Our criteria for finished pieces are as follows:
- They must be well written. At a minimum, this means proofread for spelling, grammar, etc. (Exceptions may be made for stylistic reasons.) Ideally, every post should be articulate, speak with its own voice, be accessible to a range of readers, and apply widely recognized conventions of English usage.
- Pieces must be able to back up assertions with fact. When in doubt, identify your source (direct links preferred). If someone asks you to find a source, get one. You may apply to the community for help. If you cannot find supporting evidence, you must rephrase what you have written to show that this is a) your assertion, b) unsubstantiated.
- When citing a source, do your due diligence. Is this source reputable?
- Be authentic to yourself. Subterfuge is where we come to bare our souls.
You should also Ask Yourself…
Does the writer have permission to expose this information?
Anonymity can hide a multitude of sins, but there's no guarantee you will be anonymous forever.
Consider the ramifications to personal relationships.
Consider legal implications.
The writer may decide they want to take the risk, but the questions need to be asked.
Could the persons appearing in this entry be recognized?
You always want to be careful about how much personal information you reveal. You aren't only protecting yourself--you have to protect the people around you.
Ask yourself if you've given any revealing details about the people you mention in your entries. It's tempting to write a descriptive profile, but you're better off only including relevant details.
Because we are anonymous, we may also change details to help obscure identities. Perhaps you were entranced by a pair of blue eyes. No one will know if you write that they were green or brown!
If you aren't sure about how much detail to give, be sure to ask your editor for input.
Can this statement be supported by evidence?
Be on the lookout for generalizations and opinions that are given as facts. Critics love to jump on these, and they will happily tell you that you are wrong. You may even offend people. So be careful with how you phrase things.
Editors may help you find the information you're looking for--though what they find might surprise you!
If you don't want to change your opinion, you should change the wording of your entry to show that this is your opinion.
REMEMBER: You can strengthen your argument by showing that you are aware of opposing views, and then explaining why you reject them.
Where can I find images for posting?
Flickr has a great database of images that may be used by others. They are our go-to for images.
To search the Creative Commons, used Flickr's Advanced Search tool. At the bottom of the page, check the Creative Commons box to only search images licensed for free usage. NOTE: Some CC licenses require you to attribute the image to its creator.
To search Flickr's database of public domain images, go to Flickr Public Domain.
Flickr also hosts historical images from museum and university databases, which may be cited in blog posts. To learn more about the project and search the pool, go to the Flickr Commons.