Contributing to Dispatches Magazine
Drupal, the software used to create this site, was developed for online Magazines. Examples of sites using Drupal are: The New York Observer, Sony MyPlay, and Popular Science. These magazines have several features that we will be taking advantage of in the coming months.
- First, they allow reporters, feature writers, and photographers to post their material directly into the site and save it there. They can include copy, headlines, photos, video, outside links, etc. Contributors can come back to their work as many times as they wish to edit, add material, change photos, etc. However, their work will not appear to either members or outside visitors. NOTE: A contributor can only change their own articles.
- Second, in-house editors then take a look at the contribitors' work. They go into the stories, check them for style, grammar, spelling, readability, etc. NOTE: Editors can make changes to their own and other members' blogs, forums, articles, columns, etc. However, they cannot publish the edited articles.
- Third, a senior editor will then evaluate when each piece is ready for publication and whether the strategy is to publish all articles at once, or one at a time as they are ready, the senior editor will be the one who will be able to publish each story so that members and visitors alike can actually see them.
This approach turns the development of Dispatches each month from a laborious project done by one person to a group activity. It allows everyone who wants to develop these skills an opportunity to grow and it means no one has to spend an undue amount of time to publish this magazine. Every member of the staff, whether you are a feature writer, columnist, cartoonist, photographer, editor, or senior editor will receive buckaroos for your contributions.
In it's final form, this approach will allow members to tweet or post to Facebook or to their own blogs or websites, specific articles rather than the whole magazine. This was a suggestion made about a year ago by one of our members. We will also continue to create a regular Dispatch magazine which will also be posted on the site as a PDF (like past issues). This will allow members to send the whole magazine to friends and relatives -- and allow folks who want a printed magazine to continue to get them from MagCloud.com.
Anyone who wishs to be on the Dispatches Staff, contact me.