Step 1 - Create a new Google Account (if you don't already have one!):
- Click 'Sign In' (located to the far right of the blue navigation bar). The following will appear:
- Click 'Create an account'. The following window will appear:
- Fill in the form and create your new Google account. In the First Name & Last Name fields please use your own name (not an alias) as this is the name that will be displayed when you post your blogs.
Step 2 - Request an Invitation to Post Blogs:
- Send an email to the Administrator asking for an invitation to post blogs on the Upper Thames Moths blog. Please confirm that you live or record moths within Bucks, Berks or Oxon and indicate whether or not you are a member of BC's Upper Thames Branch (however, not being a member is not a barrier to being able to contribute!).
- You'll receive an email back from the Administrator inviting you to contribute to the blog. Click the 'Accept invitation' button if you wish to proceed (you'll be asked to log into your Google Account if you're not already logged in). If you decide not to accept straight away, remember that the invitation will expire after four weeks.
You're ready to start posting!
- Log in to the Upper Thames Moths blog using your Google Account and click on "New Post" (located to the right of your login name on the blue navigation bar). A different Blogger page will open.
- Think of a suitable title and add it to the "Post title" box which is above the tool-bar (caution: this box can sometimes be obscured by a pop-up about Cookies which will need to be closed down first!).
- Type your report in the main box, adding your name and an idea of your location at the end.
- Add photos if you wish, using the "Insert Image" icon on the toolbar. Before uploading pictures, please crop out any unwanted background so that we get a good view of the insect and make sure that the file size is not too large (see Guidelines tab). The upload process is quite straightforward although the boxes which open up to allow you to choose your image sometimes take a little while to load. Remember that the picture(s) will be added to your report wherever the cursor happens to be, but you can easily move the text or images around if they end up in the wrong place. If you wish to add a caption to each photo or resize it, click on the image once it is in your report and another tool-bar should open.
- If you wish to see what your report will look like on the blog before submitting it (definitely recommended!), click on "Preview" and a separate page will open. Close that page down again if you are happy with what you see.
- Click "Publish" when you're ready to post your report.
- If you want to edit or delete one of your own posts after you've submitted it, click on the yellow pencil.
There is only one "Rule": blogs are to be polite at all times (the site administrator may edit or delete blogs or comments which are considered inappropriate).
The following points should be used as a guide for posting reports and photos on the blog:
- Please don't include too many photos in a single post - a maximum of four per report is recommended.
- If posting pictures as part of an ID request, please try and crop the background before uploading so that we can concentrate on the moth without getting distracted by what it is sitting on. Please also try to avoid taking pictures of moths inside pots!
- Maximum size for photos is 1Mb (but 500Kb or less is preferred). Once uploaded, please keep the image size at "Medium" (which is the default size). Viewers can always click on the image to see it at a larger size if they wish.
- Keep in mind that the site itself doesn't have a maximum limit on photo storage space. Instead, you as individual contributors each have a limit (1Gb, more if you use Google+).
- Please remember to mention the appropriate location (place and county) somewhere in your blog.
- Please add your name at the end of each blog. This may seem superfluous because Blogger automatically adds your identity at the bottom of each post, but this doesn't happen for those who take up the option to "Follow by email".
Many of our contributors use the blog solely for identification requests, which is fine (although we welcome any interesting sighting reports too!). If you do have a moth which you can't identify, or which from your own researches you think might be something unusual and you want to get it checked, it is always best practice to hang on to the specimen until someone has had a chance to comment. Moths will generally survive two or three days in a pot in the fridge with no ill effects.
One or two people have found themselves unable to add comments either to their own posts or to those made by others even though they are signed in to Google. While it is not entirely clear yet why this should be so, using a different browser has seemed to clear the problem. Internet Explorer and Safari seem to be the most likely to experience trouble, while Chrome appears to be OK.