|skalja (skalja) wrote in scans_daily,|
@ 2009-11-14 11:47 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||admin: faq, admin: mod post|
POSTING AT SCANS_DAILY: THE WALKTHROUGH.
So, you've joined the community, you've been commenting a while, and you're ready to take the leap – your very first scans_daily post! But what makes the difference between a really strong scans_daily entry that generates lots of discussion and interest, and one that's just … okay?
Who is this guide for?
Maybe you've never had a journal on website using the LiveJournal codebase before – meaning any of LJ itself, Dreamwidth, InsaneJournal or a handful of others – and you don't know how to mark up your posts so they display correctly. You don't know how to make lj-cuts or those nifty links with the faces in front of them, and you're intimidated by the idea of writing html. Not to worry! This guide is for you. We can't promise to have you writing webpages, but we will help you participate at scans_daily.
Or maybe you're comfortable with that stuff already, and you know how to make a post that follows our Posting Checklist and everything, but you're looking for ideas to make your posts better all around. We also have some suggestions for you, though we also suggest you try the Technical Resources.
What if I'm looking for something else?
- If you're generally familiar with LJ coding but trying to figure out this Dreamwidth thing, you should start by checking out Dreamwidth's own FAQs.
- If you're fine with coding and want to make sure your post is rules-compliant and properly formatted, you're looking for the Posting Checklist.
- If you're looking for technical tips, resources, and suggestions from fellow members, try here.
- If you're looking for something else, first look at our userinfo/basic rules and FAQ masterlist, then if you're really lost contact the mods using the e-mail at the bottom of this post.
This guide assumes you've read the userinfo and Posting Checklist linked above as well as the Definitions Page, so if you haven't yet, do so now. LiveJournal novices, do not panic if you're not sure how to follow the checklist – that's what this guide is for.
Step 1 – Choosing your material.
Presumably you have something in mind or you wouldn't even be reading this, but you should always keep two things in mind when choosing scans to post:
- The 1/3rd rule: in sum, no more than 1/3rd of a single story or physical text can be posted in the entirety of the community's archives. (Exceptions made for stories shorter than 2 pages in length.) It is your responsibility to make your post conform to the 1/3rd rule. Practically speaking, this means checking tags to ensure that no pages from the issue or story have already been posted and checking the page count of the story or text to ensure you don't exceed a third. For a quick guideline, a third of a standard US format comic would be 7 pages.
There are more details on the 1/3rd rule in the Posting Checklist; please contact the mods if you have any questions before posting.
- Make sure that somebody else hasn’t already posted what you’re planning on posting. First of all, it's redundant and a waste of your time. More importantly, it's quite rude to post something that another poster has already got on the community. It splits discussion over different posts, making it hard to follow. If you do this, the mods will comment with a picture of Bill Murray.
NB: this mostly applies for recent and relatively recent comics. It's not a big deal if you're reposting material last seen more than 6 months ago, although you still need to follow the 1/3rd rule. In other words, you can repost part of a story that the community's seen before, but if 1/3rd of it has already been posted, you can't add any new material.
Step 2 - Creating the scans.
We have to assume that you have (access to) a scanner and some idea of how to use it, and at least rudimentary knowledge of whatever image manipulation program you have on your computer. There are many, many versions of both scanners and image manip programs, and if you need help with either you will have to look elsewhere. Sorry! But we can give you some tips.
If you are using your own scanner, cropping the borders, other pages, or your hand off the image makes them look more professional. Taking photos of pages rarely produces good quality results.
The ideal size of scans is about 800-900 pixels wide. Most scanners scan images larger than this, so use your image manip program to resize down – this is also when you play with brightness/contrast, sharpness, etc. If you need/want larger scans for whatever reason, use thumbnails (more on that later). If your scans are much smaller, be prepared for people to say “I can’t read that.”
Once you have scans, you need to upload them. Only direct link to images on your own web space. If you'd like to point out scans on someone else's webspace to the community, please use a text link. (Note that a text link does not count as a scan, and scans are required to post.)
Imageshack (recommended by stubbleupdate) is a good place to host pictures. If you are hosting on imageshack, make sure that you use their advanced hosting (at the top of the page) and insert that into an image tag (see below).
You can find more suggestions for image hosts in the Technical Resources.
Step 3 - Formatting your post.
Finally, time to write your post! … Now, how do you write your post?
You can write Dreamwidth entries using either the web entry form or a client, which is a program for posting to journaling sites that use the LJ codebase. As of this writing, skalja has been using Semagic on Windows for around six years and is quite fond. However, there are many other good ones.
In both the form and the client, there should be a drop-down bar which lets you select the journal you're posting to -- in the entry form it is in fact labeled "post to" (right underneath "post as"). Click on it and select scans_daily; otherwise your entry will go to your own journal by default.
To create your entry, let's start from the top down. First, the SUBJECT LINE. Because this is the only thing users see when browsing the archives, you want this to be as descriptive as possible – we strongly encourage title and issue number where applicable. “Batman” is kind of meh. “Detective Comics #500” is much better. “Nightwing kicks ass (and has a great one) in Detective Comics #500” is great.
Next, the BODY OF THE ENTRY.
In order to get the most out of Dreamwidth – not to mention, to follow the rules at scans_daily! – you need to know some html. You probably know that html is the basic computer language of the web, and although that might sound intimidating to the non-computer-savvy, it's actually very straightforward. You also only need to know a few commands rather than the complete structure of the language.
(NB: Many people refer to HTML commands as tags or markup tags, but this guide is aimed at beginners, and since we also refer to LJ/DW tags quite frequently we decided not to confuse the issue. Image tags are still referred to as image tags, since that's the only name we've ever seen for them.)
HTML uses two-part commands typed around a section of text that act upon that text for a certain effect. They always take the form <command>Your text here</command>.
For example, if you type:
<i>Robin! What have I done to you?</i>
It will display as:
Robin! What have I done to you?
Never forget to close your html commands. If you do, the computer thinks it's supposed to apply the tag from that point onwards, and strange things can happen.
The two most important commands you need to know for scans_daily are the lj-cut and the image tag.
The lj-cut is an LJ Codebase specific command that hides part of your entry behind a link when displayed as part of the journal's main page (or on someone's friendslist, etc). On scans_daily we use cuts to hide scans so that the dozens if not hundreds of cumulative images loading on the same page don't crash people's browsers. We also use them to hide spoilers and nsfw content. More details on when to use a cut are in the Posting Checklist.
To create a basic lj-cut on Dreamwidth, you have several options:
your entry here
OR (Dreamwidth only)
your entry here
And that's it! Note that LJ/DW will automatically put a return between the last text behind the cut and the close cut command, for those perfectionists amongst you.
If you want the text of your cut to say something specific, like, “To find out what happens to Supergirl next, click here!” write:
<lj-cut text="link text here">
your entry here
OR (Dreamwidth only)
<cut text=link text here>
your entry here
Note that the Dreamwidth version of the cut does not put link text in quotes. Both versions of the cut will work at Dreamwidth, but only <lj-cut> works on LJ or any other site using the LJ codebase.
Now you need there to be actual scans behind the cut. This is what the image tag is for.
This is a basic image tag – instead of hxxp://yourlinkhere.com/example.jpg, paste in the link to one of the scans you've uploaded to your webspace, and the image will display in the entry.
To create a thumbnail (those small pictures which link to larger versions of the same picture), you define the size of your thumbnail in pixels within the image tag. Then you make that image into a link to the large version, like so:
There are many other fancy things you can do with image tags, but that's for you to find out on your own.
Other html commands useful for writing entries:
<a href=”hxxp://link.com">link name</a> (link url goes in the quotes)
<em>italics optimized for web accessibility</em>
<strong>bold optimized for web accessibility</strong>
Commands specific to LJ and DW:
<lj user=”journal”> : LJ or DW user/community
<user name=journal> : same, but DW only
<user name=journal site=host.com> : also DW only, allows you to link to a user/community on any site using the LJ codebase
DW's full list of allowed commands is here. Dreamwidth has a list of DW-specific commands here.
So now you've written the body of your entry, scans and everything. Last but not least, don't forget the TAGS. Tagging your entry lets people find your post based on subject matter – it takes two seconds and makes scans_daily's archive that much easier to use, so tag what you can. Other users will also be able to add tags to your post.
Full guidelines for scans_daily's tagging system are here. This tutorial was written by foxhack, tag wrangler extraordinaire.
Step 4 – In your own words.
Congratulations! Your entry is rules-compliant and properly coded. Now, if only you knew what to say...
Lots of scans without much commentary can be difficult to understand. Lots of text with a contractually obligated scan at the end is dull. Your post should strike a balance between the two. Explain what you’re posting - page numbers can be useful for those of us who want to find a hard copy. Say what’s going on, so that the reader understands a bit about what’s being shown. Say why you like it. These all help to make for interesting and thoughtful discussions on scans_daily.
Be prepared to justify your opinions, whether you think something is better than sliced bread (Ex Machina #1) or as pleasant as shaking hands with your dad’s proctologist (Batman: Fortunate Son). Yours is not the only opinion on scans_daily. Be prepared for disagreement and respond to it civilly.
NB: Keep off topic posts to a minimum. In this community, on topic means scans. Interviews, videos, fanart, essays, self-promotion, news and other miscellany are welcome, so long as they come in the context of a larger, scans-focused posts. Keep in mind that this is not a general comics discussion community - it's a scans community. Our scanless, discussion-only affiliate noscans_daily can be found at LiveJournal, but keep in mind you can't post scans, videos, or any kind of external media there.
Step 5 - Check and double check.
This is where you want to make sure that you've coded and spelled everything correctly, that you're actually posting to scans_daily and not your own journal or some other community, that you've set the age restriction and marked for NSFW if your post is NSFW, chosen the icon you want to use, and all that good stuff.
Step 6 - Hit “post entry.”
Congratulations! You're done.
And so are we! Thanks for reading.
- the mod team
FURTHER INFORMATION ON USING THE LJ CODEBASE:
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