The most valuable property any business owns is its process for accomplishing tasks.  The more streamlined the process is, and the more buy in there are from the creators the easier it will be for everyone.

To be expressly clear about this.  You can walk up to Eli and call him the nastiest things you can think of, and we’ll still publish your work so long as you follow the process. On the other hand if you’re the nicest person in the world, but just don’t like following rules we won’t deal with you.

Basic Rules

  • Unless otherwise agreed to in writing no payment is offered or expected for content created for GeekBrainDump.com
  • All posts for GeekBrainDump.com will be original content.  You can use the same concepts and repurpose them for other sites, but the specific text used must be original.
  • Posts should be under 500 words in length, preferably around 250 words.
  • No swearing is allowed in posts. Although swearing has become “cool” in the startup world our readership is diverse and  many generally do not approve of bad words.
  • Keep Political Correctness in mind when writing posts. Does the comment add to the overall conversation, or is it simply antagonistic?
  • Make arguments not snark.  If you are going to speak of something poorly in a post you must back it up with a solid argument.
  • No affiliate links are to be used in posts.
  • No URL shortening are to be used in posts.
  • You cannot be paid by third parties for writing posts unless specifically given permission.
  • No fancy formatting or CSS.  Do not modify fonts and such in text.  No colored text should be used.  H tags should be used an absolute minimum.
  • Do not add executable code. Iframe’s and Javascript are never authorized. Quotation Blocks can be used to display non executable code.
  • Sites linked to in posts should be considered generally safe.

Writing Style Guide

  • Post topics should be limited to one specific argument or concept. It is better to have 5 short posts on specific items rather than one long post that talks about 5 items.
  • Posts should be “actionable” or have a takeaway.  We have no interest in fluff pieces. A reader should be able to use your post as the basis of a decision.
  • You are expected to show your bias, but back it up with your arguments. Readers appreciate bias. “I prefer Linux because I believe infrastructure software should be freely available” vs. “I use Linux because Windows is dumb”
  • Leave Religion and Politics out of posts unless there is a specific technical reason for it. “How the Catholic Church uses mobile crowdfunding apps” vs. “Why Jesus would support Open Source”
  • Quotes should be used only to the degree that is necessary to make your point. Generally no more than 20% of a post should be quotes.  Although we publish some posts that are up to 75% quotations this is done very judiciously.
  • There should be “further reading” type links at the end of the post.  The idea is that if the reader finds what you said interesting that you give them a path to learn more.  This can easily be done by simply listing the links to the pages you used for researching the post.
  • If writing about a topic other tech webzines are reporting about then find a way to present the material that is from a different perspective than everyone else.
  • Mentions of “Eli the Computer Guy” should be kept to the absolute minimum (preferably zero).  This project is expressly created in an effort to deemphasis Eli.  If you wish to add to, or argue with, a concept that Eli brought up somewhere simply start the post as a clean slate. “The reason the CCNA is a valuable certification is…” vs. “I disagree with Eli’s view of the CCNA and here’s why…”

Topic Selection

Topics for GeekBrainDump.com must stay within the realm of IT/ Electronics. They may stray slightly if there is real relevance such as if someone was developing organic data storage, or if a new theory in physics would allow for faster processors.

Writers are given very free reign beyond this to write about the concepts that they find most interesting.  Generally if there is an issue with topic selection the post that has been submitted will be published, but the writer will be alerted why the topic should not be discussed in the future.

Security and Permissions

We have setup a security and permission system for the site.  This system allows you to create and edit drafts of your posts, but you do not have permission to publish posts directly.  Nor do you have the ability to publish or delete posts once they have been published. If a post needs to be edited or deleted after it was published simply let us know and we’ll set the post back to Draft status where you can modify it.

After you have written your post change the Status to Pending Review and Save.

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Additionally we have a very strict system for blocking IP addresses that try to attack the system.  Make sure you’re paying attention when logging in to the site because if you lock yourself out it will take substantial time to unblock you.

Bio Box and Self Promotion

Every Author will have a Bio Box displayed on their published posts.  This box allows you to display your Biography and links to your Facebook, Google+ and Twitter Accounts. This is to be used to promote yourself, not any products.

The sites that you link to in your Bio Box should be considered Safe For Work, and not malicious in any way. They should reinforce your professionalism.

You are absolutely allowed and encouraged to gain work from readers who may contact you because of your posts on GeekBrainDump.com.  You must make it clear that you do not work for GeekBrainDump.com and any arrangements are expressly between you and the person that contacted you.

Being Paid for Posts

Generally GeekBrainDump.com will not offer ideas for the posts that writers create and will only require that they fit with in the overall guidelines.  At times there are specific topics that we want covered and we are willing to pay for those posts.

Within the site there is a Post Status of Pitch. This denotes post topics that we want covered.  There will be a basic title for the post and once the Post is opened for editing there will be an Editorial Metadata Box with specific requirements and the fee offered for the post.

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If you accept the assignment you are expected to submit the finished draft within 24 hours. We will pay you using PayPal and we will pay the transaction fee.  (If we offer $5, you receive the $5 and we pay PayPal’s fees on top of this).

You will be a contractor and we will pay up to $400 per year before we require a W9 form for taxes.  To be paid more than $400 you must be a US Citizen and you will receive a 1099 once you go past the $600 mark. We will require a copy of your official Government ID and Social Security Card. To be clear taxes and such are your responsibility.

Please note I’m too old to play chicken with the IRS.  Everything will be dealt with above board and I will not tolerate any attempts to slide around the rules.

Apply to Be a Writer

To be a writer simply email Eli [at] EliTheComputerGuy.com about your interest.  You will need to include links to posts that you have written elsewhere.  Links to a personal blog is fine, but we will not accept any writers without seeing previous work.

Generally you should expect your first 10 posts to be critiqued the hardest. The goal is to make sure you’re clear with requirements for writing and your standards are of high enough quality so that after you finish the first 10 posts there shouldn’t be need of much critiquing afterwards.

Know Where the Door Is

There is no implicit or explicit agreement between you and GeekBrainDump.com. Unless you have something in writing everything should be considered a fantasy that may or may not happen.  You have the right to stop writing at any time, and we have the right to stop accepting your work at any time.

If you stop writing for GeekBrainDump.com your posts will continue to be attributed to you and your Bio Box will remain intact.

Problems..?

If you have any issues or arguments about the policies please let Eli know.  The point is not to “lay down the law” rather it is to come up with a system that is easy to understand and allows everyone to know where the boundaries are.

 

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