Hello everyone! Vegan Bloggers Unite! is more than happy to be the starting page where the Virtual Vegan Potluck takes place. Below are instructions direct from the VVP website on how to participate. If you’re a vegan blogger reading this – please consider becoming a contributor to VBU!, it would be great to have your writing featured and ideas shared with like minded people. Click HERE to sign up for VVP!
This is all going to sound complicated, but it’s really not. The Potluck is simply a good, old-fashioned blog circle, meaning that one blog links to the one before it and the one after it and so on – to create a chain of sorts – where all of the participating blogs are connected. Readers can easily go from one blog to the next (or the one preceding) with a click of their mouse. It does, however, require a little bit of coding work on your part. I’ll explain exactly what you have to do, so don’t worry about it.
Since it’s a potluck theme, the blogs go in order of the courses, starting with appetizers and ending with perhaps the most important course of all, desserts.
If you decide to join the Potluck (and I hope you do), you’ll have to do some very easy coding work. That’s the language that goes on behind the beautiful scenery of your blog. You’ll find step-by-step instructions below, whether you use WordPress or Blogger.
The instructions look long and scary, but that’s just an illusion. All of you have done this very exact thing in your blogs – maybe every time you write a post. Just take your time and email the VVP team with any questions.
I’ve created several buttons (available on the Resources page) that you’ll need for your VVP post – one to use to go to the blog before yours and one to go to the blog following yours. Just copy them and paste them into a folder or spot on your computer where you’ll be able to find them easily. To find the blogs (including links to the sites) that precede and follow yours, please check the Virtual Vegan Potluck page on my blog – this is where I will keep a running and updated list of participants in order. (For detailed information about timing, suggestions and why links are important, please refer to my May 2, 2012 post,Virtual Vegan Potluck: The Links Edition.)
FOR WORDPRESS USERS:
Method 1, Inserting Graphics with Links:
1) It would be helpful to have the rough draft of your post, including photos of your food item, ready before you insert the two graphics.
2) Open your draft post.
3) Scroll to the bottom of your post and hit return one or two times.
4) Click on the camera/musical notes icon at the top of the draft, next to the words Upload/Insert.
5) From the From Computer tab, click on Select Files (or drag in the files).
6) When the graphics have been uploaded insert one (“go back”) then the other (“go forward”) into your post. One graphic should be above the other.
7) Click on the “go back” graphic and then click on the small photo icon at the top left of the graphic.
8) Next to where it says Link URL you’ll see the URL for the photo. Delete this and insert the URL for the blog that precedes yours in the Potluck (i.e., http://www.nonexistentveganblog.com).
9) Click update. Do the same thing with the “go forward” graphic, except this time, insert the URL for the blog that follows yours.
10) Click update. You are done.
Method 2, Linking within Text:
We’ve all done this method. It looks something like this:
(Of course, you will think of a much more clever way to write this – preferably using the name of the preceding and following blogs.)
1) Write your text, inviting readers to move backward and forward through the Potluck. I would suggest that this text be at or near the bottom of your post so it’s the last thing that people read.
2) Highlight the portion of the text that you want to use as a link (i.e., “click here”).
3) At the top of your draft post, click on the little chain link button.
4) At the very top of the window that opens, insert the URL for the blog that precedes yours in the Potluck.
5) Click on the little box that says Open Link in a New Window/Tab.
6) Click Update.
7) Do the same thing for the blog that follows you in the Potluck.
8) You’re done!
Remember, you won’t see a picture/graphic with this method. It’s only text.
I will employ both methods to reinforce that I am part of a circle of bloggers – and I’m going to include a link for people to go to the very beginning of the Potluck (VeganBloggersUnite!), too.
FOR BLOGGER USERS:
Method 1, Linking within Text:
Is the same as Method 2 above. Simply apply a link to text you’ve written.
1) Open your draft post and highlight the text you would like to link.
2) Click Link.
3) In Edit Link, paste in the URL of the blog to which you are linking.
4) Make sure that the Open This Link in a New Window is checked.
5) Click Okay.
6) Repeat this method for the other blog to which you are linking.
7) You’re done.
Method 2, Insert HTML:
1) Open your draft post for the Potluck.
2) Click on the HTML tab.
3) Scroll to the bottom of the post and hit Enter one or two times.
4) Copy and paste the following into your post:
<td><a href=”http://INSERT URL OF BLOG THAT IS BEFORE YOU IN CIRCLEHERE“>
<img height=”100″ src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-oqH6wwGND2M/T5xCGv4SO1I/AAAAAAAACJU/FwPRmJPyAhI/s512/left_arrowKH.png” /></a></td>
<img height=”120″ src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-nj18r08E-BY/T5wF-ITsaAI/AAAAAAAACJI/L-iiANdaDCw/s512/keepeating.jpg” width=”120″ /></a></td>
<td><a href=”http://INSERT URL OF BLOG THAT IS AFTER YOU IN CIRCLE HERE“>
<img height=”100″ src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-82b1alorBps/T5wAXhGMREI/AAAAAAAACIM/ffuYxkBXRo8/s512/right_arrowKH.png” /></a>
5) Click Save and go back to the Compose tab. You should see a graphic with two arrows, one pointing to the left and one pointing to the right.
6) Click Preview and make sure everything looks right.
7) Click Save one more time.
8) You’re done.
Important: The links to the graphics above are NOT the ones you will use the day of the Potluck. They are for reference only. I will be updating the links and will update the information here as well as on the Virtual Vegan Potluck page on my blog.
One last thing. It’s essential once the Potluck is live that you update your links so that they go to the actual posts rather than to the blogs in general. Once the Potluck is over, readers will be able to go from one VVP post to the next without having to search through your blog. Make sense?
Again, I know this looks really complicated, but it’s pretty straightforward. We’re happy to help you and answer any questions you have about how to insert graphics and how to create links. I want to stress one last time how important it is that your links work! A broken link means your readers can’t move from one blog to the next and the Potluck is “broken.”
One of these days when my technology skills are on par with my ideas, this process will become much easier. Until then, thank you for your patience and participation!