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When Posting

When Posting

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Published by Chuck Sudo

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Published by: Chuck Sudo on Apr 13, 2012
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06/13/2014

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WHEN POSTING...
A.
 
Writing/putting together posts:1.
 
Sourcing: Besides looking at mainstream media/blogs for sources, have you checked city resourcesfor official press release?2.
 
Could you make a phone call/send an email for a quote? Even if you don't get an answer, you cansay "We contacted ___ for comment and are awaiting a response."3.
 
Is this post timely? Is there a way to advance the story?B.
 
Ledes: Have clear, concise first paragraphs and no more than 50-word ledes1.
 
Have a compelling visual2.
 
Overall look o
f post: Preview your posts and make sure it doesn’t look sloppy (image choice,
image size, etc; see more about images below).3.
 
Refrain from cursing in headlines/first grafs (that gets sites placed on blacklists at somecompanies).4.
 
Use tags, but don’t use T
OO MANY, there should never be 3 lines of tags.C.
 
Headlines:1.
 
Capitalize all the words in headlines
it's just easier that way instead of picking which to cap.2.
 
Don’t make it confusing. The reader, whether they are in your city or another city, should know
what the post is about by reading the headline.3.
 
Don’t make the headline TOO long (there’s a balance!).
 4.
 
When doing Extra, Extra and Early Addition-style posts, add to the title (i.e "Extra, Extra: GivingYour Posts Full Heds Is Great For Page Views")5.
 
This also works for recurring posts, like Friday Afternoon Diversion, Around Town and Pencil ThisInD.
 
Formatting:1.
 
Please use Em Dashes (code: —) instead of double hyphens. Em dashes should be flushwith the copy they're off-setting—like this. (aka use
vs. --)2.
 
Use quotes around song titles, italicize movie titles, book titles, television shows, album titles.(We have a style guide we can share with everyone)3.
 
Italicize intro grafs of interviews, and please keep the intros brief.E.
 
Linking: Always
link when it makes sense to (ie: if you are doing a TV show recap, link to that show’s
site).
 
1.
 
Always link back to tags (ie:
Art Shay’s posts always have the following tag in the lede
 
You want to make it easy for readers to find sources and your own old posts on similar subjects.3.
 
Videos: Please embed videos when a video exists, and make them 640 wide (you can customizesize on YouTube, Vimeo, and most other video
sites). If you can’t make it 640 wide, please
center the videos.4.
 
Never right or left align them with text.5.
 
Also make sure you have an image asset for the post, or else the post will appear with an imageerror on the homepage.F.
 
Images:1. Make the post as visually interesting as possible, include an interesting photo. (Example: one of the
Top Chef recaps first used just a small photo of the show’s logo, when there were photos and video from
the episode that could have been included.)2. Check Twitter to see if there are any good pics (do searches with "twitpic" and "yfrog")3. Please also make photos 640 wide, or if they are smaller, 365 wide, vertical or horizontal frame. If youhave one image on top at the post, it should be horizontal, and 640 wide. For @main posts the firstimage should be around 465 wide up to 640 wide (for the preview option).4. To avoid have your @main images looks squished or stretched, use a 3:2 ratio for the image.What this means:If an image is 640 wide, the height should be around 426 (640x480, which is a standard image forphotos, also works fine).If the image is 450 wide, the height should be around 300.If the image is 365 wide, the height should be around 244.If you have a width, to find the height, just multiply width by 0.67.If you have the height, to find the width, just multiply by 1.5G.
 
Tags:Make sure you add @main to your tags so the post appears on the left side of the page.FOR A&E POSTS
 
With television recaps, if you must do them, please keep them interesting.
Simply recapping a show isn’t interesting.
 Be original, be creative, there are very few sites that do recaps, but the ones that do them well are theones we need to be on par with
think Vulture, Hitfix, TelevisionWithoutPity, Eater, etc.Use images/videosSimilarly, with concert or event reviews, try to give some added value or have an interesting angle. No
one wants to read about something they weren’t at... unless maybe you have compelling photos. Or an
interesting anecdote.Also look for video from the concert/eventMore original content! Less filler! Create the story, create something people want to read about, thatpeople want to Tweet, that people want to talk about.We may not have weeks to write an article like a NYT writer might, but that in no way means that we
can’t produce something original, or create a talking point.
 
And that in no way means we can’t do it just as well. It is particularly easy when it’s a topic you are
interested in or familiar with.Get in contact with whoever you need to for quotes to make those posts more original
make it thebest you can to get it up on the site (esp for news posts) and you can add that stuff in later.
Then, when you are feeling like it’s getting slow, it’s time to work on the
rest, and you should have funwhen you are writing A&E and Food posts, in particular. What interests you?
Keep in mind, the minute you hit publish it’s going out into the public eye, on a highly read site. In the
end, you need to remember that, that your name is attached to what you are putting out there, and in
turn, Chicagoist’s name is attached to these posts. Write about what interests you and what will interestour readers, find a way to make it work into the site. We aren’t a reblogging machine, don’t be afraid to
be original.-
 
Reblogging: The main thing you need to ask yourself before even reading an article you areabout to draw content from is: do YOU find this interesting? Would YOU click on it? How manymanipulative words will you need to use in the headline to get someone to click through? If theanswer to that last question is 1 or more, then you have to question even putting your name onthe post.

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