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  • frank

[7] Using the Navigation Strip

Today's tip is going to focus on that gray or black bar at the top of this screen, when you're visiting tipoftheday itself. It's called the Navigation Strip. Using this feature, you can always have links at hand to get back to your journal in case you're out exploring other people's journals.

If you don't have it turned on and want to test it out, you turn it on or off by visiting: http://www.livejournal.com/manage/settings/.

Here, you can change its color (black or gray) and you can also set its viewing options. You have two choices for viewing the Navigation Strip: you can set it to where it's visible on your journal all the time to everyone who views your journal, or you can set it so that you only see it when you're logged into your account.

Let's talk now about what you can do when you have the Navigation Strip turned on:

  • You can have a "logout" button on every page of the site! This will help if you're frequently in a situation where you'd need to log out in a hurry.

  • Have you ever completed reading your Friends Page, but later discovered that you weren't logged in, thereby missing half the entries? If you have the Navigation Strip turned on all the time, you'll not only see right away that you're not logged in, but have a place where you can log back in.

  • You'll have easier access to the "Update Journal" and "MyLJ" pages, for a hasty update in case you read something that you want to talk about.

  • You can tell at a glance whether or not someone is on your friends list, or has you listed as a friend. There will also be a link to manage your friends in case you decide to change how you've got the person listed.

  • If you have it turned on while visiting a community you maintain, you'll have convenient links to change the community's profile or settings, or edit the membership list.

Questions about using the Navigation Strip? Please comment! If you have questions about other things, please visit our community profile for ways that you can get help using your new journal.

UPDATE: My good buddy ljkrissy together with anildash from Six Apart put together a Flash tutorial about this.

(Two hooves up to jennifer for her help in preparing today's tip! See my userpic for actual footage of the two hooves up.)
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  • frank

[6] Using your Archive/Calendar

It's been a month since I posted last! Oops, sorry about that. Don't worry, we're not becoming "tipofthemonth" or anything. It's just been busy around here at LJ lately. (Plus I got kidnapped by pirates and all. That was an adventure.)


LiveJournal never, ever deletes old entries. You can keep your old entries as long as you want.

You can read 400 of your old entries by clicking the "previous" links in your journal. But this can be a slow process when you've got a lot of entries and you're looking for one specific entry, and it won't help you find entry #401.

Where did entry #401 go if it wasn't deleted? You can find it in your archive. Your archive, also called your Calendar, can be accessed from the main page of your journal. Click on your archive and you'll see something like this:

On this page, you'll be able to see the number of entries you've posted on any given day. The number of entries is a link that you can click to go right to those entries. So, if you know you posted an entry on a certain day, you can find it quickly by clicking on your archive, and then the day.

If your journal's been around for years, you'll also see a link to view the other years of your archive.

But what if you only know what month an entry was posted? Well, you could click on each day, but searching is a little easier if you're in the habit of giving your entries subjects. You can click on the "View Subjects" link that's near the month in question, and then it takes you to a page that looks like this:

You can see the date, time, subject line and number of comments for all the entries posted that month.

There are a few other ways to search through your old entries in the FAQ on searching.

Questions about using your Calendar? Please comment! If you have questions about other things, please see our community profile for ways that you can get help using your new journal.
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  • frank

[4] Finding and Joining Communities!

Hello! Look at all of you wonderful people! Welcome to tipoftheday. Sorry I haven't been posting much. I wanted to make the first tip post-spotlight absolute quality for you. Like a fine pair of designer jeans. Mmm.

The word of the day is community!

LiveJournal isn't just about keeping your own journal with your friends -- it also gives you the opportunity to be a part of journaling communities. Communities are a convenient spot to meet friends, learn new things about a topic, and have interesting discussions with interesting people.

First, to find a community...

One of the easiest ways to do this is through looking at Interests. If you added interests on your profile, you'll probably see they've turned into links:

Click on one of them to see other users and communities that share that interest.

You can also search for communities by interest in the top right corner of any of the official LiveJournal pages.

If you have a Paid Account, you can also search for communities using the Advanced Search, also known as the Directory.

Finally, there are two communities that are just about communities. community_promo is where you can find people announcing new communities or reviving interest in old communities, and community_quest is where you are welcome to ask for help in finding a community.

Now that you've found the perfect community -- we'll pick on lj_spotlight -- you have to join it to become a member.

On the community profile page, you'll find a link which reads "To join this community, click here."

When you click that link, one of three things will happen, depending on the community you've selected to join:

1) If it's open membership, you'll get a confirmation page that you have to accept, and then after you click the button you're automatically a member.

2) If membership is moderated, your membership request will be forwarded to the maintainers, who will either accept or deny your request. You'll get an email letting you know which.

3) You'll get a page that says the community is closed, and you won't be able to join.

Once you're a member of a community, take a moment and look around. Many communities have guidelines on what type of entries you can post to it, so please check for those too. If all members are allowed to post to the community, here are some instructions for posting so you can get started.

If you don't find the community you're looking for? You can always start your own! But that's another topic for another day...

If you have questions about finding or joining communities, you're welcome to comment! If you have questions about something else, please see our community profile for ways that you can get help using your new journal.

A warm "baaaah" -- that means "thanks" -- to my friends Gina, Jennifer, and the rest of the volunteer documentation admins for helping with today's entry! A number of volunteers help get these drafts prepared every week and I couldn't be your goatly guide without them! I give them two hoofs up.

Monday's tipoftheday preview: the elusive and wily lj-cut. See you then!
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  • frank

[3] Commenting!

Now you've added that splendid friend to your Friends Page, and they've gone and said something splendid that you simply must reply to. Now is the time to leave them a comment!

Almost every entry you'll see will have links to read comments and reply to the entry. Some entries or journals will have commenting disabled or restricted to certain users, depending on the wishes of the journal owner. But if your friend has commenting turned on, you'll see something like this attached to the entry:

Comment links may look different depending on the journal that you are in. Sometimes people customize their comment links so that they have clever sayings instead of plain ordinary "post comment".

See my comment links, for example:

My comment links are translated into the "Baaah" language for relatives of mine who are more familiar with this language. But for those of you who don't speak "Baaah", you'd click on "Baaaaa" to leave me a comment.

You can write HTML in comments if you want to change the look of your text. But if you don't know how, you don't need to bother - comments will work with or without HTML, just like your entries do.

Any questions about commenting? Ask them here! (You will need to comment in order to do so.)

If you can't leave comments or if you have questions about something else, please see our community profile for ways to get help using your new journal.
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  • frank

[02] Adding Friends and Using your Friends Page

Chances are very good that you're reading me right now on your Friends Page! But if not, go through these steps:

  1. Click here!

  2. Click "Add" to confirm.

  3. Click the "friends page" link to go to your Friends Page.

You should see entries from tipoftheday on this page! (If not, you may need to refresh the page, or clear your browser's cache.)

If you want to add a real person, there are a couple of ways you can do it, but here is the easiest:

  1. Find out their username. If you can't find it through LiveJournal's searches, you may need to ask the person what it is. (Take note: most of the short names like "erin" and "jennifer" were taken long ago, so chances are your friend's username is different from their real name.)

  2. Go to their profile page. You can get there by going to http://exampleusername.livejournal.com/profile, replacing "exampleusername" with the username of your friend.

  3. Click on this button here:

  4. Click "Add" to confirm.

You're done! Now, the next time your friend posts an update that you have permission to read, you'll see it on your Friends Page.

Calling somebody a "friend" means two major things: You get to read their entries on your Friends Page, and they get access to any entry that you mark with a "Friends" security setting. Any entry you mark as friends-only will be hidden from the public, and only those people who you've added to your Friends List will be able to see them.

(Don't worry: adding communities like this one to your Friends List won't let the members or the maintainers see your protected entries.)

LiveJournal Friends don't necessarily have to be "friends", they can just be people you find interesting who you don't mind being able to read your friends-only entries. Of course, it is up to you who you want to add, based on what you like to read and what you like to write about.

If you have questions about adding friends or seeing your Friends Page, you're welcome to comment! If you have questions about something else, please see our community userinfo for ways to get help using your new journal.
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  • frank

[01] Updating your Journal

Welcome to LiveJournal! I'm Frank, and I eat pants. I also post tutorials for new users here, starting, oh, today!

So now you're here, you've got your new journal to write in, and all you have to do is find out how exactly you're supposed to write in it!

You can update your journal by visiting http://www.livejournal.com/update.bml

If you don't want to remember this link, you can either add it as a bookmark in your browser, or find it here when you visit the site:

Hover with your mouse over "Journal" to see "Update" appear on the next line. Click on "Update" and it will bring you there!

What's great about this page is it will automatically save your drafts every 30 seconds, in case you have a browser problem that keeps your entry from posting. Nobody will be able to see the saved copy, but you can bring it back the next time you visit the Update page.

All you really need to do is type in the "Entry" box, click "Update Journal", and you're done!

However, if you want to get fancy with your entry, Collapse )

Make a mistake? Don't worry: you can edit or delete your entry at any time.

If you'd like to read more about other ways you can update your journal, please see the FAQ.

If you have questions about updating your journal, you're welcome to comment! (I'm probably not going to be able to answer all of your questions, but LiveJournal's staff and volunteers will be around to help as well.)

If you have questions about something else, please see our community userinfo for ways to get help using your new journal.

Welcome once again, and thanks for joining us!