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SoftwareCEO Guide for Authors

Welcome to the SoftwareCEO! In order to provide knowledge and information to users everywhere, the community needs people like you to contribute information and ideas to our repository. There are no set guidelines for writing an article; you have complete personal freedom to write as you choose. As long as it is within scope of the community, it is fair game.

Many of you may have never written an article before and may find it a little intimidating. Don't worry! Your article doesn't have to be perfect. Any information that you write will help someone else, even if you don't think that you know everything about the topic. The important part is that you write something and give others the information and the opportunity to start a discussion. That's what makes the community work.

Below are some tips to help you get started writing effective articles.

Table of Contents (ToC)

If you have additional questions or suggestions related to creating or formatting your article, visit our feedback form. An Editor will respond to your questions and/or suggestions.

Article Types

There are three distinct types of articles you can write - Knowledge, Experience, and Opinion. Below is some information on each of the article types to help in the selection of the type of article to write.

Knowledge Articles

Knowledge articles are informational, non-biased general articles that inform and teach the reader something specific. There are many kinds of knowledge articles you could write, like "How To" and "What is" articles. just remember that they should be non-biased, and universally appealing. Stick to truths and facts rather than opinion and speculation. Look at existing knowledge articles here at SoftwareCEO for examples.

Experience Articles

Experience articles are stories and experiences that you've had in written form. Generally, the information applies to your specific situation and would not be considered universal knowledge. When writing about your experiences, include as much information as possible to help the reader see things as you do. After all, sharing your experiences is all about getting readers to walk in your shoes.

Opinion Articles

Opinion-based articles are biased, editorial-like articles about your feelings, gripes, or suggestions. You don't have to worry about it being right or wrong, because it's your opinion. If it's something you feel strongly about and it's important enough, others will want to hear it. There are several ways to write an effective opinion piece. The most important is to be honest, open, and creative. Share information about why you are unhappy/happy, or why something should be another way. The more information you share, the more effective your article will be.

The options for effective opinion pieces are endless. Anything on your mind is acceptable. If someone has already written something on the topic, who cares? Everyone has a different opinion - share yours!

Back to ToC

Effective Writing

We are committed to providing a friendly atmosphere for everyone who wants to learn, read about, and share their thoughts and opinions with others. We understand that not everyone is a professional writer, and that's okay! We value everyone's style when sharing ideas. However, effectively written articles can truly make yours stand out, and therefore help many more people. Here are a few things to consider when writing your article.

Scope

Scope is the breadth of knowledge your article covers. It's usually best to limit a particular article to one well-formed idea. Generic concepts are often very difficult to explain in one article. To limit scope, try splitting big concepts into many smaller articles.

Stay on Course

It's easy to veer off course when writing about something you're passionate about. Sometimes when you go off topic it's difficult to find your way back. Do the best while writing to keep your ideas focused and not lose track of the points that you are trying to make. If you find yourself drifting off topic, jot down the idea and write a separate article covering that idea.

Language

We respect the diversity and languages of other cultures, but the community platform is not currently setup to handle languages other than English. Until that time, we require that all submitted works are in written in English.

Profanity

One of our few writing requirements requires that contributing members refrain from using inappropriate language in their articles. Inappropriate language includes profanity, inappropriate phrases, and slang. Articles containing the use of inappropriate language are rejected and sent back for correction.

Check out our member conduct section on the right side of the authoring screen for additional information about conduct.

Back to ToC

Formatting Your Article

Articles that are properly formatted make sharing your ideas with others much easier than just using multiple paragraphs. We have built in a sophisticated editing tool that gives you the ability for you to use headings, bullet points, numbered lists, bolded words, multiple fonts, and more.


The editing tool functions in a similar way to common word processor programs. There are a variety of formatting and control options in button form above the input area. This tool does not require the knowledge of markup tags in order to format your text. The effect on items will appear instantaneously in the box. For example, bolding a section of text will appear bold in the box.


The editing tool should mostly be familiar and intuitive, it does behave differently than your typical word processing package. Below is a quick reference guide to help explain common formatting functions.

Paragraph Breaks

Separating your ideas into paragraphs is the first step to formatting an article. A paragraph break puts a blank line between paragraphs. To use a paragraph break, leave a blank line between paragraphs by using the enter key. While writing your article, let the text wrap in the box. There is no need to press enter at the end of a line.

Bold, Italic, and Underline Text

To bold, italicize, or underline areas of text, look for the B, I, and U buttons in the upper-left corner of the control area. Highlight the text you wish modify and press the appropriate formatting button. You can also turn on and off these controls by pressing them before typing. You can combine two or more of these functions to any area of text.

Here is an example of what these effects look like:

Bold: This area of text is bold    <strong>This area of text is bold</strong>
Italic: This area of text is Italic     <em>This area of text is Italic</em>
Underline: This area of text is underlined    <u>This area of text is underlined</u>

Headings

Heading controls make larger text at the top of new points or concepts. Headings are great for titling specific sections of your article. The editing tool supports all six sizes of headings. To select one, highlight the area of text you wish to modify, and click the appropriate heading size in the left drop down box in the upper row of controls. Note that heading sizes will appear larger in the text entry area than they will on the preview page.

Bulleted and Numbered Lists

Bulleted and numbered lists make it easy to highlight specific subtopics and processes. Any area of text can be easy turned into a ordered or unordered list by highlighting the text you wish to modify and pressing the ordered or unordered list button. An unordered list uses bullet points for each line, while an ordered list uses numbers for each line.

Examples:

Numbered or Ordered Lists
  1. This is point 1
  2. This is point 2
  3. This is point 3
Unordered Lists
  • This is point 1
  • This is point 2
  • This is point 3

It is also possible to make point lists within lists. Here is an example:

  • This is point 1
    1. This is sub point 1
    2. This is sub point 2
  • This is point 2
  • This is point 3

Links to Other Web Pages or Articles

It is possible to create links to other web pages or articles by using link control. This is useful if you want to create a link to another article that you or someone else has written to provide additional or sub information that will help the user understand your article better.

To add a hyperlink to your article, highlight the area of text you wish to be a link and press the link control button (looks like a paperclip), or right-click the area of text and select "Insert/edit link" from the drop-down menu. An "Insert/edit link" control box will appear on the screen. Add the URL to the correct field, and select if the link should replace the existing page or should launch in a new window. Typically, links that exit that site should launch in a new window.

links on the preview page will be a different color than the rest of the text. This means that when the user clicks this text, it will take them to the URL provided.

You can remove links by deleting the text area, or highlighting the area of text and selecting the "unlink" control.

Full Screen View

You can enlarge the text entry area to fill the entire screen by clicking on the "Full Screen View Toggle" in the lower-right corner of the control area. Doing so allows you to see more of your text at once, making it easier to write and edit longer articles. You can return to normal view at any time by clicking the toggle button again.

Additional Help

For additional help using advanced formatting options, like inserting tables and images, click the help button in the control area for more information on how to use these controls.

Back to ToC

Categories and Groups

Once you are finished writing your article, you must assign at least one category and group. This is how your article shows up to users browsing the site.

Categories

In order to better organize the articles on the site, all community articles are "tagged" to different categories. We have put extensive effort into making the category selection as simple as possible. Select the categories to which your article relates.

The better job you do in tagging your article, the easier it is for others to find and read it. Sharing your ideas and opinions is important to others, so make sure you tag it in a way it will be found.

To select more than one topic in the category list, hold down the Ctrl key (or equivalent) on your keyboard when making your selections. While holding Ctrl, clicking on a topic will select it, clicking it again will deselect it.

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Editor's Comments

After submitting your article for publication, it is possible it will again show up in the draft section of your unpublished items folder in "My Library". If an article was returned to you, there is a reason. A note will be inserted in the text at the top of the article. View the Editor's Comments for an explanation as to why your article was returned. In many cases, a simple revision like changing a swear word or choosing a different image is all that is necessary for the article to be corrected and published. After you have made your revision, click the submit button to send your revised article for publishing.

If you have a question for the Editor about how to proceed, add additional comments at the beginning of your article. If awaiting feedback before making your changes, please resubmit the article to bring the new comments to the Editor's attention. Upon reading, the Editor will return the article to your draft section along with a response. Once your changes are made, delete any comments at the top of your article, and resubmit for publishing.

Articles may be sent back to you for numerous reasons, but below are the most common:
  • A swear word, profanity, or inappropriate language was used
  • An inappropriate image, such as pornography, copyrighted works, etc. was submitted.
  • The article submitted does not bear any relevance to scope of the site. Please refrain from submitting unrelated content, fiction, poetry, etc.
  • The article is a forum post. Please refrain from submitting forum posts as articles.
  • Titles comprised of a single word will not be accepted.
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