Odyssey EIC Editing 101

Odyssey EIC Editing 101

Your go-to guide for editing as an Odyssey EIC.
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Here's your go-to guide for Odyssey EIC editing:

What is your Editor Dashboard?

  • “Editor Dashboard” is where you go to find the articles of all of your Creators, including yourself, for that week. Each article will be labeled according to what stage of the editing process that has been completed.

  • Each Saturday/Sunday go into your Editor Dashboard and see who has submitted (Needs Edit) from your community.
  • Keep track of who your top creators are, who submitted, and who was just onboarded as a new creator.

Editing:

  • Because the creator submitted (hopefully) before the start of the new posting cycle, you will need to go back a week in your dashboard to edit. Toggle the calendar arrow to the left one week.
  • Click on the headline of an article that ‘Needs Edit’. Once in the article, scroll down to the body of the piece. Is it a listicle? Is it a poem? Is it an article?
    • If it is a listicle:
      • Make sure there is a small intro paragraph written by the creator to introduce what the listicle is about (could be 2-3 sentences)
      • The numbered items are in Header 2. Highlight the text needed to be in Header 2, click on the Formatting button to the far left on the top of the editing box (next to HTML). Once in the formatting options, click Header 2. Do this for the remaining numbered items on the list.
      • If there are images/gifs in the listicle make sure they are centered and attributed.
    • If it is an article
      • Are there breaks in the wording? Too long of a paragraph can mean that a reader may feel too overwhelmed to reading it. Breaking it up makes it more appealing
      • Make sure that the first paragraph is packaged well. It is enticing, has an intriguing, relatable sentence, and will capture the attention of a reader.
  • Once the body of the piece is done, you will scroll down to the Headline, Sub-Headline, and Cover Photo. These are KEY to grabbing the attention of potential readers.
  • Headline
  • Make sure that each word in the Headline is capitalized. Also, if it is a listicle, then make sure that all numerical words are numbered in the headline (not written out).
    • The Subheadline is also important to grabbing the attention of the reader. It is a piece that gives a little bit of what the article is about, enough to tease the reader. Using a captivating pull-quote, funny blurb, or something of that variety is always best when including the subheadline. Sub-Headlines are always written like a sentence with the first letter of the first word capitalized and a period at the end.

  • You must think about why people share content. People generally do not read an article all the way through, they share based on the headline and the image, then will read the piece.
  • If the headline is vague — “An Open Letter To My Mom/Best Friend/Dog” — nobody will read that piece. Let’s look at the top trending articles on Odyssey when I’m writing this:
    • I'm A Woman And I'm Not With Her — NOT “An Open Letter To Hillary Clinton”
    • Why Your Grandma Is Your Biggest Blessing In Life — NOT “What My Grandma Means To Me”
    • The Coach That Killed My Passion — NOT “What It’s Like Having A Bad Coach”
    • Losing a Grandparent Changed My Life — NOT “What It’s Like Losing A Grandparent”
  • There is no ambiguity here. People will share these because they know what the articles are about and they want these messages on their Facebook or Twitter pages because they agree or strongly disagree with them. Be clear, be concise.
  • There is also an ego factor — people love sharing articles that show traits they want to embody themselves. Articles like “Why Your Grandma Is Your Biggest Blessing In Life” are viral because people want to be seen as the sort of person who loves their grandma, so they put it on their wall. Think about what your article will “say” about a person who shares it. The more people who can use an article to show off some positive trait about themselves
  • Images
    • Use Pexels, Pixabay, Wikimedia, Flickr creative commons, Unsplash, Stocksnap, Splitshire, StartupStockPhotos, or Public Domain Pictures to get ones we know we can use.
    • When choosing an image, do not use text-only images, do not use quotes on images, do not use pictures without people in them when at all possible.
    • Personal pictures are the best, if the quality is good.
    • Pictures with people in them are better than pictures without people.
    • Landscapes, sunsets, pictures of the ocean, etc., might be pretty, but they do not encourage people to click!
    • It is KEY to have each creator attribute their own photos. Google is not an attribution.
  • Tagging is a great way to gain engagement without doing much after your creator submits. Generally around 5-8 tags is optimal to be engaged with. Make sure they are a mix of specific and general things related to the article. When being searched in Odyssey and SEO they will be pulled.

  • Have your creators choose a segment for their pieces to further give the piece an identity. This can also help make the piece easily searchable and is good for SEO searching.
  • The metadata title and description are important for search engine optimization as well. Recommended is to use the same title and description as the Headline and Sub-headline.
  • The Publish & Share area is V important.

  • Always schedule it for that Monday morning (optimal times are 8-10am in your timezone). Or schedule it for the evening (4-8pm your time zone).
  • Make sure that all articles edited are scheduled to be posted on Monday’s date, and that the scheduled social media share is scheduled for Monday at the preferred time.
  • Social Media Brief
    • Should be the same concept as the subheadline. Should not say, “Check out my article!” or “Share my article." Always make sure that it is something enticing just like the headline, subheadline, and cover photo.
  • When you’re finished editing, select “Accept as EIC Edited.” The queue will automatically bring you to your next article.

***Don’t be afraid to reject a piece if these things are not completed by creators. The “Reject” button will mark the article as “Needs Revision.” Content Creators are sent an email notification on their article being rejected. As a rule of thumb, never reject an article without leaving comments for the content Creator. Beware to let the creator know the issues if not completed within 24 hours of rejecting (text/email them). And be aware when they are complete so that you may post their piece.

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Dear Senioritis, You Have Taken Many Of My Bretheren, But You Shall Not Take Me

Bring. It. On.

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It is one of the deadliest diseases known to high schoolers around the world. It takes the lives of thousands every year in high schools big and small. It rampages and destroys grades and social lives everywhere. Even worse, it is one of the oldest plagues with no known cure that every generation has dealt with.

What could I possible be talking about?

Senioritis, of course. Senioritis, as described by Google, is a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance. Basically, it's the last semester of high school, and no one cares about anything but graduation. Symptoms include countdowns written on classroom white boards, college commitments and having no care in the world about anything. In severe cases, students fall so sick, they have to skip school for days on end. It is truly a nightmare. All attentiveness in classroom goes downhill.

There is only one medicine shown to have some effect on the illness, and that would be final exam exemption. A motivation for seniors to keep their grades above an 80 or 85, depending on the school, so they can exempt their final exams. While it is not a complete cure, it does help remove side effects as students are now forced to work hard enough to maintain the necessary grade for exemption.

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I was able to avoid Senior Skip Days last semester. Others were not so lucky. But in this war, it is all for themselves. I have done much research, but they are all inconclusive. Nothing seems to work. Changing sleeping schedules, hanging out with friends, setting goals — it all depends on the person.

As college application season has passed, we now only wait for results, but until then... what? What will happen? Will a cure be found, or will we all be doomed to this plague? If there is anyone out there who reads this, I forewarn you — save yourself. Find a cure. If not, you will end up like me or worse. For now, all I can say is that it is unavoidable. Sooner or later, it takes over. The real question is: who's next?

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