Guidelines for Content Creation on TESTGaming.TV

ErikMcKetten

Vice Admiral
Sep 15, 2015
39
37
400
RSI Handle
McKetten
#1
If you haven't checked out http://www.testgaming.tv, I highly recommend you do it. TESTGaming.TV is the media-wing, the magazine if you will, of the TEST Gaming Stream Team. But we do not limit input to only those who are on the Stream Team. Pretty much any TESTie with artistic talent can become a content creator for the website.

(Note: the pay is in a sense of smug satisfaction. Right now it costs us money to run the website. And if it ever starts to generate a profit, Montoya has assured us we'll never know because he plans on laundering the money through his private wine cellar.)

Here are some basic guidelines for becoming a creator for the website. I am the "Editor-in-Chief" of the website, with Nightrider, Gwahir, Parrottmath, SGT_Gamble, Montoya, and Seung all having administrator/editorial powers as well. Your point of contact for most of this will be me either via my email ([email protected]) or Discord on the TEST Gaming server (http://discord.gg/testgaming).


Submission Guidelines for TestGaming.TV Content Creators:

So, you have something you want featured on the TESTGaming.TV website. Well, good news: we only have one acid test for being considered a content creator: Are you affiliated with TEST Squadron? If the answer is yes, you’ve passed the primary test. (Note: from time to time even this requirement may be waived by approval of TEST Gaming Admins).

Next, you need to read the “Basic Standards and Practices for TestGaming.TV Content Creators” below (and, for writers, “Guide to Writing Good Articles”) and make sure you can abide by those simple rules. If you think you can, the next step is asking yourself if your content fits the TEST Gaming audience. So what fits? Well, just about anything related to entertainment, TEST Squadron, or Star Citizen can fit. From movie reviews on the latest X-Men film to that amazing Arena Commander match you captured with Fraps, just about anything related to space, sci-fi, gaming, movies, books, and other “nerdy” media is what we want.

Your next step is to submit that content. Submission is simple: you send a copy of the content to my email ([email protected]) - also a DM in Discord to let me know you sent the message, in case it ends up in the spam folder, can be helpful. You can also skip the email and submit the content directly via DM. I prefer things be submitted in the form of an editable Google document for anything written. Youtube videos can obviously just be their link.

I, or one of the other TEST Gaming Admins, will review the work. If it seems to fit with the general motif we’ll offer any suggestions for editing and send it back to you. Once approved you will be given a basic account on the website. This will allow you to create drafts but not post them. The final decision as to whether or not to publish is ultimately in the hands of the Editors/Admins.

Bear in mind that we may like the general direction of a creation you send us, but feel that particular article/video/etc. doesn’t fit. In that case we’d ask you to be a content creator - and let you know that we want something else from you instead of that particular creation.

Finally, established content creators will not be forced to wait for editorial review forever. Once it has been established that you, as a content creator, can be trusted to abide by the standards and practices and can generate professional-looking content without guidance or extraneous editing, you may be given the right to not only draft but post that content without admin approval.


Basic Standards and Practices for TestGaming.TV Content Creators:

Basic Rules:
  • Be respectful to the members of the community.
    • This means your audience as well as your fellow content creators. The first thing you should be asking yourself when creating something for the TEST Gaming website is whether or not this will reflect badly on the other content creators or the TEST Gaming brand overall. While we are part of TEST Squadron, we are not TEST Squadron. If anything, we are the semi-professional face of TEST Squadron and thus we have to put on a more professional air than may be acceptable within the Organization as a whole.
  • In the same vein, you need to ask yourself if your audience is going to be turned off or distracted by the method in which you present your content. Excessive use of foul language, for example, may distract from the overall message. (This is not to say that cursing will be censored - but ask yourself whether or not it is necessary to get your message across. And ask yourself if using that language will turn away your audience.) This applies to all forms of media and anything that may be considered “too extreme.” We aren’t using FCC Broadcast TV Rules here, but we’re not full-blown guerrilla radio either. Know your audience and tailor your creation to them.
  • Listen to the admins and editors.
    • Understand that we have reasons for asking you to change things or do something. Also it is our duty to explain those reasons to you. Nothing we say or do in a critical way is an attack on you or even your art - but bear in mind that not everything you create will be a fit for TestGaming.TV
  • Create what you know, but always push yourself.
    • There is an old adage in writing, “Write what you know.” The same applies to almost all art. If you focus on what comes naturally to you, your creation will seem more natural to the audience. At the same time you should always be striving to improve your abilities and expand your knowledge. Don’t stagnate as an artist, even if it seems to be a successful method.
  • Don’t be discouraged by criticism.
    • Criticism will help you grow. Some of it will be honest assessments, some of it will be emotional, some of it will be trolling. Part of being an artist is learning to accept that you will never please everyone, and also learning from the critiques of others - even if they are biting.
  • Don’t be discouraged by page hits.
    • This is a new website that we are building as we go. It’s not going to be an overnight sensation. And, even if some creators generate more hits than you, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach that level with time and effort. One of the things that discourages content creators early on is low response. We all go through it. Streamers have nights where only one person tunes in. Youtubers have videos that get 10 hits, and 9 of them were the Youtuber himself checking to see if anyone new had watched. Authors have stories that go viral and stories that only one person reads. And everyone started out without an audience.
Guide to Writing Good Articles:

Note: some of these rules do not apply to opinion pieces such as reviews or editorials, however it is often good practice to apply them as much as possible even when the report is on your own opinion.

To start out with, I cite Ernest Hemingway’s Theory of Omission, or “Iceberg Theory”. The theory is for fiction writing, but comes from his experience as a reporter. Reporters often had deadlines of both time and story length - so accuracy, brevity, and speed were prized in their field. To that end, Hemingway learned to omit anything that was not the “surface facts” of the story. This includes extraneous descriptors such as needless verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. He wouldn’t write, “Trump gestured exuberantly.” Instead, he’d write, “Trump waved” or “pointed” - whatever the closest exact description of the action was, with nothing else to qualify or enhance it so as to avoid both bias and wasting space.

Or, as Joe Friday would say, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

Journalistic Code of Ethics

The written word has the power to shape opinion. Because of this, there are rules about what can and cannot be said, and what should or should not. Libel, the act of publishing a false statement that is damaging to a person’s or company’s reputation, is a very real issue within the world of journalism. To protect against this, and to guard against the journalist’s own personal bias influencing a story, there are certain ethical rules that are the standard for all journalism. This is just a summary of some of the most important rules. The rest can be found here: https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

  1. Seek Truth and Report It
    1. take responsibility for the accuracy of the work - verify information before releasing it. Use original sources whenever possible.

    2. Remember that neither speed nor format excuses inaccuracy.

    3. Provide context. Don’t misrepresent or oversimplify.
  2. Minimize Harm
    1. Pursuit of a story is not a license for arrogance.

    2. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.

    3. Consider the long-term ramifications of the publication.
  3. Act Independently
    1. Avoid conflicts of interest - real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.

    2. Refuse gifts, favors, fees and special treatment. If an exchange is made, prominently make it clear in the article.
  4. Be Accountable and Transparent
    1. Explain ethical choices and processes to audiences. Encourage a civil dialogue with the public about journalistic practices, coverage and news content.

    2. Respond quickly to questions about accuracy, clarity and fairness.

    3. Acknowledge mistakes and correct them promptly and prominently. Explain corrections and clarifications carefully and clearly.

Guidelines for Writing Game Reviews:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nedxrcPHD1RdQ9DqIn8Phs7qGAUNI2MWgBaj3Za7a44/edit?usp=sharing
 
Last edited: