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Journals Help Journal Help
Last Updated June 7, 2006

Have you ever wanted to blog, but can't find the time? Are you intimidated by the idea of setting up and maintaining a blog? Are you looking for a way to attract visitors to your blog? Now you can maintain a blog while you post on the DU discussion forums! Introducing DU Journals -- a totally new and original idea that blends the best features of a discussion forum and a blog.

Use your DU Journal to highlight your best posts from the Democratic Underground discussion forums. Many DUers already have an impressive body of work published here on our website -- now you can easily publish all of it to your own individual Journal. Instead of just letting your hard work get lost forever in the flood of posts on the message board, you can now build an audience of people who come to your journal specifically to read your posts.


Every DU member can have a DU Journal. But you cannot use your Journal until you activate it. Here's how:

1. Make sure you are logged in to Democratic Underground.

2. Click this link to activate your journal.

For most members, that activation link should be all you need to set up your DU Journal. After your Journal is created, you will get a direct link to go to your Journal and start configuring it. If there are any problems, the activation routine should prompt you with the necessary information to fix the problem. If you are unable to fix the problem, please send us an email and explain the problem so we can help you fix it.

You can highlight any of your discussion forum posts on your DU Journal. After you add them to your Journal, they will appear in the center column of the page. There are two ways to add posts to your Journal:

Option 1: Add any discussion forum post to your DU Journal
To add one of your posts to your Journal, first find that post on the Democratic Underground discussion forum. There will be a little black link in the bottom-left corner of the post that says "Add to my Journal." You can add any of your own posts to your Journal. Even if you posted it months or years ago, you can add it to your Journal.

Option 2: Post directly to your DU Journal
To post a new message to your DU Journal, go to your Journal and click the link in the top right corner of the page that says "Post to Journal." You will be prompted to pick a discussion forum for your post. After you choose a forum for your post, just post the message as you normally would. The message will be posted to the discussion forums and to your DU Journal.

If you add a post to your Journal by mistake, you can easily remove it from your Journal by clicking the little link at the bottom of that Journal Entry that says "Remove from Journal." This will remove the post from your Journal, but it will not delete the post from our discussion forum.

Using the Journal Control Panel, you can change the appearance of your DU Journal and you can customize the modules which appear in the right column of your Journal.

Accessing your Journal Control Panel
To access your Journal Control Panel, go to your own Journal, and click the little link at the top-right corner of the page that says "Journal Control Panel." You can also access the Journal Control Panel by clicking the "Options" icon at the top of most DU pages.

Changing the title and format of your DU Journal
From the Journal Control Panel, look for the top section titled "Journal Configuration." Change the title or format, and then click the "Save Changes" button.

Changing the appearance of your DU Journal
From the Journal Control Panel, look for the middle section titled "Journal Skin." Journal Skins are different visual design that you can use to change the appearance of your Journal. To choose from a selection of pre-designed skins, click the button that says "Select a Ready-Made Skin..." and choose the design you like best.

If you are a web design expert who understands CSS, you can design your own skin. Just click the button that says, click the button that says "Create or Edit Custom Skin..."

Customizing Modules for the right column of your DU Journal
You can choose from a number of "modules" for the right column of your DU Journal. From the Journal Control Panel, look for the bottom section titled "Journal Modules." Turn modules on or off by setting the value next to each module, and re-order modules by changing the numbers in the "Order" column. Some modules can be edited by clicking the "Edit Module" button.

The best way to learn how to maintain your Journal is by doing it yourself. Don't be afraid to experiment with your Journal. If you screw up, rest assured that you can easily undo any changes you make. You can remove any posts or modules from your Journal at any time. You can change your Journal Skin at any time. There is no time limit on editing your Journal.

If necessary, you can even turn off your Journal from the Journal Control Panel so nobody can see it. Just look for the words "Turn Journal On?" select "no" and click "Save Changes."

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