The second blog post: Why write for PostDesk, who should write for us and what we’re covering…

In the second 'behind-the-scenes' blog post, founder and project manager Sam England clarifies exactly why you should write for PostDesk, and what exactly our proposition is.

PostDesk Front Page

As we rapidly approach our launch date in around four weeks time, I decided that we should give some definitive clarification, expanding on our initial ‘What is PostDesk‘ post from last year.

Again, in the name of transparency, here’s why we think you should consider writing for PostDesk. This is our proposition. Along the way, we’ll answer some of the questions that will probably be running through your mind too.

Why write for PostDesk?

1) We’re an open and independent platform

We plan to have no editorial guidelines (except some style guidelines), no fixed agenda and no political allegiances.

Our only remit is to run long-form, in-depth, analytical, critical, controversial, offbeat, interesting, insightful or investigative content for the curious mind. This is content, which is full of opinion, speculation, thinking-outside-the-box, but which is well backed up and referenced. We plan to run content on a broad spectrum of topics – nothing is considered ‘too niche’.

PostDesk is a platform with serendipity at its core and we plan to become the go-to platform for online editorial. It’s what each member of our community, and what each writer makes of it – it’s designed to be a platform for long form, independent editorial content.

Whilst we aim to maintain some editorial oversight to ensure that bar of quality remains high, we will never interfere with the views expressed or editorial angle of the piece.

2) You’ll garner a wide audience and easy exposure

We intend to create a platform, which can scale across many niche areas in terms of what is covered, just like a traditional newspaper does. Currently there is no single place you can go to get reliable and high quality feedback on what you write.

3) We’re a place to get high quality, in-depth feedback on your work

PostDesk will become the place to get peer review, comment and discussion on what you write. You’ll be able to easily place your work in front of an intelligent and well informed audience, made up of a strong community who can discuss, debate and contribute in a meaningful way to the issues you raise and the points you make. Our platform will make threaded conversation around your work seamless and easy for everyone.

We’re harnessing an audience, which will actively engage in a discourse with the authors – and fellow commenters in an environment free of spam and meaningless comment.

Who should write for PostDesk?

Absolutely anyone with views, opinions and ideas to share should write for PostDesk. These people could range from experts and specialists in their field, scientists, lawyers, politicians, directors, researchers, academics, and students right through to hobbyists, or anyone who considers themselves a creator, doer and thinker, or trendsetter.

We believe that most people have opinions, and that many can articulate them in to writing with ease – people just don’t have a platform where they can share them.

If you’re a blogger (or if you’re thinking about blogging), running a personal blog can be time consuming, in the sense that marketing the pieces you write, spreading the world and seeking out an audience can take time, and money. We aim to provide an open and independent platform for those bloggers or writers who want to write and share their opinions – without the hindrance of the technical or marketing side. We handle all of that – so all the blogger needs to do, is write, and post.

We also aim to work with bloggers to provide them with an income, at least the same as what they’re currently making from their blog if they move over to PostDesk entirely.

If you’re a journalist,  writer, thinker, academic, researcher or anyone with an opinion – PostDesk will mean that you can get an independent, unbiased platform for your work – which, as described above, gives you the opportunity to place your work in front of an intelligent and well informed audience, made up of a strong community who can discuss, debate and contribute in a meaningful way to the issues you raise and the points you make.

We have no issue promoting any other editorial site, or having out authors promote their products or services as long as it is done with integrity, in an open and transparent way.

If you’re an author, or researcher you might want to promote your upcoming book, or report respectively on PostDesk.

If you regularly comment on news sites – you can now put your comments to use on our platform. Our platform will provide a useful place to showcase and build up your commenting, enabling you to build a reputation on the back of your comments, and relate back to them easily. You’ll be able to view your most popular, controversial and best comments in one place.

PostDesk Community Site

What kind of content are we looking for?

  • Opinion Pieces
  • Analytical and critical pieces
  • Feature or documentary pieces
  • Reviews and write-ups
  • In-depth Interviews
  • Different takes on existing news stories
  • Reports or essays
  • Travel diaries, which offer different or unconventional angles, and an insight in to somewhere new
  • Extracts or serialisations from books
  • High quality audio content, photography and video

We believe that passion and personality should go in to the pieces that we publish, and of course, the piece should aim to provoke some kind of discussion, raising questions and debates.

We also run long-form content, so generally pieces should be over 500 words. Arguments should always be well backed up and referenced where possible.

What topics do we cover?

Although on our pre-launch blog and from the outset we’re looking at some areas of technology, gaming, politics and culture – the answer to this question, is in due course, everything will be covered on PostDesk.

No idea is too small, and nothing is too ‘niched’. Every niche area has a strong audience and community behind it, and over time PostDesk will become a collection of strong communities. We’re even trialling local and hyper-local content in some areas of the UK.

At launch, our primary categories will be:

  • Technology (Culture, industry, startups, social media, consumer tech, mobile, web design, web development)
  • Gaming (Culture, industry, development, PC, eSports, hardware)
  • Politics (UK, Europe, Devolution, Enterprise, Youth)
  • Culture (Documentary, Travel, Food, Journalism, Environment)
  • Arts (Photography, Design, Film)
  • Local (North of England, Cumbria)
  • Live coverage
  • Special features

Why we plan to cover so much - serendipity

We truly believe that many people are interested in broadening their horizons. PostDesk is very much about serendipity and curiosity and not serving the same contrived, manufactured content you see across almost every mainstream publication. There is something good about serendipity – stumbling across something you didn’t know you’d be interested in. We believe we can bring your niche interests to a mainstream and broad audience – or at least a much larger audience, if you post it to PostDesk.

Are contributors paid?

We don’t plan to pay all of our contributors at the moment, purely because we’re a bootstrapping start-up. There is, however potential for earning money down the line. We are proposing open and transparent revenue sharing with our authors where we do receive sponsorship for a specific section, sub-section or article – although we hope that the proposition we are making, the chance to be a part of this platform from the outset, to build up rapport on our platform (after launch) and to receive a high level of exposure – with promotion and marketing of your pieces in our hands, is compelling enough. We are also open to our authors promoting their work, their products, services, websites, blog – or anything they else they’d like. Our founding editorial team (which will become our in-house sub-editors and staff writers) will however become paid contributors.

PostDesk is what you make of it…

This creates an unlimited number of potential for our platform – for instance, it will enable some of our authors to build up strong and powerful investigative pieces – using the notions of crowd-sourcing and community collaboration. It will also mean we can offer comprehensive and intelligent, in-depth coverage of live events and breaking news, offering different angles and early speculation. We also have the potential to become a real power to convene – to build strong community-written pieces in the name of activism or lobbying.  PostDesk has the potential to become a very powerful and significant platform which caries real weight and credibility.

If you’d like a piece to appear in the launch edition – now is the time to get in touch. You can email me – [email protected] if you’re interested, or if you have any questions, comments or feedback.

We plan to launch to our early-access invitees in 4-6 weeks time, and everyone else shortly afterwards once the platform is ready.

Do leave your views on PostDesk, and the ideas behind it in the comments section below too – I’ve said this before, and I will say it again – yours views and feedback even at this stage are invaluable.

Thank you for your continued support. I’m really looking forward to welcoming everyone on board.

Sam England

Founder and Project Manager