River Guides - Regional editors needed please ...

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Mark R
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River Guides - Regional editors needed please ...

Post by Mark R »

When I started writing the riverguides on this site over a decade ago, there was no 'Scottish White Water' guidebook, nor was there 'The Welsh Rivers' or 'English White Water'. The need for river info was much more pressing than it is now. However, I still think that there is a need for the guides to be continually added to and updated. This is a task I've conspicuously failed to keep on top of in the past two years.

I'm quite embarrassed at the extent to which I've gotten behind with keeping the river guides updated. I have well over 1000 updates sitting in my backlog - updates that people have been good enough to send me, but which I haven't found time to add to the site. Various reasons for this ...

- updates are done 'by hand' with files individually re-edited
- I'm actually 'busy' at work these days, unlike when I started the site a decade ago
- I quite like to go paddling in my free time
- I've been writing a book for the past 18 months
- etc.

Now I know that a million techies will now pop up and explain that the real solution is to design a whizzy new databased site that makes this all effortless and seamless. In the absence however of someone capable/able/willing to complete this utterly Herculean task (simply for the Hell of it), I badly need to fix the site as it stands.

My old approach was always to keep personal control of this side of the site, however this is no longer practical or sensible. Basically I now need volunteers to be REGIONAL EDITORS to help out and maintain the different regions of the river guides. The first and most presing job is to clear the backlog of updates for your region.

The job on offer is totally unglamorous and carries no rewards that I can think of, beyond seeing your picture on the regional page. It will involve dull drudgery-type text-editing work, and will require little creative input. I'll co-ordinate things by putting your work up on the site and so forth.

I need folk to pop up and volunteer themselves for one or more of the site's regions (see http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/rivers.htm - I'll do SW England myself) who fill the following criteria ...

- Have access to Dreamweaver or some simple way of editing html files, plus basic knowledge of how to add links etc.
- Be able to resize zillions of photos, personally my vote for the dullest ob of all.
- Able to unquestioningly follow Dictatorial and tedious lists of instructions (yes, you will have to work according to a 'system' laid down by myself)
- Have reasonable knowledge of their chosen region (e.g. will be able to spot if someone invents a waterfall/river that doesn't exist)
- Have free time on their hands.
- Be able to edit spelling, punctuation and grammar accurately.

Any comments/questions welcome.

Volunteers - either reply here or email/pm me. I won't be making any immediate decisions - 'Project Backlog' will commence only when everything is in place to do the job properly.
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Post by Chris Bolton »

Good idea, Mark. I'm not currently in a position to volunteer, but I might be able to suggest a way to make the job easier.
MarkR wrote:- Be able to resize zillions of photos, personally my vote for the dullest of of all.
Irfanview is a free image editing program which will resize any number of photos, to either a given size or a given proportion of their current size, very quickly and easily. See http://www.irfanview.com/

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Post by Jones Chris »

Mark - if you have photoshop I can write you an action that will resize photos for you automatically if this is any help? Just select all the photos, click on resize and leave it to sort it. It will even do both portrait or landscape photos so that there is a maximum width or hieght - basically it fits in a box. There are plenty of tutorials around if you wanted to do it yourself but I can write you instructions of how to write an action if you want.

Chris

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Post by Jim »

Like you I no longer have anywhere near as much time for this sort of thing (did someone mention Grand Canyon photos?) but if you don't get a better offer for some of the Scottish regions email me, I might be able to fit some in.

I have notepad for proper HTML editing and now I've transferred the contents of my old PC (after over a year) I should have a batch image resizer again. I should probably also be able to write a macro for gimp to do it, but do I have time to think about that?

Jim

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Post by Steve C »

Jim wrote:I have notepad for proper HTML editing
Real men use vi (Insert cheeky smug looking smiley here)

Can help out with Scotland if you need it.

Steve
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Post by Tom_Laws »

You don't need paddlers at all. You need monkeys!

I will help out with North Wales, but not until I am back from France. You have my email address...

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Post by Steve C »

Tom_Laws wrote:You don't need paddlers at all. You need monkeys!
And typewriters and a lot of time?
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

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Post by nichburton »

Sorry, not interested in the editor job but would like to recommend some free tools to help with the image re-sizing. Assuming most people are on Windows, then try Image Resizer PowerToy for XP, which gives simple right-click resizing from Windows Explorer.

I'm now on Vista and am using Windows Live Photo Gallery. Again, right-click resizing, right-click publish to Flickr and the best quality panoramics I've ever had the pleasure of creating.

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Post by Mark R »

Steve C wrote:Can help out with Scotland if you need it.
Cheers - which region(s) did you have in mind?

THE FAR NORTH - Rivers 'near' Inverness
THE NORTHEAST - Rivers 'near' Aberdeen
THE WEST HIGHLANDS - Rivers 'near' Fort William
THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS - Rivers 'near' Perth
THE SOUTHERN UPLANDS - Rivers south of Glasgow
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Post by Steve C »

I could do Southern Uplands & Central Highlands as thats where I seem to spend most of my time.

Steve
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Post by Jim Pullen »

I'm happy to do the north east of England!

I don't currently have a copy of dreamweaver, but I should be able to rustle something up.

I should have enough free time to do this during the dry season and believe it's really worthwhile! PM me with details.

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Post by banzer »

Mark R wrote:
Steve C wrote:Can help out with Scotland if you need it.
Cheers - which region(s) did you have in mind?

THE FAR NORTH - Rivers 'near' Inverness
THE WEST HIGHLANDS - Rivers 'near' Fort William
Well if we're talking about sub-editing... I could manage a bit of that... particularly if it means being able to achieve my lifetime ambition of moving the Nevis to the 'hard' catergory eh Mark? ;-)
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Post by cswalker »

Mark,

I would love to do Wales, despite being an ex pat, I am as you know still passionate about my 'homeland' boating! I think the UK is underestimated in the quality of its runs, maybe rightly so with runnable reliable water but still, simply it is simply outstanding when it 'goes off'!. I just ran through my Welsh rivers list in my own log books and hit over 220 runs! Perhaps not the most but a good spectrum to say the least. I also don't see it as a solo project, whilst my knowledge may be extensive, the resources such as Sladden, Blain, Collins, Cooper, Green, Luke, Ferroro I am sure would add to and clairfy the knowledge!

Either way, very best wishes to a great and ever developing online resource!

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Post by tape34 »

Jim Pullen wrote:I'm happy to do the north east of England!
..................................................
Well done Jim will, will pm you to offer help.
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Post by Ross W »

As not really having the on going time to be able to offer anything in the way of rivers, I am how ever able to develop an easyer guide editing system.

If this interests you Mark, I've knocked up a quick demo, Just give me an email or PM and I shall send you the details.

Ross
Last edited by Ross W on Thu May 29, 2008 11:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Crumble »

Happy to do Midlands.

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Post by Red »

Not got a huge amount of spare time, but happy to also offer assistance with North East wherever possible.

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Post by Jim »

Steve C wrote:
Jim wrote:I have notepad for proper HTML editing
Real men use vi (Insert cheeky smug looking smiley here)
Well I don't use a linux box at home anymore, and I have found that people get scared if they see you editting in vi, they seem to think you are practicing witchcraft or something!

If it is compulsory I'll stick linux on a VM just so I can edit in vi :-)

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Post by iainporter »

Emacs, surely?

*ducks*

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Post by Noj »

I'm happy to do the Midlands.

Have recently started an IT company focusing on web development so I've got quite a bit of time and the experience to do it.

(Am NOT using Linux though :P)

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Post by morsey »

If those keen and interested in South Wales want to help out I'm happy to coordinate and do all the techy spod stuff. :-)

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Post by banzer »

Anyone want to fight me for East Anglia.
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Post by Lowri Davies »

I know it has been suggested before (and badly trialed elsewhere), but I seriously believe a moderated Wiki would be ideal for this. Take the workload off the editors a hell of a lot and make people more likely to keep it all up to date. Would allow for an up to date hazards section for each river / stretch as well. That would be an amazing resource.

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Post by Jim »

iainporter wrote:Emacs, surely?

*ducks*
Virtually a gui, yuck! I could never get to grips with all those weird command keys!

What could be more obvious and easy to get grips with than say typing 5yy to copy 5 lines of text to the clipboard? or :wq to save and close the file? Much better than messing about with menus or mice :-)

For anyone actually needing a text editor in windows, try notepad++ (freeware). I don't use it but a colleague swears by it. For Unix/Linux you really must learn to use vi!

What was this thread about again?

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Post by Ricks-Freestyle-Mind »

Does anyone understand Jim? 'Cos I don't!

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Post by John Kennedy »

Lowri Davies wrote:I know it has been suggested before (and badly trialed elsewhere), but I seriously believe a moderated Wiki would be ideal for this. Take the workload off the editors a hell of a lot and make people more likely to keep it all up to date. Would allow for an up to date hazards section for each river / stretch as well. That would be an amazing resource.
Right on, a user controlled wiki is the way to go, with moderator approval.

It means that the boaters themselves have control of what goes on the page.

Check out irishwhitewater.com for it. Everyone can edit every single page for hazards, updates with landowners, etc. It's written by Joe Boater. I don't mean to put yoru fantastic site down Mark, but the more frequently a page is looked at, examined and more importantly maintained, the more accurate it is.
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Re: River Guides - Regional editors needed please ...

Post by Mark R »

Mark R wrote:Now I know that a million techies will now pop up and explain that the real solution is to design a whizzy new databased site that makes this all effortless and seamless. In the absence however of someone capable/able/willing to complete this utterly Herculean task...
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Post by Ross W »

Mark R wrote:
Mark R wrote:Now I know that a million techies will now pop up and explain that the real solution is to design a whizzy new databased site that makes this all effortless and seamless. In the absence however of someone capable/able/willing to complete this utterly Herculean task...
wildross wrote:As not really having the on going time to be able to offer anything in the way of rivers, I am how ever able to develop an easyer guide editing system.

If this interests you Mark, I've knocked up a quick demo, Just give me an email or PM and I shall send you the details.

Ross
I'll take that as a no then.
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Post by Jim Pullen »

I think the main issue would be porting over the 1000s of files already on the system rather than the development of a new system itself. The latter may only take a few days to knock something up, but the former would take weeks of work which I doubt anyone would be prepared to do for free!

I'm guessing this is the main reason Mark wishes to remain with the current format.

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Post by MikeB »

wildross wrote:
Mark R wrote:
Mark R wrote:Now I know that a million techies will now pop up and explain that the real solution is to design a whizzy new databased site that makes this all effortless and seamless. In the absence however of someone capable/able/willing to complete this utterly Herculean task...
wildross wrote:As not really having the on going time to be able to offer anything in the way of rivers, I am how ever able to develop an easyer guide editing system.

If this interests you Mark, I've knocked up a quick demo, Just give me an email or PM and I shall send you the details.

Ross
I'll take that as a no then.
The problem is that Mark doesn't do "techy" in any sense!! And that which to you is simple isn't to him (or indeed to me). Not my place to speak on his behalf, but I'd suggest that if you're going to propose whizzy techno solutions, then you need to be able to say that "by clicking this button, all the existing content will instantly move to this new way of doing stuff!. If you can't, don't!

From a personal perspective, with my UKSKGB "hat" on, I dread the thought of having to revamp it - I did it once when we did some techy move thingie years ago and I'm not doing it again!
Ricks-Freestyle-Mind wrote:Does anyone understand Jim? 'Cos I don't!
Jim doesn't do modern with anything! He's talking about those old fashioned ways of doing things that were the norm before we had gui's (graphic user interface - otherwise known as icons). He hankers after a gentler time when computer operators were techno whiz kids and could talk about key stroke combinations to their hearts content.

A secret and archaic language, but one which is still useful. It's generally quicker to hit ctrl+P and enter to print your doc than it is to find the mouse, move it to the print icon, click the icon and then click ok.

Mike

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