Instructions for Posting

Welcome to the Agents of DOUX! Here's what you need to know. Billie Doux is the site owner and admin, so if you have any questions about anything, any time, feel free to email Billie privately. (billiedoux at gmail dot com)

There are two sections here: general information about Doux Reviews at the top, followed by How to post a review (click if you want to go there directly).


Access

Billie will send you a Blogger invitation to be a contributor to the site. After you accept, you should be able to log in from Blogger.com. Here is a link to the "all posts" page. This is where you post your reviews.

We have a group discussion list on Google Groups so that we can communicate and coordinate stuff. It is only for us, the current contributors, although some of our former writers still hang out with us. Billie will send you an invitation.


About Us Page

All of the current writers are listed on the "About Us" page, which is here: http://www.douxreviews.com/p/about-us.html. Please write a paragraph bio about yourself and send it to Billie, and she'll put it up. (A photo of yourself, or your pet, or pretty much anything, is optional, but nice.) You can say anything you like in your bio and include any link you want, but start with your name so that they all have a similar format. If at any time you would like to change your bio, let Billie know and she'll update it.


Social Media

When a review goes up, Billie posts a link on our Facebook page and Mark on Twitter and Tumblr. We'd love it if you posted links to any posts on Doux Reviews on any social media accounts you have. (Not required, of course.)


How to Post a Review

Let's start with our spoiler policy.

Readers expect us to post spoilers in our reviews of television episodes, since it's difficult to review an episode of anything without discussing what happened. However, if you're reviewing an old show, please don't post spoilers for episodes that aired after the one you're reviewing. Our readers like to read along when they're trying an old show for the first time. We also don't allow spoilers for future episodes in the comments. (Billie gets every comment via email and always deletes spam and spoilers.)

Please also note that we never post text or photo spoilers on the front page! (More about that in the "More" and "Read full post" section below.) Also, while we review R-rated shows and profanity is fine within your review, please keep the rough stuff off the front page, below the "More" coding. FYI, we've also gotten complaints from Google Adsense about episode photos with violence/blood in them, and have had to remove and replace those photos.

Movie reviews are different than television reviews. It's an internet convention to post spoiler-free movie reviews, and readers always assume that a movie review doesn't contain big spoilers. If you're posting a movie review and you want to include spoilers, that's fine – just post something prominently at the top that says so.

TV season reviews and a review of the entire series can go either way, depending on what you as the writer want to do. Just let the reader know at the top if you're going to discuss spoilers.


Logging in

Log in at Blogger.com. A list of the blogs you’re associated with will pop up. If you're starting with the All posts page, click on the orange box that says "New Post" (see the red arrow below).

Click on this photo if you'd like to see a larger version



Title

The format we use for post titles is: Show Title [colon] Episode Name. For example:
Star Trek: The Man Trap



Compose View vs. HTML View

Using these two modes correctly is key. Always use "HTML view" when initially inserting the text of your review. (See illustration below.)

Compose/HTML toggle on left, toggle opened on right


After inserting your review in "HTML view," add two "br" codes at the end of each paragraph, one "br" for each line. The "br" code looks like this:

There's a very good reason for starting out in "HTML view." If you paste your review from Word into "Compose," garbage codes from the program transfer to the review and it messes up the formatting. Trying to disentangle the garbage codes is really difficult.

On the other hand, use "Compose view" to add the top right photo, edit your review and/or add italics and bolding (by highlighting the text and clicking the I or B buttons).


The "More" code

Here is the opening we usually use for a review. (If you'd prefer not to open a review with a quote, that's absolutely fine. Some do, some don't. Do whatever your muse demands.)



If you look at the front page, only the photo and a few lines appear there. Readers need to click on the "Read full post" link to read the rest of the review.

To create the "more" code, you must be in "HTML view." Type it in exactly as you see it in the illustration above.

As mentioned above in the spoilers policy, please don't put spoilers in the opening text or top photo before the "more" code because it is visible on the front page.


Assigning labels

In the "Labels" box on the right, choose or create the following tags: Show Name, Your Name.

Blank on left, labels added on right


For movies, include the title of the movie, the phrase Movie review, and your name.
Star Trek Into Darkness, Movie review, Billie Doux

Search Description

The Search Description (on the right side panel of the posting page) looks innocuous but it's really important. If someone is searching Google or Facebook, the search description is picked up by search engine crawlers and it usually shows up under the link. Lots of people see it. It should have proper punctuation, grammar and spelling, and describe the page content accurately so that people will be encouraged to click on it.


There is no way to bold or italic something in the Search Description so that it will show up in search engines. Single quotation marks look good, but double quotation marks are also fine. Feel free to be as creative as you like with your phrasing as long as the description is brief (say, 24 words or less, since long descriptions get cut off) and include your name as the reviewer, the name of the show, and the episode title. Like:
Billie Doux reviews 'The Man Trap,' the premiere episode of 'Star Trek,' and ponders the progress of feminism since the 1960s.


Photos

Every post should include at least one photo on the top right, medium size. The spacing around the photo will only look right if you click on the photo icon in "Compose view." 

The clumsy red arrow is pointing at the photo icon


If you wish to change existing photos, go to "Compose view" and click on the photo. A brief menu will pop up (see red arrow below) that will allow you to change the size and/or orientation, or add a caption if you wish.



Feel free to add other photos in the body of the review, if you like. Most official show sites and many of the bigger television review sites will release official promo photos for each episode. For some reason, it's easier to add the additional photos in "HTML view," while it's always easier to add the top photo in "Compose." For what it's worth.

IMPORTANT! Please don't ever use a photo from a news magazine or newspaper site! News sites can be evil about people using their photos! They actually sue sites that use their photos and we don't want to be sued!


Sigs

Most of us have created a sig to put at the bottom of each of our reviews, like this one:
---
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

Sigs are always in italics. They can contain any phrase you want and a link to your own site, your author page (see below on how to create an author page) or even just a link to your name as a label. (You can get a link to your name as a label by going to any of your reviews on Doux Reviews and clicking on your name label at the bottom.)

Feel free to change your sig as it suits you. Sigs are not required, but they're nice, aren't they? Unfortunately, there is no way to add them automatically so if you need to change your old sigs, it must be done manually.

After you post a review, add the episode title and a link to the review to your show page. (If you took over a show that someone else started, you won't be able to update your show page; Billie will handle that.) To create your own show page, see "How to create a show page," below. Billie will help walk you through it.


General style information

Since there are several thousand reviews on the site, we try to keep the body of the text as consistent as possible – same font in the same size, and so on. Billie, as a librarian, tends to default to the Chicago Manual of Style as a general guideline; here's a link to their brief citation guide.

Basically, in the text of your review, the title of a show, movie or book should be in italics, and the title of an episode or article in quotes. Headers, if there are any, are usually flush left, in bold, and not in all caps, with a blank line above and below. Small numbers are usually spelled out ("ten" instead of "10"), while large numbers are in Arabic numerals ("1,250"). A number should be spelled out at the beginning and end of a sentence.

We always assume that you know the spelling of character names and actor names. If you're not sure of a name spelling, IMDb is a good source.


Previewing your post

If you want to see how your review will look before it goes up, click the "Preview" button on the top right.

When you're ready for a review to go up, click "Publish."


When to post

Reviews of currently running shows, current movies, and new pilots should go up as soon as possible. The sooner you post, the more readers and comments you're likely to get. For catch up and retro reviews, we try not to post multiple reviews of the same show on the same day because it confuses the readers. A retro review can always be posted later, or (better yet) use the scheduling function. When in doubt, though, just post it, and don't worry about it. Seriously!

If you want to schedule your post to go up later, check out the "Schedule" box on the right, set a future time, and click "Publish." It will go up at your set time. If you're not ready to publish yet, click "Save."


Dibs

If you would like to take on another show or if you want to post a review of something random, email Billie first. She's gonna say yes, but it eliminates conflict if someone else has previously expressed an interest. If you would like to review a movie or a book, old or new, just send a post to the writers room that you have dibs on it, and if no one else has already claimed it, it's yours.


How to create a show page or an author page

We create a show page for every show that has more than one review or article. For a show page, we just create a regular old blog post that is dated January 1, 2000 so that they list at the very bottom of our gigantic list of posts.

To create a show page: (like this one: http://www.douxreviews.com/2000/01/buffy-vampire-slayer.html)

1. Log in to Blogger. Click "New Post."
2. Title your post with just the show name.
3. Create a blurb for the show. (Just look at some of the other show pages if you need some guidance.)
4. Under "Options," choose "Don't Allow, Hide Existing" for the Reader Comments.
5. Under "Published On," click "Set Time and Date" and choose January 1, 2000 for the Post Date.
6. Let Billie know it's ready so that she can add a graphic and internal navigation links before publishing. Billie also puts it in the indexes.

We ask you, the writer, to create your own show pages because that means you can edit the description or cast list and can easily update them with links to your latest reviews. Billie can still edit them, too. The show pages also include a cast list. If you'd like to create it, go ahead. If not, Billie will pull one from IMDb.

If you like, totally optional, you can create an author page with information about yourself and a list of everything you've reviewed for Doux Reviews. Here is Billie's.

https://www.douxreviews.com/2000/01/billie-doux.html

You can create an author page in exactly the same way as a show page (just above), except for "Published On," choose January 1, 2001 (2001 instead of 2000) for the Post Date. Again, that's for filing reasons. We have many thousands of posts.


That's It!

Congratulations, you've reached the end of this list of instructions. We're very happy to have you join the team, and we hope you enjoy writing reviews for the site.