How to Share Photos and Images in Forums

No matter what subject your favorite online forum discusses, you’ll probably want to share a photo or two with the rest of the members. If you’re a group of cat lovers, you’ll want to post pictures of your fur baby. If you’re all into cars, you’ll want to show off your classic Mustang. The only problem is that you don’t know a fast, easy way to share your favorite photos with the other forum members. That’s about to change.

Uploading and sharing your pictures takes just a couple of minutes—and won’t cost you anything. One of the most important things to know is the forum’s protocol for sharing photos. Every forum owner has his or her own preferences. You need to follow these rules so that you’ll continue to be a welcome part of the online community. Pay attention to things like size requirements, appropriate subject matter and what means of posting the forum owner prefers (some want you to embed the photo in your post; others prefer an external link).

Once you’re familiar with these rules, pick the pictures that you’re most interested in sharing. Make sure that you have backup copies of these images before you do anything. That way, you won’t lose anything if something goes wrong. A routine backup every few weeks or so is a good idea even if you don’t modify your photos, as a computer crash will take out your files. Not many forums let you upload to their site directly from your computer.

This method stores the image files on the forum’s server. That will take up a lot of valuable space that’s better used on other things — like archiving past forum posts. Instead, you can upload your pictures to an online photo service. Photobucket and Image Shack are two popular examples of these sites. After you sign up, you can create a photo album. In many cases other users can view these images if you send them the URL. This is a quick, easy way to share your photos with everybody on the forum. All you have to do is create a clickable link directly to the photos that you want to share. The other readers will take care of the rest (clicking, mostly).

An even better way to share your pictures is to embed them in your forum posts. This is easy to do. Go to the message composition (or message reply) page. You should see a button on the control panel that lets you create an “img” link. Click on this once to open that code. Now copy the URL of the photo that you want to share and paste that into the message window. Close the tag and preview your post. If all has gone well, you should see your image right there in the forum.

One courteous thing to do is to resize your photos at some point before you share them with other forum members. You can resize the files with an image editing program like Paint Shop Pro. And if you don’t want to spend any money on software, The GIMP is a legally-free alternative. Just resize your image, upload to the online storage site and share as usual.

Many people, however, aren’t familiar with image editing programs. Others just don’t want to put that much effort into editing their digital images. If you’re one of those people, look for a storage site that lets you resize the images you’ve already uploaded. Some sites even give you labeled defaults so that you don’t have to put much work into figuring out the right sizes for your forum-bound photos. Just click on the appropriate size and let the site do the rest of the work.

Another thing to remember is that many people are still using dial-up Internet access. You should keep your photo posting to a reasonable level — say, two or three resized images at the most per thread — to make sure that these users will be able to enjoy the forum as much as you do. If you still aren’t sure of what you’re doing, you should search the forum for answers. Typically, somebody before you has had the same problem. He or she probably created a thread about the issue, and received help. If you use the forum’s “search” feature to find this thread and follow the advice, you’ll save yourself the time and trouble of creating a new thread and then waiting for replies.

Sharing your favorite images and photos with other people on online forums and sites is easier than you might think, especially nowadays. Just follow the above tips to get started.

 

Using the Thesaurus and Auto Correction for Editing Copy

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When it comes to editing copy for a website, When do you use a thesaurus and the auto correction feature? Now that most word processing programs come with a built-in thesaurus, finding the right word is only a click away. But beware… with great convenience comes great misuse! Let’s look at a few situations in which you can use a thesaurus to your advantage—and how to avoid using it to your disadvantage.

Finding the Perfect Word

Sometimes the word isn’t exactly wrong… it simply misses the mark. Say you’ve described a character as “grumpy.” On a second read, “grumpy” doesn’t feel right. Using the thesaurus, you find the synonym “petulant.” Aha! That’s what you meant all along—you just needed a little memory jog. Don’t insert a word with which you’re not already familiar. If you didn’t know what it means before finding it in the thesaurus chances are your readers won’t either. There should be an “aha!” moment when you find the perfect word.

Sharpening Vague Language

When it comes to vagueness, the most frequent offenders are “very” and “really.” For example, “very big” can be sharpened to gigantic, enormous, immense, massive… isn’t English a rich language? Hint: use your word processor’s search function to reveal where you’ve used “very” and “really,” then use the thesaurus on each instance. Don’t overcompensate by using a word that’s too strong for your intended meaning. For example, “She was really hungry” doesn’t have to mean, “She was ravenous.” Sometimes deleting “really” or “very” is enough.

Banishing Your Invisible Word

All writers have one: a word they use again and again… and again. You never notice it, but your invisible word jumps out at readers with all the subtlety of a foghorn. If you don’t have a word frequency checker, download one. You may be surprised at what you learn about your own writing habits. Armed with statistics, use your thesaurus to replace the overused word. Don’t replace words that are invisible to everyone. For example, the word “said” rarely needs improvement. Replacing “said” with speech tags like “gasped,” “frowned,” or “moaned,” is not only distracting to readers, it’s the hallmark of cheap romance novels.

Use these three strategies on a regular basis, and you’ll be amazed by the difference in your writing. Your thesaurus will help you find the perfect word, sharpen vague language, and banish your own invisible word. Your auto correction feature will also help you keep your text clean. And since now you also know how to steer clear of common misuses, you can be confident that your writing will only improve.

 

Choosing Between Open Source and Proprietary Software

Business owners in need of software have two distinct choices — proprietary software and open source software. Each approach has its own list of advantages and disadvantages, and it is important for businesses to weigh the benefits and drawbacks carefully. With proprietary software businesses pay an initial charge for the software, then an additional annual charge for maintenance and upgrades.

Patches and bug fixes are provided by the company selling the software, and some sort of technical support is generally available as well. Quality control and testing are done by the software vendor, and fixes are provided to customers as they become available.

With open source software companies pay no initial fee for the software itself, although there is sometimes a charge for documentation and media. Support is available, but there is often a charge, and the support is generally provided by third party vendors familiar with the open source software package. Any bug fixes and improvements are made by the community, which are most often developers who want to improve their own skills and do something for other people, as well.

Some of the advantages of using proprietary software for business purposes include:

– A single point of contact for any problems – businesses simply contact the maker of the software to resolve any issues that may arise;

– A well-defined and well thought out upgrade and development plan for the software;

– Clear usage and licensing requirements;

Of course there are some potential drawbacks of proprietary software as well. Those potential pitfalls include:

– No guarantees that the software will perform as needed;

– Limited trial periods;

– Proprietary source code — users will be unable to tailor the source code for their needs;

– The company may decide to discontinue the software, and business owners will need to find a new software package;

– Strict licensing guidelines;

Open source software has its own list of advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to look at those as well. Not every solution will be right for every company, and it is important for business owners to carefully evaluate their needs before moving forward.

Some of advantages of using open source software include:

– The software is freely available, with less stringent licensing requirements;

– Bug fixes can be implemented quickly, without going through the corporate approval process;

– The software may work across many different platforms;

– The source code is freely available;

– The software can easily be audited for security purposes;

Some of the potential drawbacks of open source software include:

– There is no guarantee that the software will work in the user’s environment;

– The support is provided by volunteer computer enthusiasts and riot by paid staff members;

– The development plans for the software may not be clearly defined;

– There may be compatibility issues with existing software or hardware;

– Open source software may be more challenging to install and maintain than proprietary software;

Choosing between open source and proprietary commercial software can be a daunting task, especially for a business owner who needs it for mission critical purposes. In the end, it is up to you to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both types of software and make the decision – the best way to go about it is to actually use all the programs that you think could work for you and choose the best one.

 

HTML5 is here

HTML5 is here. HTML5 is a new HTML standard that takes HTML to the next level. It’s main feature is to support multimedia better. Watch this video for a good explanation of what HTML5 is and start using it right away.

HTML5 is…NOW! – Jason Beaird from Jason Beaird on Vimeo.