An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to help and motivate techies to share their knowledge with peers in the tech community.
This is a work-in-progress document, and as we receive more questions, we will keep updating and upgrading it.
Q. Which all media properties of EFY Group are covered by this FAQ?
A. This is a corporate level FAQ which attempts to cover broad aspects of content contribution for all media properties of EFY Group. These include: Electronics For You (print and ezine), ElectronicsForU.com, Open Source For You (print and ezine) and OpenSourceForU.com–amongst others.
Q. Do these media properties accept content from external authors?
A. Yes, all media properties of Electronics For You Group WELCOME content by external authors who are subject matter experts in their respective fields.
Q. What format can we send our contribution in?
A. Any popular format that does not require a proprietary software to read and edit the document is acceptable. We love Google Docs and Google Sheets, by default. We are OK with MS World, RTF, Text files, etc.
However, depending on what type of content you are sending–the file formats will vary. We will address this issue in detail, later.
Do avoid using format that are difficult to edit or modify–such as PDFs.
Q. Does EFY offer any form of incentives or rewards for submitting content?
A. More often than not–YES, we do offer an “honorarium”.
We either offer an honorarium in the form of cash or vouchers. The amount varies widely based on a large range of factors.
However, for opinion-based pieces–we typically don’t offer anything. This decision is strongly influenced by the type of content we ‘prefer’ to publish i.e. more factual and unbiased.
Q. What is the honorarium I can expect against my contribution?
A. Frankly, there are too many factors here (will share a few factors below) that influence the final honorarium. Hence–there is no specific figure or range we can offer here.
Some of the factors that influence higher honorarium):
* Is the topic super exciting, cutting edge topic etc i.e. unique or rare?
* The quality of writing of the author–the better the quality, higher is the honorarium
* Is the topic something aligned with a theme we are driving?
* The balance of depth and length of article
* Any special promotions or initiatives
Some of the factors that negatively affect honorarium:
* Content requires heavy copy-editing or rewriting
* Topic has been covered many times earlier (nothing unique)
* Possibility of influencing bias
Q. What if I expect a minimum amount of honorarium for my contribution?
A. You may mention your expected amount when sharing your submission. But, if we don’t agree–we will simply not publish your content. We do not have the bandwidth to negotiate.
Q. Why don’t we offer clear amounts for submission of content?
A. There are TWO key reasons:
1. As mentioned, there is a vast range of factors that influence the value of content
2. More importantly, we want to attract content from Subject Matter Experts who want to share their knowledge from a sense of passion and calling.
We do not want to attract “Content professionals” who depend on their contributions to make a living.
We believe that there are much better options for such professionals–to earn money, than our media properties.
Q. Does our team edit or modify your content?
A. YES! We do retain the right to edit and modify your content so that:
1. We can make the content more simpler to read
2. We can adhere to our “style” of writing (For example–British English)
3. We can improve the readability and grammar
4. We can shorten the length without reducing the overall content
Q. What if I don’t want my content to be modified?
A. Errr, you may mention the same along with your submission. But, this restriction will reduce chances of the same being accepted for publishing.
Q. Do we reject content too? If yes, what are the broad parameters?
A. Our intent is to accept and publish as much content as possible, to enable “knowledge sharing”.
However, we still have to REJECT content and not publish it. Factors that influence these decisions include:
* Content is plagiarized
* Content is biased
* Content is opinionated
* Topic has been covered extensively before
* Content is too short or long
* Content not in sync with our editorial plan or strategy
* Content seems to be Content Marketing
* Author’s profile/background does not match with content (especially content that needs solid Subject Matter Expertise)
* Author has specific expectations which we can’t comply with (Ex: honorarium, copyright, editing, back-links, freedom to edit/modify, etc)
Q. If my content is Rejected, will I be informed?
A. Our attempt is always to inform authors about status of their submission. However, if we err, feel free to check status of your submission by emailing us at [email protected].
Q. Am I informed about the reason for Rejection?
A. Sometimes. There are cases where there is ONE clear reason for rejection, and we share those. However, if there is a range of reasons–we may not have the bandwidth to list/explain all of them.
Q. What if I don’t accept the decision of EFY w.r.t. rejection of my content?
A. You can seek ONE re-review by writing at [email protected].
A re-review may take time (3 to 4 weeks), and that decision will be final, and after that we will not undertake any further reviews or discussions.
Q. Who owns the copyright of your submission? Can I share the same with other media properties too?
A. If we publish your submission, then the copyright is held by EFY. Our copyright is on the final edited piece that gets published and enables us to modify and republish that content in any form in the future–by EFY or anyone it licenses the content to.
You cannot then publish the same content with any other media.
However, if the content involves any IP (intellectual property) such as a piece of Code or a Circuit–that IP remains with you. We have no interest in monetising the IP of your code or your circuit. Our interest is only in the published content.
IMP: We typically publish our content under the Copyright: Creative Commons Non-commercial Sharable with Attribution License. In simpler terms, after one month of our publishing, our content is Open Source for all non-commercial reasons.
(DIY) DO IT YOURSELF ELECTRONICS PROJECTS
This section focuses on submission of Electronics DIY Projects…
Q. Why should I submit DIY projects? What’s in it for me?
A. Here are a few that we collected from different DIYers…
“I love sharing my knowledge. It gives me a high!”
“I love seeing my projects published with my credentials, and exposed to millions.”
“Every time my DIY project gets published, I love it when the audience starts reaching out to me.”
“I love it when my DIY gets published online. An, if it gets published in the magazine–that’s a Jackpot!”
“I am regarded as a Guru by millions. Wow!”
“I don’t need any proof that I know electronics design. My published DIYs are the biggest proof for those wanting to recruit me.”
“I don’t go after recruiters now, they go after me!”
“I get paid for sharing my DIYs!”
“I have every copy of EFY that has featured my DIY project. It’s one of my treasures.”
Q. What are the key elements that I should cover in an electronics DIY project?
A. An ideal DIY Project submission should have:
1. The circuit diagram (schematic) designed with any popular EDA tool–there are many available for FREE now
2. Code files (if the project involves code)
3. The list of parts (and estimated street price of each, if possible)
4. Text to explain the working of the project, which should cover:
a) Applications of the circuit
b) Overall working of the circuit
c) Key components and the role they play
d) Tips for building the circuit and possible problems to watch out for
5. Photo of your final assembled project
6. BONUS: Video of the working project (where you may cover (a) to (d)
Q. How do I submit all of the above–there will be multiple files?
A. You can simply compress all files into one compressed file (ZIP or RAR), and share it via an Online Drive or Attach and send the compressed file as an attachment.
Q. Is the video of the working project important?
A. It’s an optional element, but because it offers even more value for our audiences, it comes with additional benefits:
1) Review and approval is faster (we treat them at highest priority)
2) You get a higher honorarium
Q. What format should the video be? Do I need to use professional equipment? How long should the video be?
A. No professional equipment required. Simply use your mobile phone and shoot the working of the circuit. 1 to 2 minute video is good enough. It can be any popular format–typically shot by a mobile phone. If heavy, do compress. We don’t need too high a resolution.
Here’s what you should speak about…
a) Demonstration of the working of the circuit
b) Overall working of the circuit (how does it work)
c) Key components and the role they play
d) BONUS: Tips for building the circuit and possible problems to watch out for
Q. For the video–what language should I use? Can I use my local language? Should I include myself too?
A. You can use any language. While we prefer English or Hindi, but thanks to a million-strong community and a large team at EFY–we will be able to handle almost all popular languages.
You may or may not include yourself in the video. That’s your option. For us, the part where you focus on the circuit, demonstrate it and explain its working–is what matters.
Q. Will my DIY submission be featured in the magazine or website? Where does it appear first?
A. Earlier, we used to first publish DIYs in the magazine, and then publish online.
But, now with increased quantum of DIYs being received, and the audience of the website growing by leaps and bounds–we have changed that formula.
Typically, for most DIYs, we now publish them on the website first, and then if we find good traction or feedback for them, we publish them in the magazine.
Before we publish in the magazine, we like to test the project in our lab first, and try and correct errors and introduce improvements–based on feedback received.
For direct-to-website content, we publish them under the “Community Projects” which are not tested by us.
NUTSHELL: While there is no hard-or-fast rule, higher chances are that your submitted DIY will first appear under the “Community Projects” section of the website–and if we get good response or feedback, we will publish it in the magazine too.