• How To Post An Article Or Seed On Newstalkers Main Forum

    Hat tip to JohnRussell

    1. click on 'forums' at the top of the page

    2. On that page, click on the 'topics' tab.  

    3. Decide what topic you want to post your article or seed under and click on that topic ( for example , 'Entertainment'). That topic will open up and you will see a tab at the far right of the tabs that reads "add a discussion". Click on that.

    4. From there you title your article or seed, and type or paste the text into the large field.  You can also use the editing tools shown by the icons at the top of the field. You can add photos or videos, make the text colored or bold, etc. 

     5.  When finished click "create discussion" at the bottom. The article will appear in the main forum. 

    6. Make the first comment. 

  • For New NT Members - How To Resize Pictures In Comment Windows

    Hat tip to Raven Wing

    I have noticed that some folks have a problem with their pictures/memes/images fitting properly within the comment windows. Some are too far off to the right of the window and often cuts off part of the image.

    I have found a way to adjust the images to fit within the parameters of the comment window very quickly and easily. The steps below should work most of the time. And if not, let me know and I'll help you figure out now to adjust them.

    1. Click on the icon next to the smiley face on the bar at the top of the comment window to open the image loader.

    2. Select Upload an Image

    3. In the Size dropdown list select 350px - Larger

    4. Next, select 'Normal' in the Position dropdown window. This will allow you to add text or another picture below the first one if preferred.

    5.Under Image click on Select and Image to upload

    6. Navigate to the folder on your computer where the image you want to upload is located and click on it to load it into the comment window

    7. Only part of the image will be visible at first, so click on the image to make it fill the window

    8. If the image is too big for the window and extends off the right side, click on the image to select it.

    9. You will see a small square on each corner and in the middle of each side.

    10. Put cursor on the square to show a double ended arrow

    11. Press down on the arrow and drag it toward the center of the image until it fits in the window properly.

    Picture1.png

    Continue to drag the arrow to the center until it is the right size to fit in the window.

    12. If the image is too small to fill the window, follow step 10, but, drag the arrow in the upward direction until the image fills the window as large as you wish.

    Picture2.png

    These steps should help you get your images resized to fit in the comment window without a lot of fuss. If you need help, just let us know. 

    I hope this helps.

  • How To Track An Article

    Hat tip to Dowser

    Article tracking is fairly easy here!  It sounds complicated at first, but it really isn't.  

    You have two choices-- have your notifications sent to you via Private Notes, (in-site email), or try to "catch" them on the Newest Comments tab.  The best way is to have them sent to you via Private Notes.

    1.  Set up your notifications

    • Go to your page, by clicking your name in the upper right hand corner.
    • Once there, you will have a gear icon for settings, click on the settings icon.  (It is located in your page header, at the top.)
    • Once there, you will notice a set of tabs, and one of those say notifications.  Click on the notifications tab.

    2.  Methods of notifications.  

    • There is a drop down menu, where you can select the kinds of notifications you want.  Pull down the drop down, (click on the drop down menu, and click on the type of notification you want, and select how you wish to be notified.  I always select Private Note, so it doesn't clog up my personal email account.  I highly recommend that you do the same!
    • Once  you have made all of your selections, be sure and SAVE your choices.

    3.  To check your notifications, go to your Private Notes page.  

    • A Private Notes.JPGPrivate notes are located in the Private Note section, listed on your home page.  
    • Hover over your name in the upper right hand corner, and a drop down menu will appear.  Scroll down to Private Notes, and click on it.  This will take you to the Private Notes section.
    • It will look like this.  All these little buttons have a functionality, so allow me to help you with what box does what.  
    • The box on the left allows you to select the note for deletion.  The title of the article is listed next to that.  To view your message, click on the title of the article, and the email/Private Note will pop up.  To close this, click on the cancel tab on the bottom.  There will be a link to the actual comment in the message-- usually near the top, but sometimes at the bottom.  If you wish to leave a reply, or vote something up, follow the link, which will take you to the actual article.  When you're done, click cancel on the Private Note/email and it will take you back to the Private Note page.  
    • If you wish to delete the notification, click the left hand box, where a check will appear.  Then scroll down to the bottom of the list, and click the button that says, Delete Selected.  If you have a whole page of comments you wish to delete, click the box just ot the left of the word USER.  That selects all of the notices, and you can delete them all at once.  (Saves time).

     

    The other way to follow discussions, is to see the latest comments, is to click on Forums Tab on the Front page.  Then click on the tab that says Newest Comments.  Comments are listed in order, as they were made, the newest being on the top.

    I hope this helps!  Feel free to contact me, via chat or Private Note, or here on this page, and I'll do my best!

     

    Thanks for coming by!

  • Use This As To Track Commentary : The Time Stamp

    Hat tip to Eagle Averro

    Use this as to track commentary : On:  08/13/17 06:01:17PM

    For a while I have been asking for an enumeration to assist in knowing on what previous comment one is responding to, I Just realized, that that is available " In Plain sight "and that is the time date stamp, its is unique to each answer, and non repeatable.

    Pressing Control + F  will open a search window, placing with the "cut and paste " function that time date stamp in that window, will take one right to the original comment one is responding to, in this way ALL have a knowledge on " What the Hell is that ALL about " 

    NT Search 2a.gif

  • How To Prepare And Post A Photo-Essay

    Hat tip to Buzz

    How To Prepare and Post a Photo-Essay

    Others may do this differently, but if you have seen any of my Photo Essays, or the Old, New, Borrowed and Blue Challenge, you will see how they look.

    The first thing to do is after determining my topic is to select the photos I will use for it. Your photos may need editing, and you should do that before anything else.  I then re-save the selected photos labeling them with a code so that they are easily identified for posting (i.e. oldnew 1, oldnew 2, etc).  I then start out with text on a word pad (I don't have MS Word).  First I type in the Title, then follow that with an introductory paragraph. Knowing approximately how mamy photos I'm going to post, I then type along the left side the numbers 1, 2, 3 etc. (more numbers than the photos) leaving a few spaces in between them (makes it easier for viewers to identify the photos they comment on, especially if it's a photo essay with many photos). 

    Now, open the NT forum (or group) on which you intend to post, and click "Add Discussion" or the plus (+) sign at the top of list of articles. You now have your blank page to fill in.  Copy and paste in that window your prepared document.  Next, you add the first photo under the number 1, leaving a space or two under the number before pasting the photo. To add the photo, you make sure you have left the indicator where the next entry will be posted a couple of spaces under the number, and then on the banner with your many options above the article, you click on the image of the little piece of film strip to the left of the smiley, and that will open a picture gallery. At the top is a banner with choices and you click "Upload an Image".  You then get another screen that gives you more choices. The first on the left is "size".  I choose 512. The next one is "Position" and I choose "Normal", then "Margin" and I choose "None" and finally you click the right hand one to choose your image, and it opens your picture library.  You can choose your photo from the library either by clicking it twice, or clicking "select" below.  Your photo should now be posted. If you can't see the whole thing, click on it and it will do two things, first it will expose the whole photo, and secondly you will notice little squares show up on each corner of the photo.  You use those to adjust the size.  If the photo has run off the right side of the window you will only see the little squares on the left side but that's no problem.  If the photo is too big, then click and hold on one of the little squares and drag it towards the centre of the photo - you will see the photo reduce. I usually leave a little margin on the right side to prevent the photo from being cut off on the right when you eventually post the article.  I also make sure that vertical photos are not so big as to more than fill the screen.  Okay, your photo is posted. That is when I decide what to write about that particlular photo, and type the text next to the number above the photo.  I then repeat the process for the next photos. When all the photos are posted I delete any extra numbers below them, sometimes write in a short paragraph at that point, and finally click the "Post" button at the bottom. It is now posted, but if it was on a Forum rather than a group, you should write the first comment, or it will not show up on the Front Page "Comments" window.

    To just post as a comment on another's article, you need not go through all of that, but a lot of it will apply. 

    As examples, here are a couple of my photo-essays, and one documentary (still required the posting of images).

    https://thenewstalkers.com/community/discussion/31648/community/kaifeng-one-of-chinas-ancient-dynasty-capitals-a-photo-retrospective

    https://thenewstalkers.com/community/discussion/32394/dynasty-capital-luoyang-a-photo-retrospective

    https://thenewstalkers.com/community/discussion/32490/chinese-4-panel-artworks-second-in-a-series-on-chinese-culture-and-traditions

  • Using Reply-With-Quote, The Quote Tool And Backlinks

    Hat tip to TIG

    Recently Newstalkers installed a set of features designed to improve the user experience.   The most visible of these are:

    • Reply with Quote
    • Quote toolbar (and other editor enhancements)
    • Automatic comment backlinks

    Consider this a brief introduction to how these features work and their intendeduse.

    Background

    A number of social media sites have moved to a limited form of commenting.    Basically single-threaded, minimal editing.   This enables site owners to control the look of the site (by constraining the comment styles).   Unfortunately this control stifles discussion.   People have a hard time tracing through the long list of messages to understand the discussions.   In result, comments are generally minimal - discussions are difficult to find.

    NewsTalkers is a discussion site.   Its main purpose is to provide a forum where people can engage in thoughtful, civil discourse on all topics.   As such, it has and will continue to enhance its user experience in support of discussions.  This includes authorship, seeding, commenting, tracking, replies and following.

    With that brief background, let's move to the new features.

    Reply With Quote

    In discussions, one often finds an aspect on which to comment.   To illustrate the aspect the common practice is to provide a quote to serve as the context for the reply.   Since this is such a common practice it is very convenient if the site provides a simple method for accomplishing this.   

    Reply-with-Quote (RwQ) is an enhancement to the REPLY button.   One selects the portion of a comment that is to be quoted and then presses REPLY.   RwQ captures the selected text, automatically formats it as a quote and positions the user to the next line to start typing their reply.    When posted, the quote will be adorned with a gray box to distinguish it as a quote (and also to provide contrast with the actual reply so that the reply stands out).

    In short, if one wishes to reply to a portion of a comment, one selects the desired portion and presses REPLY.   The rest is automatic.

    Quote

    The Quote toolbar button is a function of the editor.   It is the first button on the editor toolbar:

    EditorMenu.png

    Its purpose is to let the author manually quote text.   This can be text pasted in from an external site, from another comment or simply typed by the author.   The RwQ functionality discussed above works for your opening quote; subsequent quotes are adorned as such by using the Quote button.

    To manually quote, click on a paragraph you wish to quote and press the Quote button.   The editor will indent the paragraph to visually note that it is now a quote.   When you post, the paragraph will be styled in a gray block quote box just like RwQ.

    Note that if you have your cursor positioned in or at the end of a quoted paragraph, hitting ENTER will continue the quote.   Visibly, the editor will remain in an indented mode.   To exit the quote simply press the Quote button on the toolbar.   That will turn off Quote and return you to normal editing.   The Quote button is simply a toggle:  quote-on or quote-off.

    Other Editor Features

    The editor now has more features for editing such as fontsize.   This enhances one's ability to be expressive in a comment but it runs the risk of making the site ugly.   Ultimately all users contribute to the look of the site by the styling of their comments.   Take care to ensure your highly stylized comment is not gaudy (e.g. inappropriately sized text, use of many colors or fonts, using the Quote button as a style, etc.)   

    Automatic Comment Backlinks

    When one replies to a comment, NewsTalkers will automatically record special information to link comments in logical threads.   This feature makes use of the fact that every comment has its own unique identity (a URL).   Each reply comment will have a link to its source comment.   Clicking on this link will automatically navigate to the source comment (auto scroll so that the desired comment is at the top of your browser window).    Note the following exchange:

    RwQ.png

    Perrie selected my words "Above is a RwQ pulled from within a quote.  The bold words were done by me." and pressed REPLY and then entered her comments.   Note that at the top Perrie's comment has her comment ID, her name, the user she replied to (TiG) and the comment she replied to (@1.3.1.1).    If Perrie (or anyone actually) clicked on the 1.3.1.1 the comments will scroll to that comment.   (In this example the scrolling is simple, but sometimes the source comment is quite a distance away.)     

    One can also click on the comment ID.   Clicking on the 1.3.1.1 ID for the comment by TiG will scroll that comment to the top.  Similarly, one can copy the hyperlink (Copy Link Address) and use it elsewhere.  

    Finally clicking on Perrie's or TiG's names will navigate to their respective profile areas.

    Hierarchic Numbering

    To give even more information regarding threads, comments are numbered in a hierachic fashion.   A comment that is not a reply will have a simple integer, 1, 2, 3, ...    However, a reply to comment #2 will be adorned as 2.1, 2.2, ...   Replies to 2.2 will show as 2.2.1, 2.2.2, ...    The hierarchic numbering is limited to 4 levels since the value quickly diminishes as the numbers grow large.   A future enhancement (deferred due to the amount of change required) will employ a different comment structure with two or three levels of nesting followed by a linear stream of comments.   That is, nesting stops after three levels and reverts to a simple list.

    (Hierarchic numbering only engages on articles published after the enhancements were installed.)

    Editing Backlink

    Another convenience is the automatic backlink while positioned within the editor.

    Reply.png

    Sometimes one needs to return to a source comment while authoring a reply.  One may want to copy more text or simply re-read to ensure understanding.  To return to the source comment, simply click on the backlink.   In this case, one clicks on the @2.1.1 backlink.  This will auto scroll to bring Buzz' 2.1.1 to the top of the window.   To return to the editor, scroll down to the bottom (the editor is always at the bottom in normal discussions) and continue authoring the reply.

    Summary

    The purpose for this opening round of enhancements is to make it easier to engage each other in discussion and to provide more avenues for expression.   It is up to all users to use these features intelligently.   They can make the site pretty and easy to read or they can make it look ugly and confusing.   The hope is that the open styling approach of NewsTalkers will produce an inviting environment that encourages (rather than dissuades) discussion.