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IntroductionDrugs-Forum strives to focus on serious and advanced drug discussion.
Recently we have been troubled by the amount of suicide threats, self injury, self pity and other mental health issues in our blog. We consider this unwanted noise that is in contrast with the drug related content we aim for.
After review and discussion of the staff and platinum members, the administration has decided that the blog is going to change in the following ways:
Only Donating and Palladium members and up can post blogs.
All new blogs are moderated, before they become visible.
We have added drug related categories to post in.
Blog will focus primarily on drug related content.
Blog posts that do not conform to the rules will be deleted. Staff will normally not edit it for you. You can edit the text and repost your blog.
What is the sidebar?The blog sidebar contains the links to maintain your blog as well as information in regards to your blog and the other blogs that you may visit.
Clicking the Your Blog link will take you to a list of all your blog entries, published or unpublished:
From here you can edit your blogs, delete them, see how many views each entry has, and read comments, etc. The View Filter dropdown list will allow you to view only Drafts, Deleted entries, etc.
The Moderation dropdown list will allow you to delete or undelete an entry or approve it for publication:
Each blog entry has a check box in the bottom left corner. Whichever blogs are checked will be deleted, approved, etc. when you click Go, unchecked blogs will not be affected.
The Post to your Blog link will allow you to post a new blog which is explained in the Posting new blog entries section of the FAQ.
The Subscribe to this Blog link will activate a subscription to the blog which you are viewing, whether it be your own or another member's.
The View RSS Feed link will allow you to add the feed to an RSS reader.
The Mark this Blog Read link will remove the notification of a new entry from your profile. For example, if you have a notification of a new blog entry, clicking on the actual entry and going to the page will automatically mark the blog as read, but if you don't want to actually read it you can click this link to remove the notification.
The View Drafts link will take you to a page where all of your draft entries are saved, which are also viewable on the Your Blog page.
Blog Control PanelThe Blog Control Panel link in the Options frame allows you to extensively customize your blog. Clicking it will take you to a general control panel, and it will also create a new frame on your sidebar labeled Blog Control Panel with even more options:
Main Page (Blog Options)
Default Entry Options
Checking the Allow comments to be posted box will enable commenting by other members on your new blog entries. Checking the Moderate comments before displaying box will allow you to decide whether a particular comment is shown on the page of that particular blog entry. Only you and blog moderators will be allowed to see the comments until they have been approved. These two options are also modifiable when posting an individual entry.
Permissions and Privacy
This section provides options to customize who can see your blog entries. Blog moderators will always be able to see your entries in order to make sure the rules of the forum are being followed.
There are only two different boxes for each of the Permissions and Privacy sections. Checking the View your blog box will allow members to view your blog. Checking the Leave comments on your blog entries box will allow members to comment on your blog. These two options are available for Members on your contact list, Members on your ignore list, Other members, and Guests.
Default Subscription Mode: Blog Entries
Here you can choose the default method of notification for new comments on your blog entries, via Instant email notification, No email notification, or Do not subscribe.
Default Subscription Mode: Blog Comments
Here you can choose the default method of notification for new comments on a blog entry on which you have also commented, via Instant email notification, No email notification, or Do not subscribe.
Customize Blog Style
Clicking this link will take you to a page where you can customize how your blog looks. There are many options to change text colors, background colors, background images, etc. There is a template at the bottom of the page under Style Customization Example Key which shows the title of each area of the blog so that you know what section you are customizing. If you have customized your profile, you can click the Copy Profile CSS button to give your blog the same theme as your profile.
Blog Title and Description
Here you have the option to input a title for your blog. If you leave it blank, your username will be used by default. You can also input a description of your blog. These will be displayed to visitors of your blog.
This is the default page that opens when you click on the Blog Control Panel link.
Here you have the option to add members to your blog. Input their name and click Add Member, and they will be sent a request to become part of your blog group. If you are a member of a blog, it will be listed on this page and you have the option to change it.
Here you can create your own blog categories if you want to add one which isn't available from the Global Categories. Clicking on the Add New Blog Category button will take you to a page where you can create a custom title and description:
It will be saved to your blog categories, and it will be available to check off when creating an entry. You will have the option to delete or edit the categories after you have created them, as well as define the order in which they will be displayed.
This link will take you to a page where you can define the order of the frames in your blog sidebar. You can uncheck the boxes if you don't want them to be present. You can change the order by changing the numbers (1 is the frame at the top) or by clicking the arrows to move them around. To save the changes, click the Update Block Order and Status button. You can also click the Add Custom Block button, where you will have the option to input a custom title and description which will show up as a frame on your blog sidebar.
Blog Custom Pages
Here you have the option to create a custom blog page. You can create a title and input text. You can choose to display it on the sidebar (Sidebar), not at all (None), or as a tab on your home page (Top):
Here you have the option to manage your blog subscriptions. You can delete the subscription or change how you are notified of updates to the blog. Any blog which is checked will be deleted, etc. when you click Go.
Blog Entry Subscriptions
Here you can manage your blog entry subscriptions. You can delete the subscriptions or change how you are notified of updates to the blog entry. Any blog entry which is checked will be deleted, etc. when you click Go.
The Blog Statistics tab link will show you statistics about your blog, including total entries, comments, and visitors. You can view statistics by day, week, or month.
Find Blog Entries Frame
Here you can input search terms to search blogs. You can select to only look for the terms in the title by clicking the Search Titles Only box, and you can also click Advanced Search to search blog authors, tags, blogs from a specific time period, and whether you want to search the comments.
Blog Categories Frame
Here is a list of blog categories. Clicking one will display member blog entries which have been placed in the specific category. This frame will only be present on the blog homepage.
This is a calendar which will display hyperlinks to days on which a blog was posted. You can click the link to reveal all blogs posted on that day. You can browse the calendar to find blogs from other months or years.
Global Tag Cloud
This frame contains terms which other members have tagged their blog with. The larger the tag is, the more common it is. Clicking any tag will reveal entries tagged with that term. You can also click the Search by Tag link to search for blog entries according to the terms with which they have been tagged, which will take you to a new page which looks like this:
Posting new blog entriesPosting a new blog is easy. Remember, only Donating Members, and Palladium Members and up can post blogs.
In order to post a blog, from any page on the forum click the blog tab on the top of the page:
This will take you to the main blog page which will show recent entries, recent comments, featured blogs, blog navigation, a blog search, and blog options, etc. In order to post a new blog, you need to click the Post to your blog link in the Options frame of the sidebar.
This will take you to the new blog template:
Posting a blog has basically all the same functionality as posting in the forums, with a few minor differences. The main frame has a place to input a title (which is required), and a place to write the actual content of the blog.
Entry optionsThere are many options which can be used to customize your blog entries. Similar to posting in the forums, you have all the same options like adding links, images, quoting, emoticons, creating tables, etc.
You can tag blogs just like you can tag threads. Simply type in up to five terms, separated by commas.
Here you can check all the subjects to which your blog is relevant. The cascading structure of the Blog Categories allow for even more customization. Check boxes furthest to the left are parent categories, and like a numbered outline for a paper, check boxes under each of these parent categories are subcategories. For example, the Various Drug Related check box encompasses About Drugs-Forum, Drug Policy Reform, The euphoric body, and all the subcategories of these subcategories. Checking the Various Drug Related box will place your blog in all of the subcategories, but you can also check individual boxes such as Downers addiction but leave Drug combinations unchecked. Selecting a subcategory will also place the entry in the parent category. Any combination is allowed. You can customize blog categories by clicking the Blog Categories link on the Blog Control Panel frame of the sidebar.
In this frame you have three boxes available to check. The Allow comments to be posted option controls the commenting ability of your viewers. When this option is disabled, only you and blog moderators will be able to comment on the entry. If you are allowed to edit entries, you may turn this option on and off after an entry has been published to control the commenting ability as time passes.
The Moderate comments before posting option controls the visibility of comments. When this option is enabled, comments by anyone other than you and blog moderators are invisible until you approve them. If you are allowed to edit entries, you may turn this option on and off after an entry has been published to control the visibility of new comments as time passed.
The Restrict entry viewing to Contacts and Blog Moderators option will restrict the viewing of an entry to just those members on your contact list and to Blog moderators. This allows you to leave your blog open to all members but still have the ability to restrict viewing on an entry to entry basis.
The Publish Status line gives you the option to Draft Blog Entry. This will not publish your blog but will allow you to review it before you decide to make it public.
It also gives you the option to Publish On. Here you can define a time and date for your blog to be published:
You also have the option to Publish Now, which will make the blog viewable and searchable by others immediately.
Below that, there is a check box for Automatically parse links in text. Checking this box will make links posted in your blog entry clickable, unchecking it will remove the hyperlink. Disable smilies in text will render all emoticons as text in your blog.
Blog Entry Subscription
You have a few options to define the subscription to your blog entry, i.e. how you will be notified if it receives a comment. You can choose Instant email notification, which will do exactly what it says, No email notification which will only notify you when you are logged in, and Do not subscribe, which will never notify you when someone has left a comment on your blog. Blog entry subscriptions can be managed at the Blog Control Panel.
You have the option to attach a variety of different types of files. Simply click the Manage Attachments button. A new window will pop up:
You can click the Browse button to select a file from your computer. You can also input a URL of a file. Remember that even if you have selected a file, you need to click the Upload button to actually upload the file. The Attachment Key lists the type of files you can upload and their individual restrictions.
When you are satisfied with your blog and have selected the options you prefer, you can click the Preview button which will allow you to see what your blog looks like before you make it public. You can also select Save Draft to save the entry so you can update it later before publishing it. Your draft will be saved and you can locate it in the Options frame of your sidebar. If you are satisfied with your entry, simply click Post Now. This will take you to your blog entry:
Your blog is now public!
Editing Blog EntriesIn order to edit your blog, locate the blog by clicking on the Your Blog link in the Options frame of your sidebar. On the bottom right of the blog will be four icons. Clicking the pencil will allow you to edit the blog, where you can change the content, categories, and everything else you could customize when the blog was created originally. The pencil with a tag will allow you to edit the terms you want your blog to be tagged with. The other two icons are mainly associated with other blogs. The hazard icon will allow you to report a blog, and the last icon will allow you to unsubscribe to a blog if you do not wish to be notified when it receives a comment.
Rating BlogsRating blogs is quick and simple, and it helps to organize the blog community here on DF. Informative, interesting, and otherwise valuable blogs should be rated highly so that others will know that it is a good resource. Blogs can also be rated if they are useless, against the rules (these should be reported), blatantly offensive.
In order to rate a blog, all you need to do is click on any blog in the forum to open it. On the top right, above the first post in the thread will be a few options. One of them is a drop box titled "Rating":
In order to rate the blog, all you need to do is click on the Rating tab and the dropbox will open. You can rate a thread Excellent (5 stars), Good (4 stars), Average (3 stars), Bad (2 stars) or Terrible (1 star). After clicking a radio box, click ok. An alert box should pop up at the top of the window.
Then your rating has been recorded. If you go back to the forum to see the list of blogs, you should see a certain amount of stars to the right of the blog title, like this:
If you are the only one who has rated it, this should be your vote. The amount of stars will change according to the average of all the ratings that it has received.
If you want to change your rating, just do the same thing but pick a different radio box. Your vote will be modified.
Obviously the rating system is a bit ambiguous. Rating blogss is essential--Members neglect to do it because they forget or just don't notice or know of the option.
If two people rate a thread, one 5 stars and 1 one star, it will greatly skew the rating which appears. That is why it is important that many members participate in the rating of threads.
Here are some general guidelines for rating, although it is also important that you choose a rating which expresses how you feel. One person might see a thread as deserved of an Excellent rating, but if you are opposed to the thread for a legitimate reason than it is still alright to give it a low rating. In this case it would probably be a good idea to post in the thread or leave a reputation comment to justify your rating.
In fact, it is a good idea to leave a reputation comment in addition to a rating if you feel the thread is particularly valuable. These systems go hand in hand in order to create a system in which it is evident how the community feels about certain information or how much a certain member's input is valued.
Examples of Ratings:
Excellent (5 stars) thread/blog: Important information on harm reduction concerning a particular substance, a novel synthesis in the Chemistry forum, a fascinating experience report, etc.
Good (4 stars) thread/blog: A basic explanation of the interaction between two drugs, a poll which poses an interesting or important question, some good suggestions on growing cannabis indoors, etc.
Average (3 stars) thread/blog: Anything that is of value but perhaps only to a certain audience or an interesting news article, etc.
Bad (2 stars) thread/blog: A poorly constructed post asking questions which could obviously be answered using the search engine, a particularly offensive thread, etc,
Terrible (1 star) thread/blog: Any thread which you deem basically unsuitable or useless for the forum.
Obviously these ratings aren't exact, again you must use your own judgment. As a rule, if you think a thread should get 1 or no stars (which doesn't exist), it is probably a good idea to report it if you think it really shouldn't be there.
Remember that post reports have to be reviewed by the moderators, so you should have good reason to file a report.