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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Last updated April 1, 2009

General Questions:
1. Who is behind this project?
2. What is the purpose of this site?
3. Why did you put up this site?
4. Interesting thing with all the little squares on the front. How did you come about this idea?
5. Why the name "I am Lindy Hop"?
6. So, is this like Myspace or Facebook?
7. Are there restritions on who can add a profile to this site?
8. Is it okay to add a profile to help promote my band/event/dance school/venue?

Usability Questions:
9. Okay I'm interested .. so how do I add my story and profile to this site?
10. What is the difference between my "Account" and my "Profile"?
11. I never received my email to activate my account. I even resent the confirmation. What's going on?
12. What do the different profile types mean? (Individual, Musician, Event, Venue, Teacher)?
13. I was not able to upload my photo. What's up?
14. Will I be able to change my profile or photo later?
15. Will I be able to change the location of my square later?
16. How many squares can I grab?
17. The square I grabbed shows someone else's photo. What's going on?
18. My picture is not in the square I originally grabbed. What's going on?
19. On the "Your Account" page, I see my account details but do not see a profile. What's up?
20. I updated my picture/profile but cannot see the changes. What's up?
21. How can I include more pictures and even videos in my profile?
22. I see funny squares with the letters "FFDD" in them like so . What is this?
23. What are the "grey" reserved squares for?
24. I don't understand the whole "grab a square" thing. What square am I supposed to grab?
Other:
25. Pretty cool. Can I make a donation?
26. Terms of Use
27. Privacy Policy



1. Who is behind this project?

It is mostly my pet project (Ben Yau a.k.a. "Ben of Ben and Sheri") with the help and support of my awesome wife Sheri Yau. Special thanks to our team the One2Swing Jitterbugs who helped me "beta" the site, especially to Kennly a.k.a. little K who found the IE 7 issue shortly before launch! (But no thanks to her because whenever I asked her to test a specific part of the site she'd go off and play around on other parts of the site which I already knew were broken but anyway yah thanks Kennly!!!). See our profiles below:


Ben's profile

Sheri's profile

Kennly's profile

Ben and Sheri's profile
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2. What is the purpose of this site?

This is a site to gather and share stories of Lindy Hop from all of you. Each person has a story to share and this site's purpose is to record them down as part of our new Lindy Hop history and share them with the world.

The longer version: I envision this site doing two things to help promote and celebrate Lindy Hop.

The first is about stories, a sort of registry for you, our modern day Lindy Hopper, to share your own story whether that is a discovery of Lindy, how it has impacted your life, or whatever else you want share with the world. Adding to that, I want this site to be a place where people, dancers and non-dancers, can come and read other people's stories of Lindy Hop. Because nothing can be more inspiring than seeing someone similar to you go out and DO things and write about them, helping you realize you can go and DO these things too!

The second is about faces. Frankie always talked about how Lindy Hop transcended racial boundaries in the 1930's. It didn't matter if you were Black, White, young, or old. It just mattered that you loved to dance. Taking that to today's community, Lindy Hop is truly a "World" community. So I wanted to put up a place where Lindy Hoppers can add their own photo, creating a collage of faces showing Lindy Hoppers come from all walks of life all around the world.

With those two things, how can you not see what a great thing Lindy Hop is and want to take part in its celebration?

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3. Why did you put up this site?

The original answer I had here was very long and after many rewrites I still could not contain my excitement for Lindy Hop into a few short paragraphs.

Let's just say in a nutshell, Lindy Hop has given me a lot and has impacted my life in ways I could never have imagined. Over the last many years, Sheri and I would once in awhile ask each other "What do you think we would be doing right now if we never got into swing dancing?"

Though this pondering was fun, it didn't really manifest itself into this project until the end of last year. Our dance team, after a year of drama, action, and celebration, started writing to our team mailing list their own stories of Lindy Hop: how they got started, why they got started, and various things Lindy Hop has brought to their lives.

That's when it struck me. For years, I had always enjoyed hearing stories of Lindy Hop from our respected old-timers like Frankie Manning and Norma Miller and the impact it has had on their lives. But it wasn't until our own team started sharing their own personal stories that I realized that there are a whole plethora of new stories out there, waiting to be heard and discovered.

That is the reason for me putting up this site. Whether my vision gets realized or not, who knows. In the meantime, please keep coming back to browse through people's stories and also contribute your own as well!

Thank you for being a part of this "project".

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4. Interesting thing with all the little squares on the front. How did you come about this idea?

The design of the collage of photos on the front page is inspired by Frankie's stories of how Lindy Hop conquered racial segregation. He often talks about how at the ballrooms, it didn't matter if you were Black, White, young, or old, it just mattered that you wanted to dance and loved to dance.

Today, our "World Lindy Hop Community" continues that feeling which was part of the dance in the early 20th century. A Lindy Hopper can travel just about anywhere in the world, even to places where he or she cannot speak the native language, and still be able to relate and communicate to others through Lindy. It is pretty awesome how something so simple as this dance can touch so many people with so many different backgrounds and connect them into this worldwide community.

So the vision of the front page was to celebrate Lindy Hop by allowing people to add their own photo to this "World Lindy Hop Community" collage, showing that Lindy does touch all walks of life.

To be honest I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to put up this collage. And it wasn't until a few months ago I came upon what's called a "pixel script", commonly used for selling advertising. There are a few of them out there and I elected to use the "free" one (Gnu Public License). With a bit of extrapolation I realized it would be perfect for this project. So I modified the script and database to add profiles and other goodies and voila! Front page collage with user profiles and stories!

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5. Why the name "I am Lindy Hop"?

Partly inspired by the "I am a Mac" and "I am a PC" ads ... (yes I'm a bit of a geek).

But mostly, I just like the statement it makes for many of us for the obsessed passion we have with Lindy Hop and that for many of us it is not just a dance but part of what defines our persona.

(that's right .. I said obsessed .. I mean have you ever come back from a huge weekend away and you're sitting at work looking around and realizing your coworkers probably just had a normal or boring weekend? ..kinda surreal isn't it?)

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6. So, is this like Myspace or Facebook?

The difference between this site and sites like Myspace and Facebook:

Myspace and Facebook are really dedicated to "Social Networking" and also to some degree with the Lindy Hop community promotion of services.

I AM LINDY HOP's purpose is to share stories and record the history of the new generation of Lindy Hop. Though it has some social networking aspects to it, and I did want to include promotional aspects to it, the main purpose is to gather and share stories.

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7. Are there restrictions on who can add a profile to this site?

Anyone can add a profile! Even if you don't have a story to share yet, you can add your profile now and add things later!

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7. Is it okay to add a profile to help promote my band/event/dance school/venue?

Yes! We have different profile types. Most people will use the "Lindy Hopper" profile type. If you are a instructor, swing band/musician, dance venue, or dance event, you can add a specific profile which will also allow you to add contact info and other info to your profile.

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9. Okay, I'm interested .. so how do I add my story and profile to this site?

Click on the CREATE YOUR PROFILE link at any time in the top menu (or in this FAQ). The rest of the steps are pretty straightforward: grabbing a square on the grid, uploading a photo, sharing your story, creating an account, etc. Have fun!

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10. What is the difference between my "Account" and my "Profile"?

Account: This information is never shared or displayed. This will allow you to log in again and manage your profile. The account info contains an email address (which you use to log in), your first name, last name, and password. The email address you use here is the one the site will use to contact you as well.

Profile: This is what is displayed to the world. Your survey questions, your story, your picture, etc. If you are a Lindy professional, you can also enter a contact email here (which can be different than your profile email).

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11. I never received my email to activate my account. I even resent the confirmation. What's going on?

Check your spam folder. If you have authority to do so, whitelist "info@iamlindyhop.com". If you are still having issues, then contact us and let me know. Or email me at info@iamlindyhop.com.

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12. What do the different profile types mean? (Lindy Hopper, Instructor, Band/Musician, Venue, Event)?

Lindy Hopper: this is the "individual" profile and the default profile which most people will use.

Instructor: for our Lindy instructors. This is the same as the "Lindy Hopper" profile but also includes spaces for you to add phone, email, and also an instructor bio.

Band/Musician: for our swing bands and musicians out there. This is a basic profile which includes phone and email fields and a musician bio field.

Lindy Venue: for our Lindy venues out there. This is a basic profile which includes phone and email fields, a venue description field, and also lets you list days of the week your venue is open.

Lindy Event: for our Lindy events out there. This is a basic profile which includes phone and email fields, an event description, and fields to list the dates of your event.

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13. I was not able to upload my photo. What's up?

File formats accepted are GIF, JPG, and PNG. If your file is a different format it will not be successful. Also there is a 1.5 megabyte limit to the photo you can upload so if your image is larger than 2 megabyte kilobytes you will need to compress it to a smaller size.

This site automatically will compress your photo to about 50kb size similar to Facebook or Myspace.

HINT: If your photos are too large, good candidates for photos are ones that have already been uploaded to Myspace or Facebook because those are already compressed to 50kb in size. Just right click on the image to save it to your local computer, then upload that to this site.

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14. Will I be able to change my profile or photo later?

Yes! Your photo is part of your profile. After you log in you go to Your Account where you can edit both your account and your profile.

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15. Will I be able to change the location of my square later?

Unfortunately no ... well, not easily. So once you grab your square that is your square. I can manually change it on the back end but I cannot guarantee how quickly I will be able to get to such requests. And this constitutes me deleting your profile allowing you to recreate it and grab a new square in the process.

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16. How many squares can I grab?

Only one square grabbed per account. If you want more than one, register another account. For example, if you want one for your lessons you teach, another for an event you run, and another for a venue you run, you will need to register three accounts with three different email addresses.

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17. The square I grabbed shows someone else's photo. What's going on?

If more than one person grabs the same square at the same time, then the profile which will show up will be the person who grabbed it first. At this point it will take manual intervention from my side to move the conflicting profiles to nearby squares. Per the Terms of Use we reserve the right to modify the location of a user's square to another square, and this would be the main reason to do so.

I will try to check for conflicts as often as I can, but if you see a conflict such as this, please contact me and I will change it as soon as I can (in most cases when I get the email and am able to log in to the database).

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18. My picture is not in the square I originally grabbed. What's going on?

Per our Terms of Use we reserve the right to modify the location of a user's square to another square nearby as we see necessary. The main reasons we would do this are: 1) in case two or more people grab the same square at the same time (see FAQ # 17), and 2) if we are reserving squares for future use and someone happens to grab the square before we have a chance to reserve it. In this case we will reserve that square and move your square to one as close to it as possible.

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19. On the "Your Account" page, I see my account details but do not see a profile. What's up?

This means that you created your account first but never created your profile. Simply click on CREATE YOUR PROFILE to create your profile. (Make sure you are logged in first!)

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20. I updated my picture/profile but cannot see the changes. What's up?

The pixel script has a file cacheing mechanism so it will take some time for it to rebuild. If you still do not see the new photo after some time email me and I will flush the cache manually. (Again no guarantees on when I will get to these types of requests, but I'll do my best)

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21. How can I include more pictures and even videos in my profile?

Yes you can do this! You will just need to know some html.

I do not have a mechanism in place yet for you to upload more photos and videos (like you can do with Myspace or Facebook). And I do not have plans to add that capability as that will take quite a bit more programming and some database work. And also a lot more disk space and server speed which I currently don't have any budget for.

However!! If you are able to host images elsewhere and videos elsewhere (like YouTube!) you can include HTML tags in your "My Story" section. These will not show in the main collage but it will show in your profile.

As an example, when you are looking at a YouTube video, on the right under the description there is a "Embed" select box. Copy what's in this box and paste it into "My Story" and the YouTube video will show up in your "My Story" section.

As an example, I posted the YouTube video of our first dance at our wedding in my personal profile:

http://iamlindyhop.com/show_user.php?rid=439

If you have further questions about this, contact us with your questions.

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22. I see funny squares with the letters "FFDD" in them like so . What is this?

This is a browsing issue more than it is a site issue. I will still see if I can figure a way around it. The basic issue is the font that the browser is using doesn't have a character entry that corresponds to that code. This usually happens when using fonts that weren't designed to handle certain languages. But really it is when any special character shows up that the browser does not know how to handle.

I've taken care of most of the issues but there are still carry a specific "back tick" that is a Western ISO-8859-1 encoding that may not show up in some browsers. Easy way to do this is change your browser encoding setting.

In Mozilla Firefox for example, go to View -> Character Encoding -> Western (ISO-8859-1). And many of those characters will turn into single apostrophes (single back apostrophes).

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23. What are the "grey" reserved squares for?

As people started grabbing squares near Frankie, we realized that we wanted to reserve a few squares next to our "master" profiles for those folks who have worked closely with those masters and may want to have their square next to their beloved master teachers. We are still working to contact these folks to see if they want to add their profiles and if so if they would like a square next to the "master" profile or not. So eventually you will see those "reserved" squares become "unreserved" either with a profile deserving of that location or else opened back up to the public for anyone to grab.

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24. I don't understand the whole "grab a square" thing. What square am I supposed to grab?

There's no standard or reason behind what square you should grab. Just one of those things that have no explanation except to say just grab a square wherever you feel like you want it

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25. Pretty cool. Can I make a donation?

Sure! We would definitely appreciate a $5 donation towards the site. Click here now to donate $5 via PayPal!

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

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26. A link to our Terms of Use is at the bottom of every page.

27. A link to our Privacy Policy is at the bottom of every page.




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