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Help Wanted: Reviews Writer

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PhotoAngleMemory Page Icon Posted 2007-07-08 2:50 PM
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In the H/PC community there's a "already been done" feeling I think. Which may be why there's difficulty in getting writers. H/PCs are little past their glory days.

But that's just what I think. May not neccesarily be true, but it seems to me that the lack of involvement is because there's new tiny shiny toys out there that outglory the H/PC.
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-07-08 3:36 PM
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C:Amie - 2007-07-08 9:16 AM

Hijack or benter, you decide

It is a serious point though, if there is scope for diversifying into other areas, it needs to be considered. Likewise the incentives for getting involved. In PPC land everything is shiney and new, that is the incentive. This clearly doesn't work here in the H/PC community - otherwise all the people who have ever promised to write something for the site would have done it, and we wouldn't be asking.

There is "something" which is putting people off of getting involved. I cannot identify what it is. Until then, there's no way we can hope to try and reverse the exodus of willing contributors.


Part of it is the reality that, when it's a fully voluntary task (ie, do it whenever you get around to it), it becomes, by definition, a lower-priority task in our busy lives. Not that it's not important, but when we have deadlines to meet and responsibilities to tend to, these get our attention first. (Remember Parkinson's Law: work expands to fill the available time.) I'm guilty of this myself. Nonetheless, wanting to contribute even once if I can, some time ago I put together a list of H/PC devices and other hardware about which I could write reviews. (I'm still working on ideas for software.) That does add another step to the thinking process, though, since now I've been trying to figure out which one to choose.

Edited by CE Geek 2007-07-08 3:37 PM
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PhotoAngleMemory Page Icon Posted 2007-07-08 3:42 PM
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Which is why it's beneficial to get a teen section. We have no lives to interfere with the writing time and you can easily bribe us to do anything for candy. Kidding. Sort of.

CE Geek is right, somewhat. If someone really wanted to write, they could probably find time to do it. Such as the time spent rambling on in the Off Topic thread. .

You'll find someone spectacular to write for you, I'm sure of it.


But if all else fails, take out an ad in the classifieds.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2007-07-08 3:57 PM
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I do of course understand this CE Geek, and everyone. In the greater scheme of things the site and writing for it is way, way down our list of priorities, yet for coming up for 8 years we have continued to keep the idea alive and have been reasonably consistent in doing so.

From my perspective I get the impression that people in their heart of hearts don't want to, rather than just don't have the time.
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-07-08 3:59 PM
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FWIW, I want to.
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PhotoAngleMemory Page Icon Posted 2007-07-08 4:10 PM
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Me too.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2007-07-08 5:10 PM
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All we ask (all we ever asked) is that you let us know what you want to review, and deliver. We will work out a preliminary schedule - but it runs months in advance.
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-07-08 8:36 PM
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C:Amie - 2007-07-08 6:16 PM

There is "something" which is putting people off of getting involved. I cannot identify what it is. Until then, there's no way we can hope to try and reverse the exodus of willing contributors.


my problem is that i'd rather write about hardware. (hpc's, bluetooth, etc. )
the request only mentioned software.
and the only software i would happily write about would be mainly ppc stuff (alternative browsers, for example.)

would i still be able to help?

p.s.: also proper english was a requirement. and you know, i tend to be informal in reviews

Edited by cmonex 2007-07-08 8:37 PM
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PhotoAngleMemory Page Icon Posted 2007-07-08 9:43 PM
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clintonfitchdotcom - 2007-07-02 10:37 AM

I'm looking for someone who can agree to writing on a regular schedule a review of either hardware or software.


Heh, you aren't out of luck there, they want hardware reviews too.

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PhotoAngleMemory Page Icon Posted 2007-07-08 10:38 PM
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If you're willing to let me try to write, I'm willing to go at anything. However, I would like to do something student-related so I can really use it. I'm not a business woman, so if you threw something for keeping track of finances and clients at me, I would be pretty useless. Although there's not really any marketing towards students in the H/PC realm, I'd like to try out some stuff. I need to figure out if H/PCs are applicable to my student life anyway, and reviewing anything they've got out there geared for students would help. I'm also artsy, so anything artsy would work too. I was going to ask for Pocket Artist, but it's already been done. Anything like it though, I'd try.

I have no idea what's even out there, so do what you will with me. If you even want me to write at all. But I have no life and if someone promises me a cookie for every review, I can promise you'll get them when you ask for them. My father may tell you it takes forever to get a review out of me, but he never gives me a deadline or a cookie. So don't trust him. If you give me a deadline, I can meet it.

I'm sure your writing standards are quite high, and considering my lack of higher education, I may not be able to deliver something to your expectations, but I can certaintly put forth an effort. In my reviews on MobileTeens I get a little silly sometimes, but I can do that because...well, it's half mine. But I'll try to cut the silliness for you.

I'll definitely try to write you a piece if you're willing to give me a chance.


And don't let me just because I'm Clint's kid. Only let me if you really think I'm capable.

Edited by PhotoAngleMemory 2007-07-08 10:45 PM
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-07-09 6:49 AM
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PhotoAngleMemory - 2007-07-09 3:43 AM

^

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clintonfitchdotcom - 2007-07-02 10:37 AM

I'm looking for someone who can agree to writing on a regular schedule a review of either hardware or software.


Heh, you aren't out of luck there, they want hardware reviews too.





oh, i did read it twice to be sure, but somehow i didn't see it.
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Hurricane John Page Icon Posted 2007-07-09 7:26 AM
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PhotoAngleMemory - 2007-07-08 2:50 PM

In the H/PC community there's a "already been done" feeling I think. Which may be why there's difficulty in getting writers. H/PCs are little past their glory days.

But that's just what I think. May not neccesarily be true, but it seems to me that the lack of involvement is because there's new tiny shiny toys out there that outglory the H/PC.


Don't look now, but PPC's are on their way out......everyones getting one of them swiss army knife type smart phones with those teenie, weenie tiny little screens!
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gjcoram Page Icon Posted 2007-07-09 7:38 AM
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cmonex - 2007-07-08 8:36 PM
and the only software i would happily write about would be mainly ppc stuff (alternative browsers, for example.)


How about a review of nPOP/nPOPuk?

I don't guess I'd be allowed to write a review of that, and that's really the only software I use on my HPC.
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gjcoram Page Icon Posted 2007-07-09 7:39 AM
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cmonex - 2007-07-08 8:36 PM
and the only software i would happily write about would be mainly ppc stuff (alternative browsers, for example.)


How about a review of nPOP/nPOPuk?

I don't guess I'd be allowed to write a review of that, and that's really the only software I use on my HPC.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2007-07-09 8:06 AM
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Hurricane John - 2007-07-09 12:26 PM

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PhotoAngleMemory - 2007-07-08 2:50 PM

In the H/PC community there's a "already been done" feeling I think. Which may be why there's difficulty in getting writers. H/PCs are little past their glory days.

But that's just what I think. May not neccesarily be true, but it seems to me that the lack of involvement is because there's new tiny shiny toys out there that outglory the H/PC.


Don't look now, but PPC's are on their way out......everyones getting one of them swiss army knife type smart phones with those teenie, weenie tiny little screens!
... trying to play Halo 2 and write a doctoral thesis on it, yeah, yeah, same old drill as the PPC users - just that little bit more sadistic.

However, if someone should want to write a review using a SP, I wouldn't begrudge it... assuming the quality was right.


PhotoAngleMemory,

If you want to have a go, I am positive that we can find you something to whet your whistle with. All in all, the worst thing that can happen is for us to say 'no'. If you can stick to some general principles which apply universally, then it isn't too likely to happen.



Review Principles (for everybody)

- You aren't creating a picture book. Graphics are there to enhance what you are saying. I can go and download the trial and see every aspect of the UI myself. I'm only interested in why I should spend the time downloading the trial!

- When I am proofing for publication I delete all the pictures. If I cannot understand what you are referring to (save for absolutely necessary use of "see the screen shot below"), it doesn't get published. Your words have to tell me everything about the program.

- No slang and preferably no coloquial expressions in the main review body. Your intended audience is international, not a corner of the US North West. Making a great joke about Martha Stewart in your reivew may be well and good, however there is a good chance that 5.7 billion people in this world have no idea who Martha Stewart is: If you're going to be cute, please elaborate as is necessary.

- Use of "I". Please try and minimise it.

- Spelling, punctuation and grammar. Aside from UK/US/Int English differences - we will publish in your native English.

- The sure fire way for me to a) stop reading a review and b) refuse to publish it is if you are reciting the users manual to me. I can read, we can all read or we wouldn't be here. If I wanted to read the features list, I'd go to the manufacturer and read the features list. As a reviewer you are trying to tell me why I might be interested in the program (or why I shouldn't touch it with a 100m pole).
If you can tell me that, great. If you can tell me something no other reviewer has, excellent. If you can tell me something the manufacturer didn't know - Fan-tas-tic.

- Who are you writing for? Usually a good idea to spell that out somewhere near the beginning. If I'm a 2.11 reader and the app only works on CE 4.2...

- Don't be afraid of being critical when and where it is fair and necessary to do so. We usually give developers a lead time on the review before publishing. There have been frequent instances in the past where warranted criticism in a review has led directly to changes in the application. A quick edit to the document to add that they responded and fixed some of the comments always looks good for the reviewer and the manufacturer.

- "http://". I was once at a seminar, many, many years ago being told by an "expert" just how wonderful hyperlinks are. Being told how great it is that the net is a non-linear system and why every website should make as much use of hyperlinks as possible so that all information can be intertwined with all other infomraiton. That's very nice if you're wikipedia.
If I see "http://" in a review, what you are saying to me the reader is "here, please leave this website, please leave half way through my review; you don't need to finish reading it".

Guess what. As a website owner I do not want readers to leave the website, and I'd much rather that they read all of your thoughts, ideas and absorb your hard work!

- If you can, try and comment on the manufacturers support procedure/efficiency as we do score based upon support. For John Ottini a particular bug here is the registration system for payware. For Clint it's response time on email. I usually go for the built-in help.

- Conclude. You can freely use "I" here.
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