Everyone has their own style bible, be it the Chicago Manual of Style or Strunk & Whites. You can chose to use the Oxford Comma or not, however if someone else used it and you’re updating a page, please leave it alone. Even if it kills you. Our Style Guide is not an attempt to force you to write a specific way (unless ‘good’ is considered that), but a series of guidelines to encourage consistency.
Above all, be positive and uplift. Don’t bash or attack. We’re trying to help representation, and we can do that without being jerks.
Quality Content Matters
Good content is important, but sadly so is SEO. Without hits, people don’t read content. It’s our ‘advertising’ to get search engines to pick us up and make us findable. There’s a reason we get an uptick in traffic whenever Ali Liebert is mentioned, and it’s because that post is well written and takes SEO into consideration.
Make use of Yoast SEO Analysis (at the bottom of the page). That is the fastest way to get your head around what’s ‘good’ content for SEO. Remember that these are guidelines, and it’s okay to break them if you feel it’s important.
- Titles: A good title should be attention grabbing, but not Buzzfeedy. Try to avoid “You won’t believe these characters are queer!”
- Custom Excerpts: They are strongly encouraged. These should be tweet length, and two or three good sentances about the content.
- Featured Images: These are practically required. They make us sad without them.
- Spoiler Warnings: Always flag spoilers! (There’s a “Spoiler” block for this)
- Section Breaks: Use headers to make multiple sections on blog posts. Yoast SEO can help with this.
Tags and Categories
Categories are for large, widespread groups such as “News” or “Exclusives.” Limit usage to 2 per post whenever possible.
Tags are free form and for the minutia, like a show name, an actor name, and so on. Think of them as the hashtag. You’re trying to bring awareness to the topic.
- Tags should use capital letters (i.e. ‘Jane the Virgin’ and not ‘jane the virgin’)
- If a tag is missing, feel free to add it
- Be careful about spelling and the name of actors (we use Kat Barrell and not Katherine, for example)
Cross Linking is when you mention a show/character/actor on another page and link back to it. This is important, as it helps our site become a Wiki-hole of obsession. We’ve automated a great deal of links (shows link back to related blog posts and so on), but there are still some links you’ll need to do yourself.
The commonly accepted rule is that you should only link to TV Shows, actors, and characters the first time they appear.
You should always link on blog posts. On show pages, never link to characters (or their actors) who are listed on the page, even if you’re talking about them. We get it, Sara Lance is on a lot of shows. She doesn’t need the help. If, however, you’re mentioning that Law & Order is in the same universe as The X Files, then you can link to each show from the other page.
And yes, they are.
TV Shows should be italicized. Example: “Watch CSI on CBS!”
When making a list of episodes use the following format:
- Season # Episode # “Episode Title” – Episode description.
Identity and Sexuality
Whatever people say they are (or whatever a character says they are), Believe it and use it. If someone says they’re Non-Binary Trans-Male, then set the gender to that. If it doesn’t exist, we can add it. It’s not difficult, and it’s important to respect people’s identity.
This also means that if they are not out, no matter how sure you are that they’re queer, you shut up and don’t set it. Yes, we default to heterosexual for actors (and homosexual for characters). It’s not perfect. The problem we faced was marking people as ‘undefined’ can be as dangerous as accidentally outing. The sole exception to this is web-series. If an actor is on a web-series and you can’t tell their sexuality, use ‘Unknown.’ Everyone else, especially mainstream actors, should default to straight.
WHEN IN DOUBT, DO NOT OUT
- Actors: Cisgender Female, heterosexual
- Characters: Cisgender, homosexual
- Actors who are in web-series: Cisgender, Unknown
- Characters who have romantic relationships with other species (human/Klingon, etc): Pansexual
Spelling and Romanization
We write in American (or Canadian) English for the most part. This can cause a problem when adding foreign content, as even languages that use the Latin alphabet can include characters with diacritics, ligatures and others that are not commonly used in present-day English.
So. Funzies. Use the characters they use. Zoë, Ægir, Erdös and so on. Use copy/paste if you don’t know how to add those manually. They’re safe to use in titles and tags, as WordPress will auto-correct for you in the URLs.
Also remember to use the name order that the actor or character does. If they’re Asian and use the Patronym (last name) as the ‘first’ name, then do LASTNAME FIRSTNAME. Romanization may happen with some characters, but WordPress should be fine.
If you get an image from an official source, please use the “Attribution” field or include the content “Photo Credit NBC/Universal” in the Alt Text (Alternative Text) box.
Please optimize/resize before uploading. All pages have a comment in the featured image box to tell you what the recommended size can be. You can go larger, but try not to go too big. Remember, bigger images take longer to download and slow the site.