DailyKos FAQ 1

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DailyKos 101/FAQ

Welcome to the DailyKos FAQ (list of Frequently Asked Questions) and Diary Primer


(see also DKOS community norms)

Contents of current FAQ (posted on DailyKos 8/8/2004)

Contents

What is "Kos" and how do you pronounce it?

"Kos" is the US-Army/screen nickname of the founder of Daily Kos, Markos Alberto Moulitsas Zúniga.

The current site FAQ says "Kos" rhymes with "morose" ("s" sound at the end) while Kos's "about" file for the site says it rhymes with "rose" ("z" sound at the end). Both ways may be correct. While Kos's background is Greek / El Salvadorian / American, he probably pronounces "Kos" as in Spanish. Spanish may be one of those languages where the ending sounds of words depends on context and it is silly to make the English distinction between "s" and "z". But this begs the question of the canonical English pronunciation.

(See also the in-progress dkospedia entry Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, and the Wikipedia pages Kos and Markos Moulitsas Zúniga.)

Is there a community guide?

The closest thing to a community guide is this diary entry by Pastordan. That diary entry inspired the creation of a forum on the dKosopedia that will eventually blossom (we all hope) into a new community manual.

How do I post a comment?

You have to register with the site to post comments. New users must then wait 24 hours to post a comment. The clock starts running after the initial login. This is to prevent abuse of the diaries by trolls (people who post inflammatory articles just to get an inflamed response).

To post a comment: find the comment you wish to respond to, then click on "Post a comment" near the bottom of the comment. This will open a new comment box. Put a title for your comment in the title box (many people put "asdf" or "aoeu" as a subtle protest against having to put in a title comment). Put the body of your comment in the large box. Use any html formatting you want to.

How do comment ratings work?

This site uses a system called "Mojo" to try to keep the comments as high-quality as possible. All users can rate all comments, except their own, between 1 and 4. When your comments are rated by others, those ratings are combined into a weighted average -- newer comments count more than older ones -- called your "Mojo". This, roughly, represents the rating we could expect your next comment to receive based on your past comments. Users who have a mojo greater than a certain minimum and who have posted a sufficient number of comments are considered "trusted" users, and have the added capability to rate comments below the normal minimum rating (in other words, their rating scale is 0-4, rather than 1-4.) If enough of a user's comments are rated below 1, that user becomes "untrusted", which means that respected members of the community have repeatedly indicated that the user's input is offensive, content-free, or merely intended to annoy others.

Many users believe that the rating system is intented to be an opportunity to express agreement or disagreement with a post, or with the poster themself. This is not accurate; ratings are intended to help elevate those posters that consistently make clear, good arguments and points, regardless of content, and to prevent trolls from invading the message board. Downrating commenters on the basis of agreement or disagreement with their arguments leads to a monolithic forum, free of new ideas and input.

So, please don't downrate comments just because you disagree with them!

How do I recommend a diary?

You have to register with the site to recommend a diary. New users must then wait a week to recommend a diary. The clock starts running after the initial login. This is to prevent abuse of the diaries by trolls (people who post inflammatory articles just to get an inflamed response).

To recommend a diary: on the right sidebar of a diary, you'll see a button reading "Recommend this diary". Click it to recommend the diary.

How do I post a diary?

You have to register with the site to post comments or diaries. New users must then wait one week to post a diary. This is to prevent abuse of the diaries by trolls. If you want to post a diary, first think about whether your thoughts are a good fit for a diary topic. Diaries are coming in at nearly 200 a day these days, many of them widely judged to not be worth the effort. Somebody recently opined that you shouldn't put up a diary unless you'd put about an hour's time into writing it. That may be excessive. But you should be prepared to put in a little more time than a few minutes to make a quality diary entry. If what you want to post isn't worth that kind of time, consider a comment on an open thread or somebody else's diary on the same or similar topic.

Second, due to the volume of diaries on the same topic, please look at the list recently posted diaries, at the Diary Search page, to see if there's one on your topic. Please do not post a diary if your topic was covered within the last twenty diaries.

With those two caveats in mind, onward to how to post a diary:
  1. find the orange box on the right side of the main page titled with your username
  2. click on the "new diary entry" link
  3. when you get to the diary page, read the rules! They were all put there for a reason.
  4. In particular: if you reference a story, include an embedded link (See "How do you embed a link?" below.)
  5. Give you diary a snappy but appropriate title so that people know what they're getting. A deliberately misleading title is uncool. In addition, a title like "Look at this", "Must read", or "How long has this been going on?" is not very helpful.
  6. Put an introductory paragraph in the "Intro Entry" box. This is the only diary text that will appear on the main diaries page.
  7. Put the bulk of your entry, including any graphs or pictures, in the "Extended Entry" box.
  8. If you want to post a poll, put the poll question in the title box and the available responses in the answers box. It's usually better to limit the responses to four to avoid splintering the votes too severely, unless it's just for fun. Also, you're more likely to get more readers for your diary if you include a poll AND if you include "poll" in your diary title.

How do I embed a link?

It's done differently in Daily Kos and the dKosopedia. In Daily Kos, type the following text all on one line:

<a href ="http://www.dailykos.com">Daily Kos</a>

to create an embedded link that looks like this:

Daily Kos


If you want to link to a dKosopedia article from Daily Kos, type the following text, substituting the appropriate topic name:

dkTemplate:Topic name

to create an embedded link that appears as a hyperlink to the topic, underlined with a dotted line.

Posting Modes and Common Idioms

When you type up a comment or diary, there is a dropdown menu (found next to the PREVIEW and SUBMIT buttons) that lets you select 1 of 3 input modes:

  • Plain Text - everything typed appears directly in the post. There is no way to make a link or a gray quote box in this mode, but you can in the other 2 modes.
  • HTML Formatted - everything typed is interpreted as HTML.
    • extra "white space" (such as spaces, tabs, and carriage returns) is ignored. Carriage returns are treated the same as spaces and have no effect on formatting. To cause line breaks you need to include explicit HTML such as "<br>".
    • some characters which have meaning within HTML may have to be spelled out in ampersand code so they are not processed as HTML. The most important ones are:
      • &lt; = < (Less than sign)
      • &gt; = > (Greater than sign)
      • &amp; = & (Ampersand)
      • &quot; = " (Double quote sign)
    • "Ampersand code" is also useful for presenting accented Latin characters (&Atilde; = Ã), non English characters such as German sharps (&szlig; = ß), and random symbols (&clubs; = ♣). Wikipedia has a section on special characters.
  • Auto Format - This mode tries to convert plain text to HTML. Things that look like web-links turn into real links, and carriage returns are not discarded but converted to HTML formatting. In this mode you can use the HTML idioms shown below, but do not include any carriage returns or extra white space within the HTML tags (i.e. between an opening "&lt" and closing "&gt") because that may prevent the idiom from working.

"Auto Format" input mode: by examples

(This section is derived from this Apr 29th, 2002 Kuro5hin posting.)
(Also see the the current Auto Format help)
(All of this is in response to Kos's Nov 5th, 2004 article Housekeeping)

"Auto Format" is a more concise and readable input "mode" for displaying certain HTML effects without having to use real HTML. For simple posts, normal typing instincts (without knowlege of HTML) will generally produce a good translation into HTML. But with a little knowledge of the "Auto Format" conventions you can call for specific HTML effects.

AF: repeated spaces and (repeated) carriage returns

Auto Format mode does not eat repeated spaces the way that HTML does. Instead it turns them into an alternation of real spaces and non-breaking spaces (&nbsp;). Somewhat similar, carriage returns are not interpreted as eatable spaces (as does HTML) but instead are either mapped to a line break (<br>) or to a paragraph break (<p>) if there are more than one. Note: 5 carriage returns in a row will cause only a single paragraph break rather than HTML to cause a 5 line space break.

Every space you type is     displayed. A single carriage return indicates a line break (\<br\>),
while a double carriage return

indicates a paragraph break (\<p\>).
Every space you type is     displayed. A single carriage return inserts a line break (<br>),
while a double carriage return<p> inserts a paragraph break (<p>).

The above input/output pair (red/blue boxes) looks rather uninformative because they are practically identical. This is the point of Auto Format - they are supposed to be the same.

However if you examine the I/O in terms of input characters and output HTML, you can get an idea of what Auto Format is actually doing. Let "a, b, c, d" be normal printing characters and "S" represent "space" and "C" represent "carriage return". Auto Format produces the following transformation between characters and HTML:

abScdCaSSbSSScdCCabcd
ab cd<br>a &nbsp;b &nbsp; cd<p>abcd

When the above HTML is rendered on the page it appears as:

ab cd
a  b   cd<p> abcd

AF: character styling

normal, *bold face text*, /italic text/, =monospaced text=, and combinations like */bold italic text/* or /=italic monospaced text=/.
normal, bold face text, italic text, monospaced text, and combinations like bold italic text or italic monospaced text
AF: monospaced tables

Monospacing is a simple way to display small tables and get columns to line up by inserting spaces:

=.     Bush   Kerry
Red   53.2   46.7
BLUE&nbsp 41.5   58.5=
.     Bush   Kerry
Red   53.2   46.7
BLUE  41.5   58.5

One catch in creating such tables is that Auto Format will not start mono-spacing when "=" is followed by a space. That is why there is a "." heading the first column above. You can also trick Auto Format to start monospacing with "=&nbsp;" which contains the non-breaking space &nbsp;.

(Auto Format could work so that "=  " becomes "=&nbsp " which would trigger monospacing, but it currently does these steps in the wrong order.)

(Note: Auto Format wraps monospaced text in <code> not <tt> HTML tags.)

AF: naked and named links

Naked URLs like http&#58//www.dailykos.com/ will be turned into links. Bracketing a URL lets you give the link a name before the URL, e.g.: [Daily Kos http&#58//www.dailykos.com/]. You can also use curly brackets (e.g. {W http&#58//w.com}) but who knows why.
Naked URLs like http://www.dailykos.com/ will be turned into links. Bracketing a URL lets you give the link a name before the URL, e.g.: Daily Kos. You can also use curly brackets (e.g. W) but who knows why.

AF: "\": defeating Auto Format from interpreting special characters

Since AutoFormat interpretes some characters such as "\*" to be special formatting instructions, there needs to be a way to say that you really want a "\*" (e.g. you really want to display "\*bold\*" rather than "*bold*".) To block Auto Format from interpreting a special character you must precede it with a backslash ("\\"). This means that if you really want a backslash to appear you have to double it ("\\\\").
Since AutoFormat interpretes some characters such as "*" to be special formatting instructions, there needs to be a way to say that you really want a "*" (e.g. you really want to display "*bold*" rather than "bold".) To block Auto Format from interpreting a special character you must precede it with a backslash ("\"). This means that if you really want a backslash to appear you have to double it ("\\").


AF: lists

Unordered lists (\<ul\>) are created by starting each line with "\* " (asterisk followed by space). E.g.:
* First item
* Second item
For ordered lists (\<ol\>), use a number followed by a period rather than "\*". E.g.:
1. First item
2. Second item
Unordered lists (<ul>) are created by starting each line with "* " (asterisk followed by space). E.g.:
  • First item
  • Second item
For ordered lists (<ol>), use a number followed by a period rather than "*". E.g.:
  1. First item
  2. Second item


AF: including HTML

"Auto Format" input mode may seem limiting, but you <b>can</b> <i>indiscriminatly</i> include <i><b>real HTML</b></i> in this mode, such as a HTML style <a href="http://dailykos.com">link</a>, and quote boxes:<blockquote>Note: <img src="http://www.dailykos.com/images/add_hl2.gif">, <img src="http://www.dailykos.com/images/add_hl2.gif"><ul><li>Don't put any extra spaces or any carriage returns in the HTML tags (i.e. between an opening "\<" and closing "\>") because that will mess things up.</li><li>If your HTML doesn't work as you think it should, try previewing it in "HTML Formatted" mode. If the HTML then works you probably have junk in your tags.</li></ul></blockquote>
"Auto Format" input mode may seem limiting, but you can indiscriminatly include real HTML in this mode, such as HTML style links, and quote boxes Note: add_hl2.gif, add_hl2.gif
  • Don't put any extra spaces or any carriage returns in the HTML tags (i.e. between an opening "<" and closing ">") because that will mess things up.
  • If your HTML doesn't work as you think it should, try previewing it in "HTML Formatted" mode. If the HTML then works you probably have junk in your tags.

If you include large amounts of HTML in Auto Format mode, you may find it hard to read your input text because you cannot format your input by including ignorable spaces and carriage returns. You may want to consider posting in HTML Formatted mode. Here is one possible input for the above example in this mode:

"Auto Format" input mode may seem limiting,
but you <b>can</b> <i>indiscriminatly</i> include <i><b>real HTML</b></i>
in this mode, such as HTML style
<a href="http://dailykos.com">links</a>,
and quote boxes:
<blockquote>Note:
 <img src="http://www.dailykos.com/images/add_hl2.gif">,
 <img src="http://www.dailykos.com/images/add_hl2.gif">
 <ul>
   <li>Don't put any extra spaces or any carriage returns in the HTML tags
    (i.e. between an opening "\<" and closing "\>") because that will mess things up.</li>
   <li>If your HTML doesn't work as you think it should,
    try previewing it in "HTML Formatted" mode.
    If the HTML then works you probably have junk in your tags.</li>
 </ul>
</blockquote>

HTML idioms

This section is not meant to be a complete guide to HTML. It just shows common HTML idioms used in Daily Kos postings.

HTML: character styling by example

normal, <b>bold</b>, <i>italic</i>, <tt>monospaced</tt>, <s>strike through</s>, <u>underlined</u>
normal, bold, italic, monospaced, strike through, underlined

example combinations:

<b><i>bold italic</i></b>, <s><u><tt>struck underlined monospaced</tt></u></s>
bold italic, struck underlined monospaced

not working:

<big>big</big>, <small>small</small>, <strike>strike through</strike>
<big>big</big>, <small>small</small>, <strike>strike through</strike>

Reference: the w3.org HTML 4.1 specification of these tags.

HTML: Embedding a Link

Typing this text

Has anybody seen the <a href="http://www.dailykos.com/">Daily Kos</a> site?

produces

Has anybody seen the Daily Kos site?

The text bracketed between the starting "<a ...>" tag and the ending "</a&gt" tag is linked to the webpage given in the starting tag.

HTML: Gray Boxes for Quoting Sources

Gray boxes are for quoting from web sources. This HTML

<blockquote>Text to go inside the quote box</blockquote>
will produce
Text to go inside the quote box
When quoting a source you should always provide a link to the source. Here is one example where the link to the article is casually embedded in the lead up text to the quote:
Many reputable sources think the "Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades" is bogus. there is question as to whether it exists at all beyond one person with a computer and a fax machine.

HTML: Cite Bars for Quoting Comments

(Note: "Cite Bars" display correctly with Mozilla/Netscape/Firefox but don't show the blue vertical bars under SP2 Internet Explorer. Does anybody know an IE compatible version of doing this?)

Cite bars can be used to quote sections of nearby comments. This HTML


<blockquote type="cite">And that is my opinion</blockquote>

produces:

And that is my opinion


This form can cleanly quote involved exchanges. E.g.:

And that is my opinion
You are totally off base.
You are an idiot.
No, you're the idiot.
neener, neener, neener!

HTML: Embedding an Image

This HTML

<img src="http://www.dailykos.com/images/admin/dailykos_banner.gif">

displays as

dailykos_banner.gif

When embedding an image you found on some web page, you should always include a link to the source page. You can provide a text link, link the image (so that clicking on the image takes you to the source), or both as shown in this example.

Ashcroft was <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5087301/">laughed at&lt/a> for his intelligence source.<br><br><a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5087301/"><img src="http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Video/040528/nn_myer_terror_040528.275w.jpg">&lt/a>

which displays as:

Ashcroft was laughed at for his intelligence source.

nn_myer_terror_040528.275w.jpg

Even if the source page is irrelevant to whatever point you are trying to make, you should let people know where you found the image.

While the above example with the picture of Ashcroft is pretty, inclusion of his headshot is gratutious - most people know what Ashcroft looks like and this picture does not illustrate any particular point, as does not any pretty portrait of Kerry or Clinton.

HTML: Scaling Large Images

Sometimes, an image worthy of including is too big. Embedding the image in a comment or diary may unfortunantly mess up the layout of the list of diaries or other comments in the thread.

For example, Tom Tomorrow's This Modern World comix is sometimes published as a 622px x 572px gif. You can scale down such an image by giving the HTML attribute width= a value. 400 (pixels) seems to be a reasonable choice. E.g.:

<img width="400" src=
  "http://workingforchange.speedera.net/www.workingforchange.com/webgraphics/wfc/TMW11-12-03.gif">

When you present a scaled image, you should always provide a link to the full sized image or its source page. The below example gives both a text link and a link on the image (making the image clickable.)

<a href=
  "http://workingforchange.speedera.net/www.workingforchange.com/webgraphics/wfc/TMW11-12-03.gif">
 </a>
<img width="400" src=
 "http://workingforchange.speedera.net/www.workingforchange.com/webgraphics/wfc/TMW11-12-03.gif">
<br>
<a href=
"http://workingforchange.speedera.net/www.workingforchange.com/webgraphics/wfc/TMW11-12-03.gif">
Click to enlarge</a>
TMW11-12-03.jpg
Click to enlarge

This example includes two links to the full sized image. Generally it is more responsible (in terms of attribution) to provide a link to the page where the image was found. You could always provide both links.

Image Embedding Issues: Practical, Legal, Ethical

First, don't embed images that are large memory-wise. News sites compress their images and they are usually under 10 Kbytes. Amateur sites don't always compress. Large images slow down page loading and cost somebody for the extra bandwidth.

Second, please when possible limit the screen size of your images. While you might think a 700 x 400 headshot of Bill Clinton is impressive, it will annoy many people. You should instead post a small image and link to the larger one. At sites like [http:/news.yahoo.com news.yahoo.com] you can often find 3 or 4 different sizes of the same image.

Issues like hosting images and hot linking need to be fleshed out here

What is SCLM?

This refers to the "So Called Liberal Media", an epithet for our mainstream media which many people claim is liberally biased. Most people at Daily Kos see the media as either corporate entities seeking whatever story is easiest to find, or outright shills for the Bush administration. The term was adapted from Eric Alterman's book What Liberal Media?, an expose of just how right-wing the mainstream media has become. You can read explanations of this acronym and other commonly used acronyms on Daily Kos in the Kossary.

What does a comment titled "aoeu" or "asdf" mean?

Some commenters feel they have something important to say, but they do not include a title for their comment. So they title their thoughts with nonsense letters like "aoeu" or "asdf". These character strings come from typing the first four letters in a row from the left hand "home" position of the Dvorak keyboard (aoeu) or the more familiary 'QWERTY' keyboard (asdf).

If you are unable to title your comment, it is suggested that you either do not post, or that you use something like a naked "Re:" if responding to somebody else's comment.

Some posters say they use "aoeu" as a protest against the site requirement that comments must have a title. (Earlier versions of the site did not require comment titles.) Others feel that not including a comment title is either lazy or a waste of protest energy, believing that there are many better things to protest about than trying to make sense.

What are the comment viewing options?

At the bottom of each story, you can set how you view the comments about the story. You have several options that allow you to make it easier to read and follow a discussion: Display: Minimal, Flat (default), Threaded, Nested and Dynamic. Of the 4, minimal just shows the comment names in a nested format. The other three show more information. Flat and Nested show ALL the body of the comments, in either a flat format, or a nested format. Threaded shows the comments in a nested format, with any comments that are replies to other comments in a minimal format. In addition, dynamic mode allows you to expand and collapse comment and threads without refreshing the entire page. Try them and see what works best for you. Rate: This is whether you want to be able to rate comments. We recommend that you leave this on and rate comments. Feedback is always a good thing. Once you have made your changes, click the set button and watch them come into effect. We recommend you try several different settings. Fiddle around and see what works best for you.

<p>

Troubleshooting: I can't post a diary or comment!

You have to register with the site to post comments or diaries. New users must then wait 24 hours to post a comment, and one week to post a diary. <p>

Troubleshooting: Troubles logging in

99 percent of the time, login problems can be traced to cookies. You must have cookies turned on. Scoop uses them to remember your user preferences, display preferences, and comment preferences. If you have cookies on, and it still doesn't seem to work, then it might be a cookie logjam. You might have an old, non-working cookie lying around which prevents the setting of a working one.

First try going to logout and then try logging in again.

If that doesn't work, try pulling up the cookie manager or file on your browser and look for any cookie that mentions dailykos.com. Delete any you find, restart the browser, and give it another try.

If it *still* doesn't work, then try turning on cookie notification/approval and first seeing if it tries to set a cookie on login, and if so copy down what exactly is in the cookie, and send it in to me kos@dailykos.com so I can see if there's something wrong with what the site is sending out.

Diary Guidelines

1. All users are limited by the system to one diary per calendar day.

2. New users cannot post diaries for one week after an account has been created.

3. "Intro" box for new diaries has a three paragraph limit. If you exceed that limit, use the "Extended Body" box for the remainder of your diary.

4. Diaries should be substantive. A good guideline is that if you don't have at least three solid paragraphs to write about your subject, you should probably post a comment in an open thread, or in a recent diary or front-page post that covers a topic relevant to what you wish to write about.

5. Copying and pasting complete copyrighted articles is absolutely prohibited by both this site's policies and copyright laws. Copyright infringement can expose both you and the site's owners to financial liability. Just don't do it. And if you see someone else doing it, please politely ask them to edit their diary accordingly. This is a bannable offense.

6. Limited copying within the bounds of the doctrine of "fair use" is permitted. A reasonable rule-of-thumb is that copying three paragraphs from a normal-length news article or editorial is acceptable. (This, however, is not a safe-harbor. If even three paragraphs seems like "too much," then copy less or nothing at all.) For more on fair use, please visit this site.

7. When you quote material that is not your own, please provide a link whenever possible. Also, use the blockquote tags to set off the copied material so that your writing is distinct from the material you are copying. For more on HTML tags, click here.

8. Hotlinking images without permission is prohibited. Hotlinking means using the [a href] tag to display an image on a diary which is hosted on someone else's server. Hotlinking, especially on a site as popular as this one, can cost people real money in bandwidth costs. It's essentially stealing. If we get complaints from sites about images being hotlisted, we will consider that as possible grounds for banning.

9. Duplicative diaries are prohibited. Please scan the recent diaries and front-page posts before starting to compose your own diary. This rule operates on a sliding scale. A repeat diary with minimal analysis or originality (particularly on "breaking news" items) is prohibited. Such diaries are subject to deletion without notice. But if you write on a recently-covered subject and provide original analysis or research, that is acceptable and in fact welcome.

10. If you receive a reasonable request from a fellow Kossack to delete your diary (i.e., your diary is duplicative as per above), please do so.

11. Cross-posting from your own blog is welcome. Remember, though, that you can only write one diary a day at Daily Kos.

12. Diarists are strongly encouraged to back up all assertions with facts (and preferably links to supporting materials) whenever possible. Use reputable sources whenever possible. If you can't find a reputable source that supports your position, then perhaps reconsider writing your diary.

13. As a corollary, diarists should always make it clear when they are expressing an opinion - please do not assert opinions as facts, as this tends to be needlessly inflammatory.

14. Diaries which engage in wild speculation without any proof are strongly discouraged. Repeatedly posting diaries consisting largely or entirely of wild speculation is an abuse of site policy. Bear in mind that that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

15. Diaries which contain hateful or defamatory writing are prohibited.

16. Diaries which are deliberately designed to inflame are prohibited.

17. Deliberately inflammatory titles, or titles which contain attacks, are prohibited. Also, while this site doesn't prohibit profanity, please think very carefully before using any curse words in a diary title.

18. "Calling out" other site users by name in diary titles is prohibited. Diaries which "call out" another by name tend to needlessly inflame. If you feel compelled to address another user's comments or diaries in a diary of your own, please do so cautiously. Avoid ad hominems and stick with substantive, constructive criticism only.

19. Some topics which tend to make for poor diaries: Breaking news. Something you just saw on a TV show. Something currently on the front page of a major news site (eg, New York Times). Something currently on the front page of a major blog (eg, Atrios).

20. What makes for a good diary: Anything which showcases original research or original analysis. Political calls to action with substantive information on how to get involved. News (plus analysis) on interesting/relevant topics that are not widely discussed.

21. Diaries on contested Democratic primaries: Be positive. Make an affirmative case for your favored candidate. If you do criticize a Democratic candidate, don't make ad hominem attacks - stick to substantive criticisms, and back them up with hard evidence. Be very cautious if you go after a fellow Democrat. Odds are, that candidate will have supporters on this site. Reasonable people will accept reasonable criticism - unfair criticism will only needlessly inflame. And remember, deliberately inflammatory diaries are prohibited.

22. "Open Thread" diaries: Diaries designed to serve as "open threads" for discussion on major, breaking events (such as a speech or hearing) are permissible. Please provide links to information about the events (such as news articles or webcasts) in such diaries. Do not post duplicate diary open threads unless an earlier open thread exceeds 150 comments.

23. When writing a diary on a political race, prefixing the title is always helpful. For example: FL-Gov (Florida governor's race), NY-Sen (New York senate race), CA-25 (California's 25th congressional district race).

24. Do not use ALL CAPS or exclamation marks !!! in diary titles.

25. Do not put "Please Recommend" or similar language in diary titles.

26. Please read an entire diary before hitting "Recommend." Recommending based on just the first few paragraphs or the author's name is strongly discouraged.

As to the mechanics of posting a diary:

Section 1, the "Title"

One would hope that this is fairly self-explanitory - this is where your title goes ;o)

Section 2, the "Main Entry"

This is what folks will see as they scroll through the diary pages. Keep in mind that this should just be an "introduction, or "teaser", or "lead-in". Think of the start of your local news - they give you a quick headline at the top of the broadcast, and then go indepth once they get into the program.

If you have a ton of info in this section - stop! If your entire diary entry is in the section- stop! Go back and pare it down to or a line or three - one paragraph at most. This section is only there to get peoples' attentions and get them to the rest of your entry. People shouldn't have to hit the PageDown button on their keyboards 23 times, or even once for that matter, to get to the next entry. It also might be a good idea to keep pictures out of this section - not everyone has high speed internet access and the more pictures there are, the longer things take to load. Let's be a little more sympathetic to our dial-up friends!

Section 3, the "Extended Entry"

Once someone clicks to read your diary entry, this is what they'll see on the page after the "Main Entry". Consider this the "meat and potatoes", if you will. The section above is what gets their attention, this part is where you say what you've got to say. This part can be as long as you want - including lists, links, pictures, quoted paragraphs, etc.

If you have little or nothing to put in this section, consider making a post to one of the open threads instead of a diary entry.

Section 4, the "Poll"

Here you can ask the community a question and offer a multiple choice list of answers. This part is 100% optional. Hopefully, it's also fairly self-explanitory.

The Diary Listing

Once you hit the PREVIEW button about 300 times and still miss 23 spelling errors, you're ready to hit the SUBMIT button. Here's what a diary entry should look like on the diary pages:

If yours is a lot more than this, consider going back and editing it.

That's it!

It's not too difficult to make a viable and efficient diary entry. I hope this will help out the folks who might be a bit confused about what to do, and perhaps help everyone be able to make better use of Daily Kos.


Cheers! ...Rob


Parts stolen from Kuro5hin. Revised on 2.16.2005 by Daily Kos reader spin2cool.


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diaries by ek hornbeck


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