Want to write for the SO blog? Here’re the guidelines.
[Ed. note: We are not currently accepting unsolicited pitches.]
We at the Stack Overflow blog want to provide our community, as well as the larger programming community, with interesting articles about what life is like as a coder today. Whether that’s coverage of research on security vulnerabilities in Stack Overflow code examples, insights into what it really takes to be a full-stack engineer, or a look at the never-ending migration from Python 2 to 3, we hope the articles we publish are the ones that coders—hobbyists, beginners, or professionals—want to read.
Since you all are our audience, you have a pretty good idea of what works on the blog. That’s why we want blog post pitches from our community. If you have an article you want to write that you think we should publish, send us an email at pitches at stackoverflow dot com, and please include the following:
- A suggested title for your article. This doesn’t have to be the final title, but it should give us a quick idea what you’re interested in writing.
- A paragraph of information to flesh out the post idea. Why is this interesting?
- A little about yourself and why you are the right person to write this article. What’s your background? Have you written before? If so, share some links to pieces similar to your pitch.
If we decide to go ahead with your article, we’ll share a contract with you. We do own the copyrights of any article that we publish on our blog; on the plus side, we pay for published posts.
The next step is to either put together an outline or a first draft we can use to make sure we’re on the same page before spending time writing a longer, more detailed version. Please send all outlines and drafts in Google docs format so that we can track changes and collaborate effectively. I know lots of developers like to work in Markdown; if you do, render the HTML, then copy it into a GDoc.
A good draft is around 1500 words, plus or minus about 500 words. If you’re dropping a manifesto on us, we might consider splitting it into multiple pieces. You can include code samples, gists, CodePens, and more. If you want to include images, make sure you have permission to post them.
Once we get your draft, we’ll begin the process of editing. This is about making your article the best it can be. To do that, we’ll make suggestions on structure, wording, clarity, and grammar. You’ll get flashbacks to high school English, but you’ll end up with an article that everyone can be proud of.Tags: announcements, blog, bulletin
Thanks! This sounds like a great opportunity to share about some of the common pitfalls we’ve experienced and solutions to those problems.
If the blog is going to be featured more heavily, can we *please* fix the navigation? I shouldn’t have to Google the sitemap file to find anything beyond the (seemingly) random articles featured on the front page.
I posted this on Meta (https://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/391735/navigating-stack-overflow-blog-pagination), although it (unsurprisingly) was mostly ignored. Just FYI.
It’s not being ignored. We agree that not being able to navigate the archives is pretty terrible. We are working on it as we speak.
Suppose I meant (mostly) that no one really voted on it, so it was either not something anyone else really wanted, or people just aren’t really that interested in participating on Meta right now (or, you know, they are focused on the… “other stuff”). Even a quick “yeah, we know, it’s already being worked on” comment would have been useful.
Dear Ryan – if it’s not being ignored, then why is the post on Meta not being answered?
Because SE, Inc. considers Meta obsolete
In their defense, if it was something a lot more users felt strongly about, it would have gathered more votes (up or down). I mean, if we can vote a few thousand times on the various staff posts or moderator resignations, then that would imply there were eyeballs to see it. It just wasn’t (apparently) that important, so I don’t entirely blame anyone on SE’s side for flagging/tagging it one way or another.
Dunno. Maybe I just needed to be more eloquent and come up with a witty title. Oh well.
You’ll find this exact problem on a multitude of other sites; the search feature just doesn’t get the attention it deserves nowadays.
That said, the only thing people care about reinventing in the modern tech day is their personal profile, everything else is stacked upon something else. Google and a few other search engines are leaders at scouring the internet for results, therefore it would make sense to base any search feature on search engines rather than trying to compete with them. Numerous sites have been doing this for decades now.
Less code on your servers, and less security threats (seeing how a search feature can expose a lot about your database structures).
I have several questions: What is the age limit? What are some terms laid out in the contract? How should we format the email? When should we expect a response by? Will we receive a response if you’ve decided not to have us write a blog post?
I’ll try to answer these, but I’m not sure about some of these questions.
Age limit: I’m not sure what you mean here. Article age or person age?
Email format: Not particularly important. Include the information mentioned in the article and you’ll have a better chance of getting picked.
Response: We try to respond within a few days, though sometimes we make take longer if we need to gather more information. We have a small team and are working on a lot of things simultaneously. And, yes, we do try to respond to all emails.
The age of the person writing the article.
The person writing the article needs to be able to legally sign a contract. I’m checking with our legal department about writers under 18.
Would it be allowed with parental permission?
I don’t know. That’s why I’m checking with the experts on our team.
Grammar: Here are* the guidelines.
“we’ll make suggestions on … grammar” – like changing the title to “Here are the guidelines”
Can a blog post be about why to ask particular specialized programming questions on one of Stack Overflow’s sister sites rather than Stock Overflow itself?
can we get paid for writing blog posts? or the value is mostly recognition?
We pay on publication.
My first thought for a blog post would be one on why, if you’re a developer or working with developers, you should do all your documentation and other writing in text with markup commited to a Git repo (or whatever other VCS you’re using), rather than introducing a separate and inferior revision control and collaboration system such as MS Word or Google Docs.
If you already have a system for doing this with code, and it works well, what’s the idea behind bringing in a completely separate second system to do the same thing in a worse way?
(And to counter the objection someone invariably brought up by someone who hasn’t done this, no, it’s not significantly more difficult to train “regular users” to use a text editor instead of a word processor. It’s easier, in fact. Nor do they have significantly more difficulty with Git than developers do, so long as you’re willing to give them training and support.)
Is there a dedicated-per-topic blog? I mean, one for datascience-exchange different from the pure programming stackoverflow one?
Thanks in advance
Nope. Right now, it’s all the one blog. We’ve been focusing on providing articles for Stack Overflow and other programming focused sites, but we have talked about the possibility of publishing posts for other exchange topics.
> we have talked about the possibility of publishing posts for other exchange topics.
That would be nice. It would make it feel less like the company just doesn’t realize the rest of the network exists… (Though arguably many sites are happy to just avoid the company’s notice at this point.)
Half of the stuff on this blog is basically an ad… do you really pay external contributors for advertising their projects and companies?
Can I submit a blog which was previously published on my personal blog?
We try to publish original material only at this point. If you want to pitch us an original article, we can work with you on that.
Can you share about the rates? Does the author location matter (for work authorization purpose)?
We don’t publish our rates because they may change because of our circumstances. Location does matter, but only if you live in a country that is sanctioned by the US. Other than that, we’ve had writers from all over the world. Send us a pitch to get started.
Hi I was about to put my blog on Medium when I stumbled on this page. I have my blogs on Github Pages as shown here https://consolecommando.net/blog.html and am considering putting them on your website instead of Google Docs but I would like to know what benefits we get in putting in the effort to do it, like how much the payment per blog? Please give me a number on what is the lowest to the highest amount you will accept based on the quality of the blog. Also, does this affect our reputation score on stack overflow?
Feel free to email me if more appropriate, thank you.
If you are interested in pitching us an article for the blog, please email us at pitches AT stackoverflow DOT com.