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Frequently Asked Questions
Though, not really "frequently" just yet. Not at all, to be honest. Steve just made some of these up to get the FAQ started. (See also Posting Tips below.)
- What is HawaiiStories?
See the "About Us" page for the long and rambly explanation, but in short, HawaiiStories is a community weblog devoted to personal storytelling, as well as a web host for individual weblogs and journals. We love stories, whether you share them on the HawaiiStories site or on your own site.
- Who is behind it?
The heart of HawaiiStories is its diverse `ohana of folks with personal ties to Hawai`i, and the larger family of visitors who comment and contribute to the discussions. The site was launched in March 2002 by Ryan, with invaluable support and input from Steve and Ali.
- Who can participate?
Anyone, anywhere, is welcome and even encouraged to participate in HawaiiStories by visiting often, reading entries, and leaving comments.
- Who can post?
New stories can be posted by HawaiiStories members. If you have, or want, a personal website, and live in Hawai`i, lived in Hawai`i, or have any special connection to the islands, we invite you to join us. Stories can be posted to the HawaiiStories site, or if your personal site provides an RSS feed you can have your latest posts listed automatically on the front page.
- What if I don't have a website?
Fancy yourself a writer, journaler, or blogger? We'd be happy to set you up with one.
- What if I have no ties to Hawai`i?
While obviously the underlying mission of HawaiiStories is to gather together various voices of Hawai`i, we know some folks might not be satisfied to merely comment. Exceptions are possible drop us a line.
- How do I post to HawaiiStories?
In addition to sharing your stories on your own site hosted at HawaiiStories or elsewhere you can also post them to the main HawaiiStories site (which is essentially a group weblog). After you receive your username and password, you can log in via the "Login" link at the bottom of the right-side sidebar on the main page. Select the "HawaiiStories" weblog, and click "New Entry." See "Posting Tips" below for some helpful hints.
- What can I post to HawaiiStories?
In short, anything "random epiphanies, poignant observations, anecdotes, rants, questions, lyrics, [and] poems" for starters. (Of course, we are especially partial to personal experiences, memories, and ... well, stories.) It doesn't have to be about Hawai`i, either. As long as it's your voice, it's welcome at HawaiiStories.
Above all, don't be shy. Even a stray thought is a terrible thing to waste.
- How often can I post?
As HawaiiStories is still young, for now the more posts the better. Still, as a rule of thumb, try not to post sequentially. That is, after posting an entry, wait for another member to post one before adding another.
- What are "categories"?
To make it easier to browse our archives, HawaiiStories entries are sorted into basic categories. While the list is likely to grow over time, right now it includes: business, education, family, food, meta, money, movies, music, politics, relationships, sex, sports, talkstory, technology, television, websites, and work.
The "talkstory" category is a catch-all for anything that defies categorization. The "meta" category is for discussions about the HawaiiStories community itself.
- Can I post links to my own site?
If your site offers an RSS feed, HawaiiStories can feature your latest post automatically. Otherwise, you can post an excerpt and a link to the main HawaiiStories site.
Now, in the world of community blogs, "self linking" is usuall frowned upon. But we know some of your most outstanding writing is saved for your own site. We'd definitely discourage you from posting a new link every time you add something to your journal or blog, but if you wrote something that you are especially proud of, or something you feel could inspire a discussion, go ahead and post it. Be sure to provide a good summary, though, for those who don't click through.
- Can I use BlogBuddy (or another external application) to post to HawaiiStories?
Yes! Click here for the details.
- Can HawaiiStories really host my site?
Yes. A large part of the HawaiiStories mission is sharing island voices with the world via the web. If you presently have a journal, diary, or weblog site hosted on a service you've outgrown (i.e. Diaryland, LiveJournal, BlogSpot, etc.), or if you don't but would like to start one, HawaiiStories can build a home for you.
Weblogs/journals hosted on HawaiiStories are powered by WordPress (although some of our first tenants are still using Movable Type), an easy-to-use, yet powerful and customizable open-source content management system. Beginners can get started easily, but code warriors will be impressed by the many extra features offered.
HawaiiStories tenants must have a strong tie to the islands, and demonstrate both an eagerness and ability to write. These are subjective measures, certainly, but in almost all cases, interested hostees will be gladly welcomed. Please contact us for details.
- Use the "Additional Entry Text" field. Help keep our main page neat. When posting a long entry, put only a brief summary or catchy teaser in the first "Main Entry Text" field (which then appears on the main page), and the rest of your entry in the "Additional Entry Text" field.
- Include links. Whether your subject is something you've seen or read recently, or just something that's been on your mind, chances are there's a website about it. Include links whenever possible to add background, or even just a little color.
- Open links in new windows. To keep readers from wandering away from HawaiiStories, set your links with the "target='_blank'" tag. For example:
<a href="http://www.site.com" target="_blank">link</a>
As a rule of thumb, try to limit what appears on the main page to a couple of sentences two short paragraphs at most. Then, in the "Additional Entry Text," anything goes. Post your entire manifesto!