Questions? We've got answers

by Jeanette.Scott

We’re aware that, from time to time, users experience problems on the site or have questions that they can’t immediately find answers to. So we thought we’d give you a brief summary of some of the most common issues you tell us about, plus help on getting them sorted.

Writing

“I’m a first-time writer, where can I find help?”

One of the first places you should look is the newly-revised dos and don’ts of writing for Simonseeks. This offers help and advice originating from some of the best bits - and most common mistakes – made by guide writers.

“Why has my guide not been approved?”

Have you checked the history tab on your guide? This is where you’ll find direct, private feedback from an editor about why the current draft of your guide has not been approved for publication on the site. Sometimes an editor will simply refer to the writing dos and don’ts. This is because two or more of the topics covered in these tips have not been attended to.

By the way, the majority of guides that are initially rejected are subsequently published after the writer has addressed this feedback.

“What can I do to improve my guide?”

The dos and don’ts (see above) are a great place to find suggestions to enhance your guide-writing skills.

“I added a new hotel recommendation recently – the form has changed. Why?”

Indeed it has changed. If your choice of hotel is not already in the drop-down list, you’ll find a new form when you add it manually, which will allow you to add photographs among other new features. Find out more here.

“Why can’t I find the hotel I’m looking for in the hotel recommendation tool?”

It could be that it doesn’t exist in our database yet, in which case you should check out the advice on adding a hotel using the new hotel recommendation form above.

You should also try a couple of variations of the name of your hotel. For example, users looking for London’s Connaught hotel might have been tempted to search for “The Connaught” or “Hotel Connaught”, but the hotel will only be found by typing Connaught. This is an area where Simonseeks is looking to improve functionality. We’ll keep you posted.

“I was writing my guide but then when I clicked save it said access denied. What happened?”

For security reasons, Simonseeks will log out users who appear to have been inactive for more than 45 minutes. When you’re writing a draft guide, save your changes periodically. You should always have a back-up copy in a programme such as Word. Some writers prefer to do the majority of work in a word document and then paste it into the ‘Create a guide’ page. This approach is perfectly acceptable but beware – all formatting, such as bold type and different font sizes, from external programmes will be stripped out when you paste it into Simonseeks.

“I saved my draft guide, and I’m logged in, but my guide has disappeared”

Have you looked in ‘My Workspace’ in ‘My Simonseeks’? Only published guides will appear under the ‘Guides’ tab.

Photographs

“I got an error message when I tried to upload a photograph. Help!”

Does the error message look like this: “An HTTP error 0 occurred. /node_images/js”?

There are limitations on the size and type of photographs that can be uploaded. It is likely your photograph is too big. It must be less than 500kb (0.5mb) in file size and no larger than 1024x768 pixels. Photographs can be resized using editing software such as Microsoft Office Picture Manager and Photoshop, or free downloads such as Google’s Picasa.

“Can I upload photographs that I haven’t taken?”

Yes you can. But you must have permission to use the image, and credit the photographer when requested. This credit can be given as part of the caption.

Editorial policy

“Why do comments between editors and writers appear on the site?”

This is about making the editorial process transparent and encouraging comment from the community. Nick Trend explains further here.

“I’ve updated my guide, as the editor suggested. How do I know the editor has seen this and will my guide ranking change?”

First of all, thank you for making the changes. Rest assured the editors are notified via the watching system that an update has been made. In the majority of cases a ranking is not then revised by an editor – we simply do not have the resources to do this with more than 700 writers constantly updating more than 2,000 guides. On occasion, an editor will update a rating on request if significant changes have been made. The team of dedicated and loyal users of the site will rate your guide accordingly.

“How can I keep an eye on guides or blog posts?”

Rick explains all here.

“I know I can’t use content previously published on the web, but surely I can use my own blog?”

Sorry, no. Any content previously published on the Internet will be picked up by the duplication check. Your guide will then be returned to you as ‘Not approved: existing web publication’. You may re-write your own work, but it must be significantly different from the previously published content.

General

“I’ve forgotten my password”

Oops! Never mind, you can reset your password by going to sign in, at the top right of the site, entering your email address and clicking ‘forgotten password?’ A new password will be sent to you via email.

Profile

“Can I use a nickname?”

We prefer all writers to put their first and last name in the name field under the ‘Profile’ tab of ‘My Simonseeks’.

“How do I upload a profile picture?”

Under ‘My Simonseeks’, click ‘Edit’ and add your photograph here.

Payments

“How can I see how much I’ve earned? And can you explain how payments are calculated?”

To check your earnings, you must be logged in. Visit ‘My Simonseeks’ and click on the ‘My earnings’ tab. Read Simon Nixon’s blog post about all things earnings-related here.