Your Most Frequently Asked Freestyle Questions, Answered!

bloggersThere’s no such thing as a “stupid” question around here! With the new Content Creation Tool in full swing, it’s inevitable to run into a host of questions. As the community specialist and over-seer of the forums, I have gathered some of the most common questions I’ve received here in this blog.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Question: How do I get back to the Work Desk?

Answer: Click on the Demand Media Studios logo in the upper left-hand corner. Be sure to save your work first!

linebreakHow do I make the Format Toolbar appear?

Simply highlight any text, and the format toolbar will appear. Please note you don’t have the ability to permanently set the tool bar on/off.

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How do I make the Content Toolbar appear?

Start a new line by hitting a return (the “enter” key), and a plus sign will appear on the left-hand side. Click on the plus sign to surface the Content Toolbar. Options include: Warning, Tip, Things You’ll Need and Block Quote.

Once you’ve filled out the relevant text, you’ll have three options:

  1. Click the up arrow (^) to place your cursor above the module.
  2. Click the down arrow (v) to place the cursor below the module.
  3. Click the delete button (x) to delete the module if needed.

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Is there a built-in spellchecker?

No, there isn’t a built-in spellchecker. However, most browsers do have a built in spellchecker (looking at you, Google Chrome). A red squiggle will appear under misspelled words. You can right-click your mouse and choose the appropriate word from the populated list.

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Can I insert a line break in my comments?

Yes, you can. To do this hold the “shift” key while you press the “enter” key on your keyboard. Be sure to drop down two whole lines to create a whole new line.

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When it comes to references the guidelines call for contextual linking. Would we highlight the entire fact or just a key word?

You don’t need to hyperlink the entire portion of referenced text. In fact, we’d prefer not linking full sentences or excessive text in general. Instead, you should only link the relevant key word or phrase. Use your best judgement; after you’ve input the hyperlink, ask yourself, does this look OK? Or too much?

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Where should I place my references — in-text as a hyperlink, or in the metadata tab?

References and supplemental reading (formerly known as “resources”) that are helpful for the reader should be hyperlinked as in-text citations. The CE will also use these to fact check your article. Writers should only place references in the separate references field (under the Metadata tab of the sidebar) when a certain reference offers no value to the reader and is only appropriate for fact-checking purposes (e.g., commercial sites or an identical title with the exact same info).

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What’s the word count? Are we still aiming for 400-500 words?

We’re not holding you to hard word counts. Granted, we don’t want a 10,000 word article or one that’s 10 words long. Aim to be succinct while thoroughly informing the reader on your topic. You can check your current word count in the Stats & Guidance tab.

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What’s the deal with keywords? Any advice?

Formerly key concepts. Please include at least three “key concepts” in separate boxes. These should summarize the subject of your article. Also, try to think in search terms, like “downhill skies” or “Oprah Winfrey.” We also ask that you don’t go longer than three words.

Resources

2 thoughts on “Your Most Frequently Asked Freestyle Questions, Answered!

  1. Is there a more comprehensive tutorial available online that goes through, step by step, how each part of an article should be formatted as well as the appropriate tools to select? I am not sure when I am supposed to be using H1 or H2 headers, how to embed individual pictures into each section, if I should place the “Difficulty Level” at the very beginning of the article (this is done in the article sample provided in the ‘Resources’ section but is not shown above in the example for contextual linking), among other things.

    Thanks!

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