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taxonbytes page and post editing conventions

1. General Editing

General rules. Prior practice tends to set the standard for newer entries. When unsure, consult similar entries. The page/post revisions function allows backtracking if something went wrong. There is a strong preference for publishing less than perfect information that may later on receive additional edits over waiting for anyone’s permission to go public. In addition to authoring pages and posts, feel free to provide comments to existing posts.

A. Writing Conventions

  1. Write well, present your information scientifically, and keep the themes and comments in the professional and respectful realm. What you write is a reflection of your views as a scientist and member of our group. That said is it perfectly acceptable to voice strong opinions and make judgments about methods, projects, etc. (though rarely about people in a direct ad hominem way).
  2. Use italics and bold font as appropriate, e.g. to format a Latin name Exophthalmus vittatus (Linnaeus) or to place emphasis on a specific set of words. Some examples of this convention are here.
  3. Justify all regular text (with the Align Full option); this convention renders the text more consistent and gives it a “ready-for-print” appearance. In order to use the Align Full option, click on the Show/Hide Kitchen Sink icon in the Visual text editing menu.
  4. Use Heading 1 or 2 for top-level section headers, and regular Paragraph font – bold and underlined – for low-level section headers.
  5. Enumeration of topics, and the use of bullet or numbered lists, with or without indentation, can help organize the text.
  6. Links should be set to open in a New Window and have a suitable, abbreviated link title. Example: visit our collection.
  7. Images can be incorporated using the Add Media function in WordPress. Your image URL will get a year/month time stamp. Formatting prior to uploading (crop in Photoshop) to a reduced image size (2 MB is the maximum allowed size), and using either an even-numbered square (500 x 500 pixel, etc.) or rectangle (400 x 300 pixel, etc.) image size, makes it easier to calculate further image size reductions as needed.


    Curculio timidus (Casey, 1910)

  8. Images can be aligned left or right when placed inline with text, or centered when placed above text. Use the image caption function and set a specific image link as needed (see weevil image example).
  9. PDFs may be uploaded to a special /pdf folder on the server, allowing for a stable URL (not time-stamped by year and moth); see e.g. here.
  10. Use of a horizontal bar can also help separate topics on a page.
  11. Use of SEO – this services helps check for completeness and consistency of pages and posts. Use SEO whenever possible. Start with identifying a Focus Keyword, then perform Checks repeatedly.

B. Using Flickr

Our Flickr site is available to post up image series, e.g. relate to special outreach events, meetings, or collecting trips. The login information is tied to our shared website accounts. As above, select your images carefully, create well circumscribed Flickr sets as needed, and use tags to annotate your images and make image retrieval easier. Link to sets or images from the WordPress site. Presently we has a “Slickr Flickr” plugin to display Flickr sets in a number of ways on the side menu.

C. Twitter

Twitter can be used in conjunction with posts, or independently.


2. Page-Specific Rules

Choose page titles carefully, coordinate the integration of new page into the top-level menu structure with administrator. Comments are currently not allowed.


3. Post-Specific Rules

  1. Identify one or more proper Categories (typically not “Miscellaneous”).
  2. Use tags extensively, arrange them in alphabetical order. Check existing tags prior to publishing a post with new tags.
  3. Publishing to Twitter is automated, select the title for the post and tweet accordingly.
  4. Sticky posts – i.e., posts appearing on the homepage slider – are possible by checking the option “Stick this post to the front page” under Visibility: Public. Set a featured image, which must have a 2.2/1 width/height ratio.
  5. Comments are allowed and welcome; currently they are set to be moderated by an administrator prior to publishing.