If you recently signed on as member of the Yahoo! Contributor Network, welcome to a truly awesome writing community. I realize that as a new Contributor, you have oodles of information to process. As a Y!CN Community Guide, I would like to share some basic and helpful tips, advice, and important Y!CN links with you. I based this guide on customary newcomer questions I receive.
1) Trapped in the Welcome Wagon – No, you are not doomed to linger for eternity in the Welcome Wagon. Due to a policy change, new Contributors now have to publish one article before gaining full access to the Community Forum.
While you wait for the review of that first article, the Welcome Wagon is a great way to acclimatize yourself to the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Make your introduction, and meet some new friends. Oh, and be sure to bone up on the Y!CN submission guidelines, and the Yahoo! Style Guide.
Important note: Post questions you believe are pressing, in the threads that are pinned at the top of the Welcome Wagon. You will get a faster response. I notice that many people are starting a new thread for each of their questions. With so many people introducing themselves in the Welcome Wagon on a daily basis, these posts quickly end up at the bottom of the pile before anyone has a chance to respond.
In addition, you can now subscribe to a particular section of the forum as well as a thread. For instance, I subscribe to the Help Desk and the Welcome Wagon. This is not only convenient — it is a cool feature.
2) Help Desk Assistance – The Help Desk in the Community Forum is your go-to place for all things Y!CN. When I have a concern, including concerns of a technical nature; I like to check the Help Desk before posting a new thread or sending off an email to Y!CN staff. A quick look at the threads posted, and I usually find an answer to my problem. At the Help Desk, you can subscribe to and follow Y!CN staff updates on bugs and such. Gratefully, a number of Contributors also offer assistance in the Help Desk. Learn the guidelines for Help Desk posting here.
3)Type of Content Allowed – As a Contributor, you can submit text, audio, video and images on the topics that interest you. While the Yahoo! Contributor Network encourages unique, original, and interesting content; it prohibits the publication of adult subject matter, advertisements, and defamatory or offensive content, to name a few. The site has the right to pull content that does not adhere to its policy. It is to your advantage to take the time to read the guidelines set forth in the Terms of Service.
4) What is wrong with My Pen Name? – Honestly, I do not have an issue with someone calling himself or herself something like redpenwriterdude or Tippydoodledog. However, there are Y!CN guidelines related to publishing opportunities and your pen name. On the edit profile portion of your account page, you will see the blue link about pen names.
You can find this information directly under General Info. The Y!CN recommends your pen name be professional sounding. As well, the name you decide on needs formatting like a real name. You can be Jane Doe, but not JaneDoe.
5) Article Review Time – The review process can take up to two weeks. This does not include weekends. Generally, Y!CN staff are not available on weekends. Someone may work the News Desk, though. Often, articles go through review much sooner than the two-week timeframe. At various times of the year, especially during holidays, it is understandable that a backlog might occur. Be patient. Although it may feel like forever, every article makes its way before a Content Manager.
6) News Submissions and Review – I have achieved my Display Only (DO) right to publish, but my News article went to the review queue. Help! Every article submitted via the News template goes to review before it publishes. There is an exception, but it does not pertain to new Contributors. Regardless of DO status, when you select News in the drop down menu, it will be on hold until it clears the review process.
The Y!CN News Team attempts to review news articles the same day. There is no way of knowing, though, if the desk is experiencing an overload. If your article is time-sensitive, (most news is) it makes sense to bypass the News template.
Instead, submit your news as a general article. That way, you get it out on the Web as soon as possible. The article will not go through the news feed, however. If it is a hot topic, you will still garner some good page views.
7) Don’t Forget to Have Fun – The Y!CN is a great place to write, gain valuable knowledge, and make some money. There exists plenty of opportunity for growth and success, too. Study the guidelines, read the forums, and learn from veteran Contributors. Remember to have fun in the process, though.