The Absolute Beginnings.
- To begin, all of the features of this tree are only possible when using Mozilla Firefox. If you haven’t downloaded and installed Firefox, do it now before we get into anything else.
- Once Firefox is installed, open the browser and click the Tools menu located in the top left corner of your screen. Then select Add-Ons. Once in this menu, click the first option to “Get Add-Ons”.
- In the search box first type “delicious” and install the offical delicious add-on. Do not restart Firefox unnecessarily because we are going to do another search. Next search for “vodpod” and install the official VodPod add-on. Now you can restart Firefox.
- WordPress is a free blogging service, and like Firefox, it is open-sourced based. This gives is incredible mobility and allows the users to be involved in the project. If Imagine This ever needs its own webdomain, we can transpose the WordPress software at no cost.
- Each of us should create a WordPress account which you can do at WordPress.com. Once I’ll receive a list of the members emails and add them to the ImagineThisTree web log, which will enable each user to contribute.
- This is the first important step to creating the content of the tree, and the main function of WordPress will be for blog posts. Once you are incorporated into this site, any will be free to make new posts.
- Delicious is an online bookmarking service. There is a delicious RSS (really simple syndication) feed on the right side of this page which will be a collection of bookmarks we all collect. Each of us should, again, create our own delicious account at delicious.com.
- Once each person has established an account, they should look for some buttons near the top of the Firefox browser. You should find a checkered blue/black/white/gray box and another button that says TAG. These are the “add-ons” we installed earlier. If you click on the checkered box it will ask you to sign into your delicious page, and will probably open up a window on the left side of your browser – which you can choose to close.
- As you surf the web this makes it easy to book mark, because by clicking TAG, you can bookmark any site and add ‘tags’ which are essentially classification tools that help organize the bookmark collection. If we compile everybody’s delicious account names, we can compile all of us into a network, and thus the feed on the Tree will be of compilation of our collective bookmarking efforts.
- Vodpod is just like delicious, but for videos that exist on the web. The only difference is that we will all use the same VodPod account because as of now, it is not as beneficial as delicious, to network different accounts. You can contact me for this information.
- Once you have the proper login, and have signed in – similar to the process we discovered with the delicious add-on, you should find an orange circle with what looks like a : inside of it. This is the VodPod add-on, and any time you are on a website that features a video, it will try its best to save it to our Account. Then all of the videos we find will be collected, and streamed in the side bar containing videos.
- There is another way to add content, however, and that is through vodpods website. One of the beautiful features of these sites is that you can start following or befriending other users who might be interested in similar material, or maybe even totally different material. From the Vodpod site, they also have a pretty powerful search engine for checking out other videos from around the web as well as ones other users have bookmarked.
- Box.net is similar to the tools above, but instead of collecting videos or bookmarks, here we can collect any files, and with a free account – the size limit is 25mb. We can all use one account, or each create our own and network – like with delicious. This is mostly a novel feature. As you can see I have put some MP3 tracks, a handbook on yoga, and a few pdf files. I can stock this with anything I find pertinent, and if any have any other ideas, then we can go from there.
- Platial Map is a map we can collectively work on which bookmarks various places in the world that perhaps we are interested in, or that we have been to, and allows us to attribute specific information to each of these places including text, links, and images. This could be a nice way to visually see where we are at or what kind of progress we hope to make. As of now, I believe this would just be under one account.
- All of the above features are complementary to the WordPress blog itself. What can be done in this space are three main things: posts, pages, and comments. This Tutorial page is a page, whereas on the front page, there are posts. Pages are somewhat static, and things that do not regularly need to be updated, whereas on the mainpage we can have infinte posts.
- Posts should be messages for the community which could entail anything, and should be categorized by “category” and tags”. This helps keeps things organized and will deliver us statistics on popular topics, making it easier to navigate what will hopefully grow to be a large pool of information and ideas.
- When posting you may add images, videos, and hyperlinks, and I very much encourage you to do so. From the ImagineThisTree dashboard, on the left side will be a drop down menu titled “Posts”. If you click “Add New” it will bring up a blank template.
- On the top right corner of the input box will be two tabs that say ‘Visual’ and ‘HTML’. It is easiest to work with ‘Visual’ unless you like altering Internet text codes.
- If you go straight left from these tabs it will say ‘Upload/Insert” with five icons following. The first one is for pictures, the second video, the third music, the fourth media, and the fifth polls. The music and media are not as useful here with WordPress’s free account, and the Box can substitute this. But the images, video, and polls will be of use for us here.
- When you add images you can either use the URL (web address) of an image that already exists on the web, or you can upload your own. When you click the Insert Image icon, you see 3 tabs – one saying “From Computer”, “From URL” and “Media Library”. The first lets you upload your own image, the second input a URL, and the third is a collection of the images we have collectively uploaded. Once you choose an image, you can resize it, center it, and link it to something else on the web if you like.
- If you decide to add a video, you can click the Insert Video icon. Note though that WordPress only lets us embed Youtube and GoogleVideos and does not give us the option of uploading a video. Fortunately, however, VodPod lets us collect many more, and any video that is embedded in a post will be added to the VodPod account automatically. Also if we need to upload any of our own, we will create a YouTube or Veoh account.
- If you wish to hyperlink and of the text in your post, just below the Insert Icons and to the right is a button that looks like a chainlink. If you highlight any text and click this button, if will give you the opportunity to input a URL (web address) and also the option to make it so when somebody clicks it, it will turn the ImagineThisTree page into the new link, or it will open it in a new window or tab for that person.
- Lastly, when you are satisfied with your post, you can add tags on the right side of the screen. These can just be short one to two word descriptions – seperated by commas – of the some of the posts content like “Peru”, “South Dakota”, “Money”, “Biodiesel”, “Art” etc…Similarly, down below that, is the option to categorize the posts. It will already list some categories, and if your post doesn’t fit into any of those, you can create a new one by clicking ‘Add Category’
I know that this looks like a lot, but it mostly just takes practice. There’s no really screwing it up, and if I can find the write technology, I might be able to create a video of me doing this on the computer. Also, however, all of these sites have incredible customer support, tutorials, and guides and how to use their products, and I should be able to answer any questions.