Devtome Writer Rules: Read Me First!


This is to serve as a guide to help better understand the rules around Devtome and how things work. All too often there are PM's regarding things that are just not clear enough. This guide has the goal of being the ultimate place to go for all of the information. Furthermore, it will also be utilized as a training ground for new people to the Devtome team, set up as a requirement for new writers to look over.

If at any point you have questions, need further clarification on points or have anything you feel should be added to this guide, please do not hesitate to contact me on the Bitcointalk forums with the user name Ranlo. I will work towards responding as soon as I am able to, although sometimes I do have other things going on and there may be a delay.

Now then, it is time to jump in!

What is Plagiarism?

This is by far the biggest infraction we have seen so far. Plagiarism is the act of taking material that is not yours and attempting to take credit for it. This includes situations like:

  • Copying text from someone else's book or article and claiming it as your own
  • Copying text from someone else's book or article and posting it on your profile, even when giving them credit

Both of these situations are a sure way to get yourself banned from the system, and there is a zero tolerance policy. As writers ourselves, this is something that many of us have absolutely no respect for. Never take credit for someone else's work and never post someone else's work on your page even if you are giving credit for it. What goes on your page is what you have written yourself.

What is Collation?

This is in reference to what collated work is. This is when you are writing your article based on someone else's. For example, maybe you read a news story that you want to help add on to. In this case, what you are doing is considered as being collated because it is not all of your original work. This may be a little confusing due to the plagiarism rule, so here is a way to help better understand what they are:

Let us say that there is an article about dogs and being able to communicate. Through this article, there is something you want to pick out and help expand upon. The sentence went something like “animals are the easiest to teach communication skills to at a young age.”

  • What you can do: take the article and write something like “in xxx article, the author stated '…animals…age…' More text here to continue your thought.” (ellipses added for brevity)
  • What you can not do: take the entire paragraph and post it in to your article unless it is all directly related to what you are writing about and you are giving the author credit

If you take a quote from someone and do not give the original author credit, that is plagiarism. If you take a lot of text from another author that is not directly relevant to why you are quoting, that is drivel (which we will look at now).

What is Drivel?

Drivel is text that really has no “value.” This is a very subjective term, so the best way to explain it is to ask yourself whether or not someone off the street would care. If that answer is a no, it is more than likely drivel and should be removed. As a couple of examples of drivel:

  • You are writing a story about teenagers texting, using a ton of short-hand in it (ex. “LOL TTYL”)
  • You are writing a personal diary
  • You are lengthening a story by adding a lot of worthless stuff in it. For example, you are talking about someone driving down the road reading license plates, typing in a ton of plates like “JK4 NPM, L1P NNM,” and on and on. Having a few is more than enough to make your point without spamming the story up with what is essentially worthless information

I will add on to this list as things pop up, but hopefully that helps illustrate it. If you are not sure whether or not an article would be considered as drivel, contact me!

Does Grammar and Spelling Matter?

This is a resounding “yes.” It definitely does matter. If you are contributing to Devtome, you should be able to convey your message in a clear and concise manner. It is understandable that some articles may have minor errors here and there, but if a lot of things are spelled wrong or just flat out do not look right, the article is subject to being removed.

Generally speaking, if this is an issue we will contact you first to try to get to the bottom of it. In severe situations, however, we will go ahead and make the decision prior. Please understand that this is not an attack against someone's nationality or native language; it is to help sustain the integrity of Devtome.

What About Formatting?

You need to format your own articles. This is actually pretty simple to do, and the information you need can be found right here: Syntax. This should cover the main things you need to know. If you have anything you need help with that is not on that list, feel free to PM me and I will see what I can do!

If you have a great article but it needs formatting, we will contact you to request that you fix it. Along the way, you will also learn from the experience so you will be able to better set up your future articles!

How Do I Make Reports?

If you want to report an article (which we appreciate!) please send me a PM on the forums and I will look in to it. Provide all of the information you can, especially what the article link is and why you are reporting it. While we do not normally make public announcements as to what is being done, you can rest assured that everything that is reported is evaluated based on the rules set forth.

What is the Process for Infractions?

As of right now there is no set guideline for how the rules are employed. So far it has been on a case by case basis, usually depending on whether we feel the user has malicious intent or not. Anyone who is causing a disruption to Devtome shows that they do not care about the project, and they are removed. If a user has made a mistake but we feel that it was truly a mistake, and not malicious in nature, we will usually work with them to get the problems resolved. In the vast majority of cases this has worked very well, so this is likely the method we will continue to employ.

If you have made it to this part of the article, you are ready for the final step to becoming a writer on Devtome. The next step will be for us to evaluate articles after you have posted some. If everything is looking good, you will be given the green light as a member of Devtome. Please realize that privileges can be revoked at any time if you start deviating from the rules. While we work as hard as we can to keep members that are contributing as part of our family, that requires your assistance and willingness as well!

Thank you for reading this! Any changes that are made past this date (08/05/2013) will also be paraphrased below this section, so you can always count on this to be the go-to area for updates on rules and such.

Changes to this Article

02/24/2014: Some changes have occurred with regards to what the final step of becoming a writer is. Once you have your Devtome account, you are good to go on that front. The requirement to send me (Ranlo) a PM on BCT is no longer needed. You are, however, still free to toss me a message if you need clarification of anything or otherwise have any questions or input.

With that said, we are also working on streamlining the process a bit more, so some changes may come as a result of this. The goal is to have a quick and efficient platform that is fair to all, yet still works well.


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