Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New on Yoosk: create your own issue panel and start your own in-depth interview feature

As a Yoosk user you can now submit a proposal for a feature on an issue you care deeply about and see it through from conception to completion- an article based on a series of interviews with public figures, answering Yoosk users’ questions on that issue.

We are adding this feature because we are finding that users often want to ask a collection of people questions about the same issue (a minister and the opposition shadow minister, for example, or the US Presidential or London Mayoral candidates).

If there is an issue you care about or find especially interesting and would like to see what key figures have to say on the matter, then here’s how it works:

Step 1
Think of a title or headline for the issue: his could be one of the following:

-a simple title, like ‘The 2008 Elections for the Mayor of London’
-a broad question, such as ‘Are our teenagers getting more violent?’
-a specific issue relating to a particular time or place, like ‘The Floods in England: were the authorities prepared?’
-a campaign-orientated title: ‘Let’s stop subsidies for EU farmers and ensure fair trade for African producers’

Step 2
Do some research on who the influential and outspoken people on the subject are. Choose up to eight of them for your panel, although four is an optimum number. Try to get a good mix of positions and views.

Step 3
Write a short introductory piece explaining the issue (be as impartial as possible) and a short biography of the people on your panel. Put any hyperlinks in that you think will be helpful to Yoosk readers. We will edit this as necessary, but very possibly many of you will write better than us! Anyway, this is just to reassure that if you don’t have time to worry about style or syntax, then send it to us anyway and we’ll do the rest. The bare bones will do.

Step 4
Send the text to us. For the next few weeks, please use the form on the contact us page. After two weeks, we will have a special form for submitting your proposal for a Yoosk feature.

Step 5
Go to the ask a question facility on Yoosk and start with an opening question to each of the panel members whose details you have sent us. You will probably need to add a few of the public figures who don’t yet exist on our public figures page- please do this if you can, as it will help speed things up for us our end.

Step 6
Wait a day and we’ll contact you to tell you that it has been posted in the upcoming features on Yoosk or to ask for more information.

Step 7
We will contact the people on your panel and ask them if they are willing to be interviewed. Some will, some won’t, but we’ll make sure the questions go to them anyway.

Step 8
We will promote your feature on Yoosk and ask members to submit questions by a certain deadline then we’ll send the questions on to the public figures concerned.

Step 9
When we get answers, we’ll write them up into an article and post it on Yoosk, giving you credit for your part in the article.

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