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Old 09-20-2007, 08:39 AM   #1026
MoreThanMommy
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Pace yourself... If you can work at a steady pace for the two weeks and you produce quality content, you should be good.
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:56 PM   #1027
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"I haven't even finished preparing my "Things You Will Need to Complete in Prep" list. Yikes! "

are you serious? I didn't finish that list til the night before my final review!
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:58 PM   #1028
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i hate capitalizing internet. I wish it would just finish changing already...I read somewhere some huge outlets have discontinued it....wish everyone else would get on board...m
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:46 PM   #1029
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Smile

I had no idea how hard Prep would be. It didn't help that I had to go on a family vacation right after my first review for four days. We bought the plane tickets way before I found out about Prep. I told myself I would do some work while I was on my trip but of course that didn't happen!

I was up literally all night last night trying to get everything completed before my second review. I couldn't get my "Essentials" to post right, and I only had two done instead of three. Oh well, I did the best I could, seeing as I had to write content for about fourteen categories! (I'm in Prep to be a city guide).

I'm just going to try and do the best I can for the final review. I guess I need to quit being so hard on myself, but I haven't lost this much sleep since I was cramming for finals in college! Yawn! Time to go chase after my toddler now.
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:15 PM   #1030
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Hi everyone! Newbie here, but I had to register and join in this thread. First, I want to say a huge THANK YOU (sorry for shouting) for all the advice here. This is a very valuable thread!

I've been accepted into prep, which starts Sept. 28th. Which is perfect timing because we'll be coming home that day from a short family vacation. Whew! I've applied a couple of times before and been through prep once, although that was a couple of years ago. I'm nervous, but mostly excited!

Anyway, just wanted to thank you all for the words of wisdom, and wish good luck to everyone starting or going through prep. Hopefully we'll all catch each other on the new guide list soon! Fingers are crossed for all of us.
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:13 PM   #1031
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GardenWallPubs View Post
"I haven't even finished preparing my "Things You Will Need to Complete in Prep" list. Yikes! "

are you serious? I didn't finish that list til the night before my final review!
I was thinking the same thing, but then I decided that she couldn't possibly mean she was trying to finish writing all of her content before even starting prep!

Tip for newbies: You don't need to finish all of your content before you even start. In fact, it's not a great idea to do too much writing ahead of time because you'll need to get it to fit into About's templates. You're better off making notes, finding sources, and writing outlines (if that's your thing).

Whew, I'm glad I'm already hired because this next round is raising the bar!
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:25 PM   #1032
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Okay, maybe I am a little obsessive!

Sounds like I'd be better off getting some sleep tonight to prepare for starting prep tomorrow, instead of sitting hunched over the computer. Honestly, I feel so much better knowing I need to relax a little. I guess I am just anxious and really, really want this topic.

Thanks so much for all the advice. My husband will be happy to hear that I can sit with him to watch tv after the kids are in bed.
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Old 09-21-2007, 02:59 AM   #1033
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Another tip for newbies: If you're taking over a site that already exists, you'll be able to see the previous Guide's content until you go live. Take a look at what they have, and figure out if there's anything there that makes you stop and say "Wow, that's a good thing to include that I never would have thought of!"
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:10 PM   #1034
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Hi!

What Patti says is true (about being able to see/analyze the former Guide's content), but keep in mind that there's often a good reason that the former Guide is no longer with About.com.

Among the reasons for Guides being let go are lots of content that's off-topic and poorly-written and skimpy content.

Sandy
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:47 PM   #1035
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Congrats on getting into Prep, CarrieGee! What's your topic?
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:16 PM   #1036
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Well...here I go. All good thoughts appreciated.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:58 PM   #1037
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Good luck to all the folks kicking off prep today!

May your time be plentiful
May your writing be typo-free
May your feedback be useful
And may your site be free from technical glitches.

=},
Christy
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:42 PM   #1038
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Thanks for this very informative thread! I have a question. I applied to be a guide for one of topics, but I never received an email confirmation. I did get the final page confirmation stating I should receive an email confirmation. I've checked my junk file and it's not there. It's been about two days. I went in today and signed up for a newsletter, just to make sure I'd get the e-mail. I did. And now, I'll get a newsletter I'll enjoy too!

Does this mean I should just wait? Or should I re-send? I'd love some feedback! Thanks a bazillion!

Blessings,
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Old 09-22-2007, 12:00 AM   #1039
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Luv2writestuff -- I've applied twice. First time I got the confirmation email, the second time I didn't. I dropped them a quick email to confirm they had received my application and they replied promptly to say they had. I don't think it hurts to send an email saying you never received a confirmation and you'd like to make sure they received your application. It shows you're interested. ;-)

Now, if only they would start Prep for my topic.......

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Old 09-22-2007, 12:14 AM   #1040
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Michelle,

Thanks! I believe I will send a quick e-mail, but I'm not sure what the e-mail is. Do I use the Customer Care area? If you want to PM me, that'd be great too. Thanks!

Blessings,
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Old 09-22-2007, 12:33 AM   #1041
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I applied for a topic and had the same thing happen. I never received a confirmation email. I emailed them to let them know but so far I haven't had a response from that yet either. I guess I've done all I could though.
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Old 09-22-2007, 12:40 AM   #1042
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2writestuff View Post
Michelle,

Thanks! I believe I will send a quick e-mail, but I'm not sure what the e-mail is. Do I use the Customer Care area? If you want to PM me, that'd be great too. Thanks!

I used their Customer Care area.... http://about.com/gi/pages/pform.htm. There is a pull-down menu for subject, and there's an option for Be A Guide. I got one response from Customer Care saying they would direct my question to the proper editor, then I got another response from the editor. All within about 30 minutes.

Maybe I just hit it lucky. Here's hoping that luck will hold out.

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Old 09-22-2007, 07:47 AM   #1043
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I emailed them, too, when I didn't get a confirmation from my application...a few days later, I received an email from Eric saying they had indeed received my application, and thanks for applying. So...no news on whether I have a chance or not. The old site has Valentine's Day stuff up, so they're probably not in any hurry. With that in mind, I'm working on starting up a weird news blog, because I do love the topic of strangeness, and if I don't make Prep this time around, I'll be better qualified next time.

I've done tons of Googling trying to find a unique name before I hit Wordpress, and I'd love some feedback. My favorite is: Weird-Its: Sticky Notes from the Strange. My other thoughts are Weird at 11: Bizarre News for Bizarre Times or Odd Edition.

Whaddya think?
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Old 09-22-2007, 10:29 AM   #1044
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Greetings from my perpetual haze of Prep...

Can any of the current Guides weigh in as to whether you use "I" or "We" within your site's blogs and annotations? For example, do you say "I'll show you how to..." or do you say "We'll show you how to..."?

Saying "I" shows ownership over your Guide Site, but "we" makes it sound like a team endeavor. Thoughts???

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Old 09-22-2007, 04:48 PM   #1045
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I or We

Hi Ritr:

Glad to hear you're making it through prep.

The I vs We question is actually brought up frequently by Abouters. There's no "company line" on the issue. On my Cleveland site, I started out using "I" and have now switched to "we" since I have a couple of periodic guest contributors.

One Guide even refers to himself in the third person (which I hate).

It's really your call.

Good luck with the rest of prep.

Sandy
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Old 09-23-2007, 12:55 AM   #1046
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Ritr -- the tone of the blog is supposed to be both informative, yet friendly. That having been said, I typically don't use a lot of "I"s, but I do occasionally throw one in. I'm more likely to say something like, "Well, here's some interesting news out of Florida...", as opposed to "I thought you all should read this."

Then again, you could always refer to yourself as The Royal We
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Old 09-23-2007, 01:44 AM   #1047
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Congrats on getting into Prep, CarrieGee! What's your topic?
Thanks! My topic is Game Shows. I've been writing about reality shows for about six years now, so it's not that big a leap to game shows.

I never got a confirmation e-mail either, and the invitation to prep came about two weeks after I applied.

plaidearthworm, Weird-Its is terrific - love it!
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Old 09-23-2007, 09:52 PM   #1048
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Well, tomorrow is final review. I've felt overwhelmed because I'm doing Prep for a city guide and the amount of information they asked for in the site description was massive.

But, I just got done cranking out what I think is a pretty good mix of lists and content for the site, and now I have to plug it all in tonight. I've done the best I possibly can, hopefully they'll like what they see!

Good luck everyone else in Prep right now!
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Old 09-23-2007, 10:53 PM   #1049
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Having done prep for a city, I agree that it can be tough. They expect restaurant reviews, photos, etc. and it can require some leg work (or at least a lot of phone/email)! Family Computing prep was tough, but I could do it all from the comfort of my home in the middle of the night.

Good luck!

=},
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Old 09-23-2007, 10:55 PM   #1050
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So for current About guides (esp. Deb!), I have a question. Does anyone know what url to use when writing blogs from desktop blogging software? I'm not sure I'm able to do it until I go live, but I'd like to give it a shot. I've only recently switched, but I find I'm much more productive that way.

Feel free to PM me if you don't want to post here!

Thanks,
Christy
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