Tuesday, January 01, 2002

Submit an Article

To submit an article to Wind Lines, pilots must be registered as blogger.com users on the Wind Lines site. Click here to request an invitation to become a contributing member of the site. When you get the invitation, click on the link, follow the instructions, and make sure you don't choose to create a new blog: you only want to create a post on the Wind Lines blog.

Or if you are already a member of the Wind Lines blog, click here and then click the orange pencil button to start composing your article.

We are happy to edit your posts to match the style of our web site, so you don't need to worry too much about it. But for our frequent contributors, or anyone who wants to save our hardworking editors some time, here are the style guidelines we use. Keep in mind you can always compose your story and choose Save instead of Publish, and then ask the editors to fix it up for you before publishing. And you can always go back and edit your own posts anytime.


It's best to compose your post in the blogger window in Compose mode, and save frequently as you type. Some people like to compose a story in an another program, which is fine, but it's best to use one that doesn't use formatting, like Notepad in Windows, or TextEdit on a Mac (with Rich Text set to off). If you compose it in Word or another rich text editor, you will need to be sure and copy it in a way that doesn't bring in all the extra HTML. If you have problems with extra formatting copied in that way, you can select your whole post and then use the Remove Formatting icon on the toolbar in blogger Compose mode to remove it all.

Posting Order

Articles will appear in the order they are posted, with new articles appearing above older ones. It's possible to change the post date on your article, which might change the order it appears in the list, but we discourage authors from doing that. Just because a story isn't at the very top of the page doesn't mean it won't be enjoyed for a long time. The web site features the 10 most recent stories, and the rest are always available by navigating various links on the page.


We will edit your post for spelling and very basic grammar, and add commas and periods for readability. Please only use one space between sentences. Slang is okay, especially if used for stylistic reasons. Please spell out paragliding jargon for our non-flying readers: landing zone instead of LZ, cross country instead of XC, etc. Please use the word "and" rather than the shortcut of an ampersand (&). References to altitude should include commas before the hundreds and the word "feet" (e.g., 4,500 feet).

Please do not use any special fonts or font sizes - our site uses only one font and size for stories. You can use bold and italic and underlines and font colors as desired. Be aware underlines might look like clickable links in some cases.

Please don't include references to any possible infractions against local, state or federal laws and regulations. Any references of that nature will be edited as necessary.


When appropriate, we like to have one photo at the top of each story, a thumbnail that is no more than 240 pixels wide (or 150 pixels wide if it's in portrait orientation). If you are using a Flickr photo, you can post the image location of the thumbnail as a URL. The link for that photo, when clicked, should take visitors to a slideshow of all the photos in that set. It's also possible to upload a picture directly to blogger if it's not going to be stored on some other online location. Please do not use captions on your photo thumbnails in the story.

For Flickr photo sets, here is the easiest way to do it. First, decide which photo in your set you want to feature. Choose the Detail view of your set, which will show the exact size thumbnails we want. Right click the one you want and copy the address of the image. Go to your story in blogger, and make sure you are in Compose mode (upper left button on blogger). Put the cursor where you want the picture to appear. Click the picture icon in the toolbar and choose URL, then paste in the address you copied, and click OK. The picture will appear centered in the story. Select the picture, and click the Link icon in the toolbar, which will remove the default link. Go back to the Flickr photo set, and right click on the slideshow button on the upper right, and copy the link. Go back to blogger, make sure the picture is selected, chose the Link icon again, and this time paste in the link to the slideshow. Select the picture again, and then choose right or left for your justification.

If you switch to HTML mode you should see something like this:
<a href="http://www.flickr link to slideshow" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://flickr thumbnail.jpg" /></a>
We like to alternate the justification of headline photos for all stories right and left. We also alternate the justification of multiple photos within the same story. If you embed multiple photos from a single photo set, each one should have a different target when clicked. Generally the first one will be for the slideshow of all photos in the set, and the subsequent ones will lead to lightbox versions of those photos.

Jump Break

If a story is longer than a paragraph, we insert a jump break after the first paragraph, which truncates the story and adds a "Read more..." link. You can insert it from the jump break icon in the toolbar in Compose mode, or type it in during HTML mode. If you look at the HTML version of the story, it looks like this:
...end of initial paragraph.<br />
<!--more--><br />
Start of next paragraph...
Sometimes you need to adjust where the line breaks appear so that when the jump is taken you don't see an extra line break.


If you want to embed video from your online sources, the width should be set to 430 pixels. Both Vimeo and Youtube allow custom widths and will scale the height automatically. We don't need text links below the videos. For Vimeo videos, it's nice to include the title and the author in the embed options. For Youtube videos, we unselect the option to include related videos after the video has been played. It's also possible to upload a video directly to blogger.


Feel free to include links to things that aren't already embedded and linked. We discourage authors from including separate text links to photos, videos, maps, etc. that are already embedded in the story.


We don't use the blogger label feature (these are like tags). Sometimes authors include labels and our editors just have to remove them.


Most of the time our authors welcome comments on their articles, but it's possible to turn off comments for your article if you don't want them.


Please contact us with any questions! Thanks for your contribution to our flying chronicles!