So, Casual Newsviner, you're ready to step up your skills and become a veritable Tarzan of Newsvine? Here's some tips and tricks that will help you in your quest.
1. Play tag
Tags are probably the greatest strength of Newsvine. If you're not paying attention to tags, you should be. Attached to each seed and article are a set of tags, much like "keywords" that help associate that particular seed/article to a category or subject. Each seed/article can be associated with numerous subjects, so a great way to expand your news-reading habits is simply paying attention to what tags are assigned.
2. The Watchlist
One of the ways you can take advantage of the tag system is your Watchlist. The Watchlist is a way to constantly monitor items added to Newsvine according to their tags. For instance, if you'd like to be notified of every movie review seeded to the Vine, simply add
movie-review to your Watchlist.
To add something to your Watchlist, go to that tag's (or user's!) main page and click on the green watch button near the top. Easy, huh?
3. Professionalize your profile
If you haven't already, you need to upload an avatar (or icon that represents you). It's easier than you'd think, and your avatar can always been changed later on—although I recommend picking one that will last; avatars create a sort of "brand" (even more than your nickname). You can find controls for doing so in your "Edit Your Profile" page.
Also on that page are fields for a personal link and tagline. If you have another website (or perhaps your employer has one) put the URL in the homepage field. A small "home" icon will appear next to your name on your column page and allows people to click through to your website. Also, the tagline is another way to "brand" yourself and gain rapport.
4. Combo tags
Now that you know how to use tags, let's try combining some of those overly-active ones (you know what I'm talking about). To combine tags so that only those seeds/articles that match both will show up on the Watchlist, simply add a comma between tags when searching.
apple, ipod is a great example of a tag combination someone could use, say, if they're not an Apple user, but are an iPod owner.
Note, also, that because of special Newsvine Magic you're able to enter combo tags in the URL field of your web browser. "Uh, what?" you ask. Basically
www.newsvine.com/apple, ipod works as a URL.
5. Highlight and hit
I'll assume you've discovered the styling controls for commenting (you know, the buttons above the comment field), but did you know you can highlight your text before using them? Yeah, they've thought of everything! It even works with links and blockquotes!
6. Click the seed before you read
Only have 15 minutes of break-time between big projects? Don't care about what people say about a particular seed? Still on dialup?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, chances are you'll benefit from this one: To go directly to the seeded article from a top-level page simply click on the gray arrow next to the seed headline. Pfft, you already knew that, didn't you? Of course you did.
7. Use anchors
As an alternative to using
blockquote for quoting other comment(er)s, you can also link directly to their comment. Each comment has an unique anchor ID signified by the pound sign (#) next to the time-stamp.
To link to a specific comment, just copy the anchor link (it looks like #c12345) and paste it as the URL in your href. For best results delete everything but the #c12345 so when a user clicks it the page doesn't reload, it just skips to the comment.
You can use this method to link directly to a particular comment from an external website as well. Even better, you can seed individual comments to your own clipping history (by using the Seed Newsvine button).
8. Tend to others' seeds
One of the ways you can help keep the 'vine tended (get it?) is by reporting seeds/articles if they're duplicates, miscategorized, abusing the rules or system, self-propigation, or inaccurate. Fear not that your reports will go unnoticed; while the Newsvine team gets an average of 100 reports a day (at the time of this writing) they've got nothing else to do but sip lattes and go para-sailing. They need the work.
Just click on the exclamation mark under a seed/article's headline for a pop-up list of possible reporting types. Reporting content (including comments) really does make a difference in helping keep Newsvine a "healthy" community.
Another way to help tend others' posts is by assigning additional (relavent) tags. If you see a seed/article without an appropriate tag, just click on the plus arrow next to the tag list and enter it! The resulting field will even allow multiple tags.
9. Be a class act
If you want to begin controlling the format of your articles, Newsvine allows the use of specific classes for
For lead-ins, use
p class="leadin". Your text will appear larger.
Example of leadin text
For headers, use
h2. Your text will appear bold and slightly larger.
Example of a header
For copyrights or footnotes, use
p class="copyright". Your text will appear lighter and smaller.
Example of copyright text
ins are supported, so you can
rule the world .
(For a basic understanding of XHTML, check out W3Schools.)
10. List items
Newsvine also allows the use of lists within articles and comments, though the tools aren't provided in the form of buttons to create them. To practice creating lists, use the W3School demo tool. You'll be a Listing Genius by the end!
Speaking of end ...
One way you can become a better Newsviner is by posting articles that aren't novels. With that tip in mind, I'll stop my rambling and open this article up for discussion.
Got an additional tip? Share it below. If it's worthy, I'll append it to the article and give you credit.
K4NC3R preempted me by suggesting the use of Writely.com for drafting articles before posting them. Writely.com allows collaboration so you can give access to works to an editor or friend who can proof-read and change them.