I've got something really interesting that I'd love to write about for the site blog. How do I go about getting my work there?
- Anyone is welcome to contribute - whether you've been using the site for a long time or short, have a lot of rep or not. If you're known around these parts, you're likely to get more autonomy quickly, but we're happy to receive content from anyone. (This doesn't mean there's no quality control; we don't guarantee that everything received will go on the site).
- You will need to sign up for an account on the blog (note: the blog site is not affiliated directly with Stack Exchange; it is owned and maintained by community members.). This does require an email that the blog administrators can see.
- Contact one of the blog administrators (currently: @JackBNimble or @KutuluMike) in chat, or use this web form to let us know you want to contribute.
- If you'd like to contribute regularly, then we'll set you up with a "Contributor" account (see here for an explanation of the account types), so that you can go into the site and do the writing yourself.
- If you're just thinking of a one-off piece, at least at first, we're happy to accept this via email rather than force you to have an account on the blog site.
- The blog content is licensed under an Attribution, Share-alike Creative Commons license. If you write anything for the site, you're agreeing to license it under those terms (copyright remains yours, of course).
- You don't need to have perfect English (there's no problem if English isn't your first language, for example), as long as you know your sci-fi/fantasy. The editors will be happy to help you with proofreading and/or putting your post together. Please tell us (@JackBNimble or @randal'thor, in chat) if you've written a post and want it proofread.
- In general, we prefer medium-length posts. This doesn't mean that a really long review, critique or opinion isn't welcome, but they shouldn't be the norm. Likewise, we're not a "link roll", so we don't want the majority of posts to be a link with a single sentence, either.
- Write in the first-person. We want your personal take here.
- Where appropriate, link to scifi.stackexchange.com. For example, if you're talking about Harry Potter, link to the harry-potter tag page. If you're linking to a tag (rather than a specific question or answer), then you can use the tag "shortcode" to generate a tag that looks like this star-wars, by writing this:
[tag]star-wars[/tag](the link to the page will be generated along with the appropriate image).
- Try an include an image in your post, if you can think of something appropriate.
- Keep the language clean; it's fine to be passionate, but find other ways to express your passion; follow the general policy for the site. This includes obfuscating b*d w@rds, and generally includes genre-specific variants; use your own judgement when using direct quotes.
- Posts are all in English (as with all questions and answers on the main site), although there's nothing wrong with throwing in words or phrases from other languages (including fictional ones). It's up to the poster which dialect of English is used (e.g. UK English, US English, Australian English), so this may differ across posts.
- Given that release dates (especially for TV series and films) vary considerably internationally, there's no way that we'll be able to cover recent material and avoid spoilers altogether.
- As a review typically tells the reader what's good (or not) about the material, rather than simply summarizing it, most reviews should be able to get by without any significant spoilers. Some posts might want to go into detail about an aspect of the story, though, and there's no problem with doing that.
- The blog engine (WordPress) has a "more" tag that you can insert into your post. This breaks the post into two sections: the front page of the site will include only the content prior to the "more" tag, and the post page itself will include the entire post. If you have significant spoilers in your post, put these below the "more" tag, and call out that the reader should only continue if they're willing to read specific details about the plot. ("opt in spoiling").
- There's no need to use any sort of spoiler markup in your post.
Essentially this comes down to using your own best judgement to write something that enhances, rather than spoils, the story for the reader.
Spoilers are less of a concern for the blog than elsewhere on the site, because readers are able to delay reading content (e.g. unlike chat), and going into specific detail will likely be less common (e.g. unlike questions/answers).
NOTE: The information here no longer applies; posts are scheduled for publication on a per-post bases.
Planning and scheduling is done through the Trello board. We maintain a posting schedule, so that we have a regular flow of content.
Time-sensitive posts, like reviews of events, can be done outside the regular schedule, by arrangement.
- Anyone may view the board, to see the current status.
- Anyone may vote on cards (e.g. to indicate that they think a post idea is a good one).
- Only members of the board can comment on cards.
- When a BlogOverflow account is created for you, you'll be sent a membership invitation to the Trello board at the same time (to the same email address). Note that as the board is publicly visible, if you wish to use a pseudonym you need to set that as your Trello name, not your real name.
- If you've got an idea for a blog post, create a card in the "Ideas" list. If you're planning to write it, attach yourself to it.
- If you've started writing something (whether as a draft on scifi.blogoverflow.com or in your favourite word processor, or on good-old paper), create a card in the "In Progress" list and attach yourself to it.
- If you're thinking about writing about something, check that there's not already a similar card in the "Ideas" or "In Progress" lists.
- If you've completed a post and want it reviewed/edited, move the card to the "Needs Review" list. If you're an editor, then whenever you see something in that list and have time, review/edit and move it into the schedule.
- The scheduled list includes all the posts (cards) that are ready to be made public, and will have a scheduled date attached to them. The editor that moves the card into the scheduled list will set the scheduled publish date in scifi.blogoverflow.com at the same time, so that the publishing occurs as scheduled. Except in special circumstances (e.g. events), all scheduling is done in this way (i.e. no scheduling your own post). If you'd like a particular publish date, note that in the card.
Note that this is - like everything! - subject to change if we find that anything above doesn't work well. Leave a comment here if you think something should change.