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What should I keep in mind while working on a section of the Guide?


Everything has been pre-selected. Don't throw anything away.

Mark Balzer culls "guideworthy" information out of daily posts to the Balloon HQ e-mailing lists. Mark edits and sorts that information and decides which section of which chapter it needs to go into.

To keep track of what goes where, Mark has created a document called the Detailed Table of Contents. It's just a version of the regular table of contents expanded to include all the sub-headings for each chapter.

Mark pastes the new material into the Detailed Table of Contents, under the appropriate sub-heading. It takes a few months to fill up, but when it's chock full of information to be added to the Guide, Mark uploads a copy of the Detailed Contents to this directory where it sits and waits its turn to be added.


If you are revising a section of a chapter, find the file with the most recent date (the info in older files has already been added), click on it, and scroll down until you see your chapter title. There you'll see just what has to be added to each sub-section.


Sometimes your editing process reveals that information slated for Guide Section X is better suited to Section Y. Don't delete something because it doesn't fit your section; save these paragraphs and return them to Mark. He will make sure they get to the right spot.


There is no set time limit.

You are a volunteer, and we are grateful for your help. You can, however, expect that a Balloon HQ administrator will check in with you every so often. We need to make sure you are still taking responsibility for your project and also to see if you need our assistance in obtaining resources vital to completing your task. Do not succumb to the dreaded disease "Guide Guilt;" what needs to get done will... somehow.

You decide how committed you are.

You may do a one-time update on a section of a chapter you choose, or you may volunteer to maintain a whole chapter indefinitely.

Please note: If you find that you can not complete a section you've begun revisions on, please contact Mark as soon as possible. He will work with you to upload the work you have been able to complete.


Adopt any format you choose.

Updates and maintenance require that you be able to write HTML, organize the sub-sections, and insert new material in its proper place. Extract the points and put them into lists, or create a flowing narrative, whatever you prefer. Just do your best to present all information coherently and make sure not to lose any relevant information. In fact, feel free to add your own original information (as long as it's relevant to ballooning)!

Don't be afraid to edit or paraphrase.

While it is netiquette taboo to re-write someone's e-mail messages, there is a valid need to filter out useful information from the context of someone's happy chattering for inclusion in the Guide. Of course, sometimes it's the happy chattering that really drives the point home; use your discretion. Ask yourself whether or not your readers need to see this phrase / sentence to get the point. Usually, there's an opening statement that's not needed for the context of the balloon-related revelation. However, be sure not to lose shades of meaning when editing.

Use your best judgement.

Often there will be 2 or more conflicting opinions expressed in different paragraphs. Always strive to present all arguments; and never "play god" (except when you really, REALLY know that one way is best).

Take a bow.

Document the date you complete your revision and add your initials at the end of the file.

Finish the task.

When you get a completed, tested section update, promptly email it to Mark as an attachment.

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Article ID: 25
Category: Becoming A Balloon HQ Volunteer
Date added: 2012-07-01 18:49:59
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