Wisconsin Biographies Project FAQ's

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Q. I don't have any web space available.  Can I still be a County Coordinator?
A.  Yes.  There are a number of servers on the web that provide small amounts of
        free web   space.   See the item entitled "Free Web Space" below.
        Contact: Linda Pingel

Q.  How do I get my biographies on the Wisconsin Biographies Page?
A.  You don't.  Your biographies need to be kept with your county page on your server.
        Contact: Linda Pingel

Q.  Why do I have to use text files?  Won't the biographies need to be in html format?
A.  You don't have to use the text format.  Some people prefer text because it's easier
       to create.  There are  pros and cons for Text or HTML, it is up to the county
       coordinator to decide which will work best for them.
        Contact: Linda Pingel

Q.  Can new biographies be typed directly into e-mail?
A.  Yes, however, please be aware that there are some pitfalls associated with typing
      biographies directly into an e-mail.  Not the least of which will be improperly
      formatted biographies.  That means someone has to do a lot more work to make the
      biography work on the web.  The other reason is simpler; if you save each biography
      as a separate file, you will only have to type it once.
        Contact: Linda Pingel

Q.  Why do I have to leave a message on the Bio-L mailing list when I add new
A.  So both the State Coordinator and the Assistant Coordinator have the information
      on all new biographies.  The State coordinator maintains a list of biographies and
      a biographies archive.  The Assistant Coordinator is responsible for maintaining
      the names index.
        Contact: Linda Pingel

Q.  I already have a large number of biographies as html documents.  Do you expect
        me to convert the all to text files?
A.  We understand the amount of time and effort that has gone into typing all those bios;
      Therefore, if you are building a County Biographies site from a pre-existing html
      library, go ahead and use what  you have.  This does however significantly increase
      the workload of the state coordinator.  New sites  with no pre-existing html library
      should adopt the text file format.
        Contact: Linda Pingel

Q.  Is there a standard way to name the biographies?
A.  Not really.  Al long as the file is in the correct format (DOS text) and has the ".txt"
      extension, it should be just fine.  If you use Windows95 to create your biography
      files, a good way to name them is to use the full name of the subject in lower case
     without any spaces or punctuation.  For example: Enos T. Taylor would becomes
     enosttaylor.txt.  This is not a requirement, just a good idea.  If you use Windows
     3.1x, you could abbreviate the name like ettaylor.txt.  Once the file is uploaded to
     your server, you can then rename it to a more descriptive name if you wish.
        Contact: Linda Pingel

Q.  I don't know a thing about creating web pages but I am willing to learn.  Can
        someone help me get started?
A.  Absolutely!  You can contact Linda Pingel for some pointers.  There is also a sample
      page you can  modify and use.  See the section below entitled "HTML Sources".
        Contact: Linda Pingel

Q.  Does my county page have to look just like the sample page?
A.  Not at all.  In fact, we encourage you to be creative with your web page.  Make it
      your own creation.  Keep in mind, however, that a lot of graphics on a page make it
      look nicer, but can make it  painfully slow when loading.
        Contact: Linda Pingel

Q.  Where can I find those neat buttons and backgrounds for my web page?
A.  There are many web sites that have graphics collections available for download.
      Check the links  in the "Graphics" section below.  Or, if you are adventuresome,
      you can create them yourself.
        Contact: Linda Pingel

Q.  How do I get my page and biographies on my server?
A.  You will have to upload them using an FTP program.
        Contact: Linda Pingel

Q.  How should I organize my biographies?
A.  There are no set rules on storing your biographies. Here are some rough guidelines
      though: Keep backup copies of all your biographies on your local PC just in case.
      You can keep your biographies  in a sub directory on the server, just make sure the
      hyper links are correct.  Once you have established  a system for naming and storing
      your bios, stay with it!
        Contact: Linda Pingel

Free Web Space...

There are a number of sources available that offer free web space where you can keep your county page.  No attempt will be made here to give instructions for using these sites.  Please visit each site and see what they have to offer.  Some of these sites provide a suite of tools that help make managing your page much easier.

Free WWW sites:

HTML Sources...

There are hundreds of sites on the web offering instruction on using HTML and creating web pages.  Here are a couple of good ones:

The NCSA Beginner's Guide to HTML
HTML Tutorials by John C. Gilson
So You Want to Make a Web Page


There is no better way to kill a web page than to load it with graphics.  Graphics download slowly from the host server and an impatient user will often hit the STOP or BACK button instead of waiting for a large graphic file to download.  Many very successful web pages contain no graphics at all.  The creative use of color, and a clean, well thought out page layout are the real keys to any page.  However, very few of us design web pages this way.  We all like to be individuals and our web pages usually reflect this.  There are a few things you can do to make graphics a little easier to live with.  Use small meaningful graphics on your web pages.  A small graphics used as a Hyper Link carries more meaning than  does a photo of the family pet.  Try to use GIF files whenever possible.  If you must use large graphics, use an interlaced GIF so the user isn't stuck waiting for each graphic to load completely.  Remember, the purpose of a graphic is to get and keep a visitor's attention.

Here are some places to get really nice graphics for your page:

Gifpile Genealogy Graphics
Harry the Cat - Animated Gifs
Carla's Graphic and Web Designs
Nutmeg Creations
Graphics by Barbara

Copyright 2001 Linda Pingel. 
All rights reserved.

For problems or questions regarding this web, contact
Linda Pingel.