Editor's Update

by FlyingMonkey | March 15, 2015 | (13) Posted in News

Hello everyone!

This should be a short article.  Much like the way Chad used to have the "Director's Updates" I thought it might be good for me to occasionally talk to the readers and authors to keep you up to date, recognize some noteworthy authors and articles, as well as make some requests of the community.


Excellent work!

First of all, congratulations!  I have seen a dramatic improvement in the article submissions.  Overall I have had a very positive response from the authors when I have requested they edit their work so that they meet the guidelines established for articles.  In addition to that I have noticed that I've had fewer submissions that didn't meet guidelines.  The reasons for not publishing are starting to be more for editorial corrections, or subtle alterations to improve already good content.

You might ask, "Where would I find these guidelines?"  I would answer, HERE!  


Bumpy Road.

It hasn't been a perfectly smooth transition and I appreciate your patience.  I am still learning all of the features of the Articles section, both the parts the readers and authors have access to, as well as the tools I need to use as moderator/editor.  I need to apologize to the people whose articles I deleted.  While clearing the backlog of articles, the ones that did not get published sat stacked up in the cue of other articles waiting to be reviewed.  It was difficult to filter through the new from the old.  I made notations on most of them, and if I didn't hear back from the authors, I deleted them.  It turns out there's a tool to allow me to post them back to your "drafts" folder.  I went through the deleted articles and sent the ones that only needed editing, back to you.

Recently I received some heated words from a community member that was angry with some of the changes.  Several of you had been granted automatic approval for your articles.  This meant that there was no review process.  You wrote, and you self published.  Many articles that did not meet the site's guidelines to slide through.  When this was removed, a few people were unhappy.  Again, I'd like to thank those of you who are working with me on this.  My goal is twofold.  I want to maintain the high quality of material that Flite Test has worked hard to deliver to the audience.  I also want to make having your article published something to be proud of.  The readers deserve it, and you deserve it.  When you finally present your article to the readers, they are getting a representation of the very best work you have to offer.


A request to the community.

Another point that was made is the number of similar topics being published at the same time.  It was suggested that Flite Test might be publishing only multirotor articles at the exclusion of all other subjects.  This is not the case.  The Flite Test crew is as diverse as the rest of us in their tastes in aircraft.  Josh Bixler is a fan of large balsa aircraft.  Eric does have a leaning towards multirotors.  Peter has a long history of experimenting with fixed wing tilt rotor designs.  Alex was brought on board after the crew destroyed his Ultra Micro electric foam plane.  Austin, according to his wife, doesn't like anything yet.  (Listen to the Wives edition of the After Hours podcast linked below.)  I personally love FPV, no matter what the platform it happens to be on.

So, that brings me to my request.  I want to hear from you.  What subjects would you like to see the authors write about?  I'd like to occasionally put out a quick editorial article asking community members for specific topics for the authors to write about.  There might be some very skilled authors that are looking for a topic, that they didn't know readers were interested in learning about.

You can contact me directly at flyingmonkey@flitetest.com or submit a comment to the thread I started.  Here's the link.  Articles Request Thread


Articles and Authors deserving attention.

*EDIT*  Any article that has made it to the readers is one that the authors put a lot of effort into getting past me.  That doesn't mean everyone is going to be perfect.  I am grading on a scale for each author, and expect a better article from them each time they submit one.  Let them (and me) know what you did and didn't like.  Use the review feature (the stars) and be honest.  Don't give a five star rating to an article that was poorly written, just because you liked the topic.  Likewise don't give a poor rating to a well written article, just because you didn't like the topic.  I can see who gave what ratings.  If I see the same person giving bad ratings to all of the articles, your account will be shut down.

Flight Club is the pen name for an author writing on behalf of students at Cascade High School in Turner Oregon.  David Medlock is representing the club by sharing their stories here in the articles section.  His most recent submission impressed me with the amount of improvement from the initial draft to the final product.  Check out his submission here.  Flight Club Fliest the Estrados.

Etegration's first article was an excellent review of the Immersion RC Xugong quadcopter.  It was a throrough and well thought out piece.  Find it here.  Building: Immersion RC Xugongs

evp tackled a topic that is often asked about, and that's how to modify, scale and reformat Flite Test plans.  You can read his tutorial on that here.  How to Modify, Scale, and Reformat FT Plans

dharkless continues to impress with yet another installment on his One Sheet No Waste series of articles with an interesting delta design.  Follow the link here.  Simple Fold Speed Delta

Not as short as I intended.

I didn't mean to get so long winded.  I guess there was more to share than I thought.  Hopefully you enjoyed this update.  If you'd like to see more, please comment below.  If you don't want to see more, well, when you see the title saying that it's an Editor's Update, don't read it. 

Thanks to all of the readers for your continued feedback that allows us to know which way to steer the ship.  There's always room for improvement, and the content here is for you.  So if there's something you'd like to see added, removed, or changed, let us know.  We don't know, unless you speak up.

I'd like to express a personal thank you to all of the authors who have been so patient with the changes I've been making.  Also thank you for the great submissions that are constantly arriving in the "Pending" folder.  I am far from an expert on anything in this hobby, and I learn something new with every article I review.  I think that this section is finally starting to live up to the original reason it was created.  The community has so much to share, and the Flite Test guys just can't cover it all.  One of the special things about the Flite Test crew is that they not only allow, but encourage each and every member to take advantage of the audience they've generated.  They want all of us to be able to get as much publicity as we can, as long as what we're promoting is good for the community.  

It's been fun writing, this, I'll see you at the next Editors Update.


dharkless on March 26, 2015
I had not seen the guidelines before. I just write in a way that I think it will be easy to read and makes logical sense. I guess that is consistent with the guidelines if it does not technically comply with them. I think the guidelines are well thought out and are a useful tool since none of us are professional writers. The quality does show in the published material.
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raydar on March 15, 2015
Don't have a huge interest in multi-rotor articles, unless it includes some spectacular fpv scenery.
But love everything about fixed wing craft, especially build articles.

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FlyingMonkey on March 15, 2015
I've heard that before. Good, bad or in between, multi-rotors are what's popular. So, we tend to get more of those as submissions. That being said, what I'd recommend is find people who are blogging, writing on forums (the Flite Test one, or any other) and invite the people who know about the topic you like to come over and write an article about it. I am looking into being more strict about which multi-rotor articles come through so that there's not such a flood of the same thing over and over. But it will do no good if there's not many people submitting fixed wing articles to help offset it.
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JamesWhomsley on March 15, 2015
A very informative article FlyingMonkey. Thanks for the feedback earlier today on my 'So You Want To Start A Youtube Channel?' article. Some people seem to get frustrated that their articles don't get published immediately, but you do a great job on the moderation front. It is a difficult job, and also difficult to give potentially negative criticism, so kudos. :)
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HarleyRev on March 15, 2015
Thanks flyingmonkey for shedding some insight into the large task you have at hand. I have written 3 articles so far, of which one has been published. Last look it had 1200 hits, no ratings and only 1 comment. I would like to see members begin to rank articles when possible and leave a short note about likes and dislikes. I read many articles and don't always rank or post comments either, I know everyone's time is short.
I would enjoy some sort of feedback because I find it hard to be completely subjective when reading my own article. I read and re-read it to ensure my grammar is correct and more important am I clearly getting the point across. I write articles on subjects that I have spent many hours researching on the net for the information for myself. What I find is there is no "one stop spot" to find all of the information, so I try to bring it all together to share here and hopefully have the information needed on said subject here on flite test site, to make it easier for someone else traveling a similar path in the RC world to get.
Each article I have written takes me 8 to 10 hours. I put a lot of work and time into them, I want them to be a good read.
I agree with you in that lately there have been some very well written articles and I use these for a shining example and template for my writing.
Keep up the good work flyingmonkey, I know you have your hands full here and Thanks for your time and effort.
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FlyingMonkey on March 15, 2015
I'd check on that again... (Ok, I JUST published it. But it was slated to go earlier today. Not sure why it didn't)
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HarleyRev on March 15, 2015
Thanks ! I just tweaked it using your tips as a guideline. I have recieved all of the gear I ordered so I will be building the goggles and assembling the gear and will add this to the article to make it complete.
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1959cutter on March 16, 2015
thanks FM for the difficult job task of filtering some repetative content and for quality.
I like the way things have been running in the articles
my workshop looks like FT, set,with the FPV,DLG,electrohub multirotor,giant blunt nose versawing,200% spitfire and corsair.i am working on a "build tip's" article for 200% plans,when i finaly edit all my information and pic's.
i just have been too busy to finish it.
Keep up the great work!
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STFDAC20 on March 21, 2015
I am no expert in any field of RC. I like tinkering. I learn something every Saturday morning with coffee in hand when I go through the articles. The moderation keeps me as a reader engaged and obviously easier to read.

Fred, I like the approach to keep consistency and it will be sustainable. Key things to keep things positive and successful. Keep the hard work! Another great article... on articles... I am learning.
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dharkless on March 28, 2015
Thanks for the mention above. It is a distinct honor.
I had not noticed it on the first reading. I read as far as the link to the standards and was so impressed by them that I wrote my comment above and then did not finish reading this article (way early in the morning).
I also like the idea of requesting articles on topics of interest. There are a lot of hobbyists out there with a wealth of knowledge who may not have the time or confidence or may not think anyone would be interested in THAT. Guess what. Most of us are interested in the broad spectrum of aviation. I think more time is spent at the average club field chatting and exchanging ideas than flying. This is just another way to do that.
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Nathan_116 on March 15, 2015
More articles on scratch built stuff. Multirotors or fixed wing, doesn't matter. I like seeing what others are making and what electronics and retailers are popular.
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FlyingMonkey on March 15, 2015
No argument. Along the lines of what I told raydar, go find the talent, bring them in. This is community driven. Read through the forums, and if you see a talented writer out there, tell them to bring their content to here. I did that with nerdnic, and he's turned out to he a phenomenal article writer. Ticks me off really... he's got too many skills that he excels at.
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nerdnic on March 17, 2015
Thanks, Fred :-)
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Editor's Update