LiveJournal has excellent, extensive FAQs available on every subject imaginable. This is not intended to replace them but to cover some of the common problems that new LiveJournal users experience. (I should know--until recently, I was one myself!)
How do I join the silwritersguild community?
You will need to have a personal account with LiveJournal before you can join and use the community. (The exception to this is comments: Persons without LiveJournal accounts may post commments in the community, but may not make new entries. Also, anyone may read entries that are marked as "Public.")
Joining LiveJournal is free for a basic account, which includes all of the features you will need to use the community and your own personal journal. Furthermore, LiveJournal does not harass its members. The only emails I have ever received from the service have pertained to changes to my account that I have initiated and that required email confirmation. They do not spam you or send you silly information about services that you do not want. This is a major reason why I chose LiveJournal as the host for our writers' workshop.
To join LiveJournal, click on the "Sign Up!" link in the upper-right-hand corner of your screen. You will be prompted to choose a username and a password. You will need to provide a valid email address and answer the verification email that they will send you. After that, very little personal information is collected or required.
Once you have your account, visit the information page for the silwritersguild community. (You can click on the link I just left you! This will take you to the community's journal; click on the name "silwritersguild" to access the information page.) At the top of the information page is a link reading "Join This Community." Click on it, and you are a member. It's that simple!
How do I post to the community?
At the top, blue toolbar is a link marked "Journal." Put your cursor over that and select the option marked "Update."
This will open a blank journal page. It is important to note that any entries you now type will post by default to your personal journal. You will need to specify that you are posting to the community. To do so, scroll to the bottom of the screen. At the lower left corner is a drop-down box marked "Post to." If you click on this, your personal account and any communities in which you are a member will appear. Select silwritersguild and you are ready to post to the community!
How do I comment on other people's posts?
At the bottom of each entry is a bright blue link marked "Leave Comment." If you wish to comment on an entry you just read, click on this link. Please note that there is a character limit for comments, so longer comments (such as might be entered when reviewing a story during workshop) should be made their own entries. Part of my job as moderator will be the daily maintenance of the Postings Index for the community. I will also email authors if they choose to have me do so to let them know that there is a new entry pertaining to their writing.
You may also comment on comments. This is a great way to start a conversation. Each comment has a "Reply" link at the bottom. If you click on it, then you will be permitted to leave a comment.
It is important to leave comments in the right places. If someone posts a story and a reviewer leaves a comment and you have an opinion on what the reviewer said, be sure to reply to the reviewer's comment and not the entry. Most people have their accounts enabled so that comments are sent to their email, expediting replies.
How do I use an LJ cut?
A LiveJournal cut places a link in your entry that will take readers to the comments page to read the entry in its entirety. This is how stories will be posted in the community, both to minimize the length of entries in the journal and to keep unwitting readers from encountering material that they find offensive. Please see the LiveJournal FAQs for information on how to create an LJ cut.
How do I change fonts, create italics, use links, etc?
LiveJournal uses html. You will need to use the html codes to change the way your entry looks. Again, the LiveJournal FAQs are helpful in this matter.
Please contact me if you have any questions about or problems using the community. I want all people to be able to enjoy this community and benefit from it, and it is hard to have fun when you are more worried about using the service than participating in a good discussion.
I may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any sorts of questions. There is no such thing as a dumb question! We all started at the same place--at the beginning--and even the most savvy community member was uncertain once.