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Breaking into editing for a tech site?

dknight (202308) writes | more than 7 years ago

User Journal 5

I'm currently working in a Help Desk - probably like most of the other readers here. Lately, I've decided I want more. What do I want? Well, I've been thinking about trying to get into writing for a tech site like Anandtech, or Engadget, or even Slashdot. I'm not completely inexperienced. I've written some articles for online magazines like zZine and done hardware reviews forI'm currently working in a Help Desk - probably like most of the other readers here. Lately, I've decided I want more. What do I want? Well, I've been thinking about trying to get into writing for a tech site like Anandtech, or Engadget, or even Slashdot. I'm not completely inexperienced. I've written some articles for online magazines like zZine and done hardware reviews for CAAHP. But that was all just for free/fun. How does one actually break into this sort of field without on-resume experience? It seems like a natural progression for those of us techies with a reasonable command of the English language, but there dont seem to be a lot of resources to help. What do my fellow slashdotters think?

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5 comments

Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16689233)

If you want to break ito it, like any other job, go for an interview.

If you think it is "natural" for you, start writing up articles and see the sort of response you get. If it is all positive responses, application to a site may even come on its own, or on application, you can show a history.

Re:Moo (1)

dknight (202308) | more than 7 years ago | (#16689321)

I've actually done that quite a bit - the writing articles thing. But never for any serious sites (mostly just the ones listed/linked in the post). I cant claim all the feedback I got was positive, but when is it ever? The negative feedback I received, however, was never against my writing itself - people just disagreed with what I had to say.

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16689729)

I starting writing that the arguments are positive, but i stopped. Figured it'd be too hard to explain, but you now that already. :)

If you are serious about this, start writing things here once a week in your JE, and perhaps even "submit as story". You could be our next Jon Katz! Imagine being killfiled by millions!

Some people (ok, family members) have suggested that i try something similar, when i was putting in a lot of JEs, and they liked the style and mentioned that just the constant writing from a particular approach may be marketable. Well, if i can do it, you can. (I never did it, so you can't, ha!). And, while mentioning it, my sister said that her husband particularly enjoyed this JE [slashdot.org] 's quote "So, I went from being a twenty-something to a thirty-nothing". There, i said it. Now maybe i can remove that stupid thought from recycling over and over again.

Re:Moo (1)

dknight (202308) | more than 7 years ago | (#16690367)

my concern with using JE's to do it would be spamming. No, I'm not worried about people spamming my entries, I'd be worried about ME spamming the journal. I can pump out articles/reviews. I'd be afraid that, with slashdot's journal system, a lot of my stuff would get missed - only the most recent would get read, even if other entries were made on the same day, but earlier.

Re:Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16692011)

I'd be afraid that, with slashdot's journal system, a lot of my stuff would get missed - only the most recent would get read, even if other entries were made on the same day, but earlier.

That happens everywhere.

For now, concentrate on doing one a week. If you can make multiple "really good" JEs every single day, you are probably a gift to the journaling world. Most likely, you could do it every day, but it would be a mediocre-decent quality. Take longer, and put out high quality JEs, once a week at first. If you think they are that good, submit them to the front page. If they get accepted a lot, or if comments abound, you'll know that people in general like your style.

Basically, yopu want to know how to break in. Do it first as a hobby. A sudden switch is unlikely, and probably not good.
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