You’ve hit the streets, you’ve been making your voice heard, you’ve documented your event, you’ve got photos and videos to share, and most all – you have a story to tell.

Here’s the complete “How To Guide” to tell your story at MyFDL. Compiled from the work of many, including Jane Hamsher, Ryan Cook and others who have written pieces and parts of the “how to” we’re putting it all in one place for easy reference; from The Basics to Intermediate to Advanced of what you can do with MyFDL.

Table of Contents:


The Basics: [top]

When you first write a post, this is the default view of the editor:

Click that “Kitchen Sink” button and it expands your editing controls:

Many people have Microsoft Word and are comfortable composing in it, bolding, italicizing, adding links and so forth. If you’re one of those people, this editor has made your blog posting much easier. Copy all your MSWord text, and click on that “MSWord” icon. You will then see this:

Ctrl+V and Insert will do the trick, and your text will be done!

For non-Word users, the editor is still very rich and friendly. Like most programs, you have to select/highlight text to perform any of the editor functions on it, like bold, italic or hyperlink. Here’s the hyperlink example, as it’s just a little different:

When you click that hyperlink button, here’s what you’ll get:

So you’re all set to tell the text part your experience. Do make sure you add tags though as tags help people find your story through search engines, and even the FDL search feature. The tag feature is at the bottom right of your “Add New Post” screen and looks like this – make sure to click the “Add” button:


Intermediate: The HTML Tab, Photos and Videos [top]

To use some of the more fun features, you’ll need to use the HTML tab instead of the Visual tab. The control set changes too – no more “Kitchen Sink” but that’s normal. Looks like this:

In order to share your photos and videos with the world, you need a platform that does that. For photos the two most popular on MyFDL are Flickr and Photobucket. For videos, youtube and Vimeo. Each has a free/no-cost option and easy to follow instructions for how to upload your photo/video media.

The next examples are with the most popular providers – Flickr and Youtube. Photos first. First, find your Flickr photo you want to use. Then –

Make sure you’re in your HTML tab and just paste that code. Voila! Your photo is embeddded. The great part about embedding is that the “Visual” tab can “see” and display your photo, and you gain some more control over it.

Switch back to the Visual tab, and click on your newly embedded photo, and you’ll see that the photo has turned “blue” and has two icon options:

Click on the icon for “Image Options” and you will see an option screen:

That’s the place you can put your caption in if you want, title your photo, etc. And just to be clear; be in the HTML tab, and choose your point in your story to paste your photo embed code in. That’s where your photo will appear. And use “Preview” – it’s your friend!

Not that difficult, right? Do it a time or two and it becomes second nature. Now on to embedding videos, which is just about as easy as your photos.

Videos: Same drill; be in the point in your story where you want to embed your video. Now, navigate to your youtube you wish to insert. Right underneath your youtube, you’ll see this:

Click on that “Embed” button and you’ll get more options:

There are several concepts to explain here.

Your blog post has 600 pixels wide available. So you can choose the 420 wide x 315 tall option, or the 480 wide x 360 tall option, but you cannot choose the 640 wide or the 960 wide options.

What you can do, is choose a custom size, and a great one is 595 pixels wide. The height automatically fills in and the embed code gets automatically updated, and the result centers just perfectly in your blog post. Try it!

So there we are – we’ve done intermediate to somewhat advanced. You know know all the regular blogging elements available to post your media, your story as recorded. There’s another level – Advanced.

ADVANCED: Livestreaming Your Activism [top]

Jane has just worked out how to livestream from a SmartPhone. Here’s the drill, she’s got it all worked out:

Part of the media strategy for October2011 demonstration in DC involves asking people to be the media rather than waiting for corporate media to sit up and take notice. So Kevin Zeese of October2011 asked me to do a post on how to livestream video with a smartphone and embed it in a blog post.

1. Go to UStream and sign up for an account.

2. Download an app for your device (I did it for the Verizon iPhone, but UStream supports a variety of devices). If you’ve got IOS 4.1 or newer, you want the plain-ol’ Ustream app, which allows you to record, broadcast and watch videos:

3. Install the app and open it by clicking on the “U” icon:

4. When the screen opens, click the little blue camera icon on the top right, then select the “go live” button:

5. The broadcast screen will open, and here you can see the lovely sleeping Katie. But you’re not live yet.

Let your viewers know what you’re broadcasting by typing a description in the bottom window. To go live, click the red dot on the right hand side of the screen.

6. You can see that the lovely Katie is now broadcasting live on the FDL channel because there’s a timer running in the top left of the screen. Sadly, she has no viewers. To toggle the control screen, just pull it out by dragging the right side of the screen. The red square is the “off” button.

6. So where exactly is the lovely Katie broadcasting? Over at our UStream channel right now (okay, she moved before I could pull the page up, but she’s a professional sleeper):

She’s now got an “embed” code that you can embed just like a YouTube on sites like MyFDL, by copying the “link to the video” and pasting it in a diary at MyFDL:

(Sometimes embed codes can be a little buggy depending on what upgrade various systems are at, so if you have any trouble with it, just leave a comment to the diary with the “link to video” URL and an editor will insert it into your diary.

7. The embed code for your channel always stays the same regardless of when you’re broadcasting. So what Katie did was put a draft of her post up before she went live. Then right before she started broadcasting, she used her iPhone to publish the diary. And once she pressed the red button on Ustream:

Voila! Katie is the media.

People from all over the country are headed to DC right now for the Freedom Plaza occupation, and Kevin says that among them is a group of grandmothers who are walking here from West Virginia. I hope that they and the other October2011 protesters, as well as the OccupyWallStreet protesters and everyone taking part in anti-oligarchical protests around the world, will try to livestream their adventures in diaries at MyFDL. They are really inspirational to people, especially those who can’t take part for whatever reason. Because they’re not going to see it on the 6:00 news any time soon.

And if you have any trouble with the technology, just let us know in the comments of your diary and someone will be by quickly to help you get it to work.