Tag: draft

Quick Tips to Avoid Nuking Your Post Content Accidentally

Have you ever started typing a post and did something silly that suddenly made you lose what you had written?  Maybe you hit the backspace key and your browser thought you wanted to go back a page, instead of back one letter.  Maybe you accidentally hit reload on the page, or accidentally closed your tab or window.  Or maybe your computer did something stupid, and crashed your browser.

Regardless of what caused it, you probably weren't too happy to lose what you had written.  Here are 5 quick tips for ways to avoid nuking your content accidentally, or how to recover what you have written after disaster strikes:

1. Don't Compose in a Web Browser
    Although painfully obvious, it has to be said – if you're drafting your post in something besides a web browser, you'll probably avoid 99% of all the problems you face with accidentally deleting your draft post content.  Most text editors nowadays have built-in auto-save features, so you can even set up your file to back up as often as you feel is necessary.  As an added benefit, you'll have a soft-copy of your post saved on your computer in the unlikely event that the publishing system hiccups and your post that you just submitted disappears into the aether.

2. Save as a draft intermittently (Vox-specific)
    If you don't want to go through the "hassle" of using a separate program to compose your posts, take advantage of your blogging system's features  – for example, in Vox you can save your post as a draft, and then go back and edit to add additional content.  If you lose something you type, you can always revert back to the version you had previously saved as your draft (hopefully without losing too much content in the process!)

3. Use the "Recover" features (Vox-specific)

    You may have noticed that as you begin typing your entry in the Vox compose screen, a small link pops up next to the spell-check button.  This Recover link usually allows you to get back what you had written, in the event you accidentally closed the window or your web browser happened to crash while you were composing a post.  When you return to the Compose window, you should see the "Recover" link directly above the post body. Click that link and it will recover your previous post for you.  Your mileage may vary with this solution, but it's usually better than nothing!

4. Use a Greasemonkey script to prevent unwanted page-changes

    The "Protect Textarea" greasemonkey script (found here and featured here on lifehacker) monitors the textareas on a web page and alerts you if you try navigating away from the page before submitting the changes in the textarea.  Although it will not work for you all the time, and may be more hassle than it is worth for some people, you'll be pretty happy the first time you accidentally click a link that was going to take you away from your post or blog comment and this popup intervenes.

5. Open compose screen in a new window/tab

    A very simple way to combat the infamous "backspace blunder" is to make sure there is no page to go back to while you are composing a post.  If you choose to compose a post in a new tab or window, the backspace key will never move you away from your compose screen, because there's no page in your browser's history to return to!  On modern browsers, a middle-click of your mouse button on a link will open the link in a new tab or window (depending on your browser's default settings).  Alternately, right click on a link and select "Open in a new tab" to do this the old-fashioned way.  Combine this with tip #2 above for extra security.


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How to “Draft” an Entry on Vox

A big shout-out to Foxsydee, who originally suggested this tip to me!

Vox is a great blogging site.  But there is one area that for a while, I thought was lacking – the ability to write a draft entry.  Sure, you can save an entry as viewable only by "you (hidden)", but all this does is publish your entry to your blog, but hide it from the world.  The published date is set (albeit changeable), and the post doesn't appear in your neighbor's recent posts or on the explore page, AND – here's the catch – probably won't EVER appear on these where you want it to, even if you later change the post's privacy level to viewable by anyone and update the date.  Too many new posts will have gone by for people to have seen what you posted unless they come to your personal blog page.

For those who do like the exposure that a new blog post can bring, there is a simple and quick solution to this problem:

1) Write and save your post as you would normally do, viewable only by you.  Make sure to make all links, photos, media, etc that you are embedding in the post ALSO viewable only by you, unless you want people in your neighborhood to see them ahead of time.  Optionally, add a tag like "draft" so you can search for the post later (this will be helpful if you're building a backlog of draft posts). 

2) Once your post is saved, you can view and edit to your heart's content to make sure it is exactly the way you want it.  Nobody but you can see the post, so this gives you a chance to view how the layout will actually look on your blog template, and give it a complete makeover before anyone even has a chance to see it, if you so desire.

3) When it comes time for you to actually open your post up to the public, instead of just changing the privacy setting of the post, do the following:

    a. Open the post for editing

    b. In a new window or new tab, go to Vox and choose to compose a new post

    c. Select all the text in your hidden post, and copy over to the new post.  Copy the title and tags as well. (Remove the "draft" tag if you had added this previously.)  Your intent is to end up with a DUPLICATE of the original post, but in a new post window.  Tip: Use keyboard shortcuts for select-all (e.g. for Windows, CTRL-A) to get everything in the body of your post to copy over in one copy/paste action.

    d. Change the privacy level on all embedded media items on the new post (anyone, neighborhood, friends and family, etc)

    e. Do the same with the new post's overall privacy level

    f. Save the new post, and it will be visible on your blog with a current published timestamp, AND will show up in the explore and neighbor's recent post areas

    g. Once you've published the new entry, simply delete the old post (still marked as viewable only by you).

Once you get used to the steps, it should only take about 30 seconds to republish your "draft" entry as a new post (3a-3g above).

Extra things to consider:

1. If your draft post and your new post have the same title, vox will append a "-1" to the URL.  If you're really picky about your URL titles, delete the hidden post BEFORE you hit save on the new post.  When you save the new entry, Vox will name the URL the same as the original draft post's URL.

2. Don't add the draft post to any groups, or that group will see the entry before you intend it to.  Wait until you set up your final post, and only then add to the specific groups you want the entry to be cross-posted to.

3. This probably works best for people who want a time-delayed post or those who write a bunch of posts at one time but don't necessarily want to publish them all for public consumption at one time.  Anyone can get some viewing/editing benefits out of it, but these are the people that will really find this useful.

4. Vox may at some point add in a full "draft mode" to the compose process, making this whole process obsolete.  But it's still useful for now.  For example, I wrote this post a couple weeks ago, but saved it as a "draft" for a day when I was busy but still wanted to post something.  Total time to go from draft to post for me was about 90 seconds, including doing one last pass over the text to make sure I didn't want to change anything else.

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