Contributing to the FamiLAB Blog

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Revision as of 13:58, 19 December 2011 by Digitalman2112 (talk | contribs)
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The FamiLAB Blog

The FamiLAB blog, located at (also a redirect from is a Wordpress installation hosted by (get info from Mack)

Why do we have a blog

Technically, it is much more than a blog - it is our entire website (other than this wiki). Most people will visit our blog before visiting the lab itself, so the blog is a good way for us to show the public who we are, what we do, and why we do it. It contains "about us" content, our upcoming classes and events, as well as a more traditional blog with posts highlighting the awesome things that we do. Our blog should also drive awareness that a hackerspace is a good thing.

When to post

There is always something awesome happening at the lab - we should capture it for the blog. Ideally we'd capture pictures or video at every event and create blog posts from them. We should also capture photos & video of our individual and group projects to make sure that we get recognition for our general awesomeness. As long as it is acceptable to share with the general public and fits with our mission, it should end up on the blog. If you need help with photos, videos, writing, post, etc. (or just need an account), people like Ian, Mack, and Bill (add links) are more than willing to help...

The Arras Theme

We use the Arras theme - we saw it used by AlphaOne Labs and decided to R&D it. To make your posts work properly on Arras, you need to know a few things:

Featured Image

The Arras theme needs a "Featured Image" set for each post to make it look right. Set a 620x300 image as the featured image for your blog post. The bottom 80 (60 now?) pixels are covered with a translucent frame with the first line of your blog text, so think about that when cropping your image. If you can think far enough in advance, take a picture composited REALLY wide for the featured image. Ian leaves the grid on his camera display and composites in only the top half of the grid - this works out pretty well.


The Arras theme has a carousel of images (and corresponding posts) on the main page, followed by a grid of post images, then a list of other posts. Selection of posts into these areas is controlled by Wordpress Categories. There are three FamiLAB categories that drive these:

Main Stories: The 6 most recent (post date / time) posts with the "Main Stories" category checked will appear in the carousel at the top of the blog home page.

Featured Posts: The 18 most recent (post date / time) posts with the "Featured Posts" category checked will appear in the grid of posts in the middle of the blog home page.

Hackerspace: The 10 most recent (post date / time) posts with the "Hackerspace" category checked will appear in the "Headlines" list at the bottom of the blog home page.

Our intent is to have the "Main Stories" contain information promoting our projects, our classes, and our events. Ideally, the Open House blog post would remain in the 6 most recent (either by unchecking others, or by updating the post date on the Open House blog post periodically). We've also discussed creating a blog post for sponsors / donors since we don't have much room for it in the widget area on the side of the site. Think about what a new visitor to the site should see when they get there - that should help guide what goes in main stories. If you've built something cool, and done a great post for it, PLEASE put it in Main Stories. If you were screwing around with the laser cutter and made something fun, then took a dark, blurry photo with a camera phone - don't use "Main Stories" :)


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