Our familiar, conversational tone is what makes GeekDad such a great blog, and we want to promote that voice as strongly as possible here on the GeekDad Community site. We’d like for you to be part of that voice.
In order for your posts to get promoted to the front page of the GeekDad Community, the Hotwired homepage, or even to the GeekDad Blog on Wired.com, you’ll need to follow our style guide. By doing this we hope to standardize our content, making the site as accessible to as many readers as possible.
GeekDad Style Guide:
The Title of each blog post should be as explicit as possible in describing the overall idea. There are some very specific rules about Titles for the GeekDad blog, which you’ll find below. If you follow these rules, you'll have a much better chance of getting your blog post promoted to the GeekDad blog on Wired.com.
- Principal words (including this list) ARE capitalized in a title: Is, It, With, From, Also, Are, Am, Then, Than, His, Her, Its, You, Me
- These words are NOT capitalized in titles, unless they're the first word of a title or come right after punctuation (a colon or dash): a, an, as, the, of, to, in, on, or, for, if
- "But" is a special case. It's capitalized when it's a principal word or after punctuation, but lowercase if it's used as a conjunction.
- Verbs are capitalized in a title
- Words at least 4 letters long are capitalized
- Special case for "the": if you're referring to "The Doctor" (the main character from Doctor Who), you should write "The Doctor" with the capital "T" no matter where in the headline it falls. This holds true for any other character where "The" is essentially part of his/her name.
- Titles are preferably 62 characters or less
- Avoid using someone's name in the headline unless the person is well known, or include their title to put them in context ("Game Designer Smith Says New Game Will Be Awesome")
- All caps names for companies and products are not honored unless they are acronyms. "LEGO" is "Lego" for our purposes. Intercaps (e.g., eBay) are okay.
- Internet is lowercase. So are web and net, when referring to the World Wide Web and internet by those names.
- E-mail always takes a hyphen.
- Numbers: Spell out one through nine, in most cases. "Eight people attended the talk." But render them as numerals in statistical instances: Nearly 8 percent of the population is unemployed. It was 3 degrees in northern Minnesota yesterday. The book measured 3 inches by 5 inches. With large numbers, always use commas as appropriate. It's 1,000, not 1000.
- When a company or product has a lowercase letter as the first letter of its name (eBay, iPhone, etc.), cap the letter if it begins a sentence (IPhone 5 release imminent). Proper punctuation trumps branding conceit. Elsewhere in text, and in headlines, go ahead and respect the lower case affectation.
- Always spell out state names. Don't abbreviate them when they're used with cities or political affiliations. It's San Jose, California, not Calif.; Dianne Feinstein (D-California), not (D-Calif.). This is an exception to AP style.
- On the other hand, always abbreviate congressional titles when they appear directly before somebody's name: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Barbara Boxer.
- Note the difference between vs. and v. Both are abbreviations for versus. Always use vs., with one exception: in referring to court cases, use the single letter: Brown v. Board of Education.
- Since we write and edit in American English, use the singular pronoun when referring to a company: Yahoo is losing its shirt, not their shirt.
- Same with spelling. No British spellings: colour, etc. But: If you're citing a British institution, such as the Defence Ministry, use the British spelling.
- We do NOT honor the exclamation on Yahoo! For us, it's just Yahoo. Same with any other attention-getting branding ploy, such as spelling a company name with all caps. Do not let companies shout their names onscreen. We do honor less intrusive branding, such as intercaps and lowercase first letters. Also, in writing about corporations, it's not necessary to add Corp. or Inc. to the name. Not only is not necessary, don't do it. (The exception here is News Corp, since Corp is part of the formal name.)
- No need to over qualify things. Just refer to the Supreme Court, Congress, Senate, etc. You don't need a "U.S." qualifier in front of them. This is understood. (An exception would be if the qualifier is needed to avoid confusion. For example, if another country's supreme court is mentioned in the story, then you'd make a distinction.)
- Capitalization: Job titles are only capped when they are official titles appearing directly in front of the person's name: President Barack Obama (but, Barack Obama, president of the United States). It's Pope Benedict XVI, but Benedict is the pope. Job titles that are more descriptive are never capped: reporter Clark Kent, quarterback Peyton Manning, overrated director Quentin Tarantino.
- If you compose in Word, change your settings to use straight quotes and apostrophes. We change curly ones all the time. If you've forgotten to do this in advance, please save your work as Text Only.
- Remember: One space between sentences.
- Don't put links in the lede (first paragraph of the Entry). You can generally find another place to insert it. The point is that nothing should interfere with your lede, which, after all, is you justifying to the reader why he should keep on reading.