Managing contributors for FdA Fusion

Posted: February 3, 2017 by Alan Hardcastle in FdA 15_17
Tags: , ,

We have the Web site set up, we have old content on there, and we have identified a range of stories to be putting up – including current and future projects (Creative Film Challenge, Major Projects, live brief) and how to guides (Networking, animation, working with clients, technical guides).

We have an editor whose job it is to get people to write the pieces, make sure they are of the right standard and get in at the right time. This is not about flooding the site with content, it is about preparing content to be released in a steady stream.

As we reflect on the issues with previous years, it was identified that collaboration was key, rather than demands of work. So, how do we manage the work of contributors?

Blog writers will typically be paid by contribution. anything from £25 and up depending on previous hits, and potentially getting portions of advertising revenue based on hits for that page. It is essential that the content is entertaining, informative, and original. FdAfusion is our opportunity to exercise these skills.

Step one – Identify what you want on the site. Do we know our audience? Do we know what they want? This site is mainly aimed at promoting you as artists & Filmmakers, as well as having a shop to promote work. So are audience should be people willing to buy our products, engage with the work and possible work with us on future projects. That is quite a range, so we need to be focussing on the things that can attract them to our work, prove our skill level and show that we are professional. Anything added to the list should cover at least one of these things.

Step Two – Identify Contributors. We can write articles. And we should. One potential future revenue stream is to be writing for or managing our own blog, so let’s practice. We know our skills set on the course, and we know the skill set on the first year. So we begin negotiation. We identify the area as a group and then talk to the individual about their take on it.

Step three – Negotiate. It is not about telling people what to write – this is about a negotiation. Here is the subject – what can you write about it? What style can they do? How long can they make it? and what deadline will they have? (at this point we would also talk about fee, but this is about practice). It is up to the contributors to manage their own workload, and be honest about the style they are planning to write in.

This step is the most important in my opinion. As an editor managing the site, you have control of the feel of the whole thing – the style, the content and the message. However, you need to rely on the contributors as otherwise, you have nothing. Treat them carefully. And as a contributor to a quality website, you can build a reputation – and add to other people’s reputations. It is a collaborative opportunity, after all.

It is not about writing reports – although you can cover the information you are looking at for research or essays but present it in a more accessible way. There is no reason why you can’t write a draft of an essay or report in preparation for a project just to get your brain working.

Step Four – managing the workload. It will be the editor’s job to manage all this and make sure we are getting a steady stream in. Reminding contributors, seeing the drafts and asking for corrections.

Step Five – Publishing. Check it, proof read it and schedule the posting. We want to provide a steady stream of content, but if we get 10 up all on the same day we don’t need to publish them all at once. Spread it out a bit. This way we can keep people coming back to the site and keep them there. Look at what people are viewing – and commission more of that (back to Step one!)

It all sounds easy. So why aren’t more people doing it…?

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