Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How to Make a Flier Available

We're assuming  that there is a post somewhere on the website that is tagged with the label "Fliers" and which includes a link to our "Fliers" folder at Google Docs.

We'll also assume that somewhere on your computer you have a flier, stored as a .pdf file, that you want to make available to people for distributing.  After you upload your flyer, it will be available from the afore-mentioned post tagged with "Fliers".

To upload your flier:
  1. Log into http://docs.google.com using the contracola  google account.
  2. Click on the "Upload" button (upper left-hand side of the page).
  3. Select one or more files on your computer, using the "Select files to upload" link.
  4. Select the publicly viewable "Fliers" folder: click on the "No folder" button, then select "Fliers".
  5. Make the fliers themselves public: click on the "Private" button, then select "Public on the Web".
  6. Click the "Start Upload" button.
If you need a link to the newly-uploaded file, do this:
  1. When the upload is complete, click on the "Back to Google Docs" link.
  2. Navigate to your newly-uploaded file, right-click on the file name, move your mouse to "Share", then to "Get the link to Share".

Monday, November 2, 2009

How to Send to the Mailing List

The general mailing list for dance announcements corresponds to the membership of the "contracola" google group, i.e., contracola@googlegroups.com.  We are careful to send to this group using the contracola gmail account (contracola@gmail.com), so that we can tell people what email address will be sending them reminders.

So, to send an announcement to the mailing list, simply log into the contracola account (contracola@gmail.com) at http://mail.google.com (or http://gmail.com) and compose an email to contracola@googlegroups.com.

An easy way to send a reminder for the next dance is to copy the dance announcement (including the picture, if any) from www.contracola.org and paste it into the email to be sent to the mailing list.  If you include the blog announcement title in the message body, it becomes a link to the website.  You can also use the title as the subject of the email.

How to Post an Announcement for the Next Dance

There is really no need to keep old announcements around, so the easiest way is to simply edit the previous dance announcement, changing the title, date, and details, as necessary.

Go to http://www.contracola.org.
  • If  "Sign In" appears in the upper right-hand corner, login by clicking on "Sign In".  Then click on "Edit Posts" for "Columbia Traditional Music and Dance". 
  • If, on the other hand, "Sign out" appears in the upper right-hand corner, you are already logged in.  In this case, click on "New Post", click on "Edit Posts", and click "OK" in response to the  "Are you sure you want to navigate away from this page?" popup.
Locate the "Announcements" link  in the list of labels on the left and click on it.   This will bring up a list of all posts that are tagged with the label "Announcements".  Click on the "Edit" link for the previous dance announcement, and wait a little until the wysiwyg ("what you see is what you get") editor appears.

Make the necessary changes to the title and body of the announcement.  Note that you can preview as often as you like by using the "Preview" link.

When you are satisfied with how the announcement looks, set the publishing date to the current date:  click "Post Options" and choose "Automatic" under "Post date and time".

Click "PUBLISH POST", then click "View Blog" to see the final result.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Responding to Mailing List Replies

Occasionally, an announcement sent to the mailing list may result in some recipients sending a reply.  The mailing list has been set up so that replies go to contracola gmail, where we have set up a filter to forward them to a COTMD board member, usually someone on the Community Outreach committee.  (This is similar the way we handle emails from the "Contact Us" form.  Usually the person handling the mailing list replies is the same person who handles the "Contact Us" emails.)

If you are the person assigned to respond to the mailing list replies, here's what you do:
  1. Make sure your email client doesn't treat these messages as spam. Note that all these messages have a subject that begins with "[Contra Columbia] Re:".
  2. When you receive an email message that is a reply to a mailing list announcement, don't reply directly from your own email account, as your reply may wind up being treated as spam.  Instead, log into the contracola gmail account to reply.
  3. Each mailing list reply in the inbox will be starred to help you see which messages need a reply. After replying to each starred message, un-star it (by clicking on the star next to the message in the inbox) to indicate the message has been replied to.
  4. Your replies will be received as having come from "Columbia Traditional Music & Dance", i.e., the contracola gmail account.