“Can I write my Morning Feature at the BPI Campus website?”

In fact you can. The BPI Campus uses WordPress, and the WordPress editor is newer and better than the DailyKos editor. It offers a Visual (What You See Is What You Get) interface, in addition to the standard HTML interface. It also allows you to schedule your post to appear (here) at 7am ET, which is useful because at 7am you’ll probably be at DailyKos posting and preparing to reply to comments. And with a few exceptions, noted below, it’s easy to transfer what you write here over to DailyKos.  So I’ll walk you through it, step-by-step….

But before you go there, to write your story at the BPI Campus website your site status must be Contributor. If you are faculty, email our webmistress (JanF) to get your site status updated.

Creating your Intro with the Morning Feature logo:

First write your Intro, the part that will appear on the front page here at the BPI Campus site, and “above the fold” at DailyKos. Our site will only show 55 words on the front page, so you must keep your Intro within that limit. That includes the word “(More)” – in parentheses – which should be the last word in your Intro here.

Fortunately there’s a Word Count function on the story editor page. Write what you think is about 55 words, then click the Save Draft Button at the top of the right-hand column. That will update your Word Count. If you have fewer than 40 words, add some. If you have more than 55 words – including “(More)” as the last word in your Intro – tighten it up. Note that in Visual mode you do not need to hit the <Enter> key twice at the end of a paragraph to insert a blank line between paragraphs; the WordPress editor will insert a blank line between paragraphs for you.

Once you have your Intro written, copy this HTML text, switch to HTML view in the editor, and paste it before your first word:

<a href=”http://www.bpicampus.com”><img align=”right” src=”http://i717.photobucket.com/albums/ww175/NCrissieB/New-MF-logo.jpg” border /></a>

Your first word should begin immediately after the final </a>, with no space or new line. That will align your first word with the left margin, and the top of your text with the top of the logo. Then return to Visual view, move the cursor after (More), hit the <Return> key to start a new line, and click the Insert More Tag button, in the button bar between the “broken link” and the “ABC” buttons. That will insert a HTML tag that tells WordPress this is where your Intro ends.

Writing the Body:

I usually start the body of my essay by repeating the title, in Boldface. Working in the Visual view offers you two ways to create boldface: (1) select the text you want boldface and click the B button at the left of the button bar; or, (2) select the text you want boldface and hit <Cntl-B> as you would in Microsoft Word or most other text editors. (Note that you can do italics easily in the Visual view as well, and like boldface there are two ways: (1) click the I button; or, (2) hit <Cntl-I> as you would in MSWord or other text editors.) I also use Subheads in boldface, like “Writing the Body:” just before this paragraph. That helps readers keep track of where they are in a story, and breaks up dense blocks of text which are hard on readers’ eyes.

You can also do underlines with <Cntl-U>, and strikethrough with <Alt-Shift-D> or the ABC button in the button bar. The Visual view also makes it easy to do bullet copy, numbered lists, block quotes, and links. There are some other goodies up there too. However, not all of these generate HTML code that works at DailyKos. We’ll get to that in a moment.

I recommend using the Save Draft button often, although WordPress does autosaves. I also recommend using the Preview button often, just in case you’ve somehow inserted some HTML code you don’t want. The Preview button shows you your story as it will appear here at the BPI Campus.

Adding a Category and Tags:

Once you’re finished writing your body, and have Saved Draft, you want to make sure it goes to the right place! In the right-hand column there is a list of Categories for stories at BPICampus. Click the Morning Feature category ONLY. Above that is the tag field. Click “Choose from the most used tags” and select Morning Feature and any others that might apply to your post EXCEPT Featured. Do not select the Featured tag. That’s for Editors and Admins only.

Scheduling Your Story for Publication:

So now your story is ready to schedule for publication. In the upper right, just under the Save Draft button you’ve used so repeatedly, you will see three lines: Status, Visibility, and Publish. The last will say immediately, and after that an Edit link. Click that Edit link. Make sure the date is set to the date for which your Morning Feature is scheduled, and set the time to 07:00 (the BPICampus clock is set to Eastern Time). Then click OK. The Publish button will change to read Schedule. Click it. Your story will post here at BPI at 7am on that date! Tah-dahhh!

(And yes, you can still edit and Update your story, after it’s Scheduled and before it Publishes.)

Umm, but what about DailyKos?

Oh yeah. The good news is, almost everything can be copy/pasted easily. The bad news is that word “almost.” Again, I’ll walk you through it step-by-step….

  1. In a New Tab, Open DailyKos and click the New Diary Entry button. That will bring up the DailyKos editor. (You need to do that in a new tab so you still have your BPI editor open.)
  2. In the BPI editor, using Visual view, copy your Title. Go to the DailyKos editor and paste your title in the Title field.
  3. In the BPI editor, using the Visual view, copy your Intro text up to the “(More)”. Go to the DailyKos editor and paste your Intro text into the Intro field.
  4. Copy the Morning Feature logo HTML from this page, then go to the DailyKos editor and paste that HTML into the Intro field immediately before your Intro text, just as you did here, with no space or line return.
  5. In the BPI editor, switch to HTML view. Position your cursor at the start of your story Body, then scroll down to the end of your story Body and <Shift-Click> to select your entire story. Use <Cntl-C> to copy it.
  6. In the DailyKos editor, use <Cntl-V> to paste your story into the Body field.

Now here’s where that “almost” gets tricky. The following things do not translate directly from the BPI editor to the DailyKos editor:

  • Links: You will need to rebuild each link in your story at DailyKos. Delete the link HTML that was copied from the BPI editor, except for the hot-text itself. Open the website to which you are linking and copy its URL. Select the hot-text in your story at DailyKos, click the Link button in the DailyKos editor, and paste the URL into the top field of that dialog. Click the Add button to finish the link.
  • Strikethrough: The BPI editor uses HTML for strikethrough. That HTML does not work at DailyKos. Delete the HTML, and put a -hyphen immediately before and after- the words you want to appear in strikethrough. In the DailyKos editor, the previous sentence would come out like this:

Delete the HTML, and put a hyphen immediately before and after the words you want to appear in strikethrough.

  • Underline: The BPI editor uses fancy HTML for underlines. That HTML does not work at DailyKos. Delete the HTML. Type <u>at the start of the text you want underlined, and</u> at the end of the text you want underlined. In the DailyKos editor, the previous sentence would come out like this:

Type at the start of the text you want underlined, and at the end of the text you want underlined.

The BPI editor may generate other HTML codes that don’t work at DailyKos, but those are the only ones I’ve found so far. So you have just three things left to do:

Finalizing your Morning Feature at DailyKos:

First, paste this at the very bottom of your diary Body at DailyKos:

<a href=”http://bpicampus.com/”>Crossposted from Blogistan Polytechnic Institute (BPICampus.com)</a>

Then enter the same tags you used here (but make sure Morning Feature is your first tag), create your Tip Jar and Tuna Can, and you should be ready to Publish! See, I told you it was easy!

You call that “easy?”

Well, mostly easy…. ::sniffle sniffle::