|Recently, an Association member asked how he could include a photo with his explanatory post. It occurred to me that a) many of us now have digital cameras b) many users of this forum have questions, answers or ideas that can best be explained with a photo.
Photos, however, take up web space and they increase our traffic load, all of which cost money. The obvious solution is to say that if you want to post a picture, you, the poster are going to pay the freight by using something you already pay for, but probably don't use.
Here's how it works:
Most internet service providers (ISP's) give you a certain amount of web space when you sign up. They are generous with it because they are almost certain you won't use it. Here's your chance to get your money's worth.
First, size your photo appropriately. Many readers are on dial-up lines and a photo or page in excess of 50Kb is a pain to download (that's why this site uses fast-loading thumbnails). Post your picture on your web space (I'm not going to explain this because the details differ from ISP to ISP it's fiddly but not hard if you follow your ISP's directions). Double-check that the photo is where you think it is on the web by navigating your browser to it.
You then have two options. You can simply copy the URL from your browser and paste it in a post, as in
"Here's a picture of my backstay:
blah, blah, blah."
Note that this is a live link that users can click on, that will make the photo appear where your message was. The one disadvantage is that for most users, your photo or site will appear within the frame of this site (it will have our nav bar down the site and the only way to get back to your original post is by using the browser's 'back' button).
Alternatively, you can get fancy with hand-written HTML, as in
"Here's a picture of my backstay. blah, blah, blah."
This not only looks cleaner, it opens the target site in a new window, which makes it easier for less sophisticated users to find their way back here. This is written
"Here's a picture of my [a href="replace the-coloured-text-with-your-photo's-URL" target="_blank"]linkedword[/a]. blah, blah, blah."
I have crippled the code here so it doesn't disappear into the page HTML to make it work, the [ should be a < and the ] should be a >. "linkedword" is the word readers will click on to go to your photo or site. Be careful not to move or delete the quote marks.)
When you compose a post in this forum, you have the opportunity to preview your post; don't forget to test the link then. Remember also that if you change ISP's or change the location of the photo, you'll break the link. You won't be able to repair this unless you have logged in to the site, in which case you'll be able to go back and modify your post.
One last thing: I think that I speak for the majority of visitors in regarding this as a 'functional' rather than as a 'lifestyle' site. Photos illustrating questions and answers, of boats in enviable spots or during races are welcome. On the other hand, I view a willingness to "share" photos of your cute pet on board, of your toddler "steering" the boat, or of your friends wearing silly hats while drunk, etc. as indicators of the imminent collapse of Western civilization. I will assume that, having posted such twaddle in a moment of weakness, you are immediately consumed by regret for having done so, and I will do you the favour of deep-sixing your embarrassing error.
C&C 27 Mk IV
Later: Since this method was published, dozens of photo sites have sprung up. These will host your photos for free and are simple to work with. Publish your photos on one of these and link to it.