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How To Land A Spot In The Spotlight - Part II

Sep 01, 2009, 23:35 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Justin Ryan)

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"She makes a specific point of being sympathetic when a journalist has difficulty understanding what it is you do — as was said above, nobody can be an expert in anything, and most journalists are paid to be reporters, not tech experts. Unfortunately, the tech community — in general, and by no means limited to Open Source projects — tends to have a reputation for lacking patience with the un-technical as well as having few qualms about hostile reaction. The adage "one bad apple spoils the bunch" seems particularly appropriate: We know from experience that the vast majority of those in the Open Source community are patient, civil, and helpful — sometimes to a fault — but unfortunately, those who are not seem to have an uncanny ability to attract the new and un-technical.

"Included within this point is advice about items like FAQ pages and other documentation. While these types of pages are available specifically to answer the kind of questions a journalist is likely to ask, Schindler notes that copying material directly from these pages or from other articles written about your project is plagiarism, not journalism. She notes a distinction that may not be readily apparent: "[W]hat other developers want is answers...journalists may not want a feature list as much as we want perceptions, experiences, and opinions." As she put it: "If I post a message in your IRC channel asking why you chose an app, please don't send me to the FAQ! I want your personal story.""

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