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FAQ

About Before It's News
Getting an Account
Posting Stories
Is it News?
Links, Images and Videos in your Story
Other Questions
Why Contribute to Before It's News?
How can I submit my story?
Copyright Takedown and DMCA
Traffic from BIN back to my site

 

About Before It's News

What gave you the idea for Before It's News?

As we were following the 2008 election, we noticed something very interesting -- bloggers covered many of the breaking stories days before the alphabet soup news outlets (NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, AP, MSNBC, FOX, etc.). Important facts were omitted or ignored by the mainstream media mainly because these facts inconveniently do not fit into the memes these outlets routinely promote. In other words, there is a strong bias amongst most corporate media outlets.

Think for a moment where mainstream media gets their news...from press releases, from events and other specialized sources. Many times, these sources are also publicly available -- for example from press releases, government and university web sites and individuals with access and knowledge of newsworthy events. Yes, journalists do investigative work to look at the facts, ask important questions and usually try to get both sides of each story, but sadly, this is becoming less frequent as the advertising revenue sources for newspapers and broadcast media have dwindled. It turns out that most stories are are actually given to them by people who want to get the news out to the world. We thought to ourselves, why not create a way for the people with the news, the sources, to get it out to the world without the middleman screening out all the good bits?

We had also noticed the way technology was changing the way people got their news. Newspapers get lots of nasty black newsprint all over your hands and when compared with the internet, it's so yesterday. There isn't a story in a newspaper that wasn't on the internet 12 hours before. While real time, cable TV is an endless parade of ads and foolish pundits that sound like an echo chamber for their ideologies. Only the internet and mobile phone revolution will enable People Powered News and let people see the whole truth, unfiltered. That's our goal.

What is Before It's News?

Your first experience with Before It's News was probably viewing a story someone had contributed, or you found our Front Page. We are a news utility -- an internet platform that enables the hosting and distribution of any kind of news, worldwide. With Before It's News, you don't need a web site, blog, or anything, just get a free account and post your story. It will get out through all the major search engines.

Who is behind Before It's News?

A team of experienced professionals, many have worked together at Xoom.com, one of the most successful web communities from the late 1990's that was sold to NBC. Our expertise in cutting edge internet business models and highly scalable, high traffic web sites ensures you'll get top performance from Before It's News. We are assembling a team of editors and writers, please email contact@beforeitsnews.com if you are interested.

Can anyone post a story at Before It's News?

Yes. You'll need an account and a good story, that's all -- it's completely free to post (except for promotional stories, which have a modest fee for posting).

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Getting an Account

How do I get an account?

From almost any page, click on the friendly, bright yellow "Join Now" button. Enter your email address and the password you want to use twice. You'll receive an email to confirm your account -- be sure to check in your Junk or Spam folder for the email if you don't see it in your In Box. Open the email and click on the link. Then go back to Before It's News and login with your email (that's your account) and your password. We recommend that you go to the link in the upper right corner of the screen that says "Settings" to add some additional information, like your screen name, location, web site address, etc. Once you have an account, you can post a story and add comments.

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Posting Stories

How do I post a story?

Once you have your account, you can click on the "UPLOAD NEWS" button. You will be in the story creation page, so check your geographic location, the correct category, fill in the headline and cut and paste your story into the form. Images can be added with the "Image" button -- you will need to follow the process to upload an image to our server. Videos can be added via the "source" button, just place your cursor in the source code where you want it and paste the embed code (sorry Javascript video is not supported due to security issues). Click the submit button at the bottom of the page and wait about 30 seconds for the process to complete. It will automatically be submitted to the major search engines. One of our editors will check it out and if it's good enough, they'll approve it for inclusion in our Google News Map, which will submit the story to Google News.

What kind of stories can I post at Before It's News?

We publish almost any story by almost anybody, as long as it's news, commentary, analysis or opinion. The other criteria is that the stories can't be commercially motivated in the news area. We do accept commercial stories in our promotional area only. You can post event notices, press releases and promotional stories, but we ask that those are placed in their respective areas.

We'll accept stories from conservative, liberal, socialist, communist, libertarian, athiest, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Chinese, Indian, etc. sources. There is no criteria for inclusion on stories at Before It's News other than the story has to be factually true, well written, thoughtful and comply with our Terms of Service.

What kind of stories won't you publish at Before It's News?

We won't publish anything that is misleading or untrue, libelous, contains gratuitous curse words, of a sexual nature and stories that are designed to incite violence or hatred of certain groups of people. If the story is old news, unless there is a new angle to the story, we're probably not interested. We won't publish materials taken from others without their permission. We use our judgement and follow our Terms of Service (link). Our viewers have young children in their homes and work in offices. If you can't show a 12 year old child a story without being embarrassed, it probably doesn't belong on Before It's News.

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Is it News?

Is my story newsworthy?

We focus on current events. Something that happened 50 million years ago or even last week, probably isn't news worthy if everyone already knows about it. On the other hand, if something happened 50 million years ago, but it was discovered by humans this morning, our viewers want to know about it. Answer the news questions - who, what, when, where, why and how in your story and it will go far.

What kinds of contributors are you looking for?

All kinds. We want people who have a passion for their stories, but we are particularly interested in contributors who have an inside track to information that might eventually be released to mainstream news organizations. Scientific researchers, environmentalists, whistleblowers, people knowledgeable with the ways markets work, people who attend local government meetings or rallies and so on. Your story will get first class treatment -- premium free hosting and automatic submission to all the major search engines. As an example, we have sources who email us stories from Somalia about the pirate's daily operations -- they give their stories to Before It's News before they send them to the "major" outlets because we treat them impartially.

Are there different levels of contributors?

Yes. When you first start out, you will need to validate your account (as mentioned above) and your first story will need to be moderated. We call those contributors "New". Once you are promoted by one of our editors, you will become a "Regular Contributor". Those who excel at posting stories can be promoted by an Editor to "Reporter". Our Editors come from many places -- some viewers have a track record of helping to develop news web sites or a particular topic and if this is something you are interested in, we encourage you to email contact@beforeitsnews.com. We are looking for editors for many of the sections of the site.

Why Contribute to Before It's News?

I already have a blog. Why should I post at Before It's News, too?

If you are like most blog owners, you'd like more traffic and visibility for your site. We will host and distribute your complete story and help you reach an audience you would never be able to on your own. Many blog owners have found there is nearly zero overlap between their site's audience and that of Before It's News. You are welcome to post under your site's name, so you get full attribution PLUS you are welcome to put a big link with your story to send traffic back to your site.

If your blog is newsworthy, if you've done a bang-up job on a story or you can offer a unique insight because of your experience or position, we have an audience who would like to hear about it. Most blogs are lucky if they get the search engines to show up once or twice a day -- because of the volume of stories we handle, Google's crawlers are literally crawling all over our servers and they'll find your story in about ten minutes. If your story is good enough, it'll go into our Google News Map, which is like a direct pipeline to millions of news savvy people all over the world just waiting to see your story.

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How can I submit my story?

You can post it yourself with our 24/7 real time submission tools, we can take your RSS feed automatically, or you can email your story to us (contact@beforeitsnews.com). RSS feeds are subject to editor review, so please forward the details about your site and feed to contact@beforeitsnews.com. Stories submitted by email might take a few hours to get posted, so fastest results are when you post yourself. You are in control of your content at all times and can remove your content at any time.

What is RSS and is it supported by Before It's News?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it is supported by Before It's News. It's an XML feed of the text, images, etc. that make up your web pages. In plain English, it is a long string of data that other software can read and reproduce on other web sites or in a person's browser. Kind of like a stock ticker that is a continuous feed of data coming out of your web site.

This allows others to see your content in their web browser or at another site, without having to visit your site. This is like opening up another copy of your site in another place on the internet, getting you more eyeballs for your content and visibility for your ideas and promotions. The reason people want to include their RSS feeds is because it happens automatically -- no more manual posting is required. As soon as you post your story, it goes out to our site and into our search engine feeds.

Most blog hosting services have this feature and you can get free software to do this for you. Be sure to set the RSS feed to "Full Article". If you have a custom site, check with your developer, this is usually a very easy feature to add to your site.

To add your RSS feed, contact the editor of the category your feed fits best under or email contact@beforeitsnews.com. We will need the URL where your feed is, the name of the feed and category you think it best fits. We only take full story feeds and you are welcome to include your bio, links back to your site, promos, etc. at the end of the story.

I just posted my first story -- why can't I see it yet?

Your first story is subject to moderation by our editors, which can take up to a few hours, if they are busy. Once your story is approved, it goes on the site and into the search engines. Your account will also be promoted at that time to prevent future moderation. The main problems we encounter are promotional stories are placed in the news area, the story has numerous spelling and grammatical errors (we give non-native English speakers a lower bar), and the story isn't news. Remember, news is about current events and has who, what, when, where and how.

What if my story is promotional?

We welcome these kinds of stories and define a promotional story as being where the intent of the story is to sell a product or service. Before It's News accepts promotional stories, but only in the promotional area. There is a modest charge for promotional stories.

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Links, Images and Videos in your Story

Can I include links in my story?

Links to your web site are OK, and they can link back to your web site or to other stories or facts that help support your story. The best way to do this is to have a short section at the end of the story, explaining who you are, why you are expert in this area (why people should pay attention to what you have to say) and then a short mention about your services with a link back. Look at our finance area to see how many contributors do it.

How do I include images in my story?

Our submission tools are fairly basic at this point and we accept jpeg and gif files. To include images in your story, you can either link to an image using HTML from your article or post it to our servers. To post to our servers, place your cursor where you want the image in the Before It's News submission screen. You will need to have a copy of the image in jpeg or gif format on your local computer's hard drive. Click the "Image" button located just above the edit window. Choose "Browse Server", then from the upper left choose "Upload", then "Choose File" -- select the file from your computer and select OK. Then in the upper right, choose "Upload Selected File". The file will upload and you will see it on your screen highlighted in blue. Double click the blue highlighted file and resize the image if necessary (the maximum width of an image at Before It's News should be 640 pixels). Then click OK. Your image should appear in your document.

How do I include embedded videos, like those from You Tube?

First, find the embed text that goes along with the video you want to include with your story -- it's usually to the right of the video window on You Tube (other flash based services work, as well -- sorry, no javascript due to security issues). Highlight that text and copy it (Windows: Ctrl-C, Mac Apple-C). Go to your Before It's News story submission window and click the "Source" button right above the edit window. Move through the HTML source for the story until you locate the place you want the video. Paste the embed code at that location (Windows Ctrl-V, Mac Apple-V). Then click the "Source" button again and you will see a red box that says "FLASH" in the middle. Once you have finished your editing, click "Submit" and you will see your video in your story. If you don't like the location, you can go back and edit the source, moving the embed test where you would like to.

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Copyright Takedown and DMCA

Someone used my copyrighted story on your site; how do I get you to take it down?

Stories are posted by contributors and if you feel your story was inappropriately posted at Before It's News, use our Copyright link found at the bottom of nearly every page. We will promptly respond to your request.

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Other Questions

Can I get a virus from one of your web pages?

You cannot get a virus from a web page - no matter what people that sell security software have told you. You have to download something and run it. Simply viewing a web page cannot infect your computer.

A common practice of virus distributors to trick you into downloading something is to display an advertisement which when clicked on claims it needs an Active-X control in order to run. (Note: this only effects Windows users.) Still unless you confirm this, it cannot infect your computer. All of our advertisers are legitimate companies and the ads are displayed via Google AdSense.

Another practice is to deliver an email message with an attachment. It may or may not open, but inserts a command somewhere in the operating system. We do not send email.

All of our content is screened and no external javascript is allowed.

The bottom line is a virus cannot enter your computer without your consent. People will try to trick you into clicking on buttons and opening attachments, but with a little common sense you can avoid them. Chances are you have not won the Botwanda lottery or a distant relative is not in need of an urgent telegram.

I don't seem to be getting that much traffic back to my site from Before It's News, what can be done about it?

The first thing to check are the links back to your site....if you are tracking them, do they link back with a tracking code or URL, or do they just land on your home page? We've had people ask us this and upon investigation, they determined that their links back (created by them) were going to their home page, where they were not being tracked. You should also check your web sites log files for what's called the Referral Log. This is a list of all the sites that sent you traffic. As for what can be done, you can add a link back to the top of your story and at the end. You should also consider putting a biographical note about your company, products, services or the individual who wrote the story. Keep in mind, the reason people come to BIN is for news stories. Most people will come and go fairly quickly and click through to things that are of interest.

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Traffic from BIN back to my site

Can I post one paragraph and a link back to my site to drive traffic?

If you have at least several hundred characters of the story and you are posting your stories by hand, this is OK. For automated RSS feeds, we only allow the full story, but we'll be happy to add an additional link and promo language for your story at the beginning and end of the story. We have to maintain a minimum story length because our site will be penalized by the search engines and that will hurt all the other contributors who post full stories. Because of the time involved by our staff, we only support full article RSS feeds.

We have no problem sending traffic back to people's sites and you should talk with one of our editors for some ideas about things you can do to get more traffic back. There are a number of simple ideas we can help you implement, such has links at the top and bottom of the article and links to other related articles at your site. If the viewer liked the article you posted at BIN and you have more to offer at your site, you'll send more traffic to your site this way.

Keep in mind, the primary mission of Before It's News is to help people get their news out to the world and the byproduct of that is more traffic to your site. Where else can a small site get rapid indexing by all major search engines as well as exposure to one of the largest and fastest growing alternative news audiences? We'll also accept stories many other sites might think are too edgy in almost any kind of category you can imagine. We (almost) never censor stories, we're just a pipe to move the information from you to the world. For these reasons, you will get exposure to your stories at BIN and if that's your goal, this is a great place to be.

I just put a story on Before It's News and it got 5000 views, far more than my own site got. Didn't this take away traffic from my web site?

The web is a huge place and the biggest problem most sites face is getting any exposure at all. Even big sites can always use more traffic and as they say "you can never have too much money or too much reach on the internet". Let's look at it this way. Every day there are hundreds of millions of people on the internet. If a story got 5,000 or 50,000 or even 500,000 views (we can all dream) on Before It's News, that's still hundreds of millions of people who DIDN'T see your story. If you had a huge site with reach of 30-40% of the internet, it's possible that a small percentage of your viewers came to BIN instead of your own site. If you have something less than this (most sites reach several thousands or tens of thousands of people a day), you will have almost zero duplicated reach with BIN, the exposure will be nearly entirely additive. After 15 years of experience on the web, we can tell you that the worst thing that can happen on the web is that people don't see your stories.

If your goal is only to send traffic back to your site and that's it, you should probably consider advertising on a variety of sites and doing social network marketing. We can still make an excellent case why you would also want your content at Before It's News, mainly because everything we've seen so far with our partners is that story placement at BIN is almost completely additive to your story's traffic. If you get a click through rate of 1-2%, that's excellent compared to what you would get from only advertising. You can run tests at BIN and see what works for you. At BIN, you are always in control of your content and we'll be happy to help you determine what makes sense for your site and content.

 

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