FAQ

What is EphBlog’s mission?
What is EphBlog’s motto?
How can I contact EphBlog?
What is EphBlog’s disclaimer?
How can I get a post or comment about me deleted?
How can I get a post or comment about someone else deleted?
Why isn’t my comment showing up?
My comment was removed. Why?
Why did you ban me?
What/who is the Ombudsperson?
Why do you spend so much time writing about X?
Why don’t you spend more time writing about Y?
What is EphBlog’s policy on links?
Why are some Eph Blogroll links listed as anonymous or unknown?
What are “authors” and how do I become one?
Any tips for new authors?
What are “administrators” and how do I become one?
Why did you edit my post/comment?
How do I put a picture, or other special formatting, in my post?
How do I put special formatting in my comments?
What is EphBlog’s policy on crossposting?
What are Eph Diaries?
Are anonymous authors welcome?
Are anonymous commentators welcome?
Why are some blogs in the Eph Blogroll not included in Eph Planet?
How can I subscribe to an RSS feed? How can I get e-mail notifications of posts and/or comments?
How can I limit the posts that I see on EphBlog?
What are EphBlog’s terms of use?

What is EphBlog’s mission?

EphBlog encourages, organizes and supports the Williams Conversation.

What is EphBlog’s motto?

All Things Eph. This is a three word summary about how many of us think about EphBlog. The motto should be interpreted as broadly as possible. We are interested in anything and everything related to any Eph. Of course, there is a sense in which this is impossibly broad. Since Ephs are everywhere and involved in everything, it would be hard to come up with a topic that was not Eph-related somehow. But we do try to always have a “hook” — some connection, however tenuous, to something that another Eph has written or done. The best way to understand what “All Things Eph” means in the context of EphBlog is to look at our collection of posts and commentary. The range of topics that we have covered is representative of what “All Things Eph” means to us as a collective, what it means to take part in the Williams Conversation.

How can I contact EphBlog?

Best is to send e-mail to eph _at_ ephblog.com. This currently goes to Dick Swart ’57, David Kane ’88, Eric Smith ’99, Ronit Bhattacharyya ’07 and possibly others. You are also free to contact any of our participating authors. You can generally find their e-mails in either the on-campus or alumni directories.

What is EphBlog’s disclaimer?

While EphBlog is a collaborative project of anyone and everyone to which the term “Eph” might apply, it has no official connection with Williams College. As such, whatever is contained in EphBlog is not necessarily representative of any official college policy or opinion and Williams College as an institution does not necessarily endorse anything contained herein. Contributors are encouraged to write their personal opinions on issues, and such opinions are not necessarily a consensus opinion of Williams students, faculty, staff, administration or alumni.

The comments and posts on EphBlog come from contributions freely volunteered by many individual commenters and authors. Individual commenters and authors are responsible for the content of the comments and posts that they contribute to EphBlog. Although the board and editors of EphBlog reserve the right to remove objectionable material, this does not imply that anything published on EphBlog is endorsed or supported by anyone other than the individual commenter/author who posted it. Authors and editors have the option, but not the responsibility, to moderate comments on EphBlog threads. It’s a privilege, not a duty.

Furthermore, all content on sites linked to EphBlog, regardless of their authors’ affiliation with Williams College or EphBlog, are also not necessarily endorsed by the college. While readers may encounter a wide variety of material, some of which may be deemed offensive, the beauty of this website is that anyone and everyone can add their comments in the true spirit of Williams.

How can I get a post or comment about me deleted?

Just ask! EphBlog will edit/delete almost any post or comment which mentions a specific Eph at the request of that Eph. We have been asked a dozen times to change material and have complied with almost every request. This is not to say that we will delete anything that anyone wants us to. For example, important, news-worthy topics (e.g., here, here, here and here) will be covered even if that coverage makes some members of the Williams community uncomfortable. Examples of edits made at the request of specific Ephs include not mentioning the names of the students involved in the Cole Field bombing, deleting the last name of Mary Jane Hitler, removing a post about a student contestant on American Idol and deleting posts about students arraigned for drug crimes in Berkshire Court.

How can I get a post or comment about someone else deleted? You can ask, but we may just wait for the subject of the post to ask. How do you know what he wants? On several occasions, we have been asked to remove a post or link by a “friend” of someone only to find out later that the subject didn’t mind the attention at all. So, if you think someone else wouldn’t want to be the subject of an EphBlog post, tell her to ask us. You may be surprised to discover that she has no objection. If she objects enough to care, then she cares enough to contact us.

Why isn’t my comment showing up? On some web browsers, especially Firefox, you have to refresh the page after you submit the comment in order to see it on the page. Always try refreshing before posting the comment again.

My comment was removed. Why? Comments may be deleted if they are considered to be rude, obnoxious, off-topic, trollish, or SPAM. Comments may not be removed because of ideological or political disagreement. If your comment has been removed, the person removing it is required to replace your comment with a note of the form “comment deleted by (name)”. We also encourage that a note citing the ‘reason why’ be added. If this removal has happened to a comment that you have made and you wish to dispute the action, please contact the Board (by emailing eph _at_ ephblog.com or posting in the Speak Up! forum) and/or our Ombudsperson Ken Thomas ‘93 (kthomas _at_ alumni.williams.edu)

Why did you ban me? EphBlog reserves the right to ban commentators (or authors) who are excessively rude or obnoxious or off-topic or trollish. This is our party and these are our rules. Don’t like them? Go elsewhere. Or, join the Board of EphBlog and try to change the rules. Since 2003, we have banned only one commentator.

What/who is the Ombudsperson? EphBlog has an Ombudsperson working as ‘one who investigates complaints and mediates fair settlements, especially between aggrieved parties such as consumers or students and an institution or organization’. In six years, 5000 posts, and 35,000 comments, EphBlog has managed to resolve 99.9% of disagreements satisfactorily through good will and give-and-take. However, there have been several instances in which intervention was necessary. The Board reaches out to the Ombudsperson in these rare instances to investigate problems and has complete confidence in the Ombudsperson’s resolutions. The current Ombudsperson is Ken Thomas ’93.

Why do you spend so much time writing about X? Why not? Each author at EphBlog can post on whatever interests her. We generally expect that each post will have some connection to Williams, either direct or via associated commentary, but this is not a hard rule. See here for a longer discussion.

Why don’t you spend more time writing about Y? Why should we? We write about what interests us. If we haven’t written as much as you like about Y, then it’s probably because we don’t think Y is that interesting. But if you care about Y, then you should write about it. If you send your writing to us, we will post it. If you want, you can join us as an author and post more on Y yourself. All Ephs are welcome here.

What is EphBlog’s policy on links? Ephblog will link, via the Eph Blogroll, to all Eph sites unless a clear consensus of the EphBlog community deems the site to be beyond the pale. See here and here for fun background. Fortunately, we have yet to find an Eph site that is beyond the pale, perhaps because we don’t spend time looking for one. If you would like to be added to our blogroll (or taken off of it for that matter), please contact us. A similar policy applies to links to non-Eph sites.

Why are some Eph Blogroll links listed as anonymous or unknown? Because they are. If it is easy for us to tell which Eph is responsible for a specific blog, we list her by name. If we can’t figure it out, we list them as “unknown”. If you know the name of an unknown (and you think that she won’t mind being identified), please pass the name along to us. We like to give credit where it is due. Eph Bloggers who make it clear on their blogs (or to us directly) that they wish to remain anonymous are listed that way.

What are “authors” and how do I become one? Authors have posting privileges at EphBlog. You can see the list of current authors here. If you’d like to become an author, just ask us. Please provide us with a brief bio for the About Us page. We have never turned down anyone. Indeed, the major problem with EphBlog is that we do not have enough authors, enough posts from different Ephs with different points of view. The more diversity, the better the conversation.

Any tips for new authors? When you sign up, we will send you a username and password. The author login is here and is always available at the bottom of the About Us page. Once you login, you should change your password. In the upper right corner of the page, you will see a user link which takes you to a profile page. Besides changing your password, you can specify how you want your name to appear on your posts. You can also provide a website that will be linked to under your display name. Using your real name or login or anything else is fine. You can get a sense of the various HTML tricks we use by viewing the source of a page and by reading Diana Davis’s ’07 HTML Tutorial.

What are “administrators” and how do I become one? Administrators are authors with increased privileges. The terms “administrator” and “author” are part of WordPress, the blogging platform we use. Administrators can read/edit/delete all posts and comments on EphBlog. They also have the ability to change various aspects of the site: format of the page, installed widgets and so on. If you’d like to become an administrator, just ask us. We have never turned down anyone.

Why did you edit my post/comment? Administrators have the ability to edit any post/comment on EphBlog. They do so sparingly. The most common edits are to fix HTML formatting associated with images, change/add categories to make searching easier, and other modifications that do not affect the original writer’s intent. They also edit posts and comments in compliance with reader requests. The Board retains the right to enforce other edits as it deems necessary, generally after discussion with the Ombudsperson.

How do I put a picture, or other special formatting, in my post?

Pictures: Authors have two options when uploading a picture. If the picture is hosted somewhere else (say, you want to post a picture you found on yahoo.com), hit Alt-Shift-M while editing the post to bring up the Insert/Edit Image pop-up. Enter in the image’s URL (yahoo.com/example.jpg in our test) and edit the image’s dimension and spacing as you please. If you are working in the Visual mode of the editor, you can just click on the image button to the right of the html link/unlink bottons.

Alternately, if you have an image on your computer and it’s not hosted somewhere online, you can upload a picture to the EphBlog server and insert that picture. When on the “Write” page, click the Add Image icon next to the “Add media” text. Browse for the correct file and, optionally, give it a title and description. After clicking the “Upload” button, click the “Edit” link. This should give you the picture’s URL as hosted on the EphBlog server and you can paste it into your post as explained above.

Finally, the HTML that puts an image into a post:

<img src="http://www.ephblog.com/ephBlogTitle.jpg">

By default, images will be aligned to the left and text wrap will wrap around them. To align an image to the right:

<img src="http://www.ephblog.com/ephBlogTitle.jpg" style="float: right; clear: both;">

To get rid of text wrap altogether:

<img src="http://www.ephblog.com/ephBlogTitle.jpg" style="float: none;">

Formatting: Posts can use all the HTML formatting that comments can use (above), plus some more. If you want small font, you can say

< font size="1" >This is the smallest< /font >

< font size="2" >This is pretty small< /font >

< font size="3" >This is the default< /font >

This is the smallest
This is pretty small
This is the default It is increasingly popular to embed videos into posts. To do this, upload your video to Google Video or YouTube (or just find a preexisting one on one of the sites), then follow the instructions on the site that will give you the HTML code, and paste it into your post.

A list of these and many other simple HTML tags is at Diana’s HTML tutorial.

How do I put special formatting in my comments? Most HTML in the comments, such as changing the font, is stripped off by Moveable Type. Here are some useful tags that are allowed (note that here, there are spaces between the “<” and “>” and the words; when you use the tag, put no spaces). First is the formatting, then the result.

If you want to make a link to something:

< a href="http://www.ephblog.com" >This is a link to EphBlog.< /a >

This is a link to EphBlog.

If you want to quote someone,

< blockquote >Put their words inside blockquote tags.< /blockquote >

If you want to quote someone,

Put their words inside of the blockquote tags.

If you want to emphasize something, you can make it

< b >bold< /b > or < i >italicized< /i > or < u >underlined< /u >.

bold or italicized or underlined. Note that you cannot post pictures, videos, etc. in the comments; instead, just link to them.

What is EphBlog’s policy on crossposting? We encourage it. Crossposting involves posting the same material to two or more different blogs. See here for an example. Crossposting is a good way for an author to bring her writing (and her blog) to a larger audience. Since EphBlog is about All Things Eph, and since All Things Eph includes anything written by an Eph, we encourage our authors to crosspost material from their others blogs. In general, this will not happen often since EphPlanet provides a good mechanism for the aggregation of Eph blogposts from elsewhere. Yet crossposting is a good way for a new blogger to start off. Any entries about Eph-specific topics (say, an Eph election campaign) should always be crossposted. We need more material on EphBlog, not less.

What are Eph Diaries? Eph Diaries are entries written by Ephs on their specific interests and projects. The most successful were Derek Charles Catsam’s ’93 Red Sox Diary (eventually published as a book) and letters from Iraq by Felipe Perez ’99. Interested in being an Eph Diarist? Please contact us.

Are anonymous authors welcome? Yes! We can provide two levels of anonymity. The first level is that we know who you are but keep your identity a secret. This makes it easier for us to communicate with you. The second, more thorough, level maintains your anonymity even from us. You set up a fake e-mail account (without your name, obviously) to communicate with us. Once we have sent you a login and password, no further communication is necessary.

Are anonymous commentators welcome? Yes! But, as in the case of anonymous authors, you should be aware that anonymity on the Internet is not complete. We do not expose the authors of anonymous comments, but it is not that hard to do so.

Why are some blogs in the Eph Blogroll not included in Eph Planet? We try to include all Eph blogs that we come across, regardless of feed format and blogging software used. We try to use Yahoo! Pipes to extract individual-author feeds for Ephs that participate in group blogs, and which do not provide author-specific feeds. However, sometimes this is not possible due to the way that a particular site’s RSS feed is set up, and thus we may end up excluding some of these group blogs. We also tend to exclude, as a general rule, RSS feeds associated with Twitter, Tumblr, and similar micro-blogging platforms, because we find that the high-frequency of posts generated by such services tends to crowd out the bloggers who produce actual original content on their blogs – micro-blogging doesn’t do a great job of fitting into an aggregator built for more traditional blogs. That being said, if you are interested in following Eph Twitterers, you may want to start by looking at the Ephs that we follow on Twitter.

How can I subscribe to an RSS feed? How can I get e-mail notifications of posts and/or comments?

See the Follow EphBlog page for full discussion.

How can I limit the posts that I see on EphBlog? If go to the main www.ephblog.com site, you get all the content. We are currently experimenting with the idea of “views” onto EphBlog. For example, an Eph might only be interested about finance or the class of 1988. If she wants, she can restrict the posts that she sees to just these categories by using the appropriate category link. All categories are accessible from the Categories menu in the right sidebar, and each comes with its own RSS feed. But that does not provide a full “view” since the sidebars (pages, recent comments and so on) are still the same as with the main site. You also have the ability to follow individual Ephblog authors – just click on the author’s name in a post that they have created, and you will be taken to the individual author’s posts, and will be presented with a link to an RSS feed for just the posts created by that author.

What are EphBlog’s terms of use?

By reading, linking to, quoting, printing out, or in any way making use of EphBlog’s content in any means, place, or forum, you agree to the following:

1. All original content of EphBlog is not to be used without permission except as provided herein. In using EphBlog you recognize that EphBlog is primarily commentary about “All Things Eph,” that all content is provided on an as-is basis, and that no factual statement on this site should be relied upon without further investigation on your part sufficient to satisfy you in your independent judgment that it is true. These terms of use are subject to change, and should be reviewed regularly.

2. Permission is granted to read, quote, cite, link to, print out or otherwise use EphBlog content, so long as you comply with the terms below.

A. All quotations from EphBlog will include credit to EphBlog or to the specific author and, wherever practicable, a hyperlink of the form http://www.ephblog.com … to the site.

B. In exchange for the access to EphBlog content described above, you agree not to sue EphBlog (or any of its authors and commentators) for its content, whether original or linked or quoted from another source, in any court, on any grounds whatsoever in law or equity. Should you violate this agreement by filing such a lawsuit, you agree to pay EphBlog’s owner or owners the sum of one million dollars ($1,000,000) as liquidated damages, in addition to all attorney’s fees, court costs, and other expenses associated with this litigation, and to indemnify and save harmless EphBlog and its owners from any damage award made against them in such an action. Should this agreement not to sue be held unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, you agree to binding arbitration, with all arbitration expenses to be paid by you. The arbitration panel shall be composed of three (3) weblog operators selected by EphBlog’s owners. The award in such arbitration shall be limited to (1) a monetary sum not to exceed $10; and (2) the publication of a retraction on the EphBlog site. Should this arbitration provision be held unenforceable in a court of competent jurisdiction, you agree to accept as liquidated damages in any lawsuit against EphBlog the sum of ten dollars ($10), and you agree that you will be entitled to no other relief of any kind in law or equity. You agree that all disputes concerning these terms of use or the content of EphBlog.com are to be resolved in the courts of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, under the laws of Massachusetts and the United States of America.

C. You agree that efforts to obtain EphBlog content in violation or circumvention of these terms of use constitute a violation of EphBlog’s copyright and you understand and agree that (1) by virtue of this agreement you are estopped from arguing otherwise: and (2) such violations may lead to civil or criminal penalties.

D. If you are a corporation, you agree to provide, upon the filing of any lawsuit or the mailing of any letter threatening legal action, a bond in the amount of one million dollars ($1,000,000) as security against the liquidated damages provided for in paragraph 2.B. above. If you are an attorney or law firm representing a party filing such lawsuit or causing such a letter to be sent, you agree to provide a bond in the same amount as security against the liquidated damages provided for in paragraph 2.B. above unless you have never accessed, viewed, read, or otherwise made use of EphBlog content in any form.

3. If you do not agree to these terms of use, exit the site immediately, destroy all copies of EphBlog content remaining in any form on your computer, any other computer or network device under your control, in print form, or on any information storage or retrieval device that you possess or control. Then execute the following affidavit and send it by certified mail to EphBlog, Legal Department, c/o David Kane, 124 Mount Street, Cambridge, MA 02138:

Affidavit

I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that I possess no copies of the EphBlog website in any form whatsoever; that neither I nor any employee or associate will access that site in the future in any form whatsoever; that I will immediately destroy any copies of EphBlog content that happen to come into my possession. I understand that action contrary to these statements constitutes both perjury and a violation of the EphBlog Terms of Use, subjecting me to possible civil and criminal liability.

_________ Signed (include date)

_________ Witnessed (notary)

Notary Seal:

My commission expires: ______________



One Response to “FAQ”

  1. frank uible says:

    Youse morons couldn’t say “good morning” in 25 words or fewer if your lives depended upon it. Youse ought to go into politics.




You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post


If a comment you submitted does not show up, please email us at eph at ephblog dot com. Please note that commenters are required to use a valid email address when submitting comments.