How To Get Published On Evolt Org
Posted on 23 Feb 2004
by Chris Heilmann (codepo8)
Rated 4.13 (Ratings: 6)
- More articles in FAQ
Sometimes you may wonder why there isn't any new content on evolt.org for a longer time. Well, we do receive a lot of articles, but a lot of them are not fit for release on this very site.
People want to participate here for various reasons, it might be pure altruism, or someone asked them to. The biggest amount of entries seems to be rooted in a desire to get known as a good developer and aspiring writer. It is the kudos that make people send articles in.
All the more annoying and depressing for the writer when we have to formulate a nice email denying the publication.
Articles get rejected for mainly two reasons: First, the way it is delivered is unacceptable (both technical and the content) and second, the content is not interesting enough for the evolt audience.
Delivery gone wrong
One very puzzling thing for us editors is to get articles which are just not displaying correctly. Our article submission page states clearly what should be done and what not, and especially the submission style: code article explains in details what HTML you should use and what not.
Go easy on your markup skills
Your article should be impressive by its content, not by the amount of HTML you know. Evolt has a stylesheet to make headlines look like headlines and PRE elements will be scrollable and are fit for copying and pasting.
Granted, HTML is not the slickest of ways for article submission, but it means you can use the article somewhere else once it is published and you don't need to write it online.
Leave the visuals to the evolt style sheet.
Your article is not a guinea pig
If you can't or you don't want to host the demo page, email us and we can host it.
If you want an online demo of your effect, create a dedicated page.
Write about the topic at hand, not about you
A lot of articles we get are written in a very subjective way: "I say this (product technology operating system person) is bad and you shouldn't use it because I say so". If you want to write this way, start a blog. If you are a persuasive enough writer, or are very famous already, you might even get away with it. An article is a piece of information that can display a personal liking, but generally should be an objective view on a certain subject explaining the pros and cons.
Another big faux-pas is to mention your name, organisation or web site repeatedly in your article. This is what the bio is about that will be automatically added below the article, do not bother to use the article body for that. If what you are saying is good enough, people will contact you and give you the positive feedback you deserve. Also, please keep your photo free of URLs and product names, it is a photo, not a banner.
Impress by content, not by your name and URLs. Leave that to the bio.
What to write about and how
That leaves the topic of the article. The audience of evolt.org is mixed, and articles range from high level application development to highly detailed technical tutorials. Read the Writer's Guidelines and the How To How To for some superb pointers how to find something to write about or if the killer article you thought up would fit here.
Getting inspiration is the biggest problem. Whenever you feel writer's block, don't sweat it, it is a good chance that you will come up with something that is not fit if you force it.
Most articles get born out of problems. Do your job, develop something for the web, try to find the resource for a project, wrestle time lines and budgets. When you encounter a problem, try to find the best possible solution and jot down the steps you have taken to solve it. Voilà an article is in the making. Or look around you. Surf the web and see what annoys you most, then try to find a way to make it better.
Don't get cute, tell us what you mean
Don't get too wound up in metaphors and clever puns and comparisons when it comes to your titles. evolt.org is rather big by now, and when people search for your article, it is easiest if the necessary terms are in the title. Hence "A comparison of browser DOMs" is better than "Under the hood of the document". Keep web language simple and understandable.
Do your homework
Whatever you write about, make sure you put some research into it. Many a time, you might find an article exactly like the one you are going to send us somewhere else. If that is the case, compare them, and see why yours is better, link to the other one, but don't attack it. If you do a technical article, try to test your technique in as many environments as possible, and add your test results to the article (somewhere in the end will do). As with any media publication, it is a good idea to get another person to read through it, two pairs of eyes might spot more problems than one. Make sure that your facts are facts and not hearsay. If you talk about surveys, provide a link to them.
All of this will make your article more convincing and give yourself a better protection against attackers that might comment on your article. The better prepared you are, the more people will give positive feedback.
You're finished, put the kettle on
Once you are happy with your article, go to our submission page and paste it in there. Check if it displays well, give it another readthrough in the real environment and send it to us.
Mother taught us patience - The virtues of restraint (*)
Make sure you sit comfy and got something to do after you submitted an article, we all are busy people and do this for free. Hence there might be a delay until we can review your article. Sometimes we even have to find people who know about what you write.
Father taught us boundaries - The knowledge we must go (*)
Don't be too miffed when you get a negative reply from us. We know it is disheartening and deflating, but we try to make you aware what the problems were. Thus you can improve as a writer and please take those comments in rather than clamming up. We have experience in releasing bad articles and good articles, so we can help you with the latter without exposing you to the bad effects of the previous.
(*) stolen from "That's when I reach for my revolver" by Moby.