Last updated on 2007-12-29
Have an article or picture you want to see on our website? Email our submissions email address at with your submission.
We reserve the right to publish what we deem interesting for our website. The majority of submissions do not appear on the website. However, making a submission that will be on our website is not difficult. Please follow our content guidelines listed below for the best chance to see your article or image online.
We also reserve the right to edit your content as we see fit. Typically this means we will edit it as new information comes in to keep it current or edit it for spelling, grammar, and ease of reading. In the case of images, we may improve clarity of the image or add labels.
Submitted content also can be removed from the website at any time as we see fit.
Image submission guidelines
Many of the images we get are multiple offenders. So watch out for all of these guidelines. And while editing can correct some of these problems to a certain extent, it doesn't correct all problems or provide very good correction often, so having a good image from the start is desirable.
Something we often hear when we request better images is "I don't know how to improve" or "I don't have any better cameras." We'll explain how to improve your images below, and if you don't have any better cameras, find someone who does. Most everyone has a good quality digital camera these days.
- Do not crop, resize, or lower the quality of the images. We would like the full, highest quality, original sized image, straight off the memory card or scanner. Some people feel that we want to save bandwidth or download time and crop or resize the image to an unacceptably small size. All of our staff has high speed internet. We prefer to crop and resize the images afterward to fit our website best. If your image is smaller than 640x480, it is unlikely to be used, and even 640x480 images might not be used.
- Images must be in focus. A large portion of our image submissions are rejected simply because they are out of focus or the camera was shaky while taking the image. If we can't see what the image is about, it's not going on the website. Use manual or selective focus if possible. Hold the camera still. And no, sharpening in Photoshop doesn't make a blurry image as good as a focused image.
- Images should be adequately lit. Take your subject outside if you do not have a flash or you want the brightest free area. Wait to take a picture in mid-day. Turn on the lights if you can take a good picture indoors. Use a flash if necessary.
- Ensure that the subject can be seen in your picture. Some close up shots are fine, but don't only submit close up shots. A variety of shots from all angles and an overview shot are good if you are taking pictures of a specific water gun. A good rule of thumb is to take as many images as you can. Having more images than we use doesn't hurt.
- Do not send us webcam images. They are typically have low quality, low resolution, and poor focus. They are useless. If you have a very good webcam with high resolution, that may be acceptable, but 320x240 webcam images will not be used.
- If you are sending a drawing, please do not make it a Paint drawing. We get a lot of drawings from Microsoft Paint and most of them are very bad. There are some talented people out there though, so if you can use Paint well, do not hesitate to send your Paint drawings. We suggest either learning to use Paint well or using a different, more advanced program. Similarly, if you wish to add captions or notes to a photo, don't edit the photo in Paint and then send us that. Send us what notes you want in the photo and we'll work on it from there.
- Avoid excessive use of flash. When getting up close to an object, it often is best to avoid using a flash. The flash itself can reflect off the object, turning it into a pure white image removed of detail. If you send us images like this, we may or may not use them depending on how compromising the flash is. If the flash obviously isn't making the image better, don't use a flash. Try a tripod with a longer exposure or something similar if there is little available light. Or simply move to a brighter area.
- Watch out for your shadow. We get some images where the photographer didn't notice that their shadow was projected onto their subject! Change your angle if this is a problem so that your body does not align with the lights or the sun.
Article submission guidelines
- Put the document in text, RTF, regular DOC format, or OpenOffice format. We prefer text files because they are the easiest to work with. Do not send obscure formats or new DOCX files. We'll only ask you to save it in a different format.
- Check that what you are writing isn't on our website. Many submissions just rehash what already has been said. That isn't necessarily bad however. If you have a different take on something or you are writing a vastly improved version of something we have here, don't hesitate to submit it to us.
- Articles should have some length. We won't put any arbitrary word length on submitted articles, but if you are submitting a 100 word article, please realize it is unlikely to be posted online. Some articles can be very short on the words and big on pictures, which is great. Perhaps the rule should be to say a lot in as little words as possible, but still say something appreciable.
- Please use spell check and proper grammar. Articles where every third word is misspelled won't be posted. If our editing is going to take longer than a 10 minutes after reading the article, we'd rather not post it.
- Use pictures and photos if you can. If you have great graphics to go along with your article, your chances of having that article posted are greatly increased. Good graphics add a lot to an article.
- Provide your name or username. Many times articles are sent without a clear author. We may not know who you are just from your email.