Ezvid Wikimaker Style Guide

Review This Style Guide In Wiki Format

There is a lot of information to absorb here. A good way to get started is to review this style guide in Wiki format here: Ezvid Wikimaker Style Guide Part One.

Add A Unique Title

Click the title at the top of your Wiki to rename it.

Use Spell Checking

As you work, Chrome should identify spelling errors.

If you do not see spelling errors underlined in red, right click in the text box to be sure spell checking is turned on.

Review A Few Published Wikis

Review a few published wikis to get a feel for our standards of quality.

Be Sure About Your Facts

Unlike many user-generated websites, Ezvid Wiki does not accept factually incorrect submissions. If our system identifies factual inaccuracies in your submission, it may not be published.

Do Not Plagiarize

Copy/pasting from sources not in the creative commons is banned. If our system detects plagiarism, your Wiki may be automatically removed. Do note that facts can not be owned or copyrighted, so if your submission shares facts with existing content on the Internet, this is not necessarily a problem.

Explore Your Subject In-Depth

Your wiki should be well researched and typically between 750 to 900 words in length. If your subject matter really cannot support this many words, you may make a shorter Wiki, but never fewer than 500 words. Note that your word count will be displayed at the bottom of the screen while you work. You can go up to 1000 words, and typically Wikimaker should not allow you to exceed this by very much.

Write In Simple Terms

Our intended audience has a high-school education, and no previous technical knowledge. Our audience is not computer-savvy or internet-savvy. We need to communicate in short, clear sentences, and whenever we are discussing a technical issue, or something on the Internet, we need to move very slowly and provide step-by-step instructions and images.

Write With A Serious Tone

The tone of your writing should be similar to an outlet for serious journalism, such as The Washington Post, or an encyclopedia, such as Encyclopedia Britannica or Wikipedia. Generally you should rarely, if ever, use exclamation points.

Do Not Reference The Current Date

We are writing reference material, not journalism. These Wikis must still be relevant and useful 5 years from now. Never write about the current month, year, or season, or use any references that could easily go out of date. Similarly, never use vauge references to the current period, such as the word "nowadays" or "these days."

Avoid The Passive Voice

This is a nuanced rule, because there are many instances in which the passive voice might be appropriate. Read up on it here.

Don't Use Full URLs

You may reference websites, but when you do so, shorten the URL to remove elements like http:. For example, if you are discussing Apple Computer's website, instead of https://apple.com, use apple.com.

Don't Use Exact Prices

When discussing products or services, don't use exact prices like $19.95 or $159. These are likely to go out-of-date quickly, and become inaccurate. Instead, use general amounts like about $20 or around $150.

Avoid Dashes

When possible, avoid the use of dashes like - or --. Our voice synthesizer often has trouble working out how they should be vocalized. Generally compound words like pain-free might work out fine, but writing 5-10 people will not work well, because our voice synthesizer can't figure out how to vocalize the dash. Instead, write 5 to 10.

Don't Randomly Capitalize Words

Learn standard English's rules for capitalization.

Learn When To Use An Apostrophe

For example, it is critical that you understand the difference betweeen it's and its . Please study this guide.

Don't Write Marketing Copy

An example of unacceptable prose is: The greatest advantage of using Facetime is that it is absolutely free of charge. You heard right, there is no fee. Your tone must be neutral, balanced, and well-considered.

Don't Use Repetitive Language

Repetitive language is a hallmark of bad writing, and especially problematic when vocalized into speech. You need to use your judgement, because repeated words aren't always a problem... but here is a particularly bad example:

Don't Directly Refer To Images

The text of your wiki needs to be able to stand alone, without the accompanying video. Therefore, never use vague or time-specific references to on-screen images, for example next, you will see this screen. Instead, always be specific, for example next, you will see a screen that confirms your purchase.

Use Acronyms With Caution

Our voice synthesizer is good, but not perfect. For example, with acronyms like FWIW and IMHO and ASPCA, it can get confused. Sometimes it might try to pronounce these as words, instead of one letter a time. Listen back to your Wiki, and if you notice this problem, try inserting periods between each letter of an acronym, like I.M.H.O. and A.S.P.C.A. Note -- please only insert periods where absolutely necessary -- always listen back to your work, determine if period insertion is necessary, and only then insert.

Don't Upload Low Quality Images Or Images With Text

Images that you upload to Wikimaker must be directly relevant to your subject matter, add value to your prose, and not contain English text. Don't upload obvious clip art, images with words in them, or anything low quality. All the images circled in red here are low quality and not useful, except the one with the text user. That is acceptable, because it really is showing a youtube user, and that's what this wiki is about:

Assume Your Viewer Is A Slow Reader

There are some exceptions to the rule against text in images, including news clippings, website screenshots, and elsewhere where it can be useful to show evidence or prove a point. If an image you upload requires reading, for example, of a headline, assume that the viewer of your video is a slow reader and will require a few seconds to read and register text onscreen. Give them the time to read the text and don't rush to the next image.

Use Landscape Photos, Not Portrait

Landscape images are defined as image that are significantly longer than they are high. And this is what 16:9 looks like.

Images uploaded to Wikimaker should ideally be:

You may upload images of other aspect ratios, they will be rendered into video with "black borders" around them, like this:

This isn't ideal, however, for many historical photos and other types of media, where better images options might not be available, it will better to use the portrait-formatted image instead of not using it at all. Don't attempt to use external editing software to "squash" the images into landscape format.

We do recommend that you use Wikimaker Capture to gather the majority of your uploaded image sources, as then, as long as you frame the image correctly with the software, you won't ever have to worry about issues with aspect ratio.

Remove Personal Information

To make how-to guides, sometimes you will need to be logged in to web services. In cases where there is any identifying information onscreen, in the case of screen recording, make sure the identifying details are out of the recorded video area, and in the case of screen capture, use the same strategy and additionally use the eraser tool, when necessary.

Remove A.I. Images That Are Very Irrelevant

As you work with Wikimaker, our artificially intelligent system will automatically assign images to your text. You should remove those which might be confusing for the watcher of the video. This requires thinking and judgment. Here is a good example:

You can see here that an image of colored pencils has been assigned to the word "Color". In this case, we are using the word "color" in reference to a specific feature of our main topic, which is How To Do An Advanced Image Search.

In this case, we should remove or replace the automatically matched image, and an excellent replacement might be to use Wikimaker Capture to make a screen recording showing the the actual color tool on the website. That would be very easy to understand, and useful.

This does require judgement, because for example, in the same above screenshot, we can see that the word "high quality" has been matched with a picture of high quality diamonds or gems. In my opinion, this is relevant enough, as the viewer will be able to make the connection in his/her mind between the concept of "high quality images" and "high quality gems".

Remove A.I. Images Which Refer To Your Main Subject And Are Imperfectly Relevant

Here the topic of our Wiki is Google Images. Here you can see that our system has matched a "Google" logo with the word "Google".

But our subject is "Google Images", not the company Google. This image should be removed and replaced with a screenshot of the Google Images homepage, or a screen recording thereof. Something that really shows the topic.

Take Opportunities To Show Websites, Instead Of Images

Here the writer is discussing an actual thing -- a website called RARBG. You can even see that he has included some screen capture of it, it's clip #2.

He left a bunch of automatic images in place -- "2008", "high quality", "active". Are these terrible? No. But I bet that this writer could have done a 30 second screen recording of his mouse roaming around on the RARBG website, and it would be a lot more interesting and informative than these automatic images.

Uploaded & Captured Images Must Be Highly Relevant

A strict set of standards applies to any capture or upload that you make to Wikimaker. These must always be highly relevant to the subject matter. Here you can see that the user has uploaded a picture of a coffee filter to reference the words "filter your result."

This is not acceptable. The user should have uploaded a screenshot or screen recording, showing the actual Google Images interface where the filtering happens.

Relevancy Rules Are Relaxed For Highly Abstract Wikis

If your Wiki is about a concept or idea, and not a person, place or thing, the above rules about image relevancy are relaxed. For example, for this wiki, even very vague images, that successfully convey an emotion or idea, are acceptable.

In How-To Wikis, Show Steps Explicitly

Here is an example of a failure to be explicit enough:

These words I have underlined in red refer to specific things in an interface. There should be 3 to 4 separate screenshots here, clearly showing the "Size drop-drop", showing the user "selecting Large", showing the "Color tool" and showing the clicking of the "transparent" icon.

Show Things, Especially Interfaces, Large In Frame

This writer is teaching us about Twitter search, but hasn't zoomed or enlarged text in his browser, so it's really hard to see what he is doing:

This writer should have zoomed his browser (Cntrl + or Cntrl -) or zoomed the text with these Ezvid Wikimaker For Chrome commands Alt = and Alt -.

Take Responsibility For Making An Entertaining & Useful Video

The word pay here is assigned to a not-so-interesting image of a money and scissors. That's not terrible, but notice that the next image that appears isn't until the word contact. This makes for a *boring* video… nobody wants to look at a still image for 5 seconds. It is your responsibility to make the videos entertaining and useful: Take that seriously. In this case, the writer should have added some interesting video, images, or screen capture after the word pay, to make this more interesting.

Use Common English Characters Only

The word Niccolò here will get corrupted in our Voice Synthesis Engine. Only use characters that commonly occur in English words. In this case, you should use: Niccolo.

Drag And Drop Images To Fine-Tune

When you are adding images, you can drag and drop existing images to move them around.

Assign The Same Screen Recording To Multiple Words

When you are telling a story with screen recording, often you will want your actions in the recording to tightly match the words that Wikimaker speaks. A great and very time-efficient strategy for this is to make just one screen recording but add it to multiple words, each time choosing a different starting frame that corresponds to the word. In below screenshot, I have made just one screen recording, and assigned it three times, once to english, once to susan, and once to philadelphia, each time choosing a different start frame.

Watch how tightly synchronized the product is of this.. and the whole process took me just a couple minutes. There is an illusion that I timed my recording exactly to match the words, but actually my recording was much slower than the speech and I paused several times during it.... I made the screen recording match the words exactly by assigning the screen recording multiple times to multiple words.

Use The Numbers Feature For Rankings

When mentioning each item in a list, you will want to use a number. For example, you might have text like Coming in at #6, the Schuler Twin Turbo mower is one of the more interesting entries on the marketplace. You can make the animation for the number appear by using this exact format: #6 .... that is, the # symbol immediately followed by the number. When you use that exact format, you'll see our cool custom graphics for the number. It needs to be exact. This is a bit like computer programming. If you use # 1 (with an extra space) or number 1, it won't work. Also note that these numbers will only appear once per Wiki. So if you use #1 twice in a Wiki, the image will only show up for the first one. This might also be a hint to make your writing less repetitive, but use your judgement.

Move Your Images Around To Get Perfect Timing

As you're working, you'll likely want to nudge the positioning of your images. To do this, get to the "choose starting word" screen by adding any image, either from the image search box or from your upload panel -- it doesn't matter which. From there you can drag and drop any existing image onto any existing word. You'll see the target word highlight in yellow when you drag an image over it. Then click the "X" button to close the screen without adding a new image.