A "How To" Guide
This guide is here to help, but so is Bernie.
He is more than happy to walk you through it in person or by phone (773.991.7341).

Become a member

To be able to post news and photos to the site, you need to become a "guest author" or member.  To become a member, the website administrator (which is Bernie at the moment) needs to send you an e-mail invitation.  

To start the process, send an e-mail to bernie@heidkamp.com or call 773-991-7341 and provide Bernie with your full name and e-mail address.  He will then send out the e-mail invitation.

When you receive the e-mail invitation, click on the link provided.  It will open up a browser window and take you to the "You've been invited to join a TypePad weblog!" page.  Typepad is the online service that hosts our website.  It's powerful, very customizable and cheap.

When you arrive at this initial page, you need to accept the invitation.  Since you are probably not an existing TypePad member, you need to register for free guest access by pressing the "Register for Free" button within the box for "Accept the Invitation." Here you will sign up for your user name and password to login to TypePad.  Enter your information and complete the registration by following through the steps.  A couple of caveats:

  • When entering your information, make sure you give a member name and a password you will remember. Typepad will automatically use the first and last name you enter as the default name that will appear on the bottom of all your posts. To change that name that appears when you post, go to the "Control Panel" tab and click on "Edit Author Profile." Under "Nickname," enter something like your  first name and last initial.
  • Also, when you are given a chance to review your registration, make sure the info is correct and click the box "I agree to Typepad terms and service." Don't click on the other boxes unless you want to get more junk e-mail. Just click on "Begin the Free Trial."

After registering, click on the "Accept Invitation" button to accept the invite. After accepting, you are forwarded automatically to your "Weblogs" tab within your account.  The weblog that you were invited into (and are now a member of) will be listed.  You will also receive a registration confirmation email message after signing up for TypePad.

To access the system from now on, login with your TypePad user name and password at the TypePad homepage: http://www.typepad.com

Post news

Heidkamp.com is essentially a blog -- which is simply a way of publishing or "posting" to the web one idea (or one bit of family news, in our case) at a time.   

Our blog lists entries by date on the main page of the blog (the most recent entries will be displayed at the top). You can comment on an entry, and each entry will be "archived" by date and category. 

Even after the entry is no longer on the main page (only the last 10 entries or so will appear on the main page), it always has its own "Permalink" page (in case you -- or anyone else -- wants to call attention to that particular entry by linking directly to it).

To post, simply click on the "Create a new post" link on your main weblog page (after logging in at http://www.typepad.com) and do the following:

1. Give your entry a title. Remember, the title is very important, since the posts will be listed only by their titles in the "Recent Posts" column and many people will decide whether to read a post on its title alone. Be specific but brief.

2. Choose a category for the post -- using a pre-selected category from the pull-down menu. This is important because someone might just want to view all the entries on a specific topic. You have several relevant categories to choose from (such as Birthdays, Holidays, etc), but you might not find the perfect match.  Don't worry -- just pick the best one for now and Bernie will add a new category, if necessary, and republish your post.

3. Write your entry. Don't be afraid to create multiple paragraphs (when people write for the web -- as opposed to newspapers or magazine -- they try to use shorter paragraphs). To create a new paragraph, simply hit return twice. There is usually no indenting on the web.

Your entry will be out there in the world for everyone to see -- so you'll want to check your writing for any spelling or grammatical errors. You might want to use the spellchecker function in the blogging software -- clicking on the appropriate button above the posting box.

Take note of all the other buttons above the posting box.  It's easy to bold, italic, etc, as well as link a word or phrase to another website.

After writing the entry, click on "Save" (leave "Comments" open and ignore "Trackbacks"). Realize, though, that as soon as you click on "Save" your entry is on the blog -- open for everyone to see and comment on. Make sure you are comfortable with the substance and style of the post before you proceed. 

If you want to preview your post, you can hit "Preview" instead of save. 

If you want to save your post but not have it appear on the blog yet, you can change "Posting Status" to "Draft."

Be careful not to hit "Save" more than once, even if it is taking a while to save your post. You might end up posting the same post or comment twice.

Post a comment to a news entry

One of the best aspects of blogs is their interactivity.  Anyone -- not just members -- can post a comment on an entry.  It's a great way to get a discussion going.

To post a comment, go directly to http://www.heidkamp.com (no need to login at Typepad).  Find the specific entry you wish to respond to and click on the "Comments" link below the entry. Enter your name, your e-mail address and write your comment. You can preview or post your comment, but once you hit post, the comment is permanent (the administrator can delete or edit them, if necessary).

Post photos

Another great aspect of the particular blogging service we are using is that it's also incredibly easy to put photos in your blog entries or create an entire online photo album for everyone to see.  This assumes that you have digital copies of the photos you want to share on your computer.

~Post photos in an entry

If you only want to share one or two photos, you should probably just insert them into an entry.  Follow the steps above to "Post news," but while you are writing your entry, click on the "Insert image" icon above the posting box (it's just to the left of the "Insert file" icon).  You will be asked to find the photos on your computer that you would like to insert.

The photos will be inserted wherever your cursor happens to be within the post.

~Post a photo album

If you are interested in posting more than a couple of photos, you want to create a photo album, which is a set of separate pages (linked to from the main Heidkamp.com page, of course) that organize your photos in a creative template.  You can choose and customize that template yourself.  For an example, visit the album for the Dick/Don/Kay birthday bash that Bernie created.

Important: The only slightly tricky part about posting photos is you have to login to the administrator's account -- not just your "guest author" or individual member account.  To login to that account, you need to go to http://www.typepad.com (or, if the program has remembered your own username & password -- just click "logout" in the upper right corner).  You need to enter the following

Username: ____________
Password: ____________

The administrator's username and password are not listed here, because this is a public document that anyone can access.  To obtain them please e-mail Bernie (bernieATheidkamp.com) or call him (773.991.7341).

Once you have logged in, please don't touch anything other than the tab near the top that says "Photo Albums."  The other tabs -- for "Weblogs," "Typelists" and "Control Panel" -- all determine the look and the functionality of the site.  Bernie welcomes input and collaboration on the site, but he would like to talk to you about it first.

Once you click on "Photo Albums," you will see a list of "Your Photo Albums" on the left.  On the right you will "Create a new Photo Album."  Enter a name, a folder name (see description), and indicate "Yes" for making the album public.

You'll be taken to a list of photos in the album -- which, of course, at this point is empty.  Click on "Add new photos" or "Add photos to this Album" and you can start constructing the album.

First, follow the instructions for uploading as many photos as you want***

***if you are uploading a lot of photos or if you upload photos frequently and you use Windows XP as your computer's operating system, there is a way to simplify this process a great deal.  Read these instructions first before clicking on the "Install Now" button under "Uploading Multiple Photos?"

Once you've uploaded any number of photos, you'll be taken back to your list of photos, which now has some stuff in it.  You can now click on the "View Album" button under the tabs in the upper right corner.

As a default, the album just puts a bunch of "thumbnail" size versions of your photos -- which you can click on to enlarge -- and it uses a default gray color scheme.  But you can change all that ...

Go back to your photo album controls and click on the "Design" tab on the left.  You are able here to alter the "Layout," "Content" and "Style" or your album.  Click on the corresponding link and follow the rather intuitive instructions.  Remember to always click on the "Save changes" button at the bottom or nothing will change.

As another option, if you like the style of an already-created photo album, just select that album from the pull-down menu on the right and click on "Use this album's design."

Don't be afraid to experiment.

You'll also want to click on the "Configure" tab on the left.  Depending on the design you choose, the information you provide here will show up in your album.

Always click on the "Manage" tab to get back to the list of photos in your album.

Important: You have the option of providing captions for individual photos.  That can definitely be a very cool thing, but I would hesitate before identifying individuals within individual photos.  Why?  Well, our site is public for all the world to see and there's a lot of weird "cyberstalking" people out there.  Enough said.

When you are done creating the album, it will automatically appear in the list in the left column of the blog.  It can also be, if we so choose, a feature photo album at the top of the right column.  That requires some changes in settings.  No big deal -- but Bernie would rather handle that himself.   Once he sees a new album is posted, he will make sure to feature it.  If you e-mail him, he'll do it even quicker ...

Finally, when you are finished working with a photo album, make sure you click on the "Logout" button in the upper right corner.  You don't want to post news entries from the administrator's account because then your name won't appear below each post.  Log back in as yourself.

Remember: This guide is here to help, but so is Bernie.  He is more than happy to walk you through it in person or by phone (773.991.7341).
One Request: The site doesn't cost much to maintain, but it costs a little (about $170/year).  In the left column of the site's homepage, you will see a "Tip Jar."  Please chip in $5 -- which goes directly to pay for the Typepad hosting fees.