Friday, April 3, 2009

Follow The Yellow Brick Road!

Please note, there was an error in the "grab your code" footnote section. The period was inadvertently left out. I have inserted it and we are good to go.


For quite some time I've been working on a system of linked footnotes for use by GeneaBloggers in their blog posts. I have discussed this with many of you, tested them on many of you, and would like to thank you for your assistance.

The wonderful thing about blogs is that they are free, What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) programming, easy to put online, accessible to the world genealogy community, and easy to read.

Adding footnotes thwarts many of the things that make blogs wonderful, but does add that layer of scholarly research, proof, and attribution we require. Please do not confuse adding linked footnotes with establishing a style for footnotes on geneablogs, which is also one of my projects. They are not the same thing.

I have found a method of linked footnotes that I am comfortable with adding to my blogs. You can see them in action on the Friday From The Collectors Article by Donna McClure on Shades. I find the link style blends into the written work and does not detract from the readability of the article. It is not, however, WYSIWYG.

In a real world written document you can flip back and forth between the note in the document and the footnote. This method of blog footnoting is similar, in that you can select the note in the document and be taken directly to the footnote. Once the footnote has been read you can select the footnote's number and be taken back to the exact spot where you were reading.

Not being WYSIWYG, any explanation must be understood by every level of blogger. I have read hundreds of sites that have attempted similar explanations and they have left me completely lost. Let's hope I can do a better job, but if I don't, please feel free to question me.

Let's begin.

Enter your post in your blog in HTML mode as plain text, no coding of any kind. Include the note and footnote numbers in their correct position in the article, as indicated in red below.

-- The Post --

Pirie MacDonald’s story started in Chicago where he was born Jan 27, 1867 just nine days after his Scottish mother arrived in the US. 1 Sources list his given name as Ian Pirie, but I came to question that since the 1870 census clearly shows him at the age of 3 listed as Jno for Jonathan or John. 2 Years later, in some directories, he is listed as J. P. in his ads. 3 Formal education ended for him at the age of 11. He was self-educated through “constant reading and studying, plus a passion for travel”.

1 “Guide to the Pirie MacDonald Portrait Photograph Collection”

2 1870 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois population schedule, Ward 5 Chicago, p.249 (penned), p. 279 (stamped), dwelling 1703, family 1935. Jno. P. MacDonald: digital images, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com); from National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 200.

3 Albany Directory 1890, (Albany, NY: Sampson, Murdock & Co. 1890), p. 194

Note: Omit the period behind the footnote number in the plain text article it will be added in the code. The red color is for grabbing your attention only. It has nothing to do with the notes themselves or the written article.

-- End Of Post --

In HTML Mode:

Replace the note numbers in the body of your article with the following code for each note:

Note 1:
‹a name="id1" href="#ftn.id1"›‹sup›1‹/sup›‹/a›

Note 2:
‹a name="id2" href="#ftn.id2"›‹sup›2‹/sup›‹/a›

Note 3:
‹a name="id3" href="#ftn.id3"›‹sup›3‹/sup›‹/a›

The note number is indicated in three spots in the code - here in red.

Repeat this process for each subsequent note!

The body of the article in HTML mode with note source would look like this:

Pirie MacDonald’s story started in Chicago where he was born Jan 27, 1867 just nine days after his Scottish mother arrived in the US. ‹a name="id1" href="#ftn.id1"›‹sup›1‹/sup›‹/a› Sources list his given name as Ian Pirie, but I came to question that since the 1870 census clearly shows him at the age of 3 listed as Jno for Jonathan or John. ‹a name="id2" href="#ftn.id2"›‹sup›2‹/sup›‹/a›Years later, in some directories, he is listed as J. P. in his ads. ‹a name="id3" href="#ftn.id3"›‹sup›3‹/sup›‹/a› Formal education ended for him at the age of 11. He was self-educated through “constant reading and studying, plus a passion for travel”.

Now, replace the actual footnote numbers in your article with the following code for each footnote:

Footnote 1:
‹a name="ftn.id1" href="#id1"›1‹/a›.

Footnote 2:
‹a name="ftn.id2" href="#id2"›2‹/a›.

Footnote 3:
‹a name="ftn.id3" href="#id3"›3‹/a›.

Repeat this process for each subsequent footnote!

The footnote portion of the article in HTML mode with
source would look like this:


‹a name="ftn.id1" href="#id1"›1‹/a›. “Guide to the Pirie MacDonald Portrait Photograph Collection”

‹a name="ftn.id2" href="#id2"›2‹/a›. 1870 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois population schedule, Ward 5 Chicago, p.249 (penned), p. 279 (stamped), dwelling 1703, family 1935. Jno. P. MacDonald: digital images, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com); from National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 200.

‹a name="ftn.id3" href="#id3"›3‹/a›. Albany Directory 1890, (Albany, NY: Sampson, Murdock & Co. 1890), p. 194

That's it! Now I haven't explained what the code language means, and I'm not going to. I'm making this explanation WYSIWYG. If you want an in depth explanation, write me. I'm trying to keep this as simple as possible.

CAUTION! Do not select the code from this article and paste into your blog. It won't work. Grab your code here:

Note:


Footnote:



A suggestion or two:

You can take the code for a note and a footnote and place them in "Bloggers" template.

Note: ‹a name="id1" href="#ftn.id1"›‹sup›1‹/sup›‹/a›
Footnote: ‹a name="ftn.id1" href="#id1"›1‹/a›.

Then in HTML Mode highlight the code for note and copy. Highlight the note number in your article and paste the code. (Do the same for footnotes.) Remember to renumber each as you paste. I leave the number 1 in my code rather than replacing with an *. I remember where the number belongs if there is a 1 there. But that's just me, you should do what works best for you.

If there are no footnotes in your post, simply delete the code from the template.

As a Mac user, I have a little program called TypeIt4Me. I have put both those codes in the program and designated a keyboard shortcut. As I type my article I can hit that key for a note or footnote to appear. I add the correct number. I am not familiar with Windows, but I understand they have a similar program called AutoHotKey. If there is another Mac or Windows program, please share in the comments.

Are there variations on this theme? Yes, I have chosen to show you only one style. As I said, I'm trying to keep this as simple as possible. If you would like to see a variation on this style, write me. We'll all learn together.

Now, go try some blog footnotes!

10 Comments:

OpenID Moultrie Creek said...

This is fabulous! Not only is is handy for my blog, but I can put it to work at work. I'll be more than happy to tell them I learned it from THE footnoteMaven!

April 4, 2009 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Thanks Denise! Glad to help.

Style is next.

Just a note, there was an error in the grab the code footnote section. The period was left out. I have inserted it and we are good to go.

-fM

April 4, 2009 at 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Famly Curator said...

Fantastic. I don't work with HTML (probably should) but your instructions were clear enough for me to feel like I could give it a try. Thanks.

April 4, 2009 at 5:52 PM  
OpenID pastprologue said...

fM,

Thanks for a "Killa" article on attacking the footnote issue. I rarely footnote my posts because of the time it would take to do it (and I doubt anyone cares in the details as much as I do). But this might prompt me to give it a go.

Donner

April 4, 2009 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger FamHist said...

You can use your code as text templates in Windows Live Writer. Here's a link that shows how to set it up. http://www.codeplex.com/Wiki/View.aspx?ProjectName=wlwTextTemplate

Remember, you'll need the code on this site to enter in your templates.

Good stuff. Thanks.

April 4, 2009 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Denise & Donner:

If I can do it, anyone can. Footnotes have their place and I should discuss when they're necessary. Another post.

Lee:

Thank you! I'm a Mac and you're my PC. I defer to your expertise with Windows.

-fM

April 4, 2009 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Thanks, fM, for the explicit instructions. Very easy to understand - I may even try it someday...

April 4, 2009 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Oh, Becky! How do I love thee, let me count the ways. Your comments are always high on my list, blogging friend, of the ways.

I'm putting my family history online in blogger books and I so need this. Glad to see you all could understand it.

-fM

April 4, 2009 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Sheri said...

Thank you fM, you have a way of explaining things so that even I can understand. I checked the volt meter to my brain and it wasn't even close to overloading - you are that good! Thanks for helping us all become the best researchers we can possibly be!

April 5, 2009 at 12:53 PM  
Anonymous LOOKING4ANCESTORS said...

Greetings fM,
You ROCK! Your instructions are concise and easy to follow. No wonder they call you THE footnoteMaven.

Kathryn

April 7, 2009 at 1:59 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home