Decide where you want your Trail to lead. Looking for inspiration, and to help others? Choose a Request to answer or just share what you know. Later, you can connect your Trail to a Request, since you will get notifications of Requests that share the same tags as your Trails. The best Trails lead somewhere more meaningful than a total meander of random web browsing.
The Tracker is best for when you are just getting started, as it just Tracks you as you browse the web, collecting the URLs (as nodes of the Trail) in the sequence you visit them. In the Trail Editor, you can refine what you tracked before publishing the Trail for other to see.
The Trails Bookmarklet lets you be one-click away from Trail building without having to start at the Trails.by website. Simply drag the Trails Bookmarklet to your Bookmarks toolbar of your browser, and then when you find a great URL, click the bookmarklet, and automagically you are building a Trail.
Remember, when you are done adding URLs to your Trail, simply go back to Trails.by and in the upper right signed-in user bar click the little Trails logo (the one that reveals 'my trails, favorites, by community, by interest') . Click the 'Trail in Process' link to go directly to the Trail you have been building.
Go directly to the Trail Editor with the 'Start with Your Content' link above if you've already built a number of Trails, or if you bulk added lots of URLs to your library already. This will take you to a 'blank canvas' to which you simply drag nodes up from your content library onto the canvas to build a Trail. Note: If you have hundreds of urls to import, you should consider using the CSV upload tool found at /my/library. You must be signed in to visit /my/library.(Learn more...)
After you have created a Trail, you can refine it before making it public. This is done in the Trail Editor, where you can toss out nodes you do not want, re-arrange the shape of a Trail from the default left-to-right line, adding tangents and forks if you feel it makes the Trail clearer. You can also change the sequence nodes are experienced if viewers opt to use the 'next' and 'previous' buttons.
Finally, hit the 'More Details' button in the Trail editor to give a description and tags to your Trail, and, if you want (and we want you to!) propose your Trail an answer to a Request. Note: If you previously clicked the 'Make a Trail to answer this Request' button from a Request's page, your Trail will already share the tags from the Request and will be automatically linked from that Request's page as a proposed answer Trail. Additionally, the Request owner will receive a one-time email that a Trail has been proposed for their Request.
Tags are a convenient, personalized way to describe your Trails and Requests. Tags help others find what matters to them, and help you find the Trail and Requests others are making that you care about. Additionally, when you create a Trail or Request, notifications are sent to those who have opted to follow the tags used to describe it. That is, if you make a Trail tagged with 'food, recipe, indian,' I will get notified if I subscribe to any of those tags. Nice, huh?
Use the Bulk Upload tool in 'My Content Library,' which is linked to from the the Trails icon in the upper right, on the signed-in user bar.
Select a CSV (comma separated values) file from your local drive, making sure the format is "URL","tag1, tag2, tag3". example:
"theonion.com","news, politics, satire, funny"
Only a URL is required, you can add as many tags as you want, just comma-separate them, making sure to keep them contained, though, in one set of quotes -- what your program might called 'field delimiters'.
Add a 'Title' to the 'Title' field in the Bulk Upload tool, to create a Trail automatically from the URLs in the CSV file.
Yes, simply click the 'Start with my content' option from the 'Create Trail' page. The Trail Editor will be blank, and you simply drag content up from your library to start a Trail.
Drag the Trails logo to your browser's Bookmarks toolbar. Then, surf the web. Whenever you want to add a URL to a Trail, click the bookmarklet and the current URL will be added to your Trail. The logo is found at the 'Create Trail' page, at '/bookmarklet' and in the upper left corner of every page on http://trails.by.
When you are signed in, wherever you see your Trail (home page, My Trails, search results) simply roll over the Trail to see the 'Change Image' button, just above the play, edit, delete and share buttons.
After clicking the 'Change Image' button, you will have two options for choosing a cover image: browse through the images in the nodes of your Trail, or from a URL directly. Rollover image thumbnails to see a big version, click the image you want and you can then draw a rectangle around the portion you want to use as your cover image. The width will be scaled to 200 pixels, so, it is best to choose tall slices rather than wide slices.
You can add new URLs directly to your content library in two easy ways. If you are in the Trail Editor already, simply click the '+Bookmark' button atop the content library. The library will refresh (or you can hit the refresh button to force it) with your newly added bookmark at the top.
Alternately, if you are signed in, you can add URLs that show up in search results directly to you content library by clicking the [+] sign on the left of every search result. Later, when you are editing a Trail, the URL will bein your content library, just waiting for you to drag it into a Trail...waiting... hoping...plotting!
Almost certainly, maybe! Trails are tested on combinations of Macs, and Windows and Ubuntu running Chrome, Firefox, IE8+, occasionally Safari and others. Trails work, to some degree, on mobile platforms iOS and Android, but as we aim to deliver native mobile apps sooner rather than later, 100% mobile compliance is not yet achieved. We take advantage of 'fluid design' to allow for pleasing mobile experiences, and there is a text-version available with a click of upper-right hand link on the home page.
Use tags to help specify the focus of the Request. People who have subscribed to those interests will get an email when a new Request (or Trail) is made using those tags. They can then make you an answer Trail!
Certainly. Trails serve as a hybrid of socially curated bookmarks and Q&A sites specifically by enabling (heck, encouraging) the Trails as "the set of sites curated by you to answer a particular question." So, yes, be specific as you want, and use narrow and broad tags to help notify other people interested in the same topics.
Tags help specify the focus of the Request. People who have subscribed to those interests will get an email when a new Request (or Trail) is made using those tags. They can then make you an answer Trail!
Yes, yes you can. There are two ways to clone a trail:
From the trail overview page (which has a URL like 'trails.by/anotherperson/the-name-of-the-trail') click the 'Clone' button in the upper right, next to the 'View' button.
From the /home page or search results or anywhere you see the Trail (with the cool cover image) there is a row of buttons on the bottom. Mouseover each button to see its function, the second button from the left will clone the Trail.
On a Trail overview page, you can leave comments for the Trail creator, as well as any user who views the Trail. Of course, if you really like the Trail, feel free to subscribe to the user's public activity. You can subscribe to a user by signing in and adding their name at /my/community and from the upper-right Tools dropdown in the upper right of a Trail overview or when walking a Trail.
You must be signed in to flag a Trail, and it is as simple as clicking the 'Notify Admins' checkbox in the upper-right Tools dropdown. Please flag a trail if you think it is obscene, genuinely inappropriate, or runs afoul of valid Intellectual Property claims. However, just give it a downvote if you just don't like it.