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Journals at Postholer.Com Help Page

How Do I Set Up A Journal?
Why Do I Keep Getting Asked To Login?
Updating Your Journal via EMail
Updating Your Journal Photo's via EMail
Why Are My Photos A Different Size?
Why Are My Photos Black?
My Images Are Not Appearing
The Spell Checker Doesn't Work
How do I use live updates (RSS)?
Embedded Journal On Your Personal Web Site
Can I download my Journal?
Integrated Map and Journal Entrys
Twitter in Your Journal Entrys
SPOT locations on maps

How Do I Set Up A Journal?

Setting up a journal is easy, follow these steps:
 
Register
If you've already registered with Forums at Postholer.Com, you can skip this step. Your username and password will work for forums and journals. Otherwise, follow the registration steps and proceed.
 
Login
Now you're ready to login using the information from the previous step.
 
Journal Setup
Once you've logged in, you can get busy setting up your journal. You must be logged in to reach this link. This page will allow you to state all the details of your trip, such as, trail, start date, direction, title, main journal photo, description, SPOT device, Twitter name, etc.
 
Add/Edit Entry
Add/Edit Entry is where your journaling actually happens. You record your daily text and upload images from this page. Once you've added your first entry, you can have quick access to your 'active journal' with the following link: http://Postholer.Com/username where 'username' is the name you log on with. This is the link you'd share with family and friends to access your journal.
 
View Journal
Once you've created a journal and added 1 entry, you'll be able to quickly and easily view your 'active journal' through this link. Again, you'll need to be logged in to use this link. Otherwise, use the link the public uses.
 
Additionally, you can build your Gear list, Plan and Training pages.
 
That's it! You're ready to go.

Why Do I Keep Getting Asked To Login?

This has to do with your cookie settings. Journals requires cookies to operate correctly. However, you may use the highest security setting available, sans blocking. In IE 6, go to "Tools/Internet Options/Privacy" and move the slider to "High". If you set it to "Block All Cookies" you will experience problems.

Updating Your Journal via EMail

This is a very powerful journal feature. We'll start with what you need to know and follow with some details after.
 
+ You must enable Allow EMail Updates on the Journal Setup page. Take note of your Secret EMail Code while you are there.
+ All of your email entrys should be emailed to myJournal@Postholer.Com.
+ EMail cannot exceed 2MB. So attached images must not exceed this.
+ Every emailed journal entry MUST CONTAIN the following:
 
Text in the Subject line of the EMail
Text in the Body of the EMail
The following in the Body of the EMail:
   {date=DateOfEntry}
   {code=SecretEmailCode}

 
Where DateOfEntry is the date the entry took place in the following format: MMDDYYYY, where MM is the 2 digit month, DD is the 2 digit day and YYYY is the 4 digit year.
 
Code is a code assigned to you for every journal you create. This code can be found on the Journal Setup page near the bottom. You must keep this code private, as anyone can update your journal if they have it. Treat it as a password. If you feel someone has this code, disable 'Email Journal Updates' from the Journal Setup page and contact us. We'll get you a new one.
 
Here's an example email entry from May 1st, 2007 (the curly braces are required!):

To : myJournal@Postholer.Com
From : Betty & Barney
Subject : Our First Day on the Trail
 
{date=05012007}
{code=8675309}
 
Wow! What a great first day on the trail. It was really nice of Fred and Wilma to drop us off at the border. It's great to be at Lake Morena.
 

Those are the minumum requirements for doing email updates. If the date or code are not in the above form, the email will be discarded. Any entry's with duplicate dates will be over written.
 
As additional security, from the Journal Setup page you can specify a single email address from which journal entries are sent. For example, if your pocketmail device email address is 'Jane@Pocketmail.com' and you specify this address, any updates coming from anywhere other than this address will be discarded.
 
An Explanation
The reason we use a code and not a unique email address, is so you don't accidentally use the email address like you normally would; sending emails to your journal - bad!. The reason the date is embedded in the email is for continuity. There is no way to tell the date of your entry simply from an email. The date you sent the email is very unlikely to be the date of entry.
 
Now The Details
We didn't stop with just the 'code' and 'date' tags. For every field you can update manually, you can do so from an email update. Here's a list of all the tags:
 
dailydistance, tripdistance, startlocation, endlocation, ascent, descent, startgpslat, startgpslon, hourshiked, mintemp, maxtemp, minelev, maxelev, breaks, peoplemet, rotate, placement
 
With this new found information, let's revisit the Betty & Barney entry:

To : myJournal@Postholer.Com
From : Betty & Barney
Subject : Our First Day on the Trail
 
{date=05012007}
{code=8675309}
 
Wow! What a great first day on the trail. It was really nice of Fred and Wilma to drop us off at the border. It's great to be at Lake Morena.
 
{ascent=2860}
{descent=2700}
{dailyDistance=20.2}
{startlocation=Campo, Mexican Border}
{endlocation=Lake Morena}
{startgpslat=12.3456789}
{startgpslon=-123.456789}
{hourshiked=10}
{mintemp=52}
{maxtemp=86}
{minelev=2400}
{maxelev=3500}
{breaks=8}
{peoplemet=3}
{caption=Photo Description} (used when attaching photos to your entrys)
{rotate=90} (rotate image COUNTER-clockwise. Valid values: 90, 180, 270)
{placement=1} (photo placement, 0 is left, 1 right. 0 is the default)

Note: if you are using a large public email provider such as Yahoo, they queue their email for delivery, so your update may not appear immediately in your journal. It may take a few minutes or much longer depending on how busy they are. If you are sending photos to your journal from Yahoo mail, it will *definitely* take longer.
 
That should get you going.

Updating Your Journal Photo's via EMail

Add a photo to your entry when doing email text updates. Simply 'attach' your photo to the email. You can also use the {caption=PhotoDescription} tag to add a description to your photo, where 'PhotoDescription' is the description.

Why Are My Photos A Different Size?

People upload photos in many different sizes. We create 2 different photos from your uploaded one. The first is the smaller photo enclosed in your journal entry. The second is the larger, browser sized image that is viewed by clicking on the smaller one. We also change the photo quality to 80% to ensure we don't use enormous amounts of disk space. The results are sharp, viewable images presented in a manner that you'd expect.

Why Are My Photo's Black?

Your photos are appearing all black because you uploaded an image in a format other than .jpg. ONLY .jpg images are allowed.

My Images Are Not Appearing

Only JPG images are accepted. It may also be you're trying to upload a file that is greater than 5MB (5,000,000 bytes). Lastly, the resolution of your image may be too large. If your camera is creating images larger that 2000x1500 you may also have a problem.

The Spell Checker Doesn't Work

The spell checker requires JavaScript to be enabled. If you do not have JavaScript enabled in your browser, enable it and try again. 
 

How Do I Use Live Updates (RSS)?

Live Updates or RSS, is a feature that allows you to be notified when a journalist has added an entry to their journal; usually within an hour of the update (depends on your RSS software settings). Some browsers, such as Opera, Firefox and IE7, have rss support built in. In this case you'd simply click on the rss feed symbol from within someones journal and the browser handles the rest. Internet Explorer 6 and older versions don't have this support. In this case, you could use Google Reader, Live Updates or install an RSS Reader program on your PC. Whatever route you choose, you will find this a very nice feature when monitoring journals.
 
The RSS feed is only updated when a new journal entry is added. The feed is not updated every time an entry is edited and saved. This ensures the channel is not flooded with updates.
 
Also, if your newest entry is older than 45 days, it will not appear in your feed.
 

Embedded Journal On Your Personal Web Site

Embedding your journal into your site gives you the means to present your journal in a style you see fit, while using the powerful features available at Postholer.Com. Creating journal entries manually or sent from email, they will appear immediately in your embedded journal.
 
Here's a very simple example of an embedded journal on another website.
 
You will need to go through the journal creation process to have this feature available. Any manual journal entries or photos will be done through the Postholer.Com site. The management and configuration will also be done through the Postholer.Com site as these forms will not be available on your site.
 
You must have PHP installed on your webserver.
 
Sit down with a tech savy friend and follow these steps carefully:
+ Set up your journal before proceeding.
+ You must have at least one journal entry in your journal
+ After creating your journal, take note of your Event Id near the top of the Journal Setup page.
+ Copy the contents of styleJournal.txt or basicJournal.txt and save as myJournal.php (or whatever .php) on your web server.
+ Change the Event ID near line 11 in myJournal.php to your event id.
+ Point your web browser at myJournal.php Your journal should appear.
 
Now you can begin to customize myJournal.php . Use HTML/CSS/PHP, whatever you wish to customize with. Here's an example of the very simple styleJournal.php and the bare-bones basicJournal.php.
 
After examining myJournal.php you'll notice that the data is displayed using multiple components. Actually, just PHP array elements. There is an array element for each piece of your journal. The following is a list of elements available to you:
 
dailyDistance : distance you traveled for that entry
endLocation : location your entry ended at
entryDate : date of entry in the form of: Saturday January 1st, 2010
entryId : entry id of the journal entry
entrySubject : subject you gave journal entry
entrySelect : drop down list box containing all of your journal entries
entryText : body of journal entry, including photos
entryType : entry type you gave, Pre-Trip, During-Trip, when adding journal entry
entryVisits : Total number of vistors to a specific journal entry
eventId : identifies your journal
eventName : combination of trail and year, ie, Pacific Crest Trail - 2010
eventTitle : title you gave your journal
eventVisits : total number of vistors to your journal
journalSig : signature and photo. Usually attached to each journal entry if you so choose
navLink : first, next, previous, last links used to navigate through your journal
startLocation : location you started from in that entry
tripDistance : accumulation of dailyDistance
userName : your name displayed in the manner you specified when configuring your journal
elevAscent : the accumulated vertical distance you climbed
elevDescent : the accumulated vertical distance you descended
elevMin : the lowest elevation of the day
elevMax : the highest elevation of the day
entryLat : the latitude part of a coordinate that best decribes the entry location
entryLon : the longitude part of a coordinate that best decribes the entry location
minTemp : minimum temperature of the day
maxTemp : maximum temperature of the day
hoursHiked : hours you hiked
breaks : rest breaks you took
peopleMet : number of people met along the trail
 
When adding elements use the same manner of adding elements as the myJournal.php uses. This catches any 'blanks' before trying to print, which minimizes the noise level in your logs.
 
Your myJournal.php uses: eventName, navLink, entrySelect, entrySubject, entryText and entryDate. Add, remove and style elements as you see fit.
 
Vist the Support Forum forum if you need any assistance

 

Can I download my Journal?

Yes, you can! You can download your journal in a structured, plain text format. You are allowed to download your journal once daily. Log in to your account and on the main journal page you'll see a Download Journal link. Click the link and it will take you to the download page.

Integrated Map and Journal Entrys

Integrating your journal entrys with our highly detailed Google maps is easy. From the Add/Edit Entry page, find the Entry Latitude field. You have 2 options.
 
First option, click on the map link next to this field and select a location that best represents your journal entry. A single click on the map will display a marker. Move that marker to the desired location. Every time you move that marker the Entry Latitude & Entry Longitude fields will be updated with the marker position. When you are satisfied, save your journal entry.
 
Second option, manually add latitude/longitude values to the Entry Latitude & Entry Longitude fields and save your journal entry. If you are emailing your journal entry you can send these values along with your entry. (see the Updating Your Journal via EMail section for details) Your map will be automatically updated. How cool is that?
 
When your visitors view your journal, they can click on the Entry Latitude or Entry Longitude links or the Trail Map link in the lower right hand corner of your entry to view the location of your entry.
 
This feature is only available for trails that postholer.com has maps for.


 
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Twitter in Your Journal Entrys

You can have your Twitter messages appended to every journal entry. Simply go to Journal Setup and add your Twitter username.

Also, you can tweet your location! Just add a latitude and longitude in your message in exactly the following form (note the lack of spaces in each value):

lat=36.6943 lon=-118.373394

When folks visit your journal those coordinates will be transformed into a map link (Where am I?) showing your location.

To see this work view the demo. In the Twitter message box, click on the 'Where Ami I?' link to get the map.


 
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SPOT locations on map

Integrating your SPOT device into your journal maps is easy, here's how:

When a reader views your journal your SPOT locations can be viewed in 3 ways, either clicking on the map link, ie, 'Pacific Crest Trail Map' or the Latitude or Longitude link (if lat/lon exists in the entry) or the 'Last SPOT Location' link. Your location will appear as a small red and yellow 'S' icon on the map. Click on the icon to zoom into that location.

If you have more than one journal you can have the same ESN in all your journals, but only your active journal will be updated. Your active journal must contain the ESN.

When your trip is complete remove the ESN from your journal. You may also want to remove the above email address from your SPOT account.

Warning: Creating an empty journal solely to use the SPOT feature will result in having your journal/SPOT map administratively hidden. The SPOT feature is exclusively for Postholer journalists.

That's it! You're all set.


 
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