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    Got that latest or greatest scoop? Perhaps you have some important news for the Debian community? Submit a news item!

    Or perhaps you’ve written a rather ground breaking insight into some aspect of Debian and you feel compelled to share it with others? Knock up a longer editorial article and send it to the editors.

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    Debian Planet submission guidelines / feedback
    Submitted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 27, 2002 – 23:44
    As someone who has (both as Anonymous, and a registered user) had a couple of submissions get posted here, and some just never appear, I’d like to ask whether anyone else, especially the Debian Planeteers themselves, see any merit in a couple of suggestions I’d like to make to hopefully improve the Debian Planet experience for all users.

    My first suggestion is for the provision of a set of ‘submission guidelines’ so that any interested potential submitter can get some pointers on the kinds of things likely to succeed in being posted or not, and how to frame a worthwhile submission.

    My second suggestion is for a system whereby submissions by logged on users that don’t make the cut get a brief feedback (even just a few words) on why the submission didn’t make the grade. This last especially could certainly help to make debianPlanet feel more ‘inclusive’ rather than just the current mysterious non-appearance of some submissions.

    Of course I realise that the second suggestion particularly may make it more work to run the site, so I’ll understand if you guys volunteering your time to run it don’t want to do that, but I really think think it would be a great improvement to an already cool site.

    Anyway, what does anyone else, particularly you site maintainers, think?

    Robot101: Robster is away at the moment, but this is certainly an interesting issue so I’m going to post it and give my take on the matter. The general rule of thumb that I try to apply is that if it’s some news of general interest to Debian users, especially regarding security or new software, or it is a question which I think will prompt discussion of general interest, I will post it.

    Things that fester for a while in the queue before being deleted are more like support requests – one at the moment asks for help configuring sound – that would perhaps best be served by posting to the debian-user mailing list, #debian on irc.debian.org, or debianHELP. Maybe there is a case for DP support forums, but then we’d arguably have a clear overlap with other sites.

    Being a helpful soul I sometimes end up posting these anyway – and I am very tempted to write some quick pointers about loading OSS and ALSA modules – with my answer to the question. But robster doesn’t really like me doing that because we’re primarily supposed to be a news site rather than a support site. 😉

    Speaking personally, other things which tend not to get posted by me are press releases which get submitted to every single community site under the sun *coughIBMcough* whether or not they are relevant, and announcements for projects of questionable usefulness or clear duplication of effort.

    I’d quite appreciate a better mechanism to reply to submitters with reasons for rejection. Of course this isn’t applicable when someone posts Anonymously – even if we did want to contact you we couldn’t. What’s also needed is a better mechanism for editors to discuss something before posting.

    It sometimes occurs that an editor will leave something that he considers borderline, to discuss it with robster, and then find that someone else posted it anyway. Both of these should get better when we switch to Drupal, which I think we’re doing really soon now.

    As for an official policy, it’s unlikely – robster often quotes mysterious unwritten policy at me when I post something he doesn’t like – like this article, for example – a cynic might accuse him of making it up as he went along. I’ll keep an eye on the comments for this article, feel free to ask me any other questions before he gets back. 😛

    Category: Site News

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    Subject: Re: Debian Planet submission guidelines / feedback
    Author: gowlin
    Date: Thursday, 2002/07/04 – 15:42
    I’d like to see less editorial comments in the stories (unless it’s important information that should be seen directly with the story). Most of the editorial comments, though, are just normal comments that have been attached to the “story” instead, and are serverd just as well by being posted with the rest of our comments in the comment section.
    [ Please login, or register ]

     

    Subject: Re: Debian Planet submission guidelines / feedback
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Friday, 2002/07/05 – 02:32
    robster would love you 🙂 DP people are constantly being told to cut down on the notes, and are beaten with a stick for including editorial content.
    [ Please login, or register ]

    Subject: Rough Policies
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Saturday, 2002/06/29 – 12:03
    Obviously I can’t speak for the current DP staff, but I can tell what I used to do for the 160-odd stories I posted, and the 300+ stories I deleted.
    * First step: INCLUDE SOME INFORMATION. If your submission contains a URL and a URL only, or a “Check it out! http://foo.bar.baz”, it will probably be nuked immediately. If it was so intensely cool, then someone else will submit it anyway.
    * Spelling and case. I cannot stress this enough! Read through the Debian Planet/debianPlanet/DEBIANPlaNEt (hi Rob!) front page, and you’ll see that everything’s spelt immaculately (except where the Poms can’t spell, but hey :), and all the grammar’s fine. This is deliberate. I had to *completely* rewrite about a quarter of the submissions I posted. So, help us out by spelling stuff right, and using correct grammar. We’re not your English teachers.
    * Don’t troll. “GNOME 2.0 packages were released, KDE am teh sux0r!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111” is very likely to NOT get posted, and vice-versa.
    * Keep it relevant! About once a week, someone posts a kernel/hardware problem (“Help!! How do I getz mah GeForce 4 running?!?!?!?!?! I kant skrew it in!!”) to DebianPlanet. We’re not KernelPlanet! Please try and keep your posts to something Debian-only.
    * Register first! If you register, we can email you or such, saying “well, this is a good article, but needs work here, here and here”. I’m happy to do this (and I have, on several occasions); it’s annoying to have to bin submissions that could’ve been quite good. Also, the feedback bit makes your complaints that we’re a cabal, invalid. 😉 [*notes that submitter of this article is Anonymous*].
    If you do things like this, your article is much more likely to see the front page. Remember that we’re just volunteers who happen to do this (I just bugged Rob on IRC at least 6 times, until once when I caught him in a rare good mood :), we’re not paid, we don’t drink from the Magical Fountain of Having Lots Of Time, we don’t have a +50 Ring of Submission Rewriting. There’s a high can’t-be-fucked factor involved when you look at an article with KOMPLETELY INKORET SPELING THATS WRITEN IN AL CAPS OR LOWERCASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!. Remember these, and you’ll go far. Of course, I still got the occasional flame from robster for breaching the as-yet-unwritten policies (Robot101, I think we need ESP :), but by and far I think he was happy with it, and current staff seem to have a similar policy. Put yourself in their shoes: would *you* want to rewrite every submission that came in? I think not.
    [ Please login, or register ]

    Subject: Re: Debian Planet submission guidelines / feedback
    Author: robster
    Date: Friday, 2002/06/28 – 17:47
    Of course, i’m a lazy, procrastinating bastard who loves nothing more to delete posts from the queue as a way of reducing tension and stress. I wonder from whom I get that character trait, Rob. =)

    Often I end up sending a nice email, saying, its not news but maybe you should try….

    And then there are the rather rubbish articles that are irrelevent, poor english and just wrong. Hint: Dont included irrelevent niceties in the first person, e.g “Hi! I want to make a potato faster!!”

    It looks like i’m writing some submissions guidelines this weekend, therefore I expect Rob to write my geography essays for me!

    [ Please login, or register ]

     

    Subject: Re: Debian Planet submission guidelines / feedback
    Author: robot101
    Date: Friday, 2002/06/28 – 18:02
    That’s your fault for doing Geography. I don’t like to say I told you so… actually, I do, and I did! =)

    You don’t need to write guidelines, we can refer people back to this article. That’s what lazy people like us would do. =)

    Regards,
    Rob

    [ Please login, or register ]

     

    Subject: Re: Debian Planet submission guidelines / feedback
    Author: robster
    Date: Friday, 2002/06/28 – 18:06
    Yeh ,good idea. Except. Its Debian Planet not debianPlanet or debian Planet or debian planet or Debian planet or DeBiAn PlAnEt!

    We need to put that somewhere!

    *SLAP*

    [ Please login, or register ]

     

    Subject: dEbIaN PLaNEt
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Saturday, 2002/06/29 – 12:06
    While you’re being a pedant, I’d like to point out that it’s it’s, not its, since you’re indicating the non-possessive (qualitive?). Bloody Geography students; I recommend you take English instead. I mean, shit, you’re a Pom, and you still can’t speak it? Sheez! What, is it left to the Aussies now to do English correctly? 🙂
    [ Please login, or register ]

     

    Subject: Re: Debian Planet submission guidelines / feedback
    Author: robot101
    Date: Friday, 2002/06/28 – 18:18
    *reads the logo* says debianPlanet if you ask me, bud. =)
    [ Please login, or register ]

     

    Subject: Re: Debian Planet submission guidelines / feedback
    Author: oneTimePoster
    Date: Friday, 2002/06/28 – 20:00
    Hi,

    html site header sais Debian Planet. I’m confused.

    [ Please login, or register ]

    Subject: Re: debianPlanet submission guidelines / feedback
    Author: searcher
    Date: Friday, 2002/06/28 – 05:09
    Personally, I lurk in the background and read more than I comment or submit posts.

    But!

    If I were to submit a story, I would truly like at least a few words on why a submittal was rejected rather that receive a rejection w/ no reason as to why.

    A few words, even a couple, are much more encouraging and helpful than a generic “rejected” message.

    Actually, I’m surprised by the question. Why in the world wouldn’t there be at least a few words as to why a submitted story was rejected? How else would a submitter learn what is expected?

    [ Please login, or register ]

     

    Subject: Re: debianPlanet submission guidelines / feedback
    Author: robot101
    Date: Friday, 2002/06/28 – 12:17
    Because the software (PHPNuke) sucks. We have no way of replying to, internally commenting on, or editing and then re-queueing, articles in the queue. The only option we have is to post it (possibly with editing) then and there, leave it as it is, or delete it. A lot of submissions are anonymous too – and it’s a lot of effort to seperately e-mail the submitter even if they’re not. Sometimes if it’s a worthy request for support, we might reply by e-mail with some helpful pointers, but not always. We really need a better mechanism for dealing with these things. Hopefully Drupal will provide them.

    Regards,
    Rob

    [ Please login, or register ]

     

    Subject: A whole bunch of questions.
    Author: tomun
    Date: Monday, 2002/07/01 – 22:47
    Why dont polls display in nested mode like I told it to ? Is that another phpnukism ?

    Do most people actually prefer threaded mode ?

    And are you gonna make deb packages for drupal ?

    maybe you need a “Resubmit to debianHelp, and notify poster” button ?

    [ Please login, or register ]

     

    Subject: Re: A whole bunch of questions.
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/07/03 – 08:28
    If it looks wrong, and it’s PHP-Nuke, $au50 says it’s a bug. The team are making a great effort with Drupal, and hopefully DP will be able to migrate soon. 🙂
    [ Please login, or register ]

     

    Subject: Re: debianPlanet submission guidelines / feedback
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Saturday, 2002/06/29 – 13:51
    You *DO* realize that you can memo users, right?
    [ Please login, or register ]

     

    Subject: Re: debianPlanet submission guidelines / feedback
    Author: robot101
    Date: Saturday, 2002/06/29 – 17:10
    Oh yeah. I find difficulty in finding my way into that functionality. I’d much rather see a field for me to put reasons into and click ‘Reject’ then OK. =)
    [ Please login, or register ]

     

    Subject: Re: debianPlanet submission guidelines / feedback
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Sunday, 2002/06/30 – 12:30
    Agreed. The ability to tack notes on stuff would be really nifty, too. Hopefully Drupal will do this. Hm, well it won’t affect me but … gwah, I dunno.
    [ Please login, or register ]

    Subject: Robot101’s feedback
    Author: WiggyPop
    Date: Friday, 2002/06/28 – 02:56
    I think that what you’ve writtten above already is useful information for prospective posters, something informal like this, and with Robsters comments on the topic also, would already be a big help in providing a few pointers to prospective submitters.
    Naturally a short direct response on a failed submission could only be made to logged in submitters; but no response at all would be required if the submission already didn’t meet the general guidelines available to all, thus saving wasted maintainer time.
    [ Please login, or register ]

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