There is so much knowledge right here in our SitePoint community that it really does seem criminal to waste it. For that reason, we've been working on an idea to harness some of that knowledge and put it to good use. And eureka - we've decided to try and write a collaborative book. (I must admit, the idea wasn't mine - we have Alex Dawson to thank for it).
A team of keen staff have had their heads together for a while now drafting up a bit of a process that we think might make this project work. So here it is in a nutshell.
How will it be structured?
We're looking for article length pieces on your subject of choice -- which when collaborated will hopefully result in a patchwork of fun and interesting 'stuff'. Any subject is welcome within the web design / development field whether theoretical or practical. We've compiled a list of subjects (below) to give you some ideas, but feel free to stray if you feel that you have something else to say that is relevant and of interest.
How you structure your contribution is entirely up to you. You might want to write a tutorial, a tips and tricks style article or a thought provoking piece. The main requirement is that it be unique, interesting and fresh (not just remixing existing material).
Who can take part?
Anyone can have a shot provided they have a good handle on the English language and they know their subject well.
Where can I sign up?
If you would like to take part, put your name down in this thread, along with a rough title for your piece and a brief explanation (so that we don't get duplicates). The subjects are broad so several submissions may fall under one category.
We are allowing one month for signing up and three for submitting your work. That means that you must sign up by Friday 9 July and submit your draft by Friday 8 October.
Once you're happy with your draft you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this stage we are planning on producing the book in PDF format with the option to print on demand.
Contributors will get a free PDF of the book and will be allowed to write a very brief self-promotional bio. They'll also be able to claim to be a published SitePoint author.
It is important to note that while this is a community project, the book will be published under the SitePoint brand so we ultimately have the right to veto contributions and to edit accepted contributions in any way deemed necessary.
If we have too many submissions in one section we reserve the right to reject some drafts after submission. The material will be returned to you to use as you see fit.
So here is that list:
- Online Communities/Social Networks
- TCP/IP / WWW
- Protocols / Pseudos
- Web Browsers
- Dev Software
- General Questions
- Web Branding
- Business Start-up
- Business Management
- Careers / Education
- Business Inspiration
- Competitive Research
- Idea Development
- Information Architecture
- Website Structure
- Website hosting
- Domain names
- Apache/IIS config
- Security / Privacy
- General Writing
- Graphics (make/edit)
- Audio + Video
- Information Design
- Legalities of Media
- Business Documents
- Legal Documents
- CMS systems
- Social Media
- Mobile Design
- Design Sociology
- UI Design (Webapps)
- Interaction Design
- User-experience Design
- Psychology of Design
- Web Standards (W3C, Etc)
- Debugging Code (Browser Bugs)
- Frameworks (CSS, JS, RIA)
- Markup Languages (HTML, XML, RSS, Atom, Microformats, Sitemap)
- MetaData Languages (DCMI, OWL, RDF, PAD, Robots.txt)
- Stylesheet Languages (CSS)
- Postscript Languages (FlashPaper, PDF, XPS)
- Multimedia Languages (Flash/ActionScript, Silverlight, Java, Shockwave)
- Vector Languages (3DML, Canvas, GML, KML, SVG, UML, VML, X3D)
- Database (MS-SQL, mySQL, Postgre, SQLite, Oracle, MongoDB, etc)
- Server-side (ColdFusion, Java, JSP, Lasso, ASP, .NET, Perl, PHP, SMX, .NET, Python, Ruby, Smalltalk)
- RIA's (HTA, Air, Cappuccino, Curl, Gears, Flex, Prism, WPF, Titanium)
- Online/Offline Advertising
- Online/Offline Marketing
- SEO / SEM (Searches)
- SMM / Social Networks
- eCommerce (Buy/Sell)
Ill definitely watch out for your ajax articles
Web Standards (W3C, Etc)
Debugging Code (Browser Bugs)
Frameworks (CSS, JS, RIA)
Markup Languages (HTML, XML, RSS, Atom, Microformats, Sitemap)
Stylesheet Languages (CSS))
Above is my bread and butter. I'd like to talk about HTML5 and CSS3 if chosen for either. I also do photography.
Also, I note that CSS has been largely ignored so far. In addition to the above, I would like to write a mini-CSS reference with succinct examples and explanations of selectors, specificity and inheritance.
Hi - I just heard about the community book from the Sitepoint Facebook page. If it's not too late, I'd love to write about: Interaction Design, User-experience Design and the Psychology of Design.
I wrote an university paper earlier this year on the Gestalt Principles of perception and how they can be applied to interface design, and I'd love to include some of the material I wrote then. I would also like to cover visual metaphors and the power of affordance in visual interface design.
It is about time I updated you all on this anyway (sorry Coyote - for the record, your article is great and yes, you are being included).
We have 12 excellent submissions and 5 on the way. They are all going through a first round of reviews before being submitted for editing. You will be hearing from us shortly if you have submitted.
We do still have space for more articles if people are prepared to get writing immediately.
ucomeau, that subject is definitely open and we would love you to submit. Do you think you could get something written up within 2 weeks?
Would love to be involved with this. Specifically:
* Domain names - good naming processes and dns
* Self-hosting - server setup/vps etc
* Apache Setup - virtualhosting/log analysis
* Web Standards (W3C, Validation)
* Debugging Code (Browser Bugs)
* Frameworks (CSS)
* Markup Languages (XHTML, HTML5, XML, RSS, Microformats, Sitemap)
* MetaData Languages (Robots.txt)
* Stylesheet Languages (CSS)
* Database (mySQL)
* Server-side (PHP)
* General Writing
* CMS systems
* Social Media
* Online/Offline Advertising - general
* Online/Offline Marketing - general
* SEO / SEM (Searches) - general
* SMM / Social Networks - facebook/twitter/linkedin
* CRM integration - salesforce
* Email Marketing
Its a fair list I know and I won't be able to write everything under the sun but would like to offer my services.
One of the suggested categories is Social Networking, and—so far as I know—no one is currently writing on that topic, so this sounds perfect. I'm sure that Sarah (Hawk) will contact you though to confirm.
How long should the article be, and what's the timeline?
As Robert said, 1500–5000 words is the ideal. I don't think a firm timeline is set, because this is a unique undertaking, but I would suggest getting started straight away. If you are confident with your subject, I would suggest aiming to have it done in a week or two. (Once I finally got around to starting mine, it took about a week.) But again, see what Sarah has to say, as none of this is really for me to say.
According to today's Community Crier newsletter #175, you still have some space left for a few more submission... could you possibly confirm this? I just heard of the project and would love to contribute at least one article!
Just sent you guys an email as well in case that's faster... hopes hopes hopes that submissions can still be made
xhtmlcoder: The next step is that anyone who has signed up to participate should either clarify what they want to write about (if they have not already done so - such as those who didn't give anything more than a category), or if they have already stated what they want to write about, they should go ahead and begin writing their content! As for content length, I think we're aiming for what you would get in the average article (so probably between 1,500 and 5,000 words - which is pretty consistent with most medium to long article sites) which should probably give people enough space to put their work across without getting too wordy. Though it's worth saying that when it goes to the editors at HQ if the content is too long or requires a bit of work, I'm sure they will make the necessary edits to ensure it fits.
Hi, I may have something to contribute to the Website structure or information design categories. I'm an academic librarian with an English major background (and now I work on the library's web site), and I suggest the following:
Working Title: "Building from the ground up"
Description: So you've got a great product or idea. But how can your users use your web site to access the information about it? Here are some practical tips on building your web site structure so that information is properly accessed and clearly organized.
This sounds great. This is what I would be working on if picked.
Category: Audio + Video
Working Title: Planning a Successful Video shoot
Subtitle: The Role of the Video Producer
Article Description: Most of the information out there on video for the web focuses on the actual production and the processing of the video of the web. There is a dearth of information about what the logistics are and what the process is to plan a successful shoot or series of shoots with video that has high production value. I would cover preproduction (budgeting, scheduling . . .) post-production, how distribution choices affect production and post-production, branding (watermarks, titles . . .), crew positions and areas of responsibility.
I'd love to be involved in this. Here's my suggested contribution!
Category: General wrting/accessibility
Working title: "Writing for the impatient eye"
Description: Forget everything you've ever been taught about writing. All those big words you learnt at school and the theses you wrote in college have no place on the web. It's time to be ruthless with your writing and get straight to the point. Hurry.. we don't have much time!
I would like to write a bit about blogging and social media, how they are meant to build relationships, draw traffic (maybe briefly touch on a few different topics here, maybe a quick SEO overview and how it relates to blogging), mentioning a few of the major social media options (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn specifically), and possibly throw in a little about WordPress as well.
Would that work?
How long should the article be, and what's the timeline?
I might write about Form Validation and Security since there seem to have been lots of questions lately that indicate that a lot of people don't understand it and since it doesn't clash with what anyone else is doing.
Great ideas! I can't wait to read some of the topics you are planning to write about, guys...
I am in, sign me up! I am going to write about online and social marketing for small businesses.
Thanks for your interest but I'm afraid you're a bit late this time round.
Will new comers can also take part in this and have a classic opportunity to write for SP?
Andrew, I could use a template like that right now!
Articles I can write:
Web coding / Database: Why do we have all these new NoSQL databases like MongoDB, CouchDB, etc.? What are they good for? Why would you choose one of them rather than the traditional RDBMS?
Web coding: Progressive enhancement. How to develop with progressive enhancement, and why.
There are just 5 days left to get your submissions in...
Any more takers?
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