1. Introduction
  2. New Contributors
  3. Quality Standards
  4. Content & Formatting
  5. Images & Multimedia
  6. Editorial Prerogative
  7. Promotion to Author

This Guidebook should serve as a set of basic guidelines for acting as a Contributor to the It’s Getting Hot in Here Online Community. It is not a rulebook, but a set of goals that Contributors should seek to adhere to, in order to hold It’s Getting Hot in Here to the highest standards and to maintain its position as the premier community media project for the global youth climate movement.

New Contributors
Contributors are generally new to It’s Getting Hot in Here or are occasional writers. The It’s Getting Hot in Here Content Management System and the basic requirements for IGHIH posts sometimes require a learning period for new contributors to get familiar with our software and standards. So all new writers, with certain exceptions, are generally added to the user list as Contributors rather than Authors, until they are proven comfortable with the interface.

Quality Standards
Posts to It’s Getting Hot in Here should follow certain basic standards of writing quality, to represent the community properly to the diverse audience of readers. Students, professors, and journalists all are regular readers of IGHIH and nothing undermines the standing of the youth community than basic misspellings, grammatical mistakes, or sloppy formatting. Journalists love to present young activists as impassioned but mistaken or foolish and we should avoid that at all costs. While most of our audience are youth climate activists and informal writing is great, we should avoid misspelled words, improper grammar, uncategorized posts, and misformatted images and paragraphs. IGHIH doesn’t have a policy on profanity, as long as racial, homophobic, or bigoted epithets aren’t used. Posts should not display nudity, but a link to a nude image, with it fully labeled as such, if topical, can be acceptable. All Contributor posts will be reviewed by an editor or staff member before it is published onto It’s Getting Hot in Here.

Content & Formatting
The test of a post should follow a few basic formatting and content guidelines. Text should be unaltered in font or size from WordPress defaults. Highlighting, bolding, and italics are acceptable. Posts should be in paragraph format with standard spacing. Long posts should have a <!–more–> tag inserted after the first or second paragraph so as not to monopolize the frontpage. Quotes should be in a blockquote format. Also, when an image is inserted, it should be floated right or left, so that text is aligned next to it. Contact central staff or your topic editor for technical assistance, if necessary. All posts should be categorized, please try to use existing categories to make organization easier.

Images and multimedia, like music or videos, are strongly recommended to improve the look and feel of It’s Getting Hot in Here. However, images can take up considerable bandwidth and slow the site down. Images should only be posted if a reasonable size, no more than 400 pixels in either width or height. Larger images can always be linked to, but should not be posted directly on the front page. Also, images should be optimized for viewing and should not exceed 40kb in size. Central staff can assist with technical assistance or the WordPress thumbnail feature can be used. Videos and music can be embedded, but music should not be set to autoplay or download.

Editorial Prerogative
Editors are empowered by the WordPress system to add new users, promote users to the levels of Author or Editor, edit others’ posts or comments, and publish contributors’ drafts. However editors follow a few guidelines, in that Editors can edit your post to improve spelling, grammar, or format but should not alter the content of the post. Headlines can be edited to promote visual impact, as this is the primary display in the IGHIH widget and draws many visitors. Offensive content can be unpublished, due to ad hominem attacks, inciting flame wars, or conspiracy theory. If offenses are repeated, editors may demote an Author to Contributor, but should contact central staff instead of banning or removing a user account. If you believe an editor has not followed these guidelines, please contact central staff.

Promotion to Author
Contributors are usually promoted to Authors, who are able to publish posts independently, after having submitted a number of posts that demonstrate a familiarity with the WordPress interface and the contributor guidelines.

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