Meeting Log Posting Tutorial

    If you've got a chat log of your meeting ready for posting and are wondering what to do with it, wonder no more. This is what to do with it. Screen shots will be added later to help show the process. These instructions have been tested on Windows XP with Wordpad and Firefox.

    Before the meeting 

    Set up your Second Life preferences to make blogging easier. A screenshot of the relevant settings is attached to this page, click here to view it fullsize.

    • Leave out timestamps: While in Second Life, choose the top menu Edit - Preferences.  Go to the Communications tab and uncheck the box labeled "Show timestamps in chat log." 
    • Leave out instant messages (IMs): From the same menu above, uncheck the box that reads "Log IM in main chat window."

    Note that this is still strongly recommended, even after the introduction of the autologging software. The reason is that the autologger sometimes gets things wrong on days when the sim is particularly laggy, and you may need to use your own chatlog to fill out the incomplete autologging record.

    File preparation

    The updated wiki has a feature to 'paste from Word' or 'paste from Plain Text' found on the first row of editing options, after 'copy' and then 'paste'. This enables guardians to use external editing programs which were not available before. However, it is not necessary to use an external editor when copying and pasting the chat log sent directly to email, from the auto-listener.


    Creating a new wiki page

    Many people have difficulty getting their pages to appear in the right place and in the right order, because the wiki confounds the habits and expectations we have from other programs. In Microsoft Word and Excel and the like, you create a file first and then decide what you will call it and where it will go. The wiki is different, you must start by deciding where the page will be (i.e. which month of which year) and moving there before you create it! (You don't need to decide on a name until you are ready to save the page's contents.)

    1. In your Web browser, navigate to the chat logs page on the wiki, using the sidebar at the left.

    2. Click in the sidebar on the subpage for the year in which the meeting took place, e.g. Chat logs/2009. (If it doesn't exist yet, see How to add a year or month page.)

    3. Click in the sidebar on the subpage for the month in which the meeting took place, e.g. Chat logs/2009/01. (Again, create this if it doesn't already exist.) Ensure that the highlight (a rich green, in the current version of the wiki) is on a month-number (e.g.: "04"), not on the year or on a previously-created post. The main panel of the wiki (where you are reading these words right now) should display the month number and a list of the existing posts in that month. If it does, continue to point 4 below; if it doesn't, click on the "Play as Being Wiki" symbol (the house) in the sidebar at the left and start again with point 1 above.

    4. Click on the "new page" button.

    5. If you have a title ready, type it in now; else you can return to this step once you think of a title. The title goes in the first line of the new page, replacing the words "Page title". The title should be in the form YYYY.MM.DD HH:00 - Make up a title here. For example 2009.07.22 13:00 - Being, Large or Small? (Note the lack of quotation marks, these seem to confuse the month-page generating software). My habit is to write the date and time in the title field, and leave the rest of the name to be filled in later; that way, even if I forgetfully save without completing the title, my page will still be created in the right place.

    6. The first paragraph in the page text should be something like "The Guardian for this meeting was Fael Illyar. The comments are Fael's." Change to match the meeting and commenter. This text should also be italic, you can do that by selecting the text and clicking the Italic button in the editor.

    7. Second paragraph is the opening comment. If you choose to add comments later, you can move forward by simply pressing enter again here.

    8. Now is the time to copy and paste the log you prepared earlier in text editor. Open the text editor window, select all text and select copy from the editor's edit menu (or press CTRL-C after selecting the text). Then move back to the browser and choose paste from the edit menu of the browser (or press CTRL-V).

    9. Use the "insert image" icon along the top row of editing buttons, or "attach image" at the bottom of the page, to add your snapshots to the text at appropriate spots. Hint: Adding one to the top, under the title and "comments by" line will help draw the reader in. Ideally you want the photo to appear large enough to be easily seen but small enough that it doesn't push all the text below the first scroll line.

    10. Click the "Save" button on the top left or the editor. After that, what you've done is saved on the wiki and comments can be added by you or someone else later.

    11. There is one more thing left. Next to the "Print page" button is a dropdown box called "More." Click there and choose the item "Tag". Type in "date:YYYY/MM/DD" where YYYY/MM/DD is the meeting's date in that format. For example "date:2009/07/22". Add more tags as appropriate if you have time, using the tagging guidelines page in this wiki.

    12. Briefly confirm that your page is in the correct location by running through the steps below.

    The most important thing after saving your chat log file is to make sure that you have saved it in the right place, and that the title conforms with the exact same format as used by everybody else. This check takes only a few seconds, if all is well. If you find a problem, you can then repair it in less than a minute. Please make this checking a habit.

    [Note: if you write the title correctly right away, there will be no problem. However, we often make a small mistake in the title. When we notice that, after doing a first "save", and then change the title, the page we have changed looks fine, but the URL will still reflect the old mistaken title. At this point you have to go into the "Move Page" window - see Step 4 below.]

    1. After you have saved your file, click on the numerical month link in which your chat log belongs. You can click either the numerical month link in small font above your chat title (ex: "01" in the long link if it is January) or the numerical month link on the left menu.
    2. Now, as soon as you are on that page, look for your chat log. If it is the correct order with respect to the other chat logs, you are done!
    3. If it is NOT in the right order with respect to other logs, something is wrong in the URL of your page (all pages are ordered with respect to their URL, NOT with respect to their title line).
    4. To change the URL, go back to your chat log by clicking on the title as it appears on page "01" (if it is January, "02" for February, and so on).
    5. In the orange menu bar click on More->Move Page. A window appears named "Move page".
    6. The first box should contain "Chat_Logs/2009/01/" (if it is 2009, January). If anything appears there that is NOT the correct year and month, please correct the year and/or month.

    7. Now ensure the second box is correct. Correct as necessary as follows:

     The second box should contain the EXACT SAME line as your title line. For example, if the chat log has the title:

    2009.01.10 19:00 - Deep Appreciation or Wonder

    then the second line should also be exactly and precisely:

    2009.01.10 19:00 - Deep Appreciation or Wonder

    Once corrected, click the "Move Page" button.
    Confirm it is correct by going back to Steps 1 and 2.
    Pat yourself on the back for being a wiki-navigating-name-saving expert!

    [Note also that any of the other typical mistakes show up as soon as you go to the "01" or equivalent monthly page: mistakes like writing "2009/01/10" instead of "2009.01.10" stand out like a sore thumb there -- as do "2009.01.10 7pm" instead of "2009.01.10 19:00", and so on.]

    Adding comments to the meeting log

    To break up the log lines so that you can add a comment:

    1.Move the cursor to the end of the line after which you want to add the comment.
    2. Press enter.
    3. Click the button "decrease indent; it's the fourth from right side on the lower row.
    4.Type in your comment.

    If you make a mistake and need to edit the log back to what it was, it's useful to remember that pressing enter creates a new paragraph. If you want just a linefeed, press shift-enter.


    During the meeting
    Snapshots can greatly enhance the value of this meeting record.

    Create better lighting: Set your environmental controls to midday for best lighting. Experiment with the others to get dramatic effects.
    Get permission: If you see someone who is new to a Play as Being meeting, ask them if it's okay to take snapshots. Almost everyone will agree.
    Vary the shots: Snapshots of individual participants are especially helpful, as are snapshots taken from different angles (the camera controls toolbar can be activated from the view menu and will help you change your point of focus).
    Save the images to your computer: These can be saved to your hard drive using radio buttons that show after you click the "snapshot" button at the bottom of your Second Life window. (If you mistakenly save the image to your Inventory in-world, fear not: doubleclick on the image, then save it to your hard disk with the command "File/Save as". This will create a Targa file (.TGA), you will need to convert this to PNG or JPG format using an image editor like Photoshop: the wiki will let you upload a TGA file without complaint or warning, but you will be unable to use it in the page.)
    Record the names (first name only is fine): A handy way to do this is to take a plain screen shot using your "print screen" button on a PC keyboard or Apple-Shift-3 on a Mac. All the avatar names will show over their heads in the screen shot. Don't post this image, but use it as a guide in writing captions for those you upload.
    Post to a Flickr account: A Play as Being group has been created in Flickr; all Guardians who wish to add their Play as Being snapshots to the Flickr group should request an invitation to be added as an administrator. These Flickr images will show as a slide show within the wiki for added visual interest.
    To help you take your snapshots, Linden Labs employee Torley Linden has created a treasure trove of how-to videos, including some on taking snapshots in Second Life.

    Using camera controls

    <object width="425" height="344"><param value=";fs=1" name="movie"/><param value="true" name="allowFullScreen"/><embed width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src=";fs=1"/></object>

    Quick guide to snapshots

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=";fs=1"/><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"/><embed width="425" height="344" src=";fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"/></object>

    File preparation


    If Posting a File from Back-up:

    (If you know of an editor that has something that makes it easy to remove the timestamps, please add it to the list):

    Before you post the first version of your log:

    • Get the chat log text: Guardians can copy and paste the text from the chat log window in Second Life into a new text file in Notepad or Wordpad. Alternatively, if you have chat logging turned on in preferences, you can find and use the chat log file which was saved automatically by Second Life. Be sure to save it as a plain text file, no matter where it originated.
    • Identify the Guardian and commenter: Make sure to add a line at the top in which you say who you are, like "XXX was the guardian, and the comments are his/hers" or something like that.
    • Remove extraneous information: Read the entire log and remove all lines that shouldn't be included, including the remarks of those who asked not to be published, group notices, IMs, teleport history, and in-world status messages. The wiki will contain full edit history of every page, so whatever you post will be there to stay for anyone who looks at the history.
    • Replace "You" with your name: Use your text editor's find and replace function to replace every instance of "You:" with your SL name. For example, if you were Fael Illyar, you would replace every "You:" with "Fael Illyar:".
    • Remove timestamps: If your chat log contains timestamps, remove them during editing. The Windows utility TextPad can record keystrokes into macros for easy removing of timestamps; for Mac users, the shareware editor Tex-Edit Plus can find "looks like" matches for easy deletion.


    Linking to a web-page outside the PaB Wiki

    This took me a few minutes to figure out, so I will explain it to save your time. Let's say that you want the words my blog to be a link to "".

    1. Write the paragraph in which the link occurs, just as normal text without any special formatting. Then highlight the words "my blog" i.e. where the user should click.
    2. Click on the "Insert/Update link" icon in the toolbar above, the blue underlined "L". A dialog named "Update link" opens. Ensure that the first tab "Search" is active. The words that you highlighted ("my blog") will be in the upper field.
    3. Type (or copy-and-paste) the URL "" into that field, overwriting "my blog", then click on the "Update link" button below.

    That's it! 

    Correcting Log Titles and log order


    The Wiki will always remember the first title you put on the page as the page address. This becomes the URL. It them sorts it according to URL. This will ALWAYS happen if you use the chat log notification, paste it into a new page, and then save the page temporarily while you are editing it and thinking of a title.


    To remedy this after the fact (rather than prevent it), do the following:


    1. Display your page, making sure you're logged in. You'll see that Page_Title is the last part of the URL.. (You do NOT need to edit it it!)

    2. Highlight the bold title at the top of your log page (assuming it's the one you want) and copy it to your cut and paste buffer (e.g. ctrl-C on a PC). This will be in the form "2009.12.09 19:00 - Mentoring 101" or whatever you want.

    3. In the orange/yellow bar at the top, click on "More" and then "Move Page".

    4. You'll see a popup that includes a second line of "Title: Page Title". Overwrite this by pasting in the real title from your cut and paste buffer (ctrl-V on a PC)

    5. Click the blue button on the popup that says "Move Page".

    6. Make coffee. You're done.

    Tag page (Edit tags)
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    Files 1

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    Prefernces setting to omit timestamps from chat log
    29.75 kB23:18, 9 Apr 2010wolActions
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