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Help: Blogs

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  1. What is a blog's URL?
  2. What is a blog's XML, RSS, or Atom feed?
  3. Where can I host my blog?
  4. What should I use for the title of my blog?
  5. What should be included in the description of the blog?
  6. What do the attributes on a blog represent?
  7. When will my blog show up in Letterboxing News?
  8. What is a subscription?
  9. How do I hide a blog post from AQ?
  10. Is there a way to see who is subscribed to our blogs?
  11. What is an 'active' blog?


What is a blog's URL?


The blog's URL is the main page of the human-readable version of your blog. Most blogs also have a computer-readable format in XML, often called an RSS or Atom feed, but the blog's main URL is the one you would normally send to friends and family who want to read your words of wisdom.

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What is a blog's XML, RSS, or Atom feed?


The URL for the blog you mail to friends and family is usually the human-readable version of your blog. Most blogs also have a second URL that computers can use to pass information to each other, a computer-friendly version of your blog, using a syntax known as XML.

Two major dialects of XML include RSS and Atom, technical specifications you don't really need to concern yourself with except to know that they exist and it's this information that Atlas Quest uses to download updates of a member's blog. Most of the time, Atlas Quest can detect the XML feed itself and will fill in this option automatically when someone lists a blog.

Blogger, one popular blogging service, includes both an RSS and Atom feed with their blogs and Atlas Quest will ask which you prefer to use. It does not matter, they both worth equally well.

If Atlas Quest is unable to automatically detect the XML feed, you will have to manually include it yourself. There's no standard for where the feed is located, but in most cases, the URL will end with xml, such as http://www.mywebsite.com/atom.xml or http://www.mywebsite.com/rss.xml. Read the documentation for your blogging software to find out where the XML feed is located and enable it, if necessary.

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Where can I host my blog?


Most people on Atlas Quest host their blog on Blogger, but almost any blogging website will work just fine. WordPress is popular among those who host blogs on their own website and open source fans. There are hundreds of place to choose from, however, so don't feel constrained to use what everyone else does. More help will likely be available (both from Atlas Quest members as well as other online communities) for popular blogging software options, but any blogging software that generates an XML feed will work fine.

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What should I use for the title of my blog?


A title that is short, simple, and easy to remember is best. Especially if it can tell others what the content of the blog will likely include. If it's a letterboxing blog, include the word letterboxing in the title, or at least some variation of it. If it's about your job, you might call it Working at Company Name.

All capital letters can be hard for some people to read and can appear as if you are shouting, so avoid all caps.

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What should be included in the description of the blog?


Mostly, just elaborate on the information the name of the blog tells us. Include information about where or who the blog covers, or why you started it. This is your place to sell your blog to convince others to subscribe to it. All capital letters, like in the blog name, is discouraged since it is hard for some people to read and tends to look like shouting for experienced web surfers.

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What do the attributes on a blog represent?


Subtypes

AttributeDescription
The blog is a personal blog about all things letterboxing—finding them, planting them, solving or writing clues, attending events, carving stamps, and whatever other letterboxing-related activities the owner wants to talk about.
A personal blog that's usually about stuff that's not related to letterboxing.
A blog that is by someone who, most likely, isn't a letterboxer and has nothing to do with Atlas Quest, but that some people might be interested in following such as the blog for Cake Wrecks in which you can't reasonably expect the actual owner of the blog to list themselves on Atlas Quest.
Usually this identifies someone who chose not to identify a subtype for their blog listing, but it also covers anything that might not be covered with the available options.


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When will my blog show up in Letterboxing News?


As soon as your blog is listed, it can immediately show up in Letterboxing News on My Page. You do, however, have to be subscribed to the blog, even if it's your own blog. By default, when you list a blog, you are automatically subscribed to it. If your latest thoughts have not shown up on Letterboxing News, however, check that you did not accidentally unsubscribe to your blog.

Entries on Letterboxing News are sorted so that the most recent entries show up first. If you have not posted for a few days, your post has probably scrolled out of the top ten spots.

If you just posted your latest blog entry, it may take Atlas Quest some time before it polls the feed on your blog for the latest updates. Usually, Atlas Quest will check for new entries at least once per hour, but at times it may take longer. You can, however, tell Atlas Quest to check your blog immediately by clicking the Update button on your blog.

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What is a subscription?


Not everyone will be interested in reading every blog, so Atlas Quest has provided a mechanism to allow members to subscribe to blogs they want to follow. The Letterboxing News on My Page will show the latest entries from a member's subscribed blogs, for instance, or they can view a complete listing of posts to their subscribed blogs.

New members on Atlas Quest are automatically subscribed to a variety of the oldest and most popular blogs, but all members can subscribe and unsubscribe to any blogs of their choice that are listed on Atlas Quest.

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How do I hide a blog post from AQ?


Atlas Quest will only include entries that have a title, so if you make a post on your blog with no title, it will not show up anywhere on Atlas Quest.

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Is there a way to see who is subscribed to our blogs?


No. To prevent hurt feelings if you learn a friend has not subscribed to your blog, Atlas Quest will not divulge who is or is not subscribed to your blog.

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What is an 'active' blog?


For our purposes, an active blog is any blog that has had at least one post to it at some point within the past three months.

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