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User Journal

Journal Journal: Yet another person complaining about the mod system

Back when I didn't have a job, I could spend a lot of time on Slashdot, looking through all of the sections and reading a good deal of the comments and even writing a few. I even meta-modded every day. I never got mod points.

Now that I'm employed, I have about 4 hours between when I get home and I go to sleep. I only have time to browse the front page and maybe look at the highly-rated comments on one or two of the more interesting topics. Meta-modding? Forget about it.

I have gotten mod points three times in as many weeks.

One of the factors Slashcode uses to hand out mod points is how often you visit. Those who visit the site as often as the average member of the slashdot population are more likely to moderate, with those who visit a lot and those who visit rarely being less likely.

The side effect of this is that people who actually have enough time to moderate can't, and those who don't have enough time have to anyway. Is it any wonder that we get misleading and incorrect comments modded up? The mods simply don't have the time to check, they're just modding stuff up that looks informative so they can get rid of their points! What I usually do is look through the comments history of my friends (I usually mark someone a friend if they say something I like) and fans and mod up anything interesting they've said lately.

So what I'm saying is this: Points should be given to people who have enough time to really dig through the posts. Sure, give 'em to the obsessive reloaders. If they're just looking for fr157 p075!!!1 they won't be able to mod that article anyway.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Broadcast copywriting formatting

Someone was interested in this, so I decided to post it here instead of clogging up the article with too many OT posts. Enjoy, or something.

The point of copywriting is to make it as easy on the reader as possible, because they have to keep track of a lot of stuff.

The most important thing to know when you're writing is: You are writing something that will be spoken aloud! Things that work written will not work when you say them! PM should be in the afternoon or at night. Numbers should be rounded as far as practical, 4,827,243 becomes almost five (m) million. Et cetera. Speak it aloud as you write it. If it sounds good, use it. If it sounds awkward, even if it looks good on paper, rephrase it. Punctuation is important. Woman, without her man, is nothing. Woman, without her, man is nothing! So put your commas and periods in the right places to make sure the meaning you intend gets across.

Broadcast copy IS WRITTEN IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, even though I personally find proper English capitalization easier to read. It is double-spaced on the page. In television, video notes (such as what camera is live, always a good thing to know) are indicated on the left half of the page, and audio on the right.

Hyphenation: When each letter of an abbreviation is pronounced, you put hyphens between each letter to indicate that. Example, R-I-A-A, K-D-E. This also includes sequences of numbers, such as phone numbers. 5-5-5-4-3-2-1. Abbreviations pronounced phoenetically are put down verbatim, GNOME, SCO.

Numbers: No more than three digits consecutively, and all single digit numbers spelled out. All ?illions have the first letter in parentheses before the word to make doubly sure. Five (b) billion 482 (m) million 326 thousand 384. Dollars is written out after the number, never ever use a dollar sign, the reader might forget there was a dollar sign on it by the time (s)he hits the end of the number. It happens!

Shorthand in general: Don't use it. 9:00 becomes nine o'clock. PM becomes in the afternoon or at night. Inc. becomes Incorporated, unless it's actually pronounced "Inc".

Tricky words: Avoid them, but if you've gotta put them in, write out a phoenetic pronounciation afterward. Kazaa (kuh-ZAH). I hate these, 'cause unless you go over the copy beforehand, it'll make you pause a little bit anyway. But it's better than a couple seconds of dead air while you stare blankly at the paper/prompter. =D

Well, there you go. What I paid a couple hundred dollars to learn. Man, I just realized I've been ripped off.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Delusional ranting about acronyms

Lately, I've been noticing a disturbing trend: When people write an acronym, they will write what it stands for right next to it, so they will say "IANAP (I am not a physicist)"

The net result of this is that the person ends up writing a piece of text that is LONGER than what they would have written if they had just written out "I am not a physicist," thus defeating the whole point of using an acronym in the first place.

Does anyone have any insight into this disturbing trend? I realize that this is not going to cause the eventual bloating death of the slashdot comment database (we can thank trolls who post 12-chapter-long narratives for that), it just strikes me as extremely stupid.

PISCBWAOMPAATWWIMNTT (Perhaps I shuld compensate by writing all of my posts as acronyms then writing what I meant next to them.)

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