News articles are featured from the articles tab of the navigation menu or for mobile users the off-canvas menu, and the home page of the site. They consist of drug related news, sourced from media outlets or written by drugs-forum members themselves.
Navigating news articles
Finding news articles on the siteNews articles can be accessed by clicking on the articles tab of the navigation bar for desktop users, or the off-canvas menu for mobile users.
Browsing articles by categoryThe articles page has a selection of the most popular current articles for each category featured. You can browse the specific categories by clicking the category title headings on that page. This will take you to the category page.
Watching a categoryClicking the 'Watch Category' link on a category page will create an alert for you when a new article is posted to that category.
Frequently asked navigation questions
What does the red box above articles mean on the header?This is how many articles have been added that are unread by you.
How do I find the unread ones quickly?Click on "New Content".
What is a series?This feature is for articles with follow ups, or articles that are published periodically. Note: This is a slightly different feature from multi-page articles which are used for long articles with clear "chapters".
Can I give reputation for articles and comments?At this time no, you can only rate them as you would a thread. We would like reputation functionality to be developed for this however and you may see this implemented in the future.
Why rate articles?Rating news articles is important because the most highly rated threads appear on the site and articles main pages. This increases the chances that an article will get read and receive responses. To rate a thread simply click on the 'Rate and Review Article' located below the text of the article, then choose how many stars you think the thread deserves. Constructive feedback is encouraged in the comments for the rating.
Rating news articles and Weird NewsWhile some of the stories that get posted to the Weird News section elicit serious consideration and responses, it is safe to say that the majority of material that gets posted there is usually funny, off the wall, or just downright weird. So when responding feel free to have a little fun, and if you see a one-liner like 'thats the craziest thing I have ever heard!' don't be so quick to leave a negative rating. This is not an invitation to flame members or break any rules, just a reminder that it should be alright to have a little fun or leave silly responses to some of the crazier stories that get posted in the weird news section.
Adding news articles
- The news articles area may contain DRUG related news articles only. If a non-drug article make a footnote explaining the relevance of the article (at bottom of the article). Articles may be moved or deleted without warning or consultation; frivolous misuse of posting privileges by posting articles without a strong link to drugs or the international drug community will receive moderator attention.
- All non-original material must be properly credited. This includes images, which must be credited in the body of the article, either after the image or at the end of the article. The process for article author and source credits is described further below.
- All drugs news items should go in the articles section. This keeps all the drug news stories together, and ensures that the news ticker on the front page shows all the recent news stories.
Sourcing an article
Things we want to see more ofArticles related to the following subjects are of special interest and are especially welcome:
a) Large-scale busts: there are plenty of small-scale busts and arrests for possession of small quantities, especially in the local press, but large-scale busts and closures of big production facilities are far more interesting.
b) Stories that don't make the headlines in the mainstream media: Some stories are only in a local paper with a small readership and not picked up by the big news outlets for some reason. It's not that these are more interesting per se but often people won't see these stories unless they are posted. That doesn't mean that every minor possession story should be posted; it has to be interesting in some way to start with.
c) Details of law enforcement process or legal tactics: these are all-too-often not reported, so it's worth posting when you see them.
d) Followups to stories: It's always good to see followups to old stories - posted as a series to the original article of course.
e) Stories of plans to schedule substances: Even if it's in an obscure jurisdiction, this sort of story still gives useful information because once a substance is scheduled in one country others often follow.
f) Stories where the person involved was found not guilty or charges were dropped, especially if there are details about the legal process. Jury nullification stories are especially welcome.
g) Drug research, either on new drugs or new research on existing drugs.
h) Stories of drug legalisation or decriminalisation
Other places to find drug related articles
Check out the mind/body sections of science and medical websites such as Sciencedaily.com, NewScientist.com, and ScientificAmerican.com. These sites regularly have stories about drugs, drug addiction, and drug research.
Check popular news pages like The Washington Post, The NY Times, or the Independent. If nothing pops out at you use the sites search engine to look for drug related topics. Use the same technique with your local newspaper websites. Quite often small, local publications will have very interesting drug-related stories that don't appear on a national or international scale.
Blogs dedicated to discussing drugs and drug related topics will often have links to news articles about drugs. Also if you read the reader comments of news articles or blogs there are sometimes links to other stories and scoops that you were unaware of.
Dedicated drug new sites
The following is a list of web sites dedicated to providing drug related news:
Internet news alerts
Instead of constantly browsing the net for articles, one can easily set up news alerts to receive drug related news on their browser or email inbox. One way that works really well and is very comprehensive is to use Google Alerts. Google Alerts can be set up to email you on updates whenever an article, blog, video, groups, etc matches one of your predefined keywords. One way to use this feature is to have them email you once a day with all the results, or you can set it up to have it email you as it happens (meaning you could possibly could get multiple emails a day on the subject, but you get the notification immediately).
Some keywords to use or predefined search terms are ‘medical marijuana’, ‘legal highs’, ‘mephedrone’, ‘NORML’, ‘marijuana legalization’, ‘drug busts’, etc.
To set up Google Alerts, you can go to http://www.google.com/alerts and for more information on how to set up Google Alerts, please see http://www.google.com/support/alerts/.
You can also use Yahoo! Alerts; however, Google Alerts tend to be far superior in terms of the results it finds.
RSS stands for 'Rich Site Summary' or more commonly 'Really Simple Syndication'. RSS feeds are web feed formats used for regularly delivering updating or changing web content and information like audio, video, web blogs, and news headlines. They allow web readers to easily receive updates from their favorite websites and to aggregate information from several different sources into one place, an 'RSS feed reader'. Some common web based feed readers include Google Reader, My Yahoo, and Windows Live Reader. Some people prefer to subscribe to RSS feeds rather than receiving news alerts or newsletters because one does not have to give out an email address to receive updates.
Subscribing to an RSS feed is extremely simple. If a website offers RSS content then you will find the RSS icon located somewhere on the homepage or in the upper right of your browser url field. Simply click on the icon to begin the subscription process. A page with a list of RSS feeds will appear and all you have to do is choose one. It's that simple. You will now automatically receive updated information from that site to your feed reader.
Writing an original article
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Creating an article
Before posting your article it is important that you check to make sure that it hasn't already been posted by someone else. The easiest way to do this is using the forum article search engine. Use a keyword from within the article to do this. Experienced newshawks have found that finding a proper name within the article usually works best to see if the article already exists on the forum.
If you find that you have double posted please report your article so a moderator can delete it using the 'Report' button at the bottom of the article body.
Lets say you find a very good drug related article that you know will attract alot of attention only to log on to drugs-forum and find that it has already been posted. What do you do? Instead of ignoring the thread and looking for a new story here are some things you can do:
- Be the first one to leave a response to the article
- Look for a similar story on the same topic and post that instead
- Leave a rating for the article
- Tag the article
- All of the above
Copy and pasting from other sitesIf you copy-paste an article from another site and it has formatting in it (pics, icons, links, etc) then the article here will still have those elements, while they are hosted on the original site. So when someone looks at it here, these elements are actually accessed on the server of the original site. This also means that if that server uses malicious techniques like tracking cookies, this will be added as an extra 'goodie'. US government sites use such tactics.
You can easily prevent this, by copy-pasting the article into notepad. Then copy it from there and paste it here. All formatting will be gone.
Using the 'Create Article' pageYou can access the page by clicking 'Create Article' from the articles main page.
Next, select the most appropriate category from one of the subheadings under 'Drug News' (note: please don't use drug news itself, it's just a container for the subcategories). Sometimes you will find that your article could fit in more than one category. That's fine, just use your best judgement to select the most relevant category in such cases.
Next create a title for your article, and fill out your article body.
Formatting the title of the articleRemember that the title will appear on the news ticker. Make sure that you use descriptive article titles that will spark interest. The headline from the original article is generally a good starting point.
Formatting the body of the article
- Don't use the original article headline in the body of the article, use the headline as the article title.
- The first paragraph of the body of your article should be formatted in bold and italics.
- Avoid use of bbcode in the first part of the article, because it decreases the text snippet size. (use of bold or italics for the first paragraph is still desired).
- The body of the article should include all of the (relevant) text (minus the headline) of the original article (not just a hyperlink to the original).
- Remove erroneous hyperlinks and formatting from articles sourced from other sites (e.g. authors facebook site etc). If the hyperlink is relevant to the article (e.g. a link to a study in an article about said study) then it is permitted).
- Do not use too many line breaks. Many articles sourced on the internet include line breaks that may need to be deleted to make coherent paragraphs.
- Do not put article text in quotes. If you have a commentary on the article, then please add it as a comment to the article after you have published it.
Adding an image to the articlePlease ensure an image is included in the article, as the image will be used as the cover for the article when it is featured on the articles and main site pages, and is more compelling for readers. If an image is not used the article will be unlikely to receive many views, and you may be asked to add one by the site staff.
The first image attached to an article will be the cover image for the article. Please do not insert that image to the body of the article or it will display twice. You will need to source an image and save it to your device before proceeding with these instructions.
First upload the image to the article by clicking "Upload a File", and then navigating to and selecting it from where you saved it to your device.
For subsequent images you wish to insert into the body of your article (not at the start of your article please as it will interfere with how the article is promoted on pages and tickers), position your cursor where you wish the image to be inserted to the body of your article. Once the cursor is positioned, click 'Full Image' next to the file details.
When you have inserted your image, you can now make it sit on the right or left side of the page by placing it in float tags like this: [FLOAT_RIGHT]image or [FLOAT_RIGHT]image.
Important: All images must be appropriately credited in the body of your article.
Include Copyright InformationMultimedia news articles are considered a product of intellectual and commercial property protected by international laws of copyright. In the interest of protecting Drugs-Forum from infringement correct attribution and recognition must be made to authors, contributors, publishers and news services.
Many articles originate with news agencies (wire services) that are then picked up by publishing and broadcasting who ultimately distribute the articles. These news agencies (e.g. Press Association, Thomson Reuters and United Press International) must be recognized. The publishing and broadcasting entity in the source link. Likewise the creators of images (photography, maps, charts etc.) require recognition of authorship.
The functionality for crediting article sources is built into the create article interface. To ensure the credit is properly applied you must ensure that the original article author, original article date, original article title, source name and source URL are all filled in. The interface says these fields are optional. To be clear, they are optional only if you wrote the article. If you used someone else's work it must be credited.
Tag your articleArticle tags are an alternative method to search threads by topic rather than using keywords in a search engine. One of the forums main purposes is to provide an area of research and learning. News articles provide a wealth of information for members doing research, and having threads tagged appropriately makes this process much easier.
To add a tag to your article, type the first few letters of the tag you would like to use, and it should pop up. You can add more than one tag, and should aim to add at least three relevant tags to your article.
LocationAdding a location is optional. If a specific location is mentioned in the article it may benefit members to know where that is, and you can do this by including the address in the location field. This will create a google maps functionality for the article. Please don't include your home address in that field.
Publish or save the articleThese options are pretty self-explanatory. Use the 'Publish Now' button in most cases. If you haven't finished writing your article and want to come back to it later, use the 'Save as draft' option. The third option to publish at a later date is typically for things like articles subject to an embargo.
Make sure you check or uncheck the about author box as you prefer. This is about you as the person publishing it to drugs-forum, not the original article author You can edit your about author information from your profile.
Article toolsArticle tools allow you to make changes to your article after having posted it. To access these simply navigate to your article and select article tools at the top right hand side of the article. The options available are as follows:
Set cover imageThis allows you to choose which image (if you have used more than one) is used as the cover image for your article. Please note, this may require you edit the article to ensure the images are properly arranged as the cover image is automatically inserted at the beginning.
Edit articleAllows you to open the article and make changes as if you were creating the article prior to publishing it. For obvious reasons you can't save an edit as a draft if it is published or elect to publish later. An option is included to post your edits as an update with an update message which will create an alert for anyone watching the article.
Multi Page Article ManagementThis allows you to add pages to your article, creating a new 'chapter' if you like. Anything added in this way should be very related to the previous article, as would be a new chapter of a book. If it isn't related in this way then creating a new article would be more appropriate.
If your article currently only has a single page, clicking this option will prompt you to create a new page. The interface for the new page is the same for the title and body, but without all of the options that are already included such as article sources. Images can be added for the new page. Display order is an option for arranging which order your pages are viewed in. Depth just increases the indent for an item on the contents page in a similar way the contents section of this wiki page is arranged by indents.
Other frequently asked questions
I am an expert commentator and would like to have a weekly or monthly column promoted on the site to reach out to the millions of users who view it. Is that possible?Yes, that is possible. Please create a support ticket by selecting "Helpdesk" from the site navigation menu and provide some information about what you would like to write about. The staff will respond with instructions.
Is there any benefit to adding articles, editorials and columns?Yes, adding articles and editorials will earn you trophies which lead to advancing your membership status and other perks. If you have a column you will be acknowledged with the 'Author' banner.
If I have written an article myself, is there anything special I need to do?If your article is an editorial (An original article written by yourself, and not one sourced from another author) please report your article to be marked with the 'Editorial' prefix and be featured on the homepage. The report button can be found at the bottom of the article.