Keyboard Builders' Digest
Keyboards and accessories from Apos.

KBD.NEWS MK Advent Calendar — guidelines for authors

Mixed format: Advent calendar, yearbook. To be published in December, 2023.


The KBD.NEWS Advent Calendar is a series of longer format articles revealed one by one on kbd.news in December.

Years: 2023, 2022.

Key info

  • Deadline: End of November.
  • Character count: no hard cap (maybe 10-15K chars)

I will reach out to some renowned members of the keyboard community (the maker, creative, not-so-consumer side of the hobby), but feel free to contact me if you have an idea for an article and would like to contribute. We don't have to stick to 24 entries, don't have to stop on Dec 24 or can publish more than one article a day.

(Yes, these advent calendars have been a tradition in the Japanese DIY keyboard community for years. I'm about to shamelessly copy the format because it's awesome -- and take it a step further! :D)

Contents

What to write about?

I may discuss this with you one by one, but there are some well-established genres, typical article structures in these calendars:

  • A - Wrapping up ones whole year — kind of a journal, covering many projects, but less detailed.
  • B - Introducing a specific project (in detail) — It can be a hardware or software project, experiences with manufacturing, bringing a product to the market, etc.
  • C - Guide, tutorial — Covering a specific topic, e.g. using a specific software, component, ergonomics, etc.
  • MIX - And some write-ups blur the lines between these categories.

Do you want to write multiple articles? Even better. :D

And if it makes sense, we can make this in Q&A or interview format if that's what you prefer.

Timetable and deadlines

The deadline to submit your article is: end of November, 2023.

Length, character count

There's no restriction for the length of the calendar posts, write as much as you like. However, keep in mind that people will actually have to read your masterpiece. ;)

Checklist

  1. Title - Max 50 chars, sweet spot: 33. E.g. "Summing up one year of kbd.news"
  2. Lead - A short (sweet spot: 130-160 chars) one-sentence intro for the front page, appearing at the top of the article as well. E.g. "Tamas Dovenyi, the guy running kbd.news, sums up this year's events touching on a wide range of topics from new features and major milestones to visitor stats."
  3. Cover image (front page and top of article). 1200px width is enough. 8:6, 16:9 aspect ratio, or anything in between.
  4. Intro - Make sure you introduce yourself at the beginning of the article. For those who are new to the hobby or live under a rock. ;)
  5. Your keyboard's specs: Close the article with the short specs of the setup it was written on. E.g.: I typed this article on my Azimuth, a self-designed unibody split, with Momoka Frog switches, MT3 Susuwatari keycaps, and the hallmark six encoders I never touch. :D And a custom logical layout. The low-pro thumb keys are vanilla Choc Browns with CFX caps. Links are OK, as well as a photo if you'd like.
  6. Author data sheet (public):

    Feel free to skip any fields or the whole thing altogether. Appears at the end of your article or as box copy/panel in the pdf version. Example:

    Name (age)Tamas Dovenyi (45)
    Handledovenyi
    LocationDebrecen, Hungary
    DescriptionDIY keyboard content aggregator
    Occupationresearcher, developer
    Joined (the hobby)2018
    Nichemonoblock splits, vintage collector, kbd.news
    Favorite switch(es)Momoka Frogs, Kailh This-Is-Plastic
    Favorite keycap profile(s)MT3, MDA
    Other hobbiesguitars, drums, speedcubing, Japanese
    Links (blog, social media)https://kbd.news
    https://twitter.com/KbdNews

    And feel free to include other categories like favorite movie/book/snack/drink/food, etc.

Formatting tips

  • Last time, most authors preferred Google Docs. I don't really care, plain text is perfect too.
  • Feel free to use markdown for links and basic formatting (optional).
  • Don't use nested lists please, they look ugly.
  • Use photos, illustrations, subheadings, quotes, etc. to break the wall of text.
  • Most readers are non-native speakers. You don't have to give up on your style or oversimplify things, but e.g. shorter paragraphs help a lot.

Nice-to-have elements

References:

References to other projects/community members, possibly to other authors of this special issue (see above).

Preface — I'll take care of this:

This post is part of the [KBD.NEWS Advent Calendar 2023]. The previous post was John Doe's [Designing the KB-123], and the next one is Jane Doe's [The making of KB-456].

Hosting

I prefer to host your articles on kbd.news. (I have no idea how I could do all the integration if you'd insist on hosting these write-ups on your own blog or various other platforms.)

In addition, I'd be happy to take care of all the formatting, timing, crosslinking, etc.

Contact

If you'd like to participate, just get back to me with your topic idea and maybe title (can be changed later).

I'm Tamas Dovenyi, my email is info at golem dot hu, or dovenyi#4481 (Discord), u/dovenyi (Reddit, Keebtalk, GH, Deskthority, etc.), @KbdNews on Twitter.

Examples

Finally, check out last year's calendar for examples, as well as previous Japanese calendars (1 & 2). Here are some posts grouped by the genres mentioned above.

Chrome/Google Translate works surprisingly well sometimes (and not at all in some other cases):

A - Wrap-ups, Journals

B - Projects

C - Tutorials, guides

X - MIX

Which genre do you prefer?

If you have a general topic or tutorial in mind, get back to me so I can reserve that topic for you.

Cheers,
Tamás

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