In here, you can find some suggestions that should help you in creating content for Thin Air and ensure that it is conveyed in a way that is clear and understandable for all readers. As these are just tips and guidelines, rest assured that no one will get in trouble for not always referencing them–the only thing that might happen is that I make a slight format change in a post if it bugs me enough. And as always, feedback is welcome for any other suggestions for this list.
- HTML: Disqus allows a limited amount of HTML that may be used within its comments. Unfortunately, one of the things that bugs me the most about Disqus is that it does not have a simple WYSIWYG editor that can auto-generate these tags for you. Therefore, in order to make use of this, you must have a very basic knowledge of HTML to make it work. Below you’ll find a few examples that should have the most usage:
- <blockquote>[quote]</blockquote> : Use this to quote a fellow commenter, or to quote a piece of text from a person that you’re citing.
- <a href=”[link]” target=”_blank”>[text]</a> : Use this to create an external link within text that you’re writing.
- <em>[text]</em> , <strong>[text]</strong> , <u>[text]</u> , <s>[text]</s> : Use these tags to provide, respectively, italic, bold, underline, and
- Media auto-formatting: Disqus will auto-format several types of media after you simply copy and paste a link into the reply box. Be aware that it will auto-format even if you try to place the link inside an <a> tag as described above. (I learned this the hard way by trying to refer to Maurice Clarett with an image of Grey Goose.) The list below is not exhaustive, but on this site the three most common types of media are likely to the following:
- YouTube videos
- The “Read More” bar: To keep the front page as condensed as possible to assure that readers do not have to scroll down too far to find older content, place this tag after writing an introductory paragraph or two. However, if your post is only going to be a paragraph or two long, do not use this tag, as there’s no need to subject the reader to an additional click. Insert the “Read More” bar by clicking the button second to right on the top row of WordPress’s WYSIWYG.
- Use heading tags to break up “walls of text” into sections: By structuring your articles into sections, it can help the reader better understand the points that you are making. Use the “Heading 2” for top-level sections, as Heading 1 is reserved for the title of the post. If your sections have sub-sections, use Heading 3, and use Headings 4-6 for deeper sub-sections.
- Image formatting: Images should generally be scaled down so that they do not take up a huge piece of real estate in the post (though there can be reasonable exceptions, such as formation charts or data-heavy graphics). A width of 400 pixels is a good rule of thumb for maximum size. After inserting it in your post, you can scale your image down in the WordPress editor by dragging the borders to alter the dimensions.
In addition, avoid inserting images before the “Read More” bar, and also float images to either the left or right to reduce whitespace. Upon clicking an image in the editor, you should see options to float in a box in the upper right hand corner.