welcome to interested subscribers

Good day friends. I have noticed a surge of subscriber registrations to vtshapenotesingers.com recently. Welcome to all subscribers interested in shape note singing in VT!

Sometimes persons or ‘bots’ who are not actually interested in a website may subscribe to a site with the purpose of spamming the comment section with adds or with other purposes. I think this site is protected from those activities so I’m not too worried. Occasionally the site administrator may ‘clean out’ potentially suspicious subscriber accounts. If you think I (Ian Smiley) do not know you and you really want to continue as a subscriber to vtshapenotesingers.com you may take a moment to send me an email to affirm your interest in the site. You can write to smileyira-at-gmail-dot-com

I am sorry that administration and content contribution on the site is not very active at the moment. Any assistance with administration and contribution of content is most welcome. Just write to me and I will get you started.


videos for singers

I have not had exciting videos here at vtshapenotesingers.com. Today I have begun to address that shortcoming by searching for videos on YouTube and embedding some in a page on this website.

image of web page for video

Video page at vtshapenotesingers.com

Ultimately I would like to be more involved in creating some video content from singing in Vermont and providing access to that content on this website but this is the beginning that I can make.

a profile for your local singing

I have been on hiatus from developing this site for a months, but now I am going to add it back into my mix of things.

All the communications organizers of local singings in VT have been invited to create pages with information about their local sing. A couple of sings have done that already.

I also want to encourage any of these organizers or any local singer at all to write a more personalized profile of their local singing. This profile could appear on the website as a blog post or another web page linked to the page for the local singing. If you are interested in welcoming new singers to your local singing this could be one way for you to communicate to new singers what you are about. Since people are relying on the internet more and more to find the information they want many might appreciate a profile of your local singing here at this website.

If you want create a profile of your local sing as blog post or a page one way you can let me know is by clicking on the “leave a reply” at the bottom of this post. The mechanisms running the site will send me your reply.

tech help in Google+

Hey buddy

I’ve found a free resource in Google+ that can make remote help with technology issues easier.
I’ll put in a couple of pictures that can help you access that resource.
To enter your google plus account. Click there when you are in your Gmail account.

That should cause a new tab to open in your internet browser [Google+].

In order to use the “hangout” where I can more easily help you with that technology question go over to the right side of the screen here.


image from right side of Google+ home page

Since you are starting this hangout you will want to invite ME [Ian Smiley] to the hangout. Type Ian Smiley into the invitation text field and then click on the green “Invite” button.

image of hangout invitation form

Once you do that the hangout will load and when it does it will let you that

image of hangout waiting screen

the hangout is waiting for other people [me] to enter it. When you see this window above please notice the “screen share” resource in the upper left hand corner. In this picture I have drawn an arrow to it. We will use that part of the hang out so that we can practice doing some easy content management for “vtshapenotesingers.com.”

conclusions on text wrap possibilites

I find myself unsure of conclusions for my experiments with the changing the “style.css” file associated with the “Mantra” theme I have installed on the production version of vtshapenotesingers.com and on the test version of the site.

When I started using the test site I had it still on the default theme for appearances and behaviors for pages and posts and menus. I tried out text wrap around images and it seemed to work fine with no special effort. I assumed it would also work just fine in the production version of the site, which was running on the “Mantra” theme. When I wrote a

image of a blog post

Text wrap did not work in the post

post on “Wrapping text around your images” text would not around the image the way I expected it to. Perhaps it will not here either. That is why I wrote the post “learning text wrap“. It serves as documentation of my process for exploring that possibility in WordPress. However, I began to find even as I started to learn how to wrap text around images in posts and on pages, that while text wrap was not working in some places, it was working in others. I first found that when I was able to edit the page “UVM Burlington local sing” so that text did wrap around [or next] to an image the local sing location.

I decided to proceed with my project for learning to wrap text around images, and perhaps altering the files which control those abilities. I found instructions for making styles to allow text wrap in the lessons for WordPress beginners.

image from lesson

These instructions show how a style file might be altered

I decided to download the “style.css”for my test site file from the server and insert the code which you see in this image here.  I chose a spot in the file that was about style for images and I inserted that code. Then, because I knew I might want the original file later, I renamed that the original “style.css” style in the server, and uploaded the altered “style.css” file into the server for the test site. Since I had changed the “style.css” file that WordPress uses for the test site I had thought that the behavior site regarding images and text wrap might be different.

Sadly, I find that I do not have conclusive evidence that difference. Right now I am writing in the production version of the site, where I have not changed the “style.css” and I find that text wrap can work around images in certain situations and from certain choices, but in others.

For instance, I believe that when I attempt to upload/insert media directly from a file on my computer, text wrap may never work. Instead I think it might be more productive to attempt to wrap text around media from the Media Library instead.

images showing options

Choosing media sources

In addition, I may find that text will not around images that are larger than “thumbnail” size. If that is a limitation here, perhaps that is because I have not altered the “style.css” file that controls this site like I have for the test site. I can try copying and pasting everything from this editing form and pasting it into the same form on the test site. Here goes with that.

In the test site I wrote a blog post which suggested that images might get text wrap behavior where I could not in this site. I am diligent in my testing though, and I found that when I deleted the image shown above and inserted it again, and chose a right alignment

part of the media editing form

Place where you choose alignment

, there was some appearance of text wrap, where there was not before.

In conclusion, I will weakly say that adding the alignment code

image from lesson

These instructions show how a style file might be altered

to the “style.css” file for the Mantra theme may not make that much difference to text wrap behavior. I cannot prove that the code you see on the right side of the screen does make a difference for text wrap. Given that ambiguity, I am not going to insert that code into the “style.css” file used by my production site. Instead I will move on to other test projects to try on my test site. The next project I have in mind for my test site to try out some audio/video players that I will acquire as “plugins.”

Wrap your text around media files

A user of vtshapenotesingers.com asked me if it is possible to wrap text around an image in post or page on this site.

It should be fairly easy to do this.

I have written a post in the test version of this site in order to learn about text wrapping around images.

In those post I have inserted a “thumbnail” size image of that post where I first tried text wrap. Unfortunately, the code that controls the layout of elements on these post and pages may not allow for text wrap. Since I have not yet set this site up so that text wrap works I am going to make the image you see below a “link” to the test site, where it is allowed.

2012 VT Annual Shape Note Singing in Burlington - Alto Section

altos read their music

post on test site of vtshapenotesingers.com

this a page I wrote to try out text wrap.

Resources for shape-note singing

I would like to have resources on this website which explain among other things how:

  • to key songs
  • to mark time and lead songs
  • to host a singing school
  • to start and sustain a local singing
  • to host an all day singing.

These resources could be pdf form documents, images, videos and audio recordings.

There are so many resources that could be helpful, so this should be an ongoing collaborative project. You are welcome to contribute.