LeadSingle

The crowdsourced database of new music releases

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Style Guide: Descriptions

The information you find on LeadSingle is usually in the form of cold hard data; something you can easily digest, manipulate and scan—and that machines can, too. However, sometimes it’s good to get an introduction to the subject or item at hand using descriptions or biographies.

Descriptions, when written well, introduce people to the item they’re getting information about, by serving the essentials at the top of every page, in a context that is usually more or less unique to the item. This is why we encourage people to write descriptions for releases and biographies for artists, in order to make sure the reader really understands the subject at hand.

Though descriptions, as pieces of written text, are often unique and varied, there are some rules that need to be observed when writing any such.

Anatomy of a description

First off, descriptions should be text that cannot otherwise be categorised into lists. We have a lot of types of information that can be intelligently added into lists, and descriptions should not be one of them. They should be fluid and should be able to be read easily.

Descriptions should read like an encyclopedia. Descriptions are not a place for your opinion, whether good or bad. If you want to post an opinion about music or LeadSingle, please use the forums.

The essentials are more important in a description. Thus, descriptions should keep the essentials at the top, and flesh them out further down in the text if needed or desired.

Styles

In order to make sure all descriptions look alike in an easy to read format, there are a couple small style guidelines we ask you to follow.

  • Use the formatting tags found in the formatting guide whenever necessary. Link every first mention of a release or track in the description with the appropriate <release> or <track> tag.
  • Please bold every version of the item name (full, shorter, alternate names, etc.) in the first sentence of the description.
  • In a biography, please use the artist’s full name in the first mention of the artist.
  • Every mention of a release or track name should be italicised. When you use <release> or <track> tags, this will automatically be done for you. However, when you want to mention names that should not be linked, you have to do this manually using <em> or <i>. Please do not put “quotes” around these names, use only italic font instead.

Licensing and sourcing

As with every publicised text, licensing needs to be clear. When you write something and add it to a description or biography anywhere on LeadSingle, you automatically release it under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike 3.0 license. This means that everyone who finds your text can copy it for use in their own publications, as long as they credit you and their (derivative) text is subsequently released under the same license. If you do not want this to happen, you should not contribute to LeadSingle. We’re all about keeping information open, and likeminded people are very welcome to contribute to the information found on the site.

This also means that you can’t add copyrighted text to any description or biography, when you don’t own the copyright or don’t want to release the work under a less strict license.

You can however, add text from sources that allow you to distribute it under the license mentioned above. In some cases, you have to reference them as sources.