From the Inside May/June 2015

I need authors for articles. I need content providers. Are you interested?

I've asked many people to write articles over the past few years and have been rewarded with some very interesting material for the magazine. Some of the best articles are the ones provided by the end users. Most of these authors are techies like you, not professional writers.

I understand that writing can seem daunting. You may wonder where to find the time to do it. Well, we are here to help.

The most common problems that new authors face:

"I don't know what to write about."

"My company places restrictions on revealing propriety code."

"I'm not a writer and don't know how to create a finished article."

"The things I do aren't that special. Everyone know how to do them."

Issue: What to Write About

I have to come up with a topic for the "From the Inside" every issue. I can understand how daunting this can be. While it seems like this is the biggest challenge, in reality it is the easiest for you to address.

The answer: Call me or e-mail me and ask.

I have a whole list of topics for articles. Most of time, however, I want to hear about the solutions you have developed for your business. You already have a story or two to tell.

On the other hand, if you are reading this and would like to see a specific article in the Spectrum Magazine, please feel free to contact me and let me know. I can add it to my growing list of articles, webinars, and conference topics.

Issue: Not a Writer

Well, truth be told, neither am I. My spelling is horrible. My grammar makes Chuck and Syd pull their hair out. And in nearly every article I write, they have to clarify at least one paragraph because it's not quite clear what I'm trying to say. [Editors' note: Sob.]

My suggestion is: Don't try to be a writer. Be yourself. Write the article as if you are talking to someone or making notes on how to do something. We can take that rough material and make it into a finished, polished product.

Your submission doesn't have to be a word document. It can be something typed out in e-mail. Take an hour for lunch and use your smart phone to write it.

So, if you are worried about your writing…. relax. Let us address the fine points of style and grammar. Trust me, the International Spectrum Staff is very good at doing this.

Issue: Proprietary Code

This is a serious issue. We don't want you to reveal anything confidential. You don't have to provide your company's code in the article. Just provide the problem you were solving and an outline of the solution you developed.

Many times the article is about a concept or suggested way of doing something. In those cases you can strip the examples down to a few lines of code to show the problem, without giving away anything your company owns.

One of authors here at International Spectrum had this same problem. He collaborated with his management, and worked out a way to write the article, covering the topic without using any of the company code. Most of what he supplied was information provided on public domain websites, and only a line or two of specific code.

No company processes or secrets were given way.

Issue: Everyone Already Knows How to...

You'd be surprised.

I see users, admins, and developers every year at the Spectrum Conference - next one will be on April 11 th -14 th , 2016 - that are new to MultiValue databases. They need to understand many of the core features that we in the community take for granted.

Here is an example from 2009: When someone asked, "How can I print my MultiValue data as a PDF document?" We could have said, "Well everyone knows how to do that." Instead, we published a series of articles covering that topic. < > < > < > Even people who already knew how can often benefit from a 'deep dive' into the subject.

Just because some topic or technique seems like common knowledge, that doesn't mean there aren't people who don't know how to do it.

I need authors for articles. I need content providers. I want to hear how you solved your business or technical problems.

Email me: .


May/Jun 2015