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1 Charles Johnson  Wed, Oct 6, 2010 4:03:23pm

Excellent! Been meaning to do something like this - thanks for taking the ball and running with it.

All good tips. Also, use tags when appropriate. Tags are a handy way to create your own categories, since you can view Pages by tags.

2  Wed, Oct 6, 2010 7:04:59pm

I took your #3 to heart:

3. Limit your fair Use quotes

Quoting too much text from an article could end you in court for copyright violation - if you take the heart and soul of someone’s article and post it whole hog here, then there’s no reason to “read more” or “read the rest”. Make sure you are being fair to the original author. If you are critiquing, commenting, or analyzing another article, use just the segments that cover the points you are talking about. General rule of thumb: For short articles, one para, for medium articles, 2-3 paras, for long articles 3-5.

And am now trying to limit what I quote from a story.
This has had the benefit of making me think a little harder about the story and add my own thoughts. I was in the habit of thinking that people are thinking the same thing I’m thinking, and so no commentary by me was necessary, but of course, that’s not true.

Now, on “tags” - sometimes I do use the general category as a “tag” (for instance, there is a category of “environment”, and I will also use “environment” as a tag), and if Charles ever does what he said he’s thinking of doing, that is, reduce the number of categories to fewer and broader ones, then using the current category names as tags may not be a bad idea, at least for now.

3 CuriousLurker  Wed, Oct 6, 2010 8:44:30pm

Great stuff, Randall.

Gah! I was almost done with my list of tips and then I accidentally navigated to a previous page and lost everything. I hate that!

Anyway, here’s my 2¢:

• Paragraphs – If you’re writing a long commentary, try to limit your paragraphs to a maximum of a couple of inches of vertical screen real estate. I know it’s not always possible to do, but if you do it most of the time, your readers will thank you.

• Lists – Use bulleted or numbered lists as Randall has done above. We may not be able to use proper HTML lists, but we can use Unicode characters. To create a middle dot like I’m using in this list, you can type in • (see the end of this comment for more on Unicode symbols).

• Emphasis – Make judicious use of bold & italic text. Not only will this help people understand your meaning, but it’s also important to the search engines because they give more weight to words enclosed in the <strong> and <em> tags. From an HTML perspective, strong carries more weight than emphasis as it means “strong emphasis”. From a typography perspective, it’s considered exceedingly bad form (aesthetically speaking), so please don’t apply both to the same word or phrase unless you absolutely can’t avoid it. Ditto for bolding or italicizing all caps.

• Subheadings – This is another thing that’s helpful when reading long commentaries, so please create some subheadings using bold text. They’ll make it much easier for readers to quickly scan the page and get the gist of what you’re saying. Additionally, it will help them locate info they were particularly interested in if they come back to the page later.

• Books – If you mention a book, please link to its Amazon page so LGF will get credit for any click-throughs.

• Bloggers – For those of you who link to articles on your own blog, please, please, please do two things: 1.) Use the default link to the LGF page so that when people click on the title in the sidebar it takes them to the LGF page and not your blog. 2.) Provide at least a brief description regarding what the post is about instead of just a link. I don’t know about others, but unless you created a really compelling title, I’m not going to click through to read your post (I don’t find enigmatic titles compelling).

More on Unicode Symbols

Below is a short list of Unicode symbols. You can also download this PDF from Adobe. It contains two charts: the standard & extended character sets for Windows apps. It doesn’t matter that it’s for Windows (although there’s also a Mac version) as you’re only going to use part of it.

Locate the character you want to type, then look in the column that says “ASCII char code” and get the 3-digit code. Now prepend &# to the code and append a semicolon. For example, &#176; will give you the degree symbol, so if I type 59&#176; I get 59°.

Caveat: When using the chart from Adobe PDF, you can insert the “standard” characters (on page 1) directly into the text box by holding down the Alt key and prepending a zero to the 3-digit symbol code, BUT trying to do the same with the “standard expert” characters will send your browser back to the last page and trash everything you just wrote. I don’t know if it does that on a Mac, but it sure does in Windows (which is how I lost what I’d typed earlier).

&#9608; █
&#9617; ░
&#9618; ▒
&#9619; ▓
&#9632; ■
&#9644; ▬
&#9650; ▲
&#9658; ►
&#9660; ▼
&#9668; ◄
&#9675; ○
&#9688; ◘
&#9689; ◙
&#9786; ☺
&#9787; ☻
&#9788; ☼
&#9792; ♀
&#9794; ♂
&#9824; ♠
&#9827; ♣
&#9829; ♥
&#9830; ♦
&#9834; ♪
&#9835; &#9835

4 Dancing along the light of day  Wed, Oct 6, 2010 8:57:48pm

Excellent suggestions!
I will try to follow them!
I’m very guilty of quoting the entire article!

5 Usually refered to as anyways  Thu, Oct 7, 2010 1:09:14am

Evening All

For anyone who is got nothing better to do, waste 5 minutes looking at this.

6 Usually refered to as anyways  Thu, Oct 7, 2010 1:14:41am

Apologies Randell,

To many windows open, posted in the wrong thread.
But thank you, I did enjoy your article.

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