Submission Instructions

How To Submit

  1. Sign up for a publishing date on the schedule.
  2. Log in to your blog account (or create one if needed). Feel free to create or update your author profile!
  3. Write your post.
  4. Review the checklist below to see if your post conforms to what we’re looking for.
  5. Click “Submit for Review” when you believe your post is ready to be published (by the date that you chose on the sign-up sheet!).
  6. An editor will look over your post and either schedule it for publishing or give you feedback on what needs to be fixed.

Authors are strongly encouraged to participate in the discussion that follows each post in the comments.

Draft posts that appear to have been abandoned (say, still in draft status with no activity for one month and no notation about when activity will resume) will be deleted.

Style Guidelines for Authors

The mission of this blog is to make crowdsourcing and social media research fun and easy to read. To accomplish this goal, we encourage authors to make their posts short (we have found that 400 words is a good target) and skimmable. We have some more specific style suggestions (highly suggested, in fact):

  1. Focus on the high-level results of the paper. If people are interested in the topic and results, they will read your paper to get the details and learn about your methodology.
  2. Include an image. This is almost mandatory, as it is a great way to hook in readers.
  3. Highlight important points. Use short sentences, bullets, and put key ideas in bold.

We will look over your post to proofread and check the formatting before it goes live, but we will expect that you have done this too (we’ll all be sad if you later feel like you missed something). We will occasionally edit posts for presentation issues or to help streamline content, but the editors are very busy just like you, so please get your post as close to final before submitting.

Below, we present a more detailed style guide and some examples.  If you have questions, feel free to email  Please include the sentence “I read the submission instructions” in the first sentence.


  • Follow the template. The new post box will contain a template. Please follow this formatting. If you just replace the template text, you should be fine.
  • Write for a general audience. Your blog post will reach a diverse range of readers, not just researchers in your subfield. Some readers will be researchers in related fields, but others may be tech journalists, programmers, entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and other practitioners. Help them understand your work, and excite them about it! Tell them what’s new, what’s interesting, and what they should take away from your paper if they read it. Translate your work for a general audience.
  • Make it skimmable.The post should be easy to skim and get the key ideas. Here are some ways to improve skimmability:
    • Short paragraphs, short sentences.
    • Boldface key phrases.
    • Bulleted lists.
    • Focus on results, not methodology and procedure. People interested in how you did it will read the paper.
    • Image. Include a self-explanatory image that represents your idea.
    • One example of a skimmable post is Butler Lies From Both Sides.
  • Make it active. Write the the first person and in the active voice.
  • Keep it short. Posts must be shorter than 400 words, making one or two key points.
  • Use a catchy title. Catchy titles get more readers. Your paper title is an acceptable default, but we urge you to come up with a pithy, attention-grabbing title that gets at the essence of your post.
  • Categorize your post. If your post is about a paper appearing in a conference or journal, make sure it’s classified in the conference/journal’s category.
  • Link to your paper. If you followed the template, your post should end with a link to your paper or to a website where more details are available.
  • Add co-authors. If you followed the template, your post should end with a list of names and affiliations of all authors.
  • Update your author bio. The biography from your account profile will appear at the bottom of the post. Please fill out your biography with a short paragraph about who you are.
  • Delete the example text from the template. Example text from the post template should be either filled in or removed. Instructions in the example text should be removed. Links in templates should be given the correct URLs.

Is my work a good fit for a Follow the Crowd post?

Posts on Follow the Crowd should interest researchers in crowdsourcing and social media.  Traditionally, Follow the Crowd is comprised of:

  1. Summaries of upcoming papers
  2. Conference and Workshop announcements
  3. Opinion pieces and breaking news
  4. Summaries of hack-a-thons

We seek high-quality work, but this is not a peer-reviewed venue. We verify sanity and topicality, and we expect good writing. We may, for space reasons, become more selective in the future; however, our emphasis is on novelty, innovation, cool ideas, and rapid publishing, not the careful (perhaps too careful) peer review one finds in conferences and journals.

We specifically encourage authors of accepted papers at conferences and journals to publish, but we are open to other publication models as well. Anyone can submit a post, even if you have not been invited. If you’re not sure if your post is on-topic, please don’t hesitate to e-mail the editors at