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The story can never be told often enough.  Every telling has a different shade to it which helps fill in the blanks of the total picture. (Ron Parker- son of Major Maurice Parker, RRC - 2003)

Stories That Need to be Told

Page last updated: 16-Apr-14

Is there a HK Vet in your family? Perhaps he is no longer with you, but has left behind a wealth of information. Anecdotes. Wartime accounts. Diaries. Photos. Perhaps your family has experiences relating to your veteran that you would like to share. HKVCA would like to help you as we believe that each story has value, because when it is shared, others may learn.

An untold story helps no one.

In a Nutshell

While this area of the HKVCA site will provide specific guidance for you, here briefly is what you need to do:

  1. unless you are comfortable with the steps and applications needed to publish your story, you should contact the HKVCA rep at the beginning of your work to save time and relieve stress.
  2. gather the materials together (handwritten notes, diaries, photos, memorabilia, etc.)
  3. use one of our suggested programs to turn your ideas into reality,
  4. convert them to digital format,
  5. decide on your layout (text-based, slide show, combination),
  6. publish your work,
  7. advertise, so everyone can find your production.

Contacting HKVCA

Once we know that you will be working on a story we can build up an informal communications link with you, advising you as needed. The earlier you involve our staff, the more we can help.

Gathering the Materials

Don't forget to exhaust all sources including relatives, the attic, the "shoebox" photo album. If you have an extended family, put the word out as to what you intend to do. Others may be able to contribute, and may have anecdotes that will give more life to the story.

Choosing Your Tools

You will need to use a computer programme for various stages of your work. If you're lucky enough to have friends or relatives who are more technically "savvy", pick their brains for recommendations. Remember: if they recommend something they'll probably have answers to your questions on installation and usage.

Text

Any word processing programme such as MS Word can be used. Using the "Save As..." option, you can save your file to HTML format which is what web pages use. Want a free word processor? Try Open Office. Another option: Google Docs.

Images

There are many image editors out there. Just email us if you wish some recommendations. Or visit Gizmo's site and check out the Image View and Edit listing. If you wish to use a Google tool, try Picasa.

Publishing

The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is the most common way to copy files from your computer to the "server" which provides a home for your files on the World Wide Web. Check Gizmo's site for the best free programme.

See "Publishing Your Efforts" below for more options and detail.

Converting to Digital Format

Scanning

Chances are most of the material that you've gathered is in paper form. You will need access to a scanner to convert it to digital format. Some tips:

Scanning is an art as much as a science, so experiment to find the best solution for your particular needs.

Manual Input

While more work is involved in converting letters and diaries to text rather than scanning the pages, the effort is worth it as scanned images can't be indexed by search engines while text can. Also using many images on a web page slows down the loading of the page, especially for folks on slow internet connections.

Deciding on a Layout

The best way to focus on a layout that will work for you is to look at some examples of completed accounts and stories. To get started, check out the following:

Links to many other examples can be found elsewhere on this site, either in the Personal Accounts or Submissions area.

Don't worry if you are having trouble with this step; just push ahead with the next step and use your computer to experiment with different ideas.

Depending on which publishing option you choose, you may find you are limited in layout options.

Publishing Your Efforts

There are many choices available to assist you in getting your content onto the WWW. Some options:

Using a Service You've Already Paid For

Some Internet Service Providers (ISP) such as Shaw or Telus provide web space as part of your account with them. There is a space limitation, but for many people this option works just fine. Check with your ISP to see if this option will work for you.

Google

Google provides editing and publishing services as well. You'll need a (free) Google account to use this feature. One advantage of this option is that you can allow more than one person to update the site. The main disadvantage is the advertising on each page.

Registering a Domain

The disadvantage of all the options above is that your site address carries the name of your ISP, ie: http://sites.google.com/site/hkvcaexample/Home. In addition, you'll be restricted to a maximum site size. You can get around these limitations by purchasing and registering a domain. Then your site address will look like: http://www.crtrick.ca, for example. This is not free, but it's surprisingly affordable: registering a ".ca" domain costs around $11 per year, while signing up with an ISP to host your site costs between $40-80 per year.

Use HKVCA

Let us know if you'd like HKVCA to include your story on our site, much like we've done with: William Bell's Story.

Getting the Word Out

Advertising that your site is up and running can be done using several methods:

Additional Hints

Make sure you include your email address so that folks who have read your efforts can contact you. This is important because you may find someone who has vital information that can be added to the story you've produced.

Questions? Contact us.