200 Days Later

In March, we launched Project Chiron as resource site for our colleagues. We believe complacency is an enemy of development so we wanted to encourage our writers and editors to continuously challenge themselves, learn from each other and practice their skills.

Also, acknowledging the fact that most of us in the team are active in social media and that social media is a new avenue for sharing content, we put up Project Chiron online, out of our local servers, and established outposts in Facebook and Twitter to make it convenient for our colleagues to find and share to others what we post.

100 days later. Image credit: Nicole Suizo.

Weeks later, we began efforts to bring us a step closer to the accomplishment of our goals:

  • We began publishing an aggregation and curation project through Paper.li.
  • We posted weekly writing prompts on our Facebook page to help our writers find something to write about and practice their skills.

The first 100 days was fun but was not entirely smooth-sailing. There were times when, due to our other duties, we weren’t able to curate for the Chiron Collective or think of a writing prompt challenging enough to share. We had several discussions to level on our editorial approach and at one point we questioned each other’s judgments.

But we never got exhausted. The feeling of appreciation we get from every retweeted Collective edition or every liked or shared Facebook post somehow affirmed that Project Chiron is worth pursuing and that we offer value to other people, whether students or professionals, who like us are also always hungry for knowledge.

Our sixth writing prompt was released on the week we celebrated our first 100 days online.

 

With the promise of a new, better Project Chiron, here we are, 200 days later, with clearer goals and more offers:

 

Collaborative Challenges

Although it was clear to us that Project Chiron would be about learning and enhancing our skills as editorial professionals, we also wanted it to be an enjoyable experience and to encourage collaboration and knowledge exchange. In the coming weeks, we will resume our weekly writing prompts and will start a new collaborative writing activity.

Writing Prompts

In line with Project Chiron’s goals to share insights and develop skills, we are releasing writing prompts weekly to help writers practice their writing and provide a venue for them to share their work. Writing is a skill and skills are honed through practice. As American journalist and author Richard Rhodes puts it, “If you’re afraid you can’t write, the answer is to write.” We consider writing prompts as tools to stimulate writers and keep their ideas flowing.

There are a lot of other sites offering helpful writing prompts. What makes our prompts different?

We aim for variety. The output types required for our prompts are such to cater to as many writers as possible. Most writing prompts we find on the Web are meant for creative writers. Our writing prompts are meant for everyone, not just fiction writers, poets or novelists. We also want to be helpful to bloggers, journalists and those who are aspiring to be published.

We like to experiment. There are different types of prompts available from various sources: visual prompts, images, word prompts and phrases. As much as we acknowledge that there are different types of writers, we also recognize that not all people are stimulated to write by the same type of prompt. We come up with a theme and mix as many elements (word, phrase, image, etc.) as we can to come up with the prompt. Of course, we try not to overdo it.

We want to innovate. Writing is a skill, yes, but it is also a process. We conceptualize and design our writing prompts not only so writers can write, but also so they can go through the whole exercise without the pressure of deadlines or the fear of being disliked by an audience. We try to feature different writing tasks and different parts of the process, from making an outline to writing a summary and creating a title.

Check out what we’ve released so far and let us know what you think. We’d be glad to hear your thoughts on how we can improve our prompts given our goals above as well as suggestions for future writing prompts. Also, if any of our prompts has inspired to complete a piece, we’d be thrilled to read and publish it. Send us your work through our submissions page. You may just make it to the first edition of our e-book.

Story Relays

We all love stories — from the classic bedtime fairy tale to juicy/scary ones told in front of a camp fire. And we’re bringing this love for stories here on Project Chiron. Only this time, we’d like you to help us move the plot along and finish the story.

Story Relays are collaborative story writing exercises that we do on Facebook. Every month, we will be opening a story writing exercise — a game of adding to the story or, yes, a story relay. We will write the first three lines, as a status post then you can add to the story through comments until the story reaches a logical conclusion. One of our editors will lead as master of the game and will moderate the contributions.

We don’t require the sentences to be simple, it can be as compound or complex as you want them to be as long as your contribution carries your idea effectively. The master will alert contributors in case the story needs to be wrapped up or in case the period for sending contributions is about to close. After the story is finished, the master of the game will compile all contributions into one narrative, edit the piece, and then post it as a complete single story on the Project Chiron blog and Facebook page. As soon as the story is published, contributors will be acknowledged with a link to your blog or Web site.

Content Curation

Aside from collaboration, we also want to maintain curation as part of our thrusts. Although there are many available tools for content aggregation, content curation remains a process that involves editorial judgment and journalistic skills. In addition to our daily Collective, we’ve also started releasing a weekly roundup and we’ll soon open a Staff Picks section to give you an idea of what tickles our interest and inspires us to always be on top of our game.

Weekly Roundup

We at Project Chiron aim to encourage the use of social media for knowledge exchange and skills development. We’re not necessarily about current events; we are about relevance, credibility and innovation. With millions of content spread and shared through social media networks every day, we want to help you see what’s important so you won’t have to sweep through all your news feeds and tweets.

Three times a week, we will update our news feeds and timelines with useful and timely content that we think are relevant to our audience. Every Friday, we’ll post a roundup of our favorite posts from the past week so you can still catch up on discussions and be updated on issues and trends.

Staff Picks

Our team is a diverse group of young writers and editors, and to take advantage of that diversity, we’re opening new sections that would feature personal picks from our staff members. One of these sections will feature lists on various topics that we think are worth sharing, from our list of editing resources to help you fill your reference shelf to a list of buzzwords that are spreading through our social networks.

Also, although we post tips and advice that we find useful for writers and editors, sometimes illustrating how a tip or advice is put into practice does the trick. From time to time, we’ll post a piece on our Recommended Readings section, either something we got from our contributors or something we stumbled upon from the Web, and discuss what makes it effective from a reader’s perspective.

 

200 days later. Photo credit: Nicole Suizo.

This is only the beginning; we also have a refresher series lined up to serve as a quick reference for grammar and usage issues.

To our followers and silent readers, we appreciate your support and we hope to give you content that will be useful to your writing and editing assignment, whether as a newly hired team member in a firm, as a freelancer writing or editing in your time or as blogger on a specialty site. Let us know why you subscribed to Project Chiron and how we can be more of help to you.

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