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WD-8: Content Production Evolution
We’re striving for a higher level of quality for our clients and a better experience for all of our workers. In this spirit, we’re rolling out a ton of improvements and changes to our worker resources and content policies that will take effect at 12 a.m. PDT on Oct. 3, 2012.
New Style Guide
First, our overhauled, comprehensive, and organized Style Guide will be the new gold standard for quality on our platform. It’s ready for your perusal, so take a look and give us your feedback on the Worker Support Forum.
Unlike the old version, this manual provides workers with detailed sections based on common style issues and problems, a Web Writing Best Practices guide, a table of contents for easy reference, and a set of appendixes for further information on specialized topics. It will take the place of the General Writing Style Guide and Editing Style Guide. We'll continue to build on this new guide and provide workers with everything they need to know to successfully write on our platform.
Additional Specialized Resources
To help Editors and Writers alike understand how to improve copy beyond the more typical methods, we’ve launched an Editor Essentials page. Here, Editors will find tips and standards against which they can compare content, and Writers will get guidance on how to improve their work. For now, the main topics covered here are Clarity, Flow, and Fluff, but we’ll continue to develop this page to achieve a comprehensive resource for all things Editing.
In addition, a redone Marketing Resource Center (formerly known as the Marketing Content Resource Center) will make its debut. This will serve much the same function as the Editor Essentials page, but it's specifically for Marketing Writers. We’ll post resources, tips, and tutorials on this page designed with commercial writing in mind.
Comprehensive Credential Tests
We've developed brand new Marketing, General Writer, and English Editor Credential Tests that not only test an applicant's ability to follow a strict set of instructions, but his or her creativity and raw writing ability. Editor applicants will be given real samples of CloudCrowd work so we can see how well they'll do on our platform.
CloudCrowd staff will be handling all credential applications from Oct. 3 through Oct. 9 to ease the transition to the new standards for typical reviewers.
Along with the new style guide and specialized resources for Editors and Marketing Writers, we've selected a new preferred dictionary. We've dropped Dictionary.com and adopted TheFreeDictionary.com. In our opinion, TheFreeDictionary.com offers workers a more complete set of tools than the former option, including a guide to idioms, dictionaries in many different languages, a legal, medical, and financial dictionary, and helpful toolbars and widgets.
Refined In-Task Instructions
We've refined our in-task instructions. There's a lot less copy to cut through, and the process of completing a task from top to bottom should be much simpler. You’ll also notice on Oct. 3 that Writers and Editors have exclusive instruction sets. Content Reviewers and Edit Reviewers will have their own checklists too. This is to help each group specialize their treatment of content, but also to help end the ongoing confusion about which responsibilities belong to Content Reviewers and which belong to Editors. This, of course, will be an ongoing process, but we believe this will go a long way toward settling the dispute once and for all.
Greater Clarity About Audits and Standards
To ensure that our Writers and Editors are performing to the level we need and to select new candidates for promotion to Level 2 and higher pay, we’ll continue to conduct Audits on their work. We’ve created an Audit FAQs page so everyone can learn how an Audit is triggered, what it means, and what can happen after one has been performed. You’ll notice that auditors compare work against Level 1 Standards during their evaluations. This is a new concept at CloudCrowd.
Level 1 Standards are represented by a short guide to which both Writers and Editors can refer to ensure their work is at an acceptable level. By meeting the expectations listed on that page, workers can significantly increase the likelihood that they will be selected for a Level 2 promotion.
New Credential Progression
We've also decided to require that newcomers to CloudCrowd obtain their General Writer Credential before they seek the Marketing Credential. The reasoning behind this is twofold: Workers will have a better idea of how our platform works after they have obtained the first credential, and will be more fit to engage in the typically more involved Marketing projects. By demonstrating that they have the ability to successfully pass the basic General Writing Credential test, they are in a better position to master the more specialized Marketing skillset.
Heightened Credibility Requirement for Content, Edit Review
Last but not least, we've increased the minimum Credibility score to perform Content Review and Edit Review tasks to 80. This is to encourage workers to complete writing and first-line editing tasks in addition to review tasks. Workers who do both kinds of tasks typically have greater insight into how our projects work and what needs to be done to make the work top notch.
Please note that starting at 12 a.m. PDT on Oct. 3, all applicable tasks, from product descriptions to health articles, credential tests to Peer Audits, are subject to the rules in the new Style Guide, spellings in TheFreeDictionary.com, and other requirements detailed in the resources described above.
Send any feedback you have to email@example.com or post on our Worker Support Forum, and thanks as always for your hard work.