest ‘must have’ to enable you to keep tabs on all of your online friends and contacts.  it’s got so bad that I now find myself subscribing to sites that  promise to amalgamate all of my social networking sites into one place and keep them all organized for me so that I can keep on top of it all!

windowslive icon I’ve completely lost track to be honest of just how many sites I am currently subscribed to and despite being retired and therefore able to spend a great deal of my available time online I just haven’t the time to contribute to them all.  Of course the answer is to stop joining any more but as soon as I tell myself not to join or sign up to any new sites I will often find that I’ll read someone’s tweet about a fantastic new site they have found  that is the next big thing or I’ll read someone’s blog about a new ‘social networking’ service that’s the latest must have and next thing you know I’ve signed up and joined another one! 

Twitter_logo For my blogs I am now busy trying to find gadgets and plug-ins that  let my readers know just exactly which sites I use so that they can find me, although its highly unlikely they will come across me on any of them as I just don’t have the time, and lets be honest here, if a retired Granny hasn’t the time to contribute to lot’s of social networking sites  then who has?  I really will have to refrain from joining any more. It rather reminds me of those Sky users who pay out a huge amount every month so that they can have hundreds and hundreds of channels and then spend most of their time just watching the same old four or five they could get for free.  Besides which I have badly been neglecting my blogs of late, usually because I am too busy tweeting or else I am reading all the updates from my vast collection of  social networking sites!

friend_feed_logo_allrightsreserved Let’s face it, we can only be in one place at a time when we are online, no one can  be everywhere at once,  and I have realised this recently  having become aware of  just how many new services are becoming available just to help us keep on top of all that Social Networking we are all doing. The other downside of having all of these different Social Networking sites occurred recently  when I needed to upload  some photographs so that my family and friends  could  see them.  Instead of just uploading  them once  to one particular site, I found  myself having to upload them to my Windows Live SkyDrive, my flickr account and my Facebook account which meant that because I had  quite a few photos to upload the computer was  busy for up to an hour or more. (Is there a photo uploading service that you can upload your pictures to once and then it distributes your pics to all of your photo sites for you, and if not why not?)

digg-logo_2 I know that I am not alone in experiencing ‘Social Networking overload.’ When the Windows Live teams introduced Web Activities to Windows Live, quite a few users on there turned most of the updates from their friends off after finding them to be ‘too noisy’. As a matter of fact, I was personally informed by someone in my Network on Windows Live that  my twitter updates  were  ‘too much’ and so I ended up disabling most of my updates on there so I didn’t annoy others in my Network.

We might all feel that we need to be constantly  broadcasting every move we make whilst we are online, every picture we take, every news article we read, every new ‘social networking’ must have we have stumbled upon, but do remember everyone,  it doesn’t necessarily mean that your online friends want to be constantly reminded of your online presence or what you are doing from one minute to the next,  and they just might go and turn you right off!


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