Silicon Slopes Community Voice Guidelines
What is Community Voice?
Silicon Slopes exists to empower Utah’s tech community to learn, connect, and serve. Providing prominent Utah entrepreneurs and community leaders the opportunity to teach and share their experiences with our vast audience helps us accomplish this mission. Community Voice contributors are also provided with an audience and outlet that reaches both inside and outside of Utah to help showcase our vibrant and flourishing startup and tech community on the world stage.
Community Voice offers Utah entrepreneurs the opportunity to communicate directly to the Silicon Slopes audience. In particular, our audience appreciates reading advice columns, “how-to” articles, war stories, “lessons learned” articles, “failure” stories, and opinion pieces on issues relevant to our community.
How To Publish In The Silicon Slopes Community Voice Section
- Get a Medium account. In order to publish on Silicon Slopes, you must have a Medium account. If you don’t have an account, signing up is simple — here’s how.
- Let us know. Once you have an account, reach out to Chris Rawle (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Meg Walter (email@example.com) and ask them to add you as a writer to the Silicon Slopes publication.
- Write your post. Once you’ve signed up/signed in, you’ll write your post in Medium and save it as a draft. We do not have a restriction on length or word count. You’ll just know when your post is complete. That said, 500–700 words feels about right for most Community Voice posts. The most important thing you can do as a Silicon Slopes Community Voice contributor is remain true to your organization’s unique voice and maintain your independence. We do not publish press releases. Please only submit original copy that hasn’t been published elsewhere.
- Add an image (or images). All Silicon Slopes stories will typically feature a title image that is 1400px, preferably in the .jpg, .png, or .gif formats. (Click here for more details on preferred image sizes.) Try to avoid using a logo as the title image. Try to find the best image possible for your post. Inline Images are those within the body of the article. Oftentimes, pure text with no flourish is the best way to communicate your story. However, inline images are encouraged when they are relevant to the post. (Click here for details on how to add images.)
- Submit your post. submit it to the Silicon Slopes publication. Click here for details on how to submit your draft to a publication (scroll down to the “For unpublished drafts” section).
- Tag your post. Make sure you include the tag Community Voice in order to ensure your post is published. Click here for more details on tagging.
Crossing Our T’s And Dotting Our I’s
We follow the AP Style Guide with only a few exceptions, so anything not covered below can be found in the AP Stylebook
Use American spellings, as specified by Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Use the first spelling listed.
For foreign words, use the Random House Dictionary.
Spell out numbers up to 101 (for example, ninety-six), as well as large round numbers (for example, two thousand). Numbers in post titles should not be spelled out.
For percentages, use numerals and spell out “percent” (for example, 20 percent).
Spell out all numbers less than 10. Keep all numbers 10 and above as numerals.
Correct: I have 11 style guides, four of which are irrelevant.
Incorrect: I have 11 style guides, 4 of which are irrelevant.
Incorrect: I have eleven style guides, four of which are irrelevant.]
For story titles/headings, we capitalize every word other than brands or names of companies that purposefully incorporate lower-case letters (e.g. iPhone).
For story subtitles/headings, we only capitalize the first word and always end the sentence with a punctuation.
- Use American spellings, as specified by Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Use the first spelling listed.
- For foreign words, use the Random House Dictionary.
- Capitalize all words following an internal punctuation mark (for example, “Silicon Slopes Style Sheet — The Final Version”)
- Spell out numbers up to 101 (for example, ninety-six), as well as large round numbers (for example, two thousand). Numbers in post titles should not be spelled out.
- For percentages, use numerals and spell out “percent” (for example, 20 percent).
- Spell out all numbers less than 10. Keep all numbers 10 and above as numerals.
- Correct: I have 11 style guides, four of which are irrelevant.
- Incorrect: I have 11 style guides, 4 of which are irrelevant.
- Incorrect: I have eleven style guides, four of which are irrelevant.]
Italicize titles of books, newspapers, periodicals, movies, TV shows. Some details:
- If a magazine title must be followed by “magazine” to distinguish it from other publications, do not italicize “magazine” unless it is formally included in the title (New York magazine vs. The New York Times Magazine).
- For magazine titles, italicize the article if it is a formal part of the title (The Nation).
- For newspapers, do not italicize the article (the New York Times).
Titles of short works (poems, songs, TV episodes, book chapters) take quotation marks.
Use the serial comma (also referred to as the Oxford comma) before the conjunction in a series (x, y, and z).
In most word processing programs Em dashes are formed by typing two hyphens ( — becomes — ). In Google Docs, this must be changed to do so.
Menu>Tools>Preferences> Replace — with —
Close quotation marks should:
- Follow periods and commas (“x.” and “x,”)
- Precede colons and semicolons (“x”: and “x”;)
- Precede question marks and exclamation marks, unless those marks are part of the quoted material
When a colon introduces:
- An independent clause (a clause that could stand apart as its own sentence), the first word of that clause should be capitalized
- A dependent clause (which could not stand apart as its own sentence), the first word of the clause should not be capitalized
Punctuating bullets: No ending punctuation (no periods, commas, or semicolons) unless they are all complete sentences.
Acronyms do not require periods (with exceptions; see a dictionary if unsure), whereas abbreviations do.
Brackets: Square brackets should be used for interpolations in direct quotations: “Let them [the poor] eat cake.” Parentheses would imply that the words inside them were part of the original text from which you are quoting. If a whole sentence is within brackets, put the period inside the brackets.
Dates & Times
Dates are expressed as numerals. The months August through February are abbreviated when used with numbered dates. March through July are never abbreviated. Months without dates are not abbreviated. “Th” is not used.
Commas are not necessary if only a year and month are given, but commas should be used to set off a year if the date, month, and year are given.
Example: The meeting is on Oct. 15. She was born on July 12. I love the weather in November. My birthday is June 15, 1921.
If you refer to an event that occurred the day prior to when the article will appear, do not use the word yesterday. Instead, use the day of the week. Capitalize days of the week, but do not abbreviate. If an event occurs more than seven days before or after the current date, use the month and a figure.
The exact time when an event has occurred or will occur is unnecessary for most stories. Of course, there are occasions when the time of day is important. In such cases, use figures, but spell out noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes, but do not use :00. Examples: 1 p.m., 3:30 a.m.
Citing Sources and Creating Links
Citing something in a Silicon Slopes article is different from a research paper or a wikipedia article. If you would like to quote, for example, GOED Director Val Hale’s statement to the Salt Lake Tribune about the latest scandal, you simply quote his statement and provide a link to the original source. Here is an example:
GOED Director Val Hale, in a statement to the Salt Lake Tribune, said, “We will beg, rob, and steal in order to bring as many jobs as possible to our state.”
Create a link that makes sense, and don’t be afraid to give the linkee some good SEO juice. We play nice.
There are, however, some sites to which you should not link. Avoid any site of low quality.
When you first mention a company in an article, provide a link to their homepage (do not link to their site on subsequent mentions). It also common to link to an individual’s Twitter page on first mention. If the individual does not have a Twitter page, you should link to their LinkedIn profile. If they have neither, you can link to the appropriate (usually the “About Us”) page of their company site.
On first mention, use the individual’s full name. On subsequent mentions use just the surname.