All of the content written and published on Guitar Chalk is 100 percent original, and adheres to a self-imposed set of guidelines and editorial standards.
This doesn't mean that each author must write in a uniform, robotic fashion (more on writing robots later). In fact, the wider the range of personalities and backgrounds we can curate, the better our site will be. At the same time, Guitar Chalk has a distinct voice and set of standards that are maintained as a common thread.
To create this voice and uphold these standards, all Guitar Chalk content abides by the guidelines outlined here.
Consistent Writing Style
Our content is usually written from a first-person perspective, meant to give you an account of an actual experience. When needed, we use a more formal tone. But, generally speaking, we make an effort to produce personable, informal, and conversational copy.
We've found that this benefits the community more and encourages a higher level of engagement from our readers.
At the same time, we make an effort to communicate information in a straightforward way that demonstrates expertise and real world experience.
Taken together, we want our writing style to have the following descriptors:
While it's a balancing act to incorporate all these qualities, we make it our goal to work them into everything we publish.
Informed Product Recommendations
Product recommendations are made based on the following:
- Firsthand experience
- Thorough research
- Product-in-hand testimony
- Familiarity with the guitar and musical instrument industry
Whenever we recommend a product, it's based primarily on firsthand experience with that particular product. Research, brand reputation, and general industry familiarity are also a big part of that equation, but we always prioritize guitars, pedals, and amps that we've held in our hands.
This does not exclude secondhand information, but we try to make sure that's a secondary resource and not our primary means of recommending a product to our readers.
Read more: Guitar Chalk's Affiliate Disclosure
Information and Quality Control
Since we write a lot about guitar gear and musical instruments, we source almost all our information directly from reputable manufacturers, brands, and retailers. We also make an effort to work with these companies directly to verify information if there's something we're not sure about.
Keep in mind, this does not mean that we get it right all the time.
Like any publication, we're continuously making an effort to update and check our work for accuracy.
This is why we are regularly taking the following steps to help with quality control:
- Updating and republishing older content
- Checking links and recommendations for accurate product listings
- Encouraging feedback and corrections via our comments section and contact form
- Using API connections to update price listings for major retailers
- Working directly with retailers and/or product manufacturers to display correct information
Again, we don't guarantee that everything is always updated and completely correct, just because the nature of the guitar and musical instrument landscape is always changing. But we do regularly update content and make every effort to give you the best possible information available.
Comments and Community Contributions
Many of our readers are experienced guitar players and musicians who have a lot to offer the community. Almost everything we publish allows for commenting and comment subscriptions, facilitating interaction between authors and readers alike.
Content in the comments section is vetted to the extent we're able, especially when it comes to some kind of product recommendation.
However, we cannot guarantee the factual validity or accuracy of everything posted on our site.
Comments containing profanity, obscenities, or unnecessary anger/aggression are prohibited and quickly removed.
Spelling and Grammar Standards
While editorial standards online are not necessarily uniform or well-defined, we do make a good faith effort to correct spelling and grammar errors before publishing, and when updates are made.
That said, the content on this site has developed over time, along with our writers.
This means that content published in the past might be edited differently than more recent materials.
But either way, spelling and grammar are a priority for us.
Making sure content is generally clean and error-free certainly won't make the internet worse, so we take reasonable steps to dot our eyes and cross our tees.
How we Use AI
This is a new section for our editorial standards, given the injection of artificial intelligence writing tools into the market.
We use only ChatGPT for the following:
- Basic research
- Building tables
- Comparing products
We do not use AI for any kind of original content or written material. AI does not write for Guitar Chalk. We also do not accept guest posts from authors unless we can be reasonably sure that the copy they're providing is not AI generated.
That said, we are also not opposed to AI as a tool.
For what it's worth, ChatGPT and the AI boom at large, has been nothing but extremely helpful to our work.
While it cannot, and will not, replace human experience, it can certainly help us build out this project to make those experiences clearer and easier to communicate.
If you have questions about Guitar Chalk's editorial standards, feel free to reach out via our contact form and we'll be happy to help as much as we can.