How this website works ...
Ok, I'm going to try to jog down everything I know about this website that would help you understand how it works and help you navigate in it with ease.
I made a few pictures with arrows and descriptions for those of use who welcome visual aids, I know I do. They're inserted later in the text where it is relevant and look like this: (see illustration). Except you can actually click on them and see the actual picture ;-)
The most helpful information (in my opinion) is colorfuly pointed out.
So, here it goes ...
This whole websites consist of 2 major integrated parts: the forums and what I call "the front page". The front page is what you see when you initially come to ohioflyers.org. It has its top banner, navigation bar below it, left column with additional navigational aids, all of which stay the same and grant you access to all the "substance" of our site (see illustration). And the rest are what I call "modules" - little or bigger "boxes" that have valuable information and their content changes often. The beauty of it is, that the content stays current, changes automatically and nobody has to have any coding/html/php/blahblah knowledge to keep them up to date. These modules pull their current information from the forums, so they update as often as we contribute with our posts. For example, the module "Random Pictures" pulls 2 random pictures from everyone's albums, the module "Plans to Fly" shows the last 5 threads from forums section "Plans to Fly", the module "Club News" pulls the most recent post from forum section "Club News", the last 6 sections in the forums under "OhioFlyers" supply all the information for the general information pages (like weather, links, bylaws etc ...) mentioned later in this article under Left Column (see illustration). Again, no programmer has to come in and update our website with current information, it's done automatically just by us posting or editing in the forums.
TIP: These modules are collapsible. If you don't want to see the module, use the little up/down arrows at the end of the module's name to show/hide the module.
Let's talk about the navigation bar. It has your basic access to the most frequented tasks you might need. It will take you:
The left column is another navigational tool, mainly tailored for those visiting our website for the first time and looking for a specific information.
In the first part of it is the list of links providing general information about OFHPA (the Club): its members, weather, ways to learn to fly, our safety standards, flying locations etc. In the second part visitor can see the Forum structure and easier browse into a category that may be more relevant to what they're looking for or wanting to share. (see illustration)
As mentioned earlier, forums is the 99% of our website. It is the spine & skeleton of this whole body, if you will. At this moment it is for our purposes split into several categories, to name a few we have our General Discussion section, Flight Reports, Club News etc, you get the idea. These categories can be modified later on as we see fit and our needs change. And again, it doesn't take a programmer to do it. It's a matter of less than 5 clicks, just ask Craig or Mark.
For those who don't know, and there may be some, Forums consist of Categories, categories are filled with Threads, and each Thread consists of Posts. Just for the terminology sake.
Having the forums split into sections/categories helps to keep the information well sorted and easy to find. In comparison with the yahoo!groups system, here we have each topic kept neatly together. In yahoo groups you would have 3 posts on the topics of flying next weekend, then 4 posts about the fund raiser for TTT ramp, then 2 flight reports from last weekend, another 2 posts about next weekend, then 1 about the ramp again, now try to go back and look something up from even 3 weeks ago. Nightmare. And those of us who wouldn't even go the yahoogroups and just rely on the email updates, you better have had a huge mailbox and/or an elephant's memory.
To point out just some of the advantages of forums and its tools (see illustration):
TIP: You can change the order of posts from older to the newest of from the newest to the oldest. I strongly recommend having them sorted from the newest to the oldest. Why? When you open the thread, you can immediately see the latest posts, right at the top. Sometimes a thread can become several pages long, and if your latest posts are at the end, well, you have to get through several pages to get to what you haven't read yet.
To change the way each thread is sorted, go to your Profile - Edit Options - and in Thread Display Options change the Thread Display Mode to "Linear -newest first".
CONTROL PANEL - also called "MY PROFILE"
You can tweak the way our website looks here. From signature, avatar, albums to which time zone you're in so the time display relevant to you.
See this illustration and read about the most frequent/useful tools:
This calendar could be a great tool for everyone to keep track of what is coming up, especially when it's further away in the future. Just like the calendar on your refridgerator, or your personal planner you carry around with you. I'm saying "could be" because nobody is using it just yet. Don't be afraid to click on it and pin anything down. From your vacation to California, our planned participation at a local air show, just about anything. (see illustration)
As you've probably read earlier in this article, all events charted in the calendar and upcoming in the next 365 days are automatically printed on the front page in a module "Upcoming Events".
You can even set up a reminder, up to 3 days prior to the event, so you are less likely to forget about that Richmond Dale hill taming ;-) To do so, navigate into the calendar and/or click on the event, to the right of the even description you'll see "Request Reminder For This Event". Then just select when you want to be notified and you're done!!
That's all I can think of at the moment to be of any help. Please, if you have any tip/advice/suggestion/question, don't hesitate to blurt it out! We're here to help each other out, right?
Last edited by Michal M.; 02-17-2009 at 06:02 PM.
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Links in post are simple to create. You can simply copy and past the link like this....
Or you can make the words clickable, like this.....
Both links will take you to the same place. With short links doing it either way is ok, but for longer links such as a link to driving directions from Columbus to Wesmar.....
You want to shorten it up, here is how you do it.
First write something pertaining to the link, for this one I'll use "Direction to Wesmar"
Now highlight the text you want to use, and it can be any text in your post. In the post toolbar click on the button that looks like the planet earth and a chain link. This opens another window. paste or type the link you want to use in that window, and viola!
Direction to Wesmar
Last edited by CHassan; 03-04-2009 at 04:11 AM.