StoryChorus is undergoing a major upgrade, designed to bring the technology up to date and to make it easier for you to contribute. Some aspects are completed but others, such as the contribution form, are still in progress. We appreciate your patience — this is a fully volunteer project, so things sometimes take a little longer than anticipated.
In the meantime, please Contact us if you have a question or need help posting a story, and watch the site for additions and improvements.
How do I add my story to StoryChorus?
Please note that the new contribution system is still under construction. At this time, you’ll need to register and login via the administrative link.
In the meantime, write or record your story or reflections, and prepare any photos, audio, or video you’d like to add. You don’t have to have to run the story by anyone, but if you would like someone to take a look, please let us know, we’re happy to help.
One tip: you can copy and paste the main text of your story from a word or other document, and paste it directly into the content area in the second step on the form. This saves a lot of typing!
Once your story is published, we’ll receive an email notification, and will double check to see that everything is working properly.
If you’re having problems, please Contact Us. While we don’t have the personnel to post everyone’s story for them, we are here to troubleshoot, train, and help with any issues.
I’m finding StoryChorus a little bit overwhelming — where do I start?
To help you get started, we’ve created a Quick Start Guide, which you can find on the Tips & Tricks page, to provide an overview of the site. StoryChorus is a large site that contains a lot of pages and information, and stories do sometimes show up in more than one place. For example, a story about Kurt Erickson’s new work, performed as part of our retrospective concert in fall 2016, will appear on the page for Composers and on the page for the fall 2016 season. Browse, explore, click away and contemplate what you might have to contribute.
Who can participate in StoryChorus?
Anyone who has a story to tell. Chorus members past and present, orchestra members, music staff, audience members, soloists, and others who have crossed our paths over the decades — all are welcome. Everyone’s story is a valuable piece of the history of this extraordinary organization. We ask you to Register if you have a story or photo to contribute, but there is no need for approval of your story ahead of time.
Why do I need to register to create a story?
Registering insures that you’re a real person with a real interest in BCCO. It helps us balance security and ease of maintenance for the small crew working on this, with allowing you to post a story and have it appear immediately on StoryChorus. It also makes sure a story is attributed to the proper author.
Once you’re registered, you’re free to log in and post as many stories, photos and other items as you like.
Why are comments important and how do I add mine?
Comments let you add memories and perspectives in response to other people’s stories. They also let you show appreciation for fellow choristers’ contributions to our community storytelling project and the evolving picture of BCCO’s 50 years. You don’t need to register or log in to make a comment; simply fill in your name and email address (so we can verify you’re a real person) and make your comment.
The first time you comment, we have to approve your comment. After that, your comments will post live! You can add a photo in a comment as well (please see Tips & Tricks for information on preparing photos for the web.)
Do I have to fill out my StoryChorister profile?
You don’t have to — but we hope you will add photos, a short bio, and information about your relationship with BCCO. How many times have you wondered about one of the amazing people that sits next to you at rehearsal? Here’s a chance to learn a bit more about each other. We’re hoping that singers from different generations can learn about each other — and perhaps even find a long-lost friend.
What are categories and tags, and how do they help me navigate StoryChorus?
Categories represent the pages on the StoryChorus site, and are the scaffolding that run the site and determine which pages contain which stories. You choose 1 – 3 of the predetermined categories when you publish a story; your choices determine which pages your story will land on once it’s published. Tags are keywords that are more specific to your story. You can search StoryChorus to find all of the stories with that tag.
For example: Kit Ratcliff chose three categories for his story, Why We Sing in a Chorus: Audience, Community, and Singers, and it shows up on those three pages. He added the tags “singing” and “being human.” You can click on the category or tag at the end of his story, or enter it into the search box to find all stories with those categories or tags.
In addition, the rebuilt site has separated out the seasons to make them easier to find and manage — so in addition to a category you’ll also choose a season as well.
How do I get help if I’m having trouble submitting a story or comment?
Contact Us with questions or requests for help; we’ll do our best to get in touch with you within 5 business days, but please be patient with the small crew. You can also talk with StoryChorus Volunteers at chorus rehearsals.
How to I prepare a photo or piece of art?
• You can post photos singly or as a slideshow. The important thing is to properly size your photos, balancing the need to have them look great on contemporary monitors but still load quickly (we’ve all experienced the photo that takes a couple of minutes to load, line by line.
• Acceptable photo formats are: .jpg, .png, and .gif. Jpg’s are generally best for photos; gif’s should be used only for simple graphics.
• You can resize your photos using Preview or Photos on Macs, or in the Photo viewer on Windows. There are many excellent photo editing tools, like PhotoShop, but if you’re looking for something free and easy to use, try Pixlr, which has web apps, mobile apps, and a free desktop app (and some good online tutorials as well).
• For photos, we recommend a resolution of 300 pps (pixels per square inch) for most photos; if you want the photo to be viewed large, we recommend a width of 800-1200 pixels.
How do I post a video?
Videos are “embedded” in the StoryChorus website from YouTube, Vimeo, or another video service. If you have an account on one of these services, please feel free to use your own account.
If you would like to upload your video to the StoryChorus account, no problem, just Contact Us for details on how to do so.
Once your video is online, go to the “Share” link, which gives you options for social media, email, or “embed.” Copy the whole “embed” code snippet.
When you’re entering your story in the content area of the form, switch to the “Text” editor tab at the top right of the content box.
Paste the embed code into the box; we recommend placing your video at the top or bottom of your story. Please do not switch back to the visual editor (there’s a bug that, for some mysterious reason, seems to scramble the code. We can fix it, but it takes a bit of time…)
Once your story is published, your video will be visible in your story. (And, as usual, if it’s not, please Contact Us and we’ll help you fix it.)
How do I post an audio file?
Very short or small audio files can be directly uploaded to StoryChorus (.mp3 or .ogg), as you would a photo. But like videos, larger audio files are best embedded from a repository like SoundCloud. Again, you can use your own account for an online repository (SoundCloud has a free account.) If you have a longer recording and would like share it on the StoryChorus SoundCloud account, please Contact Us.
How long will StoryChorus be open for contributions?
At this time, StoryChorus will remain open for contributions as long as someone is willing and able to maintain the site.
What browser or devices work best for StoryChorus?
We’ve tested StoryChorus on a wide range of browsers and devices and seems to work well with recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. However, we’ve noted several problems with Internet Explorer and encourage you to switch to one of the other browser options.
What software was used to create StoryChorus?
StoryChorus is built using WordPress, an open source content management system. There are tens of thousands of volunteers worldwide working to create and improve this amazing resource, which allowed us to get StoryChorus up and running so quickly. The folks at TechLiminal, in Oakland, have advised, encouraged, tested, and come to concerts.
For the geeky among the readers: we’ve created a theme using the Genesis Framework, and many other fine WordPress plugins and tools. The new contributor forms are being built with Advanced Custom Fields and custom coded for StoryChorus.