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Joined: Jun 11, 2007
Posts: 1
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Posted Apr 03, 2008 at 3:42:32 PM
Subject: Where to find artilce ideas
A freelance writer recently asked the editors at Linux.com for tips on how to find ideas on things to write about. That's a great question, and one I know many (probably most) writers have. Here are some tips I offered and hope other writers will add more. * First, read. Read [i]a lot[/i]. Read anything and everything related to the areas you're interested in and pretty soon questions will come to you on their own that you can then explore in an article. You'll start to see connections that didn't occur to you before. For example, you might read an article detailing the bugginess of a particular app and recall something you read the day before about how a simple system tweak can improve the performance of certain apps. Put the two together, and you have an experiment you can write about. * Which brings me to my next point. Question everything. If you read that certain types of programs are speedier than others on certain systems, get a stopwatch and do some experimentation. Compare and contrast some useful apps in the same family. Think about the things you do every day with your computer that seem second nature to you and ask yourself if there's anything unique that you could share with readers. * Talk to people. If you see a product that you're interested in reviewing, contact the company and ask for a review unit. If you're particularly fond of an application, depending on what it is and how much mass appeal it would have to the readers, you might be able to do a story that includes talking to its developers (and maybe its competitors). Go to message forums and look at the questions people are asking. That's always a great place to spark ideas. * Think numbers: 7 ways to tame a bloated system, 5 things you must do before an OS reinstall, 4 common security mistakes. For whatever reason, people love numbered lists and studies show they're effective in grabbing a reader's attention. They're also (I think) fun to write because their very nature helps provide focus for the author. If I were to write about Firefox extensions, I might drown in the options. Writing about the top five bookmark managers for Firefox narrows things down quite a bit. * The old adage "write what you know" is very true in this field, especially for IT folks who are a walking repository of information. Think about what you do at work that could help readers solve issues of their own. What common questions always come up among your colleagues? Did you work on a project recently and ever think "Man, Mr. Bossman just doesn't get it?" What didn't he get? Was it a common misconception that non-IT folks have? Can you write something that will explain what he didn't get? (Of course, I'm not suggesting you say "At work the other day, my boss said...." I'm thinking more like, "When IT departments look at options for consolidating servers, one objection they often hear is..." * Check out what analysts are saying and prove them right or wrong. Forrester, Gartner, 451 Group, etc all regularly publish papers and reports about some aspect of open source. They often make sweeping generalizations that IT folks read and either day, "That's so true!" or "What? I never heard that." I'm not suggesting you try to refute or prove an analyst report outright, I'm suggesting that you use it as a springboard for story ideas. "A recent report by Gartner suggested that companies can save 34% on their operating costs by ______. In my organization, we ____ so I did some calculations and here's what I discovered." Writer's block happens to everyone so try not to worry too much. Ideas show up when you least expect them.
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Munich

Joined Apr 28, 2009
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Posted: May 01, 2009 10:20:05 AM
Subject: Where to find artilce ideas
Very interesting article...

B2B - Vantargis Factoring GmbH

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Scottwpp
Joined May 04, 2009
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Posted: May 04, 2009 8:11:51 PM
Subject: Where to find artilce ideas
Great info. thanks for sharing.

- Scott Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

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fa5ar
Joined Feb 27, 2009
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Posted: May 12, 2009 11:59:45 AM
Subject: Where to find artilce ideas
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