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)

Contents:

Access to Doux Reviews
Access to the "writers room"
The "About Us" page
Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr
Spoiler policy
How to post a review
-- Logging in
-- Title your post
-- Options box
-- Compose vs. HTML mode
-- The "more" code and "Read full post"
-- Assigning labels
-- Search description
-- Adding photos
-- Sigs at the bottom of your post
-- General style information
-- Previewing your post
-- When to post
-- Scheduling your post
-- Dibs
How to create a show page
How to create an author page
_____________________________________________

Access to Doux Reviews

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 Google.com or from Blogger.com. Here is a link to the "all posts" page. This is where you post your reviews.

Access to the "writers room"

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.

The "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.

Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr

When a review goes up, Billie posts a link on our Facebook page and on Twitter. Mark runs our 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.)

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.)

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 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.

How to post a review

(A lot of this will be obvious if you already use Blogger.)

Logging in: Log in to the dashboard. A list of the blogs you’re associated with will pop up. Click on the orange box with the pen to start a new post if you're coming in from the dashboard. If you're starting with the All posts page, click on the orange box that says "New Post."


Title your post: The format we use for post titles is: Show Title [colon] Episode Name. For example:
Star Trek: The Man Trap
Options: If this is your first post, you'll need to set options in the "Options" box on the right. You shouldn't have to set them every time – just the first. Your options (the last entry on the sidebar) should be:
Reader comments > allow
Compose mode > interpret typed HTML
Line breaks > press "enter" for line breaks 
("Line breaks" is what usually causes problems. If you don't choose "press 'enter' for line breaks,' your review will be one long paragraph.)

Compose vs. HTML: There are two buttons at the top left of the blank post, "Compose" and "HTML." Always choose "HTML" when initially inserting the text of your review. Here's why.

"Compose" shows you, for the most part, what your text will look like when it's published, but if you cut and paste your review from Word into "Compose," garbage codes from the Word program transfer to the review and it messes up the formatting. It's fine to use "Compose" to edit your review or add italics and bolding (by highlighting the text and clicking the I or B buttons), but please start by posting the text in "HTML."

If you can't see this, click on it -- it'll get bigger and more readable.

The "more" code and "Read full post": Here is the format we usually use to open a review.


The "more" code you see in between the brackets in the above illustration is a command that creates the "Read full post" link. Take a look at the front page of the site to see what we mean: whatever is above the "more" code is what you see on the front page.

You can create the "more" code two ways. Either works:

1. In "HTML," type it in exactly as you see it above, or
2. In "Compose," click on the icon that looks like a white piece of paper torn in half.

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

(By the way, if you prefer not to open a review with a quote, that's fine. Some do, some don't. Do whatever your muse demands.)

Assigning labels: In the "Labels" box on the right, include the following tags: Show Name, Show Name reviews, Episode Title, Your Name, Season and episode number. For example:
Star Trek, Star Trek reviews, The Man Trap, Billie Doux, :S1.E1
The season/episode label always begins with a colon for alphabetical reasons.

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


Search description: In the "Search Description" box on the right, add a phrase in this format:
Billie Doux reviews 'The Man Trap,' an episode of 'Star Trek.'
or
Billie Doux reviews the movie 'Star Trek Into Darkness.'
The Search Description 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.

Adding photos: Every post should include a photo on the top right, medium size. You can add a photo to your review in either "HTML" or "Compose" by clicking on the photo icon. If you need to change the orientation of the photo or if you'd like to add or remove a caption under the photo, you can do that in "Compose" after you add the photo: click on the photo, and a brief menu will show up under it.

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 have photos available for specific episodes that you can use. Here are a few sites that tend to post good episode photos.
http://www.tvequals.com/
http://www.avclub.com/
http://tv.ign.com/

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 at the bottom of posts: 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 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?

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.

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. 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").

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 (below). When in doubt, though, just post it, and don't worry about it. Seriously!

Scheduling your post: 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 letting her know ahead of time prevents conflicts. 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. We also have a dibs list, although we could do a better job of keeping it current.

How to create a show page

We create a show page for every show we are actively reviewing. They're just regular old blog posts that we date 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. Publish post.

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. Billie will add a graphic (reviews by so and so) and internal navigation links after you create your show page. 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.

How to create an author page

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.

http://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, and dating them so that they're the oldest means they can be easily found at the end of the allposts list.

That's It!

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