Hello TechSpy members! There have definitely been an influx of new members to the site and I have been getting quite a few PMs from people regarding submissions and what to do when submitting. I want to lay it all out and clear up any confusions. This post will go into more details about what to do with your submission and the submission process, and how to deal with the Pending section.
First off, you can find the general guidelines for submissions here.
I urge new contributors to take a look and read through this, it will make the submitting process a lot easier and will keep you from constantly getting reports on your stories.
Without further ado, I'll take you step by step into the submission process.
For this example I will be using "Site X" as the original story, and "Site Y" as an alternate source for the story
The URL of the ORIGINAL story should be put here, which means that if you find an interesting news bit on site Y and it got the story from site X, then please put the URL of site X in this area. Later down the form there is a box to fill for the credit URL. Site Y should be put here. Alternatively, if the story has already been submitted then you can include an Alternate URL. Use site Y's URL and title in the form to include it.
The title of the story should be here in it's ORIGINAL form. Site X's title should be here. Do not change the headline in any way except for syntax and grammar as well as perspective or narrative voice. I will get into this a little later on. Also be sure to not include exclamation marks.
In general, the first paragraph or first few sentences of an article should be suffice for the description. If there is none, then please do your best to come up with a description that explains what the piece is about. Please do not substitute in your own description for an article if there is proper material that can be used. As a general rule of thumb the description should be no longer than two short paragraphs, that way it will draw in the reader to click on the link to the original article. Conversely, if the article is only two paragraphs then do not put the entirety of the article in the description as to not give too much away.
If the piece is written in a first person point of view then please quote the description. You can do this by prefacing the description with the site name and then quoting the article or adding quotes to the beginning and putting the site name at the end.
Site X: "Today we will be looking at..."
"Today we will be looking at..."
- Site X
Alternatively, you can replace the I, we, us, etc.. with the site name.
"Today Site X will be looking at..."
A relevant image should be included. No inappropriate images such as nudity or language should be attached. The image should fill the frame, that means that when you are looking at the final submission there should be no black borders. Generally it's fine if there is just a smidgen of black on the top or sides, but the image should not be surrounded by black borders. If it is then please find a better image.
Should be self explanatory. Choose what best fits the article.
This and tags are two of the most common errors when submitting. Most are pretty standard but some articles can be difficult to put into a channel. I will only talk about the most commonly mistaken ones.
-"Industry" should be about the events going on, such as shortages, stocks, sales info, etc.
-"Hi-tech" is usually reserved for stories on future-related tech, space related such as NASA, and science.
-"Video" is for monitors, TVs, video recording devices, projectors, capture devices, etc. PC graphics cards should NOT go here and instead should be put in the "PC hardware" channel.
-"Gaming" channel should be about the tech behind games rather than a story about a particular game. N4G is for that.
-"Culture/offbeat" should be included if it is tech related but doesn't quite fit into any other categories. It is also for tech culture.
If the article includes a video that is capable of being embedded then put the embed code here. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo should be a no brainer, but there are also other players that allow embedding. If the video is not able to embed then leave this blank.
The URL of where you saw the story. So Site Y is where you first saw the story but it links to Site X, then put Site Y's link here to give credit to it. If you are publishing your own article to promote your site then put the link to your article here.
++RELATIONS & PREVIEW:
Next is the big one that a lot of people misunderstand. Relations or "tags" are probably the most reported thing in the pending section. When you submit a story, be sure to add all the related tags. This includes names of the product, company names, manufacturer names and the like.
For this I will use an example of a story about a GTX 580 vs AMD 6970 benchmark. The tags that should be included are the product names ("NVIDIA GTX 580" and "Radeon HD 6970") and company names ("NVIDIA" and "AMD"). If it is about a certain version of the card then include the brand names for the product tag, IE "ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCu II" as well as the manufacturer name "ASUS" along with "NVIDIA."
A little bug that is still around is that sometimes when you type in a query, your results will appear and disappear. You can get around this by simply adding a few extra spaces to the end of your query.
If the related product does not have a tag then please make a new one and include it. "Create new" will guide you through the process.
Finally, this feature is used for galleries if you wish to include it. You can add extra images and descriptions for each image.
That's it! That is the submission process. Once you submit your piece then you will be taken to the Pending zone. Here you should approve and report stories accordingly. If you see a story with a report, please don't approve. I've seen this too much lately. Keep an eye out for wrong titles, URLs, tags/channels and POV in the description.
If you read through this then give yourself a pat on the back. It is a bit long but I really wanted to get this out there to the new members. If you have any questions then please PM someone. Syko, snoop_dizzle, Racer-X are the admins and mods here. You can also PM me and I will try to help you out.
Keep on submitting those stories! There are lots of chances to win this month so keep up the good submissions and discussion!
For your patience and understanding, here are pictures of cats.