Douglas Krantz's Guest Writer Guidelines
Douglas Krantz's Technician's Corner general guidelines for publishing articles and blogs.
Original articles on Electrical and Electronic Topics and articles on Technician's Corner are usually accepted.
The article should cover the topic completely so it doesn't leave the reader wondering about what the article was about. No one likes it when pages are missing from a good book; don't leave out parts of your article.
This is a publication, however, and as such has an editor that makes the final decision of what articles will be published.
Submitted articles, once published on the website, become the copyright property of Douglas Krantz's Technician's Corner. The article should not be published anywhere else because Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines get confused. If you want to publish the article elsewhere, let me know so I can remove it from this website and you can then avoid the confusion.
Plagiarism (copying someone else's writing and calling it something you wrote) is not accepted and will be dealt with.
Blog or Article
On this website, there is no actual difference between a blog and an article. This is because there are no reader's responses accepted in Douglas Krantz's Technician's Corner. Mostly this is to avoid the inevitable spam that comes in on reader's responses.
All guest articles should keep the fire safety/prevention/alarm/suppression theme. The article can be written to the uninformed person, the interested person, the full professional person, or any mixture.
Keep it simple, though. One subject per article because two subjects or more confuses the reader on what is the main subject of the article.
Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation
- Grammar is important; proper grammar is necessary to get the message across to the reader, without confusion.
- Spelling is important; proper spelling is necessary so the reader doesn't have to stumble over the words and miss the meaning of the article.
- Punctuation is important; proper punctuation is necessary to show the reader where ideas start and stop.
Length of the Article or Blog
The minimum length for the article or blog should be at least 500 words. However, the length of the blog is less important than keeping the article on one subject. To get the point of the article across to the reader, the length of the article should be as long as necessary but no longer.
More than one subject in the article is a problem, however, because having more than one subject in the article confuses the reader.
The words used in the article are important. Remember, the article is going to be read by a huge variety of people, and many of those people use English as their second language. Did you know that about half of the readers of Douglas Krantz's Technician's Corner are from countries other than the United States?
Keep in mind also that many readers don't have a college level command of the English language. Make sure that the words used in the article are going to be understandable to the greatest number of people.
Acronyms are terrible. I didn't use the acronym ESL in one of the paragraphs above because many people aren't sure about what ESL means. (It means English as a Second Language... or is it confused with Electronic Sports League?).
Then again, the acronym AFA used by fire alarm engineers means Automatic Fire Alarm. OK. A smoke alarm is an Automatic Fire Alarm. Ya. Instead of using inside-the-industry acronyms like AFA, use common language terms like "Smoke Alarm".
The readers will appreciate it.
Concern with sentence length is less important than keeping away from run-on sentences. Basically, the reader should be able to follow where the sentence is leading. If the average uninformed person can easily understand the sentence, a long sentence is OK.
This is not an academic article where 500-word paragraphs are normal. Because longer paragraphs tend to cause the back button on the web-browser to be pressed, paragraphs should be kept short. Two or three sentences are really all that should be in each paragraph.
Editing may be done by the webmaster. However, before publishing, any editing will be returned to the writer for approval.
Before feeling hurt If an article comes back with edit marks, think about why it was sent back. Remember, this is your article. Perhaps the editor was wrong and the article shouldn't have been sent back; it needs to remain the way it was originally sent in. Then again, perhaps the article could be improved.
I edit my writing, my wife edits my writing, everyone should have someone to help them write better. Don't worry, editing just makes the writing better.
You have to give me your real name and your email address, along with your phone number and the physical address where you live. You can have a pen name on the publication, but I need to know how to get ahold of you.
The article needs an "About the Author" statement; your readers want to know something about you. Just a little blurb about you is all they really want, but that little blurb also lets them know you have something to say.
Just say something like: "John Doe is Social Media Specialist and performs Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for ABC Commerce. He loves hiking as well as has a hobby in electronics." This kind of author biography lets your readers know you're a person and not a computerized robot.
Possible "Abouts" include a sentence saying what kind of work you do (John Doe or Jane Doe is a Nuclear Engineer subbing for a Dishwasher at the local McDonalds, Service Technician for a local Fire and Life Safety Company, Retired Electronic Engineering/Technician, etc., Jane Doe is a homemaker... and proud of it, etc.) and a second sentence saying that you enjoy (walking in the country, skydiving, tinkering with electronics, sitting around watching TV, digging ditches, etc.).
A small picture of you (Avatar) really helps the reader to connect with you -- the author of the article. Look at the bottom of this page and see what I look like. This is a visual medium, and pictures do help communicate with the reader. Send me a picture of you that I can squeeze down to fit.
Your email address should be in the "About the Author". It doesn't have to be the same email adddress I use to get a hold of you, but it should be an address your readers can use to contact you directly. If you have your own website, possibly that can also be in the "About the Author". Of course, if there is a back-link to a website, the website should be about you as a writer, and will be evaluated before it can be used on this website.
The article should be sent in on Microsoft Word, or if that isn't available, the text can be in an email or just a text file. That way I can transfer what is written to the webpage. Using a .pdf, .jpg or other formats are too difficult to work with.
The web is a visual medium. For the article, at least one picture or drawing (image) is required; a picture or drawing is needed because a picture is worth a thousand words, so to speak. The image will be published as a visual guide showing what is in the article - in essence, the image should visually "tell the story".
The image must be royalty free, that is Douglas Krantz's Technician's Corner cannot pay to publish the picture or drawing. Either you took the picture yourself, or you have a source that says, in writing, that the picture may be reproduced without charge. Unless the image is your own creation, credit has to be given to whoever made the picture or drawing.
The size of the picture, in pixels, has to be at least 1000 Pixels wide, preferably at least 2100 Pixels wide. The size requirement isn't absolute: we can work with you on this, but to publish the picture or drawing, these requirements are needed.
For the publication, the format for the image will be a .jpg, so the submitted format for the image that you send in has to be a .jpg.
Links to other websites to help expand on what is being written are encouraged. Links to the NFPA, for instance, or to OSHA, or other helpful sites help substantiate the article.
Backlinks are different. In-text backlinks will have to be considered on a case by case basis. Most of the time, when the article you wrote is substantiated by another article you wrote (using a backlink to yourself), the readers will wonder if you are credible. In-text backlinks are rarely accepted.
Remember, also. This website is a teaching website, not an advertising platform. Backlinks included in-text or in the author's biography will be considered on a case by case basis. In general, if the backlink is to an author's website, it stands a much better chance of being accepted than a backlink to a commercial website.
Bottom line, though, for links used in any article published on Douglas Krantz's Technician's Corner, the webmaster for Technician's Corner has the final say about whether links will be published.
This website is for you the writer to publish your article or blog for free. Yes, on this website there are advertisements, but the advertisements are the only way I can afford to publish this website.
I can, and do, bend on many of these policies. But when the final decision is made to publish or not publish anyting on this website, the decision is made soley by the owner of this website.