Welcome to my FAQ page. I wrote this for the same reason that everyone writes an FAQ; so that I could spend more time on H2G2 and less answering any questions.
Of course, if the question you have isn't answered here, feel free to drop me a line.
You haven't replied to my posting in days. What's going on?
I usually reply to all postings as quickly as possible. If you have posted to one of my articles and I haven't replied, try leaving a message on my personal space. I don't subscribe to all my entries, there are too many and it became too difficult to keep track of other conversations I was involved in.
There's an error on one of your entries. Can you correct it?
Well, if it is an "Edited Entry" then no. Best thing to do is pop over to the UpdateForum and post a message there.
I notice you're a sub-editor. What's that all about?
I am a sub-editor on H2G2. When an entry to selected from peer review, it is passed to a sub-editor. The status changes from "-" to "recommended". I edit it, checking mainly for spelling and grammar errors, and send it back. I then changes to "pending" while the editors at the BBC give it the once over, then changes to "Edited" once it is in the Edited Guide (EG).
Why is your name on my edited entry?
All entries in the EG have their original author(s) listed and the sub-editor who worked on it.
I've noticed a lot of achronims around. What do they mean?
- PR - Peer Review - Where entries are put for feedback until picked for editing
- EG - Edited Guide - All the edited entries
- UG - Under Guide - An alternative guide
- LOL - Laugh Out Loud
- BTW - By The Way
- IMO - In My Opinion
H2G2 is huge. Where do I get started?
Well probably the best place to start is the welcome page. It explains exactly how H2G2 works and how you can get involved.
It simplifies H2G2 into three sections: Reading, Talking and Writing. It also explains a little about how to use your personal space.
For more information, the Help pages are the best place to go.
I want to write an entry for the EG. What should I write about?
The simple answer is anything, although it is probably best to write about something you know or enjoy. Before you start, check out the Writing-Guidelines. They are straight forward, but there's nothing worse than having to re-write an entry because it doesn't meet the criteria. This page also has a lot of really useful advice on how to write your entry. Above all, avoid using the first person1 in your entry.
As a starting point, many write about their home town or a place they have visited.
Don't forget to search the EG for what you are about to write about. There's little point writing an entry about a subject when one already exists, although only you only need look for entries which are "Edited" or currently being edited.
When you are happy with the entry, click on "Submit for Review" and select the place to put it. If you are finished, send it to Peer Review, if you want help with writing advice, send to Writing Workshop. You can also write a note about the entry for things like when ou are around, what you are trying to do with the entry, etc.
After this, just sit back and wait. When anyone reads your entry and posts a message to it, you'll be notified in "My Conversations". Some of this may be simple spelling corrections, others may be critiques or the entire entry. Never take the critisism personally, this is an easy mistake for first time posters to make.
The comments are there to help you and in most cases are intended as constructive critisism. Of course if you genuinely find the comments offensive, then report the conversation to the modifiers.
What's this GuideML I keep hearing about?
GuideML is the markup language that H2G2 uses to format the entries. I used it to make this page. It looks a little like a cut down version of HTML, but it is much more powerful than that.
Check out the GuideML clinic for more information.
I'd like to join a volunteer scheme. What's available?
There are many worthwile volunteer schemes on H2G2.
Aces welcome new members to H2G2. Community artists design beautiful new artwork for the site to speicifactions given to them. Gurus are people to ask a complex question about H2G2 to, they know everything. The Scouts pick entries from peer review to be edited. The Sub-Editors edit the entries for inclusion in the Edited Guide.
Don't forget though that the volunteer schemes have specific recruitment drives, so it may be some time between volunteering and being offered a position.
I've been looking at that Computers in Science Fiction project you did, it's massive! Are you seriously telling me you did that all by yourself?
It was a labour of love. Actually it was originally a small entry that grew out of all proportion. I wrote it and it was fairly big and kept getting bigger with other people's suggestions. Then I split it into films, book and TV. Then I realised I neeed to add robots, then realised that androids and cyborgs were seperate too and each of these was big enough to have its own page.
How did you get it all through PR?
The short answer is slowly. I submitted all the entries to PR and each went through on its own. Luckily the sub-editor involved (SchrEck Inc.) did a great job and updated the links in each section as each entry came through into the EG.