I created this free blog on a site called WordPress.com, which is the hosting service for the open source community that created WordPress, one of the most popular free blogging softwares.
To be able to contribute to the blog. That is: write stuff and add pictures, etc. You must sign up for a free account. To do this, either respond to the invite I have sent you already, or go to:
and sign up for an account and then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can add you on as a contributor to our blog. I am the administrator of the blog, so I will have the most control in terms of giving access and making major changes to the site.
Sign up for just a user account, not for a new weblog (weblog & blog are the same thing). The plan is that we all contribute to one blog, so everything is centralized.
Once you setup an account and get access to the Dashboard of the blog, you will be able to add to the blog by creating a new post, or commenting on someone else’s post. You will see that the area for writing posts has an interface for uploading photos, video, etc, as well as formatting the text (bold, font size, color, alignment, etc). You will also be able to add hyperlinks to words by highlighting the word and clicking the little button that looks like the link of a chain, so that when someone visits the site they can click on the link and be sent to a different webpage.
As of now this blog is public, but we can password protect it if we want to use it to discuss anything privatish…I don’t know what that would be.
In the blog we can create categories of posts. This is helpful to organize various types of stuff on the site. For example, I plan on maintaining a list of news stories I have worked on, so family members can visit the blog and click on that category if they want to see what I have been working on. Likewise, we could have a “Larry’s memorial” category and stick all the photos and whatnot from that event in that category. You also be able to filter posts by the person posting them, so I can see all of Danny’s posts to the blog if I wish, or search by date.
I will be setting up a category of “Family Stories” so we can begin to archive all the great stories and jokes that were passed down form parents and grandparents. The blog is the modern equivelant of sitting around the dinner table and kibitzing.
In general, the default for blogs is that when you put up a new post, it adds it to the top of the blog and pushes everything else down, so the blog ends up in reverse chronological order.
One other thing. You will notice little thumbnail photos on the right side of the blog. These link to a website called http://www.flickr.com and WordPress.com blogs are automatically integrated with Flickr.
This site is a cool, free way to publish photos for all to see. Like with WordPress, I set up a Flckr account, aka a “photostream” named “oretzky” and uploaded those 3 images.
Like our WordPress blog, I have set up our Flkr account to be publicly accessible. But you will see that you can choose to only give access to people on your “Friends” list. Again, I don’t see a reason to do that, but we can if folks want to.
So I recommend that folks that want to add photos to the blog do it through the oretzky photostream on Flkr and the last 3 photos uploaded will automatically appear as thumbnails on our blog.
You can also upload photos directly to our blog, but beware. Make sure the photo is a jpef file and sized at around 640×480 pixels or smaller, otherwise it will be very big on the screen and take a long time to load. Note also, that a digital photo of that size is too small to print out at high quality; its purpose is for screen display. The advantage of Flckr (and other photo sites like it) is that it will display a smaller photo, but give you the option to download the full size version to print out, if desired.
For photos already loaded on other photo sites like Yahoo Photo & Kodak gallery, one could re-upload them to Flckr, or, much more easily, just add a link from the blog to the Yahoo or Kodak gallery site.
If anyone is having trouble, send me an email and I will answer your question & post it here so it creates a sort of FAQ.