About Tideline
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Getting Started Checklist · 9th October 2006
Stonebreaker Designs
New to Tideline? Read this overview to get a sense of what you can do with it.

DIRECT-EDITING
Tideline tasks can be done directly from any browser using Tideline's direct-edit technology. This is true for editors, readers and contributors alike.

ONLY IF YOU SAY SO
The first rule is that you are in charge.
As Editor, you get to decide who can view your website and who can post to it. You also get to decide who can post items immediately without your review. All other postings will appear only after you review and approve them. Of course, you also get to choose how the site looks and what features are available.

ITEMS YOU CAN POST
As editor, you can pick and choose the kinds of items that can be posted to your website. Tideline has these kinds to choose from:

Articles
Often the centerpiece of a Tideline site. Features include formatted text, live weblinks, pictures (resized automatically), attachments,
"reader comments" allow discussion, "email to a friend" feature
Classified Ads
Always popular. Four categories. Photo, weblink, email reply and auto-expiration.
Calendar Events
Lots of features and a big month-by-month calendar layout ensure this is used and referred to often.
Biz & Group Listings
Two levels. A simple text only version...and a "sponsor" version with a photo. Sponsors can be given top billing on the frontpage as well. In addition, "sponsors" can list products for sale on a built-in "marketplace". A good income source for some sites.
Reader Polls
Editors can create these...and everyone can vote! Once you vote you can see the results.
The Gallery
A freeform artistic venue that can be used to create a "Picture of the Day" gallery...or a "Poetry Corner"...or an "Artist Showcase".
Maps
You can create any number of "maps" by uploading images. Items can then be posted on your maps with map pins. Much like the gallery with a sense of place. Maps can be actual maps, or timelines, or schematics, or whatever you come up with.
Favorite Links
Editors can easily create links to custom pages on this site or to any other website. You can group links in any set of categories you want...and even list them on the frontpage or on the menubar.

SUMMARIZING NEW POSTINGS
Tideline automatically pulls out the new postings and presents them in three places.

The Frontpage
The home page of the Tideline. It automatically chooses and displays the latest stuff. You decide the details about which kinds, how many and how they are layed out. In addition, you can further customize the Frontpage with an "Editor's Note", a set of weather tabs and more goodies.
Weekly Newsletters Each week the Tideline automatically creates a one page summary of new postings and upcoming events. Readers can subscribe to get these newsletters in email. All Newsletter are saved giving you and your readers a historical archive.
RSS Feeds
Tideline can automatically create and update RSS feeds for many parts of the website. The latest postings are listed for RSS subscribers.

MAKING IT LOOK GOOD
Tideline gives you direct-edit tools get your site looking how you want it.
Visual Designer
One place to easily change your the look of your masthead and pages. Use built-in images or your own custom ones.
Skins
Tideline comes with a number of different font and color designs built in. Your readers can switch between them as they wish.
Editor Tools
Each part of the Tideline has it's own set of options you can set via Editor Tool dialogs. Look for the little orange stars.

WAYS TO EXPAND
Special Sections
Tideline initally has just one main Front Section enabled. The Frontpage summarizes all the posted items in that front section. But that's just the start. You can easily create additional Inside Sections. Each has its own collection of posted items and its own "frontpage" summarizing that section. A newspaper might create Arts, Sports, Opinion and Business sections. A group blog might have sections for each of the main authors...or the central topics.
Custom Pages
An advanced feature for Editors with HTML and website know-how. Custom pages you create can have menubar commands to link them to the rest of Tideline.
Part of a larger whole
Tideline can be one part of a larger site. An optional "Home" link in the menubar lets you send readers back and forth between your main site and your Tideline area.

THE KITCHEN SINK
Tideline has many other little features here and there. Below are a few:
Help System
Editors can create and edit help topics.
Editor Messages
A built in messaging system allowing readers to communicate directly with editors without having to use email. Using direct-edit, any reader at any browser can ask a question, make a suggestion or report a problem. Editors can also send messages to other editors.
Email Subscriptions
Tideline lets you offer your readers two subscription services: weekly Newsletter and new articles. Tideline handles everything for you...all you need to do is enable the feature.