[Theforum] Author vs Content: author recognition

Madhu Menon webguru at vsnl.net
Sun Dec 9 23:15:55 CST 2001

At 09:18 AM 12/10/2001, aardvark typed these words:

We've had this discussion before, haven't we? And Rudy disagreed then too.

>i do not agree that the site isn't about us...

Damn right.

>i've said it before -- my involvement in evolt.org isn't totally
>altruistic... i expect to benefit from it in a myriad of ways (peer
>review of works, recognition, other writing gigs, etc.)...

This expectation is in no way unrealistic or wrong. People who write 
computer books and magazine articles, do it because it gives them 
credibility, exposure, and potentially more business. (Unless they're 
professional writers, of course.)

As much as I love this community, it doesn't put food on the table, or else 
I'd be working on this full-time. I'd love to say, "it's about the content" 
(which it is, but not *only* about it) if evolt paid me per article, but it 
doesn't, so...

>i point clients to the site a lot... i've had unsolicited business come
>in from the articles... even competitors recognize that i don't just
>claim to know things, i actually write about it and let people
>comment on it... hell, even my position on the board of the local
>chapter of the AAF was assisted by my writings here...

I write for computer magazines here in India. One of my main gigs was 
writing for a home computing magazine, which both paid me as well as put my 
byline on the article. I got a lot of credibility from this.

I then suggested to the editor that we should put some "character" into 
those names and give them a small bio once in a while. She did that every 
once in a while. When she put a 3-line funny bio at the end of the 
articles, feedback soared.

>and #2 can be bolstered with little things like quicker access to
>author information (so when other web sites or mags cite my
>articles, it's by my real name, not just 'aardvark' [which they always

Again, agreed.

Let's take two sites that are more or less similar in content: A List Apart 
and Digital Web. Let's take a look at their contributor guidelines:

Digital Web: http://www.digital-web.com/contribute.shtml (scroll till you 
see "Rights, compensation, and translation")


At this time, Digital Web Magazine is being financed almost entirely out of 
the publisher's pocket, with donations of resources or cash gratefully 

For this reason, we cannot actually pay in currency for the articles that 
we publish on our Web site. We can guarantee, however, that your work will 
be seen by a lot of people. It will probably receive a lot of positive 
attention as a result of running in Digital Web Magazine... and the same 
can be said for the article's author.


Note that LAST line. A real, living author, not just a username.

Now, on to A List Apart: http://www.alistapart.com/guidelines.html


so why bother?

Love of subject, love of the field, love of sharing information and 
opinions with your peers and colleagues.

And from a more self–interested perspective, if you’re in the job market, 
publishing here couldn’t hurt. If you run a consulting business or speak at 
conferences, publishing here couldn’t hurt, either. Some ALA authors have 
found that publishing here helps them publish elsewhere (a few have even 
gotten book deals).

Plus there’s the fame, limos, and corporate jets.


Well, there's no mincing words there. It plainly says, "If you run a 
consulting business or speak at conferences, publishing here couldn’t hurt, 

And why not? What's so wrong with a bit of recognition? What's so wrong if 
I or others get some work in these times from some company reading our 
articles on evolt? Anyone here got a book (or magazine) deal from writing 
on evolt? (Apologies if that sounds bitter. It was meant to be rhetorical.)

All I get now is a "themadman" username listing and a cube. Bah! :(

>capitalize])... so, i am in favor of the bios, i just think we've
>outgrown our design (which is why i -1'ed it)...

Ah, that *is* a problem. Our design has been retro-fitted with features so 
many times that it can't take any more. Till we draw up a list of 
requirements for a new design, however, we need to have something, even if 
it isn't the best design.

The survey should tell us how many people think "lack of 
recognition/reward" has prevented them from writing articles. That will 
give us real data. We *could* wait till then.



<<<   *   >>>
Madhu Menon
User Experience Consultant
e-mail: webguru at vsnl.net

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