to the Web site
Everyone is able to contribute content to the Iowa Great River Road Web site. You do not need to be registered to contribute. The real strength of this site is its ability to collect the stories of the people who live on, visit and simply love the Mississippi and the oportunities that present themselves along its banks. You may submit your relevant stories, promote your community events and even list your tourism-based business for Web site visitors to discover when they visit the site. All content posted to the site is moderated, therefore no postings will appear instantly. The staff of the IowaGreatRiverRoad.com Web site will review, edit if necessary, and make sure all content is being posted to the correct areas. Approval of all content is subject to the editorial discretion of the Web site staff. They will attempt to ensure that all postings are verified as correct, but as it is not always possible, the honor system will do some governing, assuming that the content you post is accurate and relevant. Your events should appear online within a couple days of posting, though in many cases much sooner.
Events are experiences that have dates associated with them. For example, Effigy Mounds itself is not an event, but a demonstration of Native American hunting by a visiting scholar is a valid event. Simply being open for business is not an event, but a concert at a venue is. Places that are open daily or regularly are locations. Those should be posted to the Directory (see below). Events expire when they are over. Though some events have many dates associated with them, they will eventually all come and go and at that time will disappear from the Web site.
Under the Home & Info drop-down category, scroll down to Publish. Three publishing options will pop-out to the right. Choose "Publish Event" by clicking on it. Fill out the form's data boxes as thoroughly as possible.
Give your event a brief and concise title -- likely, the name of your event. Don't include extra text like subtitles that describe the event.
Please be sure to put descriptive content in both the Event Summary window and the Body field. The Event Summary field is the teaser text that shows up with the event when it appears in the events list. Essentially, this is the text that "sells" the reader on clicking to get more information. For most shorter event postings, it is acceptable and suggested that you simply cut and paste the same content into both fields. If there are more than about 200 words in your event posting, it is suggested that you copy and paste just the first paragraph from the posting into the Event Summary field, but you are welcome to write whatever you like to best promote your event.
Be as descriptive and wordy as you like in the body copy. Note that there are extensive design tools at your disposal above the Body field. Depending on your knowledge and experience with word processing and even Web site design, you can use as many or as few of these tools as you wish. They will allow you to add color to your text, change font sizes, add hotlinks and even embed larger photos into your story. (You will be asked to upload an image to go with the event a little later. This is all that is needed for a quality event posting, so don't feel obligated to embed images in the event posting. You don't even have to use a photo with your event if you don't have one. Be reasonable with your design choices. When the event is moderated before publishing, if it has crazy fonts, huge text or pictures that are clearly too big for easy viewing, the event may be deleted. We suggest you do not change the font from the default for the sake of site continuity. If you use tables, do not set table widths in pixels, but use percentages and stay at 100% or below.
This is where you can upload an image that goes with your event and also acts as its thumbnail image. Choose a logo or a photo that best represents the event posting. Upload JPEG or PNG file formats. All images will be automatically scaled for use on the site, so there is no need to pre-size the image, though we suggest all images be less than one (1) Megabyte before attaching. The smaller the image file's size, the faster it goes. If you choose to attach an image (you do not have to), you can type in a caption for the image or leave it blank if it is not necessary.
This is not needed for most postings, but in the event that you have a document you would like to post along with the event, like a registration form, a PDF brochure, etc., you can do it here. Please keep the attachments relatively small. Large attachments may be rejected or they may upload very slowly. You can also put a caption on this file. We suggest you do, such as "Click to download the brochure."
Name & E-mail
This is your personal information. We want YOUR name, not the name of the event. These two fields will not be made public, but may be used by the Web site staff to contact you if we have questions about the posting or need more information to complete the posting. It is for inter-office use only, so please tell us who you are and how to contact you. We'd hate to delete your event just because you forgot to tell us what time of day it is happening.
This is where the event is happening. The name of the venue and a physical street address if possible.
This is the time of day, not the day of the week. So this is where you might type "10 a.m. - 2 p.m.," for example. If the event has multiple dates and is at different times on different days, you can either use this space to say something like "7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays," or you may choose to list more complex dates and times in the Body of the posting, and simply put "See the event description for times" in this space.
Dates for the events
This is where you select the days the event takes place. Usually it's one day. All you have to do is use the calendar tool and click on the day your event is happening. The day will turn orange when it is selected. Select as many days as necessary to fulfill the event's needs. You can also use the arrows to scroll ahead months at a time in case your event is more than two months away, or if it is, for example, on the third Thursday of every month. In that event, you could choose to keep scrolling ahead and post the event on the corresponding day of the month for a year or more in advance. That means you could post 10, 20 or 50 future events with one posting. How convenient!
This is VERY important. This decides where the event gets seen. Click the + symbol next to the interest category in which you want the event posted. Then place a checkmark in each box where the event belongs. It may very well belong in multiple places. This gives your event even more of an opportunity to be seen. For example, a music festival with food in Muscatine, Iowa, might be listed under River Cities/Muscatine as well as Things to Do/Food and Dining, Things to Do/Nightlife and Stories to Tell/Music. Do not abuse the location posting tool. If the event is in Dubuque, it does NOT get posted to Bellevue, even if they are neighboring cities. Really over-placed events will be deleted for abuse. Web site staff often choose to expand the placement of events' postings when approving events, so feel free to place the event only where you are positive it belongs. We have the site well-memorized and will know if there are places it should be where it is not yet listed.
Submit / Finish
When you are done simply click Submit. Do not look for the event. It will not appear until it has been approved by a site administrator. When the page reloads to an empty page, you are free to move on. You can also click the Create Another button instead of Submit. This will submit the event and bring you back to an empty form to post another event. If you don't click one of the two buttons at the bottom of the page, your event will not be posted.
Publish Feature Articles
Feature articles are the stories of the people, places and things that give the Iowa Great River Road its aura. These are stories that do not expire. A festival, no matter how big, is not a feature article. A location, like a restaurant, is not a feature article, unless there is a real story written about the venue. Simply listing a business, even if there are significant details about the location, should happen in the directory. No content that will be dated or irrelevant in the foreseeable future should be posted as a feature.
We would love to hear your stories of life and activity along the road. Do you have stories of historical characters that affected the mighty Mississippi and its communities? Have you had a meal at a place that was simply unforgettable? Tell us about it. Chances are, if you found it worthy of telling your friends about, it's worthy of sharing with the visitors of the Iowa Great River Road Web site.
The Publish Feature tool is located just below the Publish Event link in the Home & Info drop-down category list when you roll over Publish.
The Publish Feature tools work exactly the same as the Publish Event tools, only they are more simplified, as they do not have a calendar, location or time fields. Follow the relevant directions under the Publish Events instructions above and click Submit. It's that easy.
The Iowa Great River Road Directory is a listing of the places that make this place such an amazing destination, as well as the resources you'll need as a traveler to have a safe, happy and fulfilling trip down the road.
Once again, the Publish Directory tools work the same as the Publish Event tools, but this time there are more new fields to populate, including supplying Web site links, e-mail addresses and phone numbers. (You may not know the GPS coordinates. That's okay, you can skip that one.)
The Directory Categories are also set up on a different system than the Events and Features Categories. So you'll have to click the + symbol and browse the new options for placing your business or venue into the Directory.