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> WDG Seeking Blog Authors
John Pozadzides
post Apr 16 2007, 11:17 PM
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Greetings all!

The WDG is preparing to launch the new HTMLHelp.blog which will become a prominent and actively updated part of HTMLHelp.com. The new blog will be extensively hyperlinked from the rest of the site, and we'll be encouraging visitors to sign up for subscriptions and RSS feeds to keep up to date with what all is going on in the Web Authoring community.

A few samples of things you'll find on HTMLHelp.blog:
  • Summaries and links to high quality Web reference articles from around the Net.
  • Helpful Web authoring related tools and tips.
  • Original content including tutorials, guides and cheat sheets.
We are looking for passionate members of our community who are interested in contributing as an author on the Blog. If you are interested please let me know as soon as possible. Some things we're looking for in potential contributors:
  • Professionalism
  • Integrity
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • A demonstrated willingness to help others
Once we've chosen the team I'll be establishing a permissions based forum which will only be accessible by the HTMLHelp Bloggers and we will work on the ground rules, details and coordination involved in launching the blog.

I would anticipate that our new blog launch will experience roughly the same rate of growth - if not more - that we experienced with the launch of the new forums several months ago. Needless to say, this is an extremely rare opportunity to be considered for a contributing position that could potentially result in a high level of exposure in the Web authoring community.

If you are interested in applying for one of these volunteer positions here is what you need to do:
  • You'll need to have full identity disclosure. Please do not apply if you are unwilling to be identified. We feel it is necessary for subscribers to get to know content authors in order to build trust.
  • Provide a link(s) to your personal Web site or blog. We will be making sure that it is generally appropriate for all ages.
  • Provide a brief summary regarding your interest and qualifications. (A CV/Resume or other background document would be nice.)
  • Be willing to contribute at least a couple of hours a week to providing content for the Blog.
Finally, if you'd like to preview the format for the new Blog, you can find it at http://blog.htmlhelp.com/. It is only a skeleton at the moment, but you will get the idea of how it's going to look and function as it gets populated. Feel free to register, make test comments, and provide suggestions. Unfortunately the Blog requires a separate user registration from the forums, but the good news is that no one actually needs to register unless they intend to post.

You can either send me a PM through the forums, use the new Contact form on the Blog, or send an e-mail to john@ you know the domain name.com

John
HTMLHelp.blog, Editor in Chief wink.gif


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Effovex
post Apr 17 2007, 09:06 AM
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It seems very interesting, but I'm not sure what kind of development content benefits from a blog format. It seems to me in-depth articles would be better served with, well, actual in-depth articles on HTMLHelp's front page. Blogs seem better suited for news, progress reports, arguments and maybe "column" style content than for reference material, tutorials and guides.

I'm not sure what a, say, weekly column could be about, apart from "This week on the web" for instance, tracking and commenting on browser releases, W3 specifications progress, articles and such written on other sites.

You could just as well provide RSS for the main site and update the feed when you add indepth content - say, if someone ever feels like writing a CSS2 equivalent to the current CSS reference.


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Frederiek
post Apr 17 2007, 09:45 AM
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I totally agree with Effovex.


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John Pozadzides
post Apr 17 2007, 11:29 AM
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QUOTE(Effovex @ Apr 17 2007, 09:06 AM) *

It seems to me in-depth articles would be better served with, well, actual in-depth articles on HTMLHelp's front page. Blogs seem better suited for news, progress reports, arguments and maybe "column" style content than for reference material, tutorials and guides.

I'm not sure what a, say, weekly column could be about, apart from "This week on the web" for instance, tracking and commenting on browser releases, W3 specifications progress, articles and such written on other sites.

Well, you hit the nail on the head. We do indeed have a place for in depth articles, and I'm sorry if it sounded like that is what I was referring to with my examples. I did mention "tutorials" but probably should have said "quick tutorials" or something like that. Nonetheless, we have no place that allows us to actually post the types of things you just mentioned (news, progress reports, arguments, etc.).

For example, there have been times in the past when I've found interesting little tools and things and posted about them here on the forums. But really that is not a good fit. Forums are more for back and forth discussion on a topic, where a Blog is more appropriate for "hey, check out this little morsel of information".

I know that many of the folks that frequent the forums probably don't keep up with any blogs at all (some of the WDG members don't) so I would ask you to trust me on this... if we pull off the blog in a high quality and professional manner we will be able to make a major impact in a lot of people's daily lives by finding, summarizing and presenting them with useful information.

As an added bonus, people who become accustomed to visiting the blog for their daily tips will also be more prone to seeking assistance on the forums, using the validator, and generally moving toward building a more accessible Web.

I went ahead and posted one of the articles I had ready on the blog as an example. I hope it helps for clarification purposes at least a little bit.

John


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Effovex
post Apr 17 2007, 12:37 PM
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I'd personally be interested in writing a "Structural web design" tutorial, covering good practices in standards-based web design from the ground up - I intend to write that over the summer (once I finish my last term paper, actually), and if the WDG is interested I'd like to publish it here.

This raised some issues with me since you had mentionned the blog would include tutorials, and I felt tutorials didn't benefit from that format - a blog is good to announce the tutorial to the world, not actually contain it.

So thanks for the clarifications.

I think the best way to accept new blog content providers would be to let people submit articles they've written: if the article is good enough, the person is given an account to publish it and can keep on posting things on the blog on whatever schedule fits them, until they abuse the privilege, at which point they lose it. I think attempting to find dedicated writers who will be expected to write regularly isn't in line with the sporadic nature of blogs, a finding a stable of writers who can write interesting articles when they have something to write about might be better.

I'll see if there are subjects that interest me, and I'm sure I'll have lots of material over the summer as I come across stuff while writing my tutorial, but expecting regular writing is putting me off, personally, especially as there are periods during which I have much less time to spend on web stuff (mid terms and finals period, for instance)


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John Pozadzides
post Apr 17 2007, 02:25 PM
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QUOTE(Effovex @ Apr 17 2007, 12:37 PM) *
I'd personally be interested in writing a "Structural web design" tutorial, covering good practices in standards-based web design from the ground up - I intend to write that over the summer (once I finish my last term paper, actually), and if the WDG is interested I'd like to publish it here.

Absolutely. When you finish that let me know and we'll get a few WDG members to proof it and then add it as a featured article.

QUOTE(Effovex @ Apr 17 2007, 12:37 PM) *
I think the best way to accept new blog content providers would be to let people submit articles they've written: if the article is good enough, the person is given an account to publish it and can keep on posting things on the blog on whatever schedule fits them, until they abuse the privilege, at which point they lose it.

This is certainly an option available to anyone, and it is indeed one way in which we may add new authors over time. If someone demonstrates an ability to repeatedly refer new quality content then it makes sense to just let them do it themselves.

Along those same lines, there are a number of people here on the forums who have already demonstrated their fitness for posting to the blog (yourself included). So I wanted to give people the opportunity to get in on the ground floor. Indeed, if we get a core group that is fairly active we may not add anyone else for a very long time. And if things go as I expect, being one of the regular contributors to the Blog could become a very high profile position over time.

In addition to that, the approved group of Bloggers will also serve as the steering committee which helps to determine how we are going to run it. We'll have those discussions on our dedicated forum in a "round table" like manner. If we need to redesign the blog, add features, establish rules and guidelines, or even approve new Bloggers, this is how it will get done. Pandy and Christian can attest as they have both left indelible marks on the Forums.

QUOTE(Effovex @ Apr 17 2007, 12:37 PM) *
I think attempting to find dedicated writers who will be expected to write regularly isn't in line with the sporadic nature of blogs, a finding a stable of writers who can write interesting articles when they have something to write about might be better.

I'll see if there are subjects that interest me, and I'm sure I'll have lots of material over the summer as I come across stuff while writing my tutorial, but expecting regular writing is putting me off, personally, especially as there are periods during which I have much less time to spend on web stuff (mid terms and finals period, for instance)

I partially agree with you regarding the nature of blogs being mostly sporadic. Certainly personal blogs are low on the totem pole of people's priorities, but there are many people and businesses for whom Blogs are now considered core to their operation. In my opinion HTMLHelp.blog must be the latter rather than the former if we are to make anything substantial of it.

Having said that, I also don't have tons of time to dedicate to posting articles to it, so I can't do it alone. If you are in the same boat as me, and there are 10 other people as well, then together we could easily accomplish that goal so long as everyone just does a little work periodically.

Not only do I understand your hesitation about making a commitment, I appreciate it. It tells me that you (and anyone else reading this that feels the same way) take this seriously. But it is possible that you are slightly over estimating what it would take to be a contributor. So let me put it to you a little differently. How long would it take you to write a short response to any of the following questions, and do you think you could do it once every week or two?
  • What is the most useful Web authoring related site you find yourself using (besides HTMLHelp.com) and why?
  • How can I monetize my Web site?
  • Have you heard any interesting Web authoring news lately?
  • Are there any Web related seminars/conventions coming up soon?
  • What are the top 5 things you think new Web authors should do first?
  • Have you seen any cool scripts, plugins or other Web site add-ons lately?
  • I need a new Web host, but I don't know how to pick one. Help?
I could go on all day... but if I had to guess I'd say that you could answer one of those questions pretty well in a couple of hours.

Now, if you did that once every two weeks, after one year you would have contributed about 25 articles. If 10 of us did this we'd have 250 articles, or almost one a day. And I'm sure there are some people who'd like to contribute a little more frequently than that.

Finally, let me ask you a question. Do you think it would change the way you look at prioritizing writing for the blog if you knew that the articles you write would be read by thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people? HTMLHelp.com will serve 30 million page views this year, and the blog will soon be hyperlinked from every page of the site...

John


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Effovex
post Apr 17 2007, 03:07 PM
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You make a compelling argument and have alleviated most of my apprehensions.

Also I write incomprehensible polysyllabic english.


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pandy
post Apr 17 2007, 03:13 PM
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I feel old.


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John Pozadzides
post Apr 17 2007, 03:29 PM
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Please tone down the language Effovex. You are confusing the moderators. wink.gif


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John Pozadzides
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pandy
post Apr 17 2007, 03:41 PM
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What what? Did he talk dirty? I'll admonish him! IPB Image

Actually, it wasn't Effovex that made me feel my age. It's the wind of change. tongue.gif


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John Pozadzides
post Apr 17 2007, 03:51 PM
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Pandy, who are you kidding? If he was talking dirty to you, you'd probably promote him to moderator. biggrin.gif

PS - I like the Marilyn Monroe avatar best!


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pandy
post Apr 17 2007, 03:57 PM
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Can I appoint moderators now? Seems my current avatar is really working for me. cool.gif


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Effovex
post Apr 17 2007, 04:04 PM
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Your current avatar is both oddly familiar and confusing the hell out of me. wacko.gif


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pandy
post Apr 17 2007, 04:49 PM
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HTH tongue.gif


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Effovex
post Apr 17 2007, 04:53 PM
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Jakob Nielsen! laugh.gif

I think we're cluttering an important WGD announcement with offtopic nonsense though unsure.gif

Maybe move these to a new thread about "Pandy's new avatar" in the offtopic forum?

This post has been edited by Effovex: Apr 17 2007, 04:55 PM


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post Apr 19 2007, 10:15 PM
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Absolutely not! The OP brought it up himself. wink.gif


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JamieHarrop
post May 21 2007, 01:46 PM
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Now that it's been a month since John first posted this, I'd be interested to see just how many of the forum members are reading the blog on a regular basis or are subscribed to the RSS/email alerts.

Do you read it? If not, why? Those who posted their views in this thread last month, have your views changed since you started reading the blog?


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Peter1968
post May 21 2007, 02:58 PM
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I certainly do read it, and I'm quite grateful for some of the stuff you guys have brought up (honeypot, cssplay, etc).

I don't "do" RSS, but I've linked the site from my own excuse for a blog and I check it regularly.
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JamieHarrop
post May 21 2007, 05:31 PM
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QUOTE(Peter1968)
I certainly do read it, and I'm quite grateful for some of the stuff you guys have brought up (honeypot, cssplay, etc).


I'm pleased to hear that, Peter.

QUOTE
I don't "do" RSS, but I've linked the site from my own excuse for a blog and I check it regularly.


So where's this blog of yours? I don't see the address anywhere. Please do share it. smile.gif


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Darin McGrew
post May 21 2007, 05:32 PM
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Thanks for the reminder. I just took a look at it and subscribed to the RSS feed.


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