When creating blog content on WordPess, the constant process of stopping in order to highlight and edit your text, through the visual and text editors, can be a lengthy process. Markdown is a markup language that offers a quick and easy alternative to styling your WordPress posts, pages, and comments with plaintext formatting syntax. This means that you can add formats such as headers, lists, emphasis, blockquotes, links and images to a plain text using special characters such as brackets and asterisks. This offers bloggers a faster way to format their text without learning any complicated codes or shortcuts. If you would like to use code in your blog however, WordPress does support a variety of code languages. WordPress uses Markdown Extra, which supports features not available in standard Markdown, such as inline HTML, code blocks, and syntax highlighting. The changes and additions made by Markdown Extra also allows users to create definition lists, footnotes, and tables. These features can be particularly useful for bloggers who want an easy and efficient way to display or reference information. For instructions on how to render these features on WordPress, please review this quick Markdown reference and this Markdown syntax guide.

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Increasingly, historical documents and resources are being digitized, making massive amounts of data available online. In turn, this historical data has become an important source for public historians and researchers looking to uncover historical narratives and voices. Crowdsourcing labour is an important means for public historians and institutions to effectively produce access to historical data online. Crowdsourcing, which can be defined as  an “online, distributed problem-solving and production model,” is a way for institutions and public historians to harness the collective knowledge of online communities to serve specific project goals. Among many successful crowdsourcing projects, Wikipedia demonstrates what collaborative knowledge can accomplish. As Jason A. Heppler and Gabriel K. Wolfenstein explained, Wikipedia is a platform where “the project leaders are providing the space, but it is the community which defines both scope and content.”

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When I started this exercise, I had never heard of Dillinger or Markdown syntax, so this was the first time I have ever created a markdown file to format plain text. I used the guidelines from Sarah Simpkin The Programming Historian. I had issues because I found the examples on the Programming Historian page did not specify where spaces should and should not go when entering URL in markdown to get reference style links and in text images. Which made a difference when trying to get links and images to show on dillinger properly. So I had to play around with it a bit to get the links to turn out how I needed them to. As for the images, I was entering the URL in the correct format but the dillinger page was not showing my images, instead it showed a box with the name I had given my images.

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