Paralympics 2012: Writers Needed; Unique Publishing Benefits

Yahoo Contributor Network

If someone said to you, "please write this for free;" most writers would ask, "What is in it for me?" When it comes to helping the 2012 Paralympics create a body of written history, there are more advantages for online media publishers than you think. With a little bit of guidance, you can help the Paralympics expand their online presence -- and have some of that credit for yourself.

How helping the Paralympics helps writers

Are you looking for more online reputation management that captures the attention of a certain type of client? There are plenty of places to publish your writing for free on the web, but few are 'peer-reviewed' in the academic sense of the word. The next best thing to this professional academic process is the informal peer review found at places like Wikipedia.org, Open-Site.org, and Everything.com.

These forms of blogging allow writers to create information for the public to use and add to. However, it is likely that your original work will not be changed -- only amended. This benefits writers and publishers because you can make a footnote at the bottom of every Paralympics entry you create linking back to similar information on your website. Of course, future clients will enjoy knowing that you contribute to professional non-profits like reader contributed encyclopedias online and the Paralympics.

Why the Paralympics needs writers

Online, you will see that several of the entries for the 2012 Paralympics in London are linked out to a page that has not been created yet. At Wikipedia's 2012 Paralympics page, it says, "This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it." One other problem for the coverage of the 2012 Paralympics is that websites rarely include an individual profile for the athletes or lists their names.

A couple of tips on 2012 Paralympics fact finding

If you are wondering how you are going to find information about the Paralympics and their athletes in another country, there are some handy resources to get started. The first tip is to use Google Translate to find the country name and keywords related to the International Olympics Committee or Paralympics. Enter the terms in that foreign language and Google will translate the webpages for you in the search results. Using different search engines and looking at book abstracts often produces better results.

With a keen eye, you can glean facts for your encyclopedia-style entry about each under-represented country's 2012 Paralympics goals. Naturally, the second tip is that you should avoid fretting over a bad English translation you do not understand -- just stick to the obvious facts that become clear like players' names, current events, past trophies in other sports, and age.

The final piece of advice is not worry about this being a time consumer. Basing your model off of the headers on other completed encyclopedia pages will give you the clues you need to write one on your own.

Publishing in-depth 2012 Paralympics articles and hot topics

It is easy to start writing about a particular country participating in the 2012 London Paralympics and take a shine to one of the individual athletes or the history of their country's unique disability-related sports. In these cases, writing a more detailed article can be published to your blog or added to the Yahoo! Contributor online library. When you are finished publishing your article, do not forget to add the link to the Paralympics encyclopedia page you created.

While the 2012 London Olympics begin July 27, there is plenty of time for Paralympics writers to get started. The 2012 Paralympic Games begin August 29 and end September 9. For anyone that stumbles upon this article in 2013, there is hope since the likelihood that a project of this size will take a month to finish is unrealistic.

List of 2012 Paralympics participating countries

Those countries with few online encyclopedia-style entries are marked with an asterisk. This information was gathered from the Paralympics page of the London2012.com website.

*Argentina, *Armenia, Australia, *Austria, Azerbaijan, *Belarus, *Belgium, Brazil, Canada, *Chile, *China, *Chinese, Taipei, *Colombia, *Croatia, *Cuba, *Cyprus, *Czech, Republic, *Denmark, *Ecuador, *Estonia, *Faroe, Islands, Fiji, *Finland, France, Germany, Great, Britain, *Greece, *Hong, Kong, *Hungary, *Iceland, India, *Indonesia, *Iran, *Iraq, *Ireland, *Israel, Italy, *Japan, *Jordan, *Kazakhstan, *Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, *Malaysia, *Mexico, *Myanmar, Netherlands, New, Zealand, *Norway, Philippines, Poland, *Portugal, *Romania, *Russia, Samoa, *Singapore, *Slovakia, *Slovenia, Solomon, Islands, South, Africa, South, Korea, *Spain, *Switzerland, Sweden, *Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, *Ukraine, United, States, *Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, *Venezuela, *Vietnam

Additional resources:

Easter Seals: Writing about Disability

Disability Awareness in Action: Media Guide

Americans with Disabilities Act: Tips on Writing about Disabilities

National Disability Rights Network: Reporting and Writing about Disabilities

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Maryam Louise, a former bike courier, canoeing regular, and summer camp ping pong champ, has interacted with the world of disability and sports through friends, family, former students, and her own health changes. Over the past two years, her athletic focus has changed to include options for athletes with limited vision. In addition to re-learning how to walk the dog (the dog now walks her) and dancing in the styles of Sins Invalid, she is also exploring Paralympic sports for the low vision and blind such as table tennis, rowing, equestrian sports, and 5-a-side football.

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