We've been asked by a lot of folks, "How do I contribute to BostonNOW?"
Here are our intial thoughts, which will grow and evolve over time with your input.
BostonNOW wants to encourage active participation in our online and print community, so interested contributors will only need to follow a few steps to be considered for the print publication. As soon as the BostonNOW website (bostonnow.com) goes live (scheduled for Monday, April 16; the day before our first paper is published), you would create a BostonNOW account. This account will allow you to create a profile that will allow you to contribute to the community and be considered for print publication. (Future releases of the BostonNOW online functionality may allow for RSS aggregation from your website or blog.)
Via the BostonNOW website, you will be able to post blogs or creative writing via a Wordpress interface using your BostonNOW account. All posts will automatically be considered for publication in the next day’s paper (there will be a check-off box later to be removed from print consideration). Each time you post, you will select the "Section" of the paper/website you would like your blog to be a part of (e.g., sports, entertainment, editorial, news, etc.), and then tag your article according to its content (e.g., Dice-K, Justin Timberlake, MBTA, Bush, sushi, etc.). Your post will appear immediately in the section you choose.
Short-term: Using a third-party photosharing account (to be determined), join the BostonNOW group (the group name and location will be linked on the BostonNOW website.) and submit photos to be considered for print.
Long-term: The BostonNOW website will support uploading of photos and organization of galleries for active participation via our SnapNOW interface.
Short-term: Using a blip.tv account, submit videos with a BostonNOW "tag" to be considered for promotion in the paper. You will also be able to cross-post your blip.tv items to your BostonNOW Wordpress blog directly. If selected, your video will be highlighted in the print publication and linked to from the main website.
Long-term: The BostonNOW website will support uploading of videos for active participation via our WatchNOW interface.
How will BostonNOW select items for the print publication? In other words, how do I get in the paper?
To put it simply: If you're good, you’ll get published (until there are so many of you that we have to come up with a more refined selection process). Blogs should be well-written and free of spelling errors. They should also be compelling and local. Photos should be in focus and of high digital quality. Videos should be steady and of high digital quality. With the exception of the “Dialogue” page (our version of an editorial page), the subject matter should be specific to Boston. However, that doesn't mean you can only post about the MBTA or take pictures of the Commons. For example, local shows of national bands would be fine as would the perspective of a Bostonian on national or world issues. BostonNOW is all about capturing what it means to grow up, go to school, go to work, or leave this city.
Do I get to keep my copyright? Can I post my stuff on my own site?
If you post to BostonNOW, you still own your content. BostonNOW will not take ownership of your blogs, stories, photos, or videos, nor will it require exclusivity. If you have your own blog and want to post your same Boston-related content to your own site, feel free! You can also point to your website from your BostonNOW post, but the body of the post should be displayed on the BostonNOW website. Also, your content will automatically archive on our site unless you want to remove it and send readers to your site for more.
Please let us know what you think by commenting with your reactions and suggestions!