Admin Thoughts: Improving the TAYS

Hello TAY folks. GBD here with a few things I'd like to address about the TAY.

As some of you may know I'm not a guy who can sit at his computer all day as I am a 6th grade teacher in the real world. I try to jump on during lunch and my prep, but I don't always catch every article or every comment, but I'm doing the best I can to help you guys out when you need it. Here are few things I'd like to talk about.

Admin Thoughts: Improving the TAYS

1. Sharing Posts to the Main Page

As a teacher I love to edit things. After doing it all day with my students "interesting" writing, it's hard to turn off the teacher in me. This means I like to edit spelling or grammatical errors I find in the TAY posts. It's nothing personal, it just makes the TAY look better on the whole. Please feel free to yell at me if you feel I ruined your piece by changing "there" to "their". Seriously. I won't be offended. I make my fair share of errors so please point them out to me in the comments in a nice way.

That being said I, and every other Admin, CAN NOT edit posts shared on the main page. We can only edit posts that are published directly to the main page. So if you share a story chalked full of racial slurs, horrendous opinions or spelling errors I can't swoop in and make it look nice or even delete it.

So. Only share posts you're sure you want to be the face of the TAY. I know we're not like some high class social club or anything, but... I dunno. I'd like more people to come here and be like, "What a well thought out article." or "What a funny quip about gaming" or even just "What a hilarious GIF!"

Nothing like this has happened yet, but just keep it in mind. Chances are I wouldn't ever delete an entire post, but it's nice to spruce things up from time to time.

Admin Thoughts: Improving the TAYS

2. Tips for writing TAY articles

  • Don't write other peoples columns/series unless you ask them. Obviously it's not a huge deal if it's like the open forum, but don't go stealing peoples ideas right out from under them.
  • Capitalize your titles correctly. All lowercase titles drive me batty.
  • Don't use more than one exclamation point. One or none!
  • This is an elipse > ... Don't make ones that are like eight periods long. They break up the text awkwardly and don't look very appealing. Stick with three if you want to trail off.
  • Preview your article in the opening paragraph. If you want people to read it don't give them all the info upfront. Draw them in!
  • Don't bold your entire first paragraph. It's a little overwhelming on the main page.
  • Pictures are a nice way to break up a wall of text. Throw a few in here and there.
  • This is a totally optional one, and you'll think I'm a total prude, but I don't ever use curse words in my writing. I guess I'm just worried one of my students will find it and be disappointed in me. I find it's more fun to get creative with your anger (and/or point) or use some throw-back terms (Examples: Fiddlesticks! Drat!). I'm not going to care if you use curse words, but I won't be. After all we're all adults here... for the most part.

Admin Thoughts: Improving the TAYS

3. Title Pictures

I love to fool around in photoshop and I'm pretty decent at it. Helps when your wife is a graphic designer. Anywho, if any of you ever want a personalized photo for the top of your article with some special text or anything like that just let me know in advance and I'll try my best to whip one up for you in my spare time. I love to help! Hit me up on Twitter or send me an email at ben@classrealm.com. Hopefully I don't get swamped with requests, but I'll certainly try to help everyone I can.

4. Trolls

Report them to me in some fashion and I'll ban then from the TAY. Buncha punks...

5. Keep being awesome

Comment on peoples stuff! Even if it's just a "lol" or a "That's cool!" I know that I love to get comments, so try to give feedback in anyway you can to everyone you can. It will help us as a community :D

That's all I can think to tell you at this time. Keep up the good work and spread the word of the TAY. I see new people every day and I love it.

Have a great weekend. GBD out.