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Greetings, New Diarists!

(And greetings to diarists of long standing, too!) In smileycreek's diary, How to Collaborate with Us on a Diary, she walked us up to the point where our diary has been published by the New Diarists group. In this diary, we'll pull back for a minute to pre-publication and talk about the custom tip jar, and then we'll talk about actions you can take to change things after your diary is published. Follow me below the orange thingy for more.

Tip Jars:

A "tip jar", as you may know by now, is comment #1 in a diary. It is by the diarist and is a way readers can give a diarist extra "mojo" or, in case of a trollish diary asserting some right-wing talking point, express disapproval by "hide-rating" the tip jar. If you do nothing to create a tip jar, the software will create one for you, like this one at right. jim in IA did not create a tip jar, so his comment #1 was added automatically when he published, and contains nothing but the title Tip Jar and his sig line. Notice that it cannot be replied to, although it can still be recommended or hide-rated. Sometimes, a commenter may reply to a tip jar, and if there is controversy, a long argument may ensue under the tip jar that pushes more substantive comments so far down as to discourage others from reading them and commenting. If you have this concern, a way to avoid it is to choose to allow an auto tip jar like this one.

If you're not worried about fights in your tip jar, and you want to include your own content as with any other comment, you can create a tip jar comment before your diary is published. Here's a lovely one from Polly Syllabic. Notice that she has given the comment her own title and included a picture, and she could have included text, an embedded video, or anything else that can be put into a comment. Unlike the auto tip jar, this one allows replies.
If you would like to dress up your tip jar like this, then BEFORE YOU PUBLISH, when you are in Preview mode, not Edit mode, scroll down to the bottom. There you will see TWO links that say "Post a Comment". Once you've published, the first one will be at the top of your comment section and the second will be at the bottom. You must click on the BOTTOM one, as shown here. When you do, a comment box will open, just as it does when you're commenting in any diary, and you can compose and preview your comment and click "Post" when you're ready. Be aware that this is a REAL comment. Just like any other, it cannot be changed or deleted once it's posted, even if you delete your draft diary and never, ever publish it, so treat it with the care you'd use with any comment! (This is true of all comments, by the way -- even if their diary is deleted, the comments still exist. We'll talk more about this next time, in Part 2.)

For now, the last thing I will say about the custom tip jar is, you should NOT add it too far in advance. Here's the reason: A tip jar is a real comment from the time you post it, NOT from when the diary is published, and its clock is ticking. Tip jars, like all comments, expire. They last longer than regular comments, which can no longer be tipped after 24 hours -- tips jars can be tipped for a week. That's to allow latecomers to the diary to still give mojo to the diarist. Let's say you have written a diary for publication by a group, and your scheduled publication time is not for some days. You should wait to add your custom tip jar until the day of publication, or as close as you can get. You would like to get all your tips, so the longer your jar is open for tipping, the better off you are. (If you mess up and the diary is published without you adding your tip jar, it will just give you an auto tip jar as we saw above, which is perfectly fine. You can still post your planned comment; it just won't be in the tip jar.)

And now, on to our post-publishing topics!

Diary Updates:

Suppose you are reporting on a developing situation, such as a debate, a weather event, or a fundraiser. You don't want to change your published diary, just quickly add something to it. In this example, triciawyse is giving periodic updates about how much money has been raised. Note that it shows her username, in case multiple group editors are adding updates, and it shows the time of the update as Pacific time. Pacific time is not local to triciawyse, nor is it to me, the reader, but unlike other timestamps you see on your Daily Kos screens, the times on diary updates are always Pacific time, not your local time. So: to use this feature, the steps are very simple:

At the end of your published diary, right below the tags, you'll find some buttons for various actions. Click "Update" as shown.
You'll get a popup box that allows you to enter your update text. You don't need to type your username or the time; it knows that. When you're done, click "Save". It will add your update to the end of your diary. Easy and quick!

Diary Edits:

Now, suppose you want to make any other kind of change to your published diary. Correct a mistake, add something you forgot, or even add an update but not at the bottom. The action you want is "Edit", whose button, shown here, is located in the same place as the "Update" button we just looked at. If you click that button, your diary goes into edit mode very much as it did when you were first writing it, and you can change it just as you could before. Sadly, I must tell you that, when you're ready to save and preview your changes, the post-publication mechanism is a little buggy. I cannot recommend that you click the gray "Save & Preview" buttons immediately below the two sections of text, as shown here. If you do, these buttons do not always show your changes, and on occasion, they are rude enough to get rid of them. I advise you to use the orange "Preview Changes" buttons, found at the very top or at the bottom right above the comments, as shown below. You'll note that next to the "Preview Changes" button in this picture is a grayed-out "Save Changes" button. Once you're in preview mode, that button will become active and you can use it to save what you've done. If you want to go back to Edit mode, the Preview button will have changed to an Edit button. And if you're sorry you even started changing the diary, just exit. Close your browser tab, and the changes will be discarded.

Just one more thing about this: when you do click the button to save your changes, it will toss you out of the diary, and you'll be looking at the intro portion of your diary on your own diaries page (not the group's page). Don't worry, that's normal -- the editor needs you to leave so it can save your changes, and it's not sure where to send you, so it picks there. Just go back into the diary, and you should see your changes in place. If you don't, you probably pressed the gray button! Try again, and this time stick with the orange button!

Coming in Part 2:

Next time, we'll talk about what to do when you have a published diary that you become aware should not be a published diary. Maybe it was published by accident at the wrong time; maybe you've learned too late that it violates site rules, or you've gotten new information that changes your position drastically. You have a couple of options, and we'll discuss how to use them and why. Thanks for reading!

As always, please feel free to bring all of your questions, no matter how basic, into the comments.  We're here to help you get started!


In the comment threads, we've been talking about an issue experienced by Internet Explorer users, where trying to embed videos or photos in a diary (not a comment) results in an error about JavaScript, shown here in chuckvw's comment. User dear occupant describes a workaround here, but to get the issue addressed, it would be helpful if other users having the same problem would go to the help ticket here that chuckvw opened, scroll down to the bottom of the discussion, and add a comment to say they have it also. It would be good if you could include your IE version as well as your Windows version. Gathering more information about who is affected helps the developers figure out the problem. (Adding a comment will "subscribe" you to the discussion, meaning you will get an email whenever someone, including elfling, adds a comment. If that gets annoying to you, you can go back and click the "unsubscribe" button.)

Another Update:

For the record, I really have to include what numerous commenters have mentioned, and I neglected in my rush to tell you technical stuff: the main thing to do after you publish is stick around and respond to commenters. You don't have to stay there all night, and you don't have to answer every single person who says something. But the people who show up to read your diary and take the trouble to comment are interested in what you've written and want to discuss it with you, and they will not be much impressed if you post and then vanish -- that's considered a troll move around here.

If you have to post at a time you can't be there, or you have to leave after not too long, it's okay to post a comment that says, I'm sorry, I need to go now, but I will come back and respond later, as long as you actually do that. If you're posting for a group, another thing you can do as a courtesy to your readers is recruit another group member to "host" your comment thread when you can't be there. We do this in the Inoculation Project, for instance, but that is a fundraising series for public school teachers, so any of us can represent the group's viewpoint equally well. If you're writing a piece on your own views and opinions, no one else can really represent you, and you are best off publishing at a time you can be present yourself for a few hours.

New Diarists is a safe place to practice diary writing skills with a mentor's guiding hand. Experienced diarists are welcome to join and buddy up with new diarists, and new diarists are welcome to ask for help. The group's Publication Manager provides a space where we can collaborate on diaries and help you with everything from content to formatting to promoting your new diary.

How-to and Help diaries will be published to the New Diarists Group. Visit the home page and click on the little ♥ to follow us. More help can be found at the Welcome New Users and Cranky Users the ♥ to follow those groups, too. Brand New to Daily Kos? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Ready to play? Send a private message (aka kosmail) to nomandates to request an invitation to join the group.

The New Diarists group reserves the right to refuse to publish under the group's banner any diary that violates the site's rules for writing diaries. This includes diaries that call out other kossacks by name, diaries that promote conspiracy theories, diaries that advocate for third parties, or diaries that violate Fair Use guidelines.  Please familiarize yourself with these rules. You are free to publish any diary on any topic under your own name, but if it violates site rules, there will be consequences.  Ask a Group Editor if you are not sure that your diary topic is appropriate to this site.

Originally posted to New Diarists on Mon May 07, 2012 at 04:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by KosBusters!, J Town, and Cranky Users.

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