In this discussion we'll answer some common questions about using this site, or share some useful tips...
A frequent question: "It would be nice to be able to do an advanced search with only partial fields. For example, find all members in a particular state or find users with the beginning characters of their name..." Answer: Yes, you can perform advanced searches on members easily by selecting "Advanced Search" in the members page.
Here you can enter just the first few letters of a member's name, or enter the two-letter state abbreviation to locate all members within the state. For example, if you enter "MO" (without the quotations) in the City, State box, all members from Missouri will be listed.
Here's was another recent question: "What does it mean when a member declares that they are a friend of another member? Do they have to do something special for each other like buy them a birthday present or share family meals together? I admit that I am one of the senior members of our group and not totally in tune with the latest modes of hi-tech communications. Also, I don't think I am alone in trying to understand the structure/protocol and navigation of our community meeting hall."
Good questions. Believe me, you're not the only senior member out there. Zenith.Aero is modeled more after a social network than a discussion forum, though it can host discussions (with photos) quite well. There are already many builder "discussion forums" out there (such as the Matronics lists, with more than 32,000 message posts on the Zenith-List alone!), though we find that many builders do not actively participate nor benefit from "mail lists" or "discussion forums."
As an online community (or social network), Zenith.Aero is more about the builders and the flyers than the technical discussions and debates (though there's room for that too). That's why photos, videos and blog posts are front and center of Zenith.Aero, for builders and flyers to share information about what they're doing...
"Friends" are a central theme of social networks: Friends (or acquaintances) can message each other directly through the website and can share information and photos among select groups of friends, and be notified of each others' activities. A typical basis for becoming Friends is a common interest or characteristic, such as builders in a specific area (city, state or country), or maybe builders using a specific engine or GPS...
We'll plan to share more information about the features of the online community. Remember, this is a social network to bring together builders and flyers of Zenith aircraft from around the world. It's Mardi Gras today, so remember to socialize and have fun!
Answer: A blog (or weblog) is simply a web page for you to share information (on building and flying). Blogs are easily created and archived, which make them excellent for presenting a building log (or diary), or to report on a recent flight or trip. Blog entries are displayed in reverse-chronological order, and viewers can follow your progress by scrolling through your blog posts.
Blog posts are easily created, and can contain photos and web links (to other sites or photos, etc.). Once your blog post has been published, viewers (or readers) can comment on your post.
To create a new blog post, simply click Add a Blog. (With most web browsers you can right-click your mouse to open the link in a new window or tab.)
Post Title: Make sure to use a descriptive and interesting title for your blog post, and let your readers know what you are building (or flying). For example: "STOL CH 701 Wing Assembly, Day 3."
Blog Post Entry: First type in your text (as you would an email message). You can then add formatting, links and photos to your post using the formatting bar (shown below).
We highly encourage you to include photos with your blog posts - this makes your post a lot more interesting to read. (Also, if you have a series or group of photos you'd like to share, it's often more interesting to post them as part of a blog rather than just adding them to the photo galleries. The blog post gives you full control over the description and sequence of your photos).
Note: Do not use the "upload a file" link for photos - use this only for non-displaying documents (such as a PDF or Word or Excel files).
You can save your post as a Draft, or Preview your post before "publishing" it. This gives you plenty of opportunity to experiment with your blog posts...
One of the best ways to learn about "blogging" is to view existing blogs.
We give you full control over your blog posts. You can choose who to share your blog with (privacy settings) as well as who can comment on your blog posts, and you can always edit, change or delete your posts.
For obvious reasons, we ask that your blog posts be about building and flying Zenith aircraft, and as much as possible, we ask that your posts be of general interest to fellow builders and flyers.
(Note that there are a number of free blogging websites open to the public, such as Blogger or LiveJournal).
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Developed specifically for Zenith builders (by a builder) these videos on DVD are a great help in building your own kit plane by providing practical hands-on construction information. Visit HomebuiltHelp.com for the latest DVD titles.