We have written this document to answer any and all questions you may have about our Blog. We intend it to be used by anyone who feels it might help, which is why it is licensed with a Creative Commons license (which means that you can simply reuse it as you wish as long as you provide a link, or even embed it or link it directly in your site or blog).

Why and how should I comment?

Are you engaging in trackback or pingback spam?

How can I get access to encrypted sections?

How are your articles formatted?

Title

Intro

Images

Sources / More info

Categories or Labels

Tags or predefined searches

Embedded videos or documents

Summary / details tags

Do you accept guest posts?

How to proceed with an interview?

How can I make sure I don’t miss your articles?

How do I embed or otherwise use this document?

Why and how should I comment?

Some people comment as a way to express a reaction to what they have just read. Most blog authors (us included) welcome and encourage good comments. What constitutes “good comments” varies greatly. We prefer intelligent, critical and anonymous comments to comments with a seemingly clear identity but short on substance. We recommend TOR for anonymity and privacy.

In general, we prefer good arguments and even criticism, as long as it refers to ideas and not so much to the author. In other words, we strongly dislike personal attacks (ad hominem) but we do accept some ironies or slight attacks when they come with a good argument against an idea. A comment that consists solely of an attack against the author, without any criticism for an idea expressed in the article, is likely to be deleted and earn the author a ban.

A comment of general praise followed by a link to another website is generally spam. For this reason, we are not terribly excited by general praise (or general, non-specific criticism), and comments with a link are sent to moderation or spam automatically. Frequent commenters may earn the right to comment with links without having their comments go to moderation.

We cannot offer much support for commenting other than the above. To get an avatar (an image other than the generic one) you might have to create a profile on Gravatar (for Wordpress and others) and / or on Disqus. If you would like to add an external link to your comments, you might want to add it under “Your Site / URL” if the commenting system allows it or just add it to your profile in Disqus. You may also use goo.gl URL shortener. (For example, if you were to refer to this document, you could first get a short URL from http://goo.gl, such as http://goo.gl/EtTdAs. You may write in your comment “... the FAQ [googl EtTdAs]. “ thereby giving the interested reader a link without going into moderation.)

We also keep a list of words that could get your comment blacklisted. Although we generally dislike swearing, we might accept swearing in comments as long as it is used to add some “bite” to an otherwise well argumented comment. Unfortunately, most swear words are used inside comments that add nothing of value to the conversation. If you really feel like swearing, please consider using some metaphor (i.e., “intellectualize” your insults). We always try to err on the side of approving too many comments rather than too few, in the belief that even questionable comments are (or should be) more detrimental to the person making them rather than the person who is targetted.

Are you engaging in trackback or pingback spam?

We have never engaged in any kind of spam.

We rely on BlogIdol Trackback Pingback to let other bloggers know that we have quoted their articles with a link. This services parses our full feed and then goes through each link and tries to ping it. As a result, some of it may be identified as “spam” by software designed to catch such spam, because the originating IP of the trackback is not the same as the IP of the original article. Most of our outside links are listed at the end of the article, in Sources / More info, abbreviated. One way to find your link is “view source”, then Ctrl+F to search for your URL or web address. For more explanations, please see below in the section devoted to article formatting.

How can I get access to encrypted sections?

We use encryption that relies solely on browser-side JavaScript (as detailed on BlogIdol) and as such is completely outside the purview of our provider. As a first step to obtaining the password, you might want to complete our survey / contact form. After completing the form, there are several ways to receive the password for an article you are interested in:

  1. Ask in a comment to the article with the encrypted section. Unless you used the same email address as in the comment to complete our survey, your request will be ignored.
  2. Ask for in the survey to be included in our password mailing list. You will receive a “temporary master password” monthly (or more seldom). You could then use this password in conjunction with Stanford PwdHash or Amit Agarwal's solution as explained on ConsumedConsumer.org.
  3. We may also offer a possibility to obtain past and current passwords online, on-demand, bypassing a mailing list. If you prefer to wait for this rather than getting a password through one of the aforementioned methods, please indicate this in the survey.

You may express your preference for a specific method of password delivery in the survey form. Completing the survey is a necessary but not sufficient condition of getting a password. Donating money or bitcoin to our blog, having placed ads here or having commented extensively or even having published as a guest poster increase your chances of receiving a password, but there’s no guarantee.

How are your articles formatted?

We have developed an article structure that we feel is a good compromise between our writing style and the needs of our readers.

  1. Title

We like to use a clever title that draws the reader to the article while summarizing somehow what the article is about. A title that is catchy but has nothing to do with the content is to be avoided.

  1. Intro

We start each article with a short summary of what will follow. In the code of the article, we enclose the first and possibly second sentence in “span” tags with the id “description” so that it is easier for spiders to parse, since we cannot always set a specific description meta tag for each article. Normally, what follows after the closing span tag is the !--more-- comment which tells the blogging platform to insert a “read more” link. If we feel that a longer text than what could fit in a meta description tag is warranted, the excedent goes after the closing span tag and before the “more” delimiter.

  1. Images

Our articles start with a square image, usually from a CreativeCommons licensed original. We link to the original (when known) in Sources (see below) and also with link on the image. The image generally has a small watermark in the lower right corner with our URL and, if known, the site where it is from or the name of its author. We try to keep the alt tag descriptive and informative. We also try to use images in jpg (mostly) or gif (when animated or transparent) format as they use less space than png, for instance.

  1. Sources / More info

As we use a multitude of sources and pointers in our articles, we try to disclose them all at the end. We have in the past tried to include links within the text of the article, but some readers complained that it made the text more difficult to follow. For this reason, we usually create an abbreviation consisting of a short name of the source, followed by dash and then an abbreviation of the title. We include target=_blank so that the link opens in a new tab, and in the title tags we use the actual full title of the document or an extended quote. We indicate in the text by the name of the link where the link was used. Not all the links are always used, chiefly because some links are there only to provide more info to anyone interested.

  1. Categories or Labels

The categories or labels are the “semantic skeleton” of our blog. They represent the main keywords our articles (for a given blog) fall under and each article has one or more such category. You may even subscribe to specific categories alone if you so wish. A list of all the categories of the blog is published at the end or in a sidebar, and clicking it will display the articles listed in that particular category. There are always far less labels or categories than tags.

  1. Tags or predefined searches

Tags are simply keywords that when clicked will display articles containing that keyword. They are a way to search for a word that may not necessarily have made it as a blog “label” but may nonetheless reveal articles of interest to the reader.

  1. Embedded videos or documents

We link to videos or documents in such a way as when clicked in the desktop version, they open in a small and clearly marked window, usually in a right-hand sidebar. If you would rather open it in a new tab, you might want to right click on it and choose “open in new tab” if your browser has that capability. If you are on a platform where right clicking is not possible, you might want to click and hold, or click while pressing a special button (option or alt or ctrl) to open a context menu where there is usually a “new tab” option. Embedded videos or documents usually contain in one corner a button that allows opening in a new, full window or going to the source page.

  1. Summary / details tags

We sometimes quote at length in our articles and we recognize that the reader might not want to go through that entire quotation. We enclose such text in a “details” tag, with its summary in a “summary” tag. Some browsers (Opera, Chrome, Chromium) recognize these HTML5 tags and display the summary with an arrow next to it. When clicking the arrow, the rest of the longer text opens. Firefox or Internet Explorer do not have, as yet, this functionality. There is a way to enable such browsers to display this text as intended but we do not normally implement it, as it usually results in increased loading times for our articles. If you feel that our articles and quotes are too long, please consider using one of the aforementioned browsers to see our articles in their full intended splendor.

We use Windows Live Writer to help with formatting.

Do you accept guest posts?

We do accept guest posts but we do not guarantee that all submitted articles would be published. We are also interested in long-term collaborators. We prefer articles that match our blog general theme, are original and have not been published elsewhere, and we provide not only a link back to a website of the author’s choosing, but also a quick profile and a link on the entire website for each guest author whose article has generated the most unique viewers in the previous month (in the event there is more than one guest author in any month). So don’t be shy, email your article using this blog email address right away! If you prefer, you may also submit it via our survey form.

How to proceed with an interview?

We are always happy to answer interview requests, provided that they are within the bounds of a specific assumed identity and that I get a copy of the final draft before publishing and my eventual corrections are included in the published version.

How can I make sure I don’t miss your articles?

The best way is to subscribe to our articles by email. It is free and we provide two kinds of “feeds”: a full feed and a partial feed. The full feed has the entire article at the time of publishing and may include a banner or ad at the end of each article, while the partial feed only has the first few words and is and will always be ad-free.

You may like our Facebook (or Google Plus) page and get notification of new articles that way, though this is usually delayed by a few hours compared to an email or feed subscription.

How do I embed or otherwise use this document?

This document ID is 1BAS2J3pusQV-muFmrOpsKsSUOaRMf9J5j995Fn69kSc - we shall call this [ID]

All links to Google Documents start with docs dot google com preceded by https and colon-slash-slash. We shall call this [prefix] and we present information this way because sometimes the Google Drive app might interpret strangely such links and remove important info from our instructions.

A link to a public Googe Document can generally be constructed by [prefix]/document/d/[ID]

To embedded it, use the aforementioned link in the iframe src, after adding at the end /pub?embedded=true

We will also soon be publishing this document on GitHub.com/ibonobo, under the same license terms, as soon as we reach a satisfactory stage of completion.

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Copyright © 2014 The Indelible Bonobo.

General Blogging FAQ by Indelible Bonobo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

Based on a work at BlogIdol.ro and ConsumedConsumer.org.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://contzamo.blogspot.com.