This is a Journal entry by Dmitri Gheorgheni

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 1

Dmitri Gheorgheni a good 1000-word entry. (Or less.)

This is not a rant. This is a CHALLENGE.

Look, guys, here are a few indisputable facts:

1. We WANT people to read the Edited Guide.

Even if you prefer to use h2g2 as a personal messaging system, you are aware that to pay the rent, we need readers.

2. Everybody out there is at least as lazy as you are.

That means, if it ain't interesting, they'll click away.

3. People don't know something's interesting unless you convince them it is.

What I personally want people to take away from my entries is, first of all: 'Wow! I didn't know that. And I'm glad I do, now.'


- Write short - Get in, get out, don't linger to perorate.
- Use hooks: Make the first paragraph a grabber.
- Respect the reader: Ask yourself, 'Why would somebody else want to know this, and how much do they need to know?' not, 'How can I abuse this person's attention?'

The Challenge: Everyone who reads this, and GETS IT:

PLEASE write a VERY SHORT GUIDE ENTRY. About anything that takes your fancy: your favourite recipe, a book/film we haven't covered (no, not the whole publishing history, etc, plus blow-by-blow plot description, leave that to that encyclopedia, we ain't an encyclopedia), interesting place around the corner from you, odd factoid you just learned, gizmo in your junk drawer, how to repair a cracked fireplace (someone just did this in my living room, took him 5 minutes, and he jawed with me the whole time), etc, etc.


A87786120 - Who Is that Novelist, and Why Is He Writing Me All These Letters?

1002 words. The title is almost longer than the entry. Okay, not really. But see what I mean?

A87777346 - Bat People, Sea Serpents and Hogzilla - Is Seeing Believing?

870 words. As God is my witness.

A87725460 - La Cucaracha: Political Lessons from the Cockroach

Okay, wordy, 1177 words. But half of that is song lyrics and snarky footnotes with jokes in.

Please help us out here - we want pithy! And YOU CAN DO IT!

I swear, it won't take you a whole hour to write one like that.

Okay, and a week or so of putting up with PR. But take a hit for h2g2. It's your duty.

smiley - dragon

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 2

Dr Anthea - ah who needs to learn things... just google it!

smiley - sadface
since you posted this I thought I'd give a really short entry a shot,
my attempt so far isn't very good...

darn you and your motivation


What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 3

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - rofl Motivation is my aim. smiley - whistle

This is great. Now, what you need to do is to go check in the Edited Guide. There's already an entry on Great Tits. You'll need to link to it, and make sure your entry is different enough. smiley - winkeye That's easy - just make reference to that one, and add a new perspective. If Mu Beta's written about Great Tits, you can add the Other Tits, whatever they are. smiley - laugh

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 4

2legs - Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side...

smiley - lurksmiley - evilgrinsmiley - biro

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 5

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Okay, here's one: A87786562

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 6

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

ooh, I have a couple of short articles gathering dust that I could polish upsmiley - run

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 7

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

smiley - nur

A28628238 smiley - run

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 8

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - applause Yay! That's the way - thow 'em how! smiley - biggrin

Keep it up, people. This is the way to grow the Guide.

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 9

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

smiley - biggrin

I have others in my back cupboardsmiley - run

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 10





What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 11

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - huh Harrumph? Har-RUMPH? smiley - rofl

HN, what are you trying to tell us?

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 12

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

That was definitely an arm-being-twisted complaint!smiley - winkeye

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 13

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - snork I see. Twisting arms, here. Let's fill up PR!

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 14


I don't think it is my duty, actually. I don't think it is anyone else's duty, either.

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 15


(And I apologise for being teh voice of reason, but you've made a good case for what writers can do for h2g2. I think the problem is that writers are not sure what h2g2 can do for them.)

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 16

Pierce The Pirate ~ out of Hotblack Desiato mode again ~

Duty isn't a word that rings well with hootooers, but we have to admit that entries are what this place was primarily made for. They don't have to be scientifically accurate, I believe. You can read that kind of entries elsewhere. Think about what Adam's guide had to say about alcohol.

The other pope and I just retired. Yours truly after w*rking 42 (yes, 42 it is) years in the media, so forgive me for having a lengthy lunchbreak before I start writing entries smiley - yawnsmiley - yawnsmiley - zzz

smiley - pirate

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 17


I'm not disputing that entries are what makes the place work, by any means. They are what the place is for. But...what do we offer writers that they can't get elsewhere? Apart from the wonderfulness of our volunteers and so on and so on. All of which I agree with, but...

A writer with a good story to tell and good photographs to go with them thinks "I want to make this available for free, for everyone. For a laugh, for the betterment of mankind, or because it might be useful to someone. Or even educational!"...

Well, I think she'd put it on her blog. Wouldn't she?

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 18

Dr Anthea - ah who needs to learn things... just google it!

if you have a story to tell the odd sense of pride you get when you receive that email to say its been accepted into the guide
and the artists as i can attest since i am one - will do there up-most to put your lovely pictures on,
generally i will even try to send you an email of thanks
sure it may take longer, gratification may not be instant
but that pride in having given it a go is well worth it

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 19


smiley - ok That all adds value, of course.

What the Edited Guide needs...

Post 20

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Okay, I'll try not to be insulted by that question. smiley - rofl I wasn't asking as a personal favour to me.

What do you get from using h2g2 as a place to put your writing?

1. The growth of h2g2 as a site.

2. Somebody to do your editing for FREE. If you put something in the Post, or contribute an Edited Guide entry, other people are taking time - out of the goodness of their hearts, mind you - to edit your copy and archive it. Appreciate.

3. You get read. Your blog isn't going to show up as well as h2g2 does. Google and see. smiley - whistle We get a lot of visitors, too. There are plans in the works from the wonderful tech side of all this that will make the content show up even better in the future.

No, nobody gets paid for this. You don't get instant fame and fortune. But you get the statisfaction of doing it, of getting better at it, and of raising the level of what's available online. You might have an interesting conversation or two, or make a new friend.

If you don't want to do it at all, forget it. I'm not talking to you. But I happen to know that there are people within reach of this journal who just need a nudge to write - and who might be daunted at the idea of compiling some long laundry-list of factoids. Sometimes we get bogged down in the idea that we need to be 'definitive' about everything we write.

My point was: we don't WANT more laundry lists. We want short, snappy entries full of the cool Stuff you want to tell us. smiley - winkeye

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