Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Baffled by Irregularity.

Has anyone ever tried making up a schedule for posting?

I'm a voracious column reader, online, papers, mags. I love knowing that my favorites are coming around, whether it be Time magazine or

Would there be anyone interested in committing to posting once a week or month or something.

RGM, would that be allowed?


  1. Let me give some context to this.

    Hiram and I have exchanged a few emails today about the issue of regular posting. It came about because I posted and then took down two linked articles earlier in the day. I did this because 5 email complaints came in about the linked articles, that were merely clips of an academic nature. There was no commentary.

    Folks, this is how links come to me. Every day I get links. Just "Look at this." Or "Put this up." I do it a lot of the time, and sometimes they create some conversation, but rather often not at all. The least read and commented on type of post is a linked article with no commentary. (I call the stuff a community member has to say about the linked article the commentary. I'm making up shit wholesale.)

    Anyway, Hiram brought up the regular posting thing, and I said, "Yes, I'd be for anything that brought more voices to the page on a more regular basis."

    As I often do, I asked Cal about this, and he reminded me about the "regulars" that operated for a time on RYS. It didn't last long, but folks like Weepy Wayne, Mildred from Medicine Hat, and Milo from Manchester took regular turns on the page. It only lasted a few weeks.

    Cal says, "It was great. But a lot of people hated it. If that makes any sense. It provided a bit of a spine to the page, but casually aligned readers felt they were being shut out. Of course, nobody was shut out. I asked who wanted to be a regular, or I begged in Milo's case, and anyone else who wanted to post during that time COULD HAVE POSTED WHENEVER THEY WANTED. But many bitched that there were a privileged few who were taking up space. Well, it was and is the Internet, I believe that until the fiber optic cables in the Atlantic Ocean give out, there's plenty of room for everyone."

    I admit I put up linked articles sometimes because there's nothing else new on the page. I like it when readers come to us to see new material. But, there are voices drowning me out on this, and I'm happy to do whatever will make the page better.

    So, Hiram, if you get an urge to post regularly, pick a day, or whatever, and do it. Give these posts a common title and see what happens.

    The truth is, anyone who's a correspondent (we signed up three new people this week) can post whenever they want. We have the space. I know we have the eyeballs.

    As with most things (except graphics, vidshizzles, and the size and color of the font), it's up to the community.

    Let me know.

    The RGM

    1. Shit, shit, shit, and of course Beaker Ben was a regular!

    2. Oh, how I remember that. There's nothing like a deadline to bring on the writer's block.

  2. Oh and a great Big Thirsty tomorrow. Fashion folks, get ready to dole out some advice.

  3. I don't have time or inspiration to post regularly, but if others do, more power to them. I do agree about linked articles: commentary is necessary, otherwise it's just a link with no context (the duck decided so already!).

  4. As a sort of new participant here, personally I like the irregularity, not knowing who will post on any given day (as long as somebody does!) On the other hand, if some correspondents want to commit to posting at regular intervals, why not (just don't tell us).

    Also, agreeing with Contemplative Cynic here: if it's just a link with no (or minimal) commentary, it is usually less fun to comment on than if an OP put some effort into writing it.

    1. I try to encourage folks who send links to give some commentary, but virtually no one ever does.

  5. I'd just like to say that I enjoyed Hiram's headline.

    1. For a second there I thought it was a Big Thirsty about eating a healthy diet.

    2. Or perhaps about the giant load somebody left in the toilet recently. But that might not count as "IRregularity."

  6. I can't complain because I'm not a correspondent and don't provide content.

    But some days the only content IS a linked article. I say put them up anyway, so we have something to read.

    You may have to accept that people don't like posting OR reading linked articles either.

    It may become very very zen around here the way it's going.

  7. Yes, and "The Regulars" didn't work. For a variety of reasons.

    And I did that feature for some continuity, not because we didn't have enough content. We had way more content than I could ever put up. In the busiest days, I limited it to 5-6 posts a day, but there were scores of them that came in, some linked articles.

    I've never understood why the hits and email and posts are so much lower here, since the audience is exactly the same. From previous communiques with moderators, it's about 1/3 of the traffic, etc. as when RYS was going well.

    1. Maybe think of it this way. The webpage containing the original article just has that article. Whether you read it here or there, it's just the article Post a link here with a snippet of the article and let the commentary grow in the comments section. Or make up some outrageously inappropriate commentary to go with the post. That'll get people talking.

    2. Posting the article with some "flava," a snippet, is what people object to the most. I'd love it if people sent me links with a few thoughts. Nobody bitches about that.

      Maybe it's something we can aim for in the future. If you want me to post a link to an article, you HAVE to include some commentary. Otherwise, we act like a shitty aggregator, and readers really don't like that.

  8. I mean this with all due respect, the mods don't run the page. They try to. They fill the empty spaces with articles nobody reads (I read it here), and fuss and fret about the regularity of things.

    But it is going to be what it's going to be.

    People with posting rights will post or they won't.

    Are the hits going down as well? It seems less busy here than last year or the year before, that's for sure.

  9. I hate to say it, but the page is not as enjoyable as it once was. I say it with sadness. It's very insular, and just looking through the comments its become a place where a dozen folks (at most) regularly take part.

    There's nothing wrong with that, though; that's important to note. It's just not a sprawling academic blog that is likely to be read by outsiders or anyone new. It's so peculiar - in a good way - that an academic coming from the regular world would think it's odd and angry and, well, just odd. (The strange and convoluted history.)

    I'd tell the mods, because I do know at least one of the past ones, to change expectations. Enjoy the colleagues who do visit, and don't worry about drumming up business. If a few days pass without a posts, the folks who do read it will come around to posting every once in a while.

    It's unreasonable to expect more. A post a day should be the goal, but then it's a good one.

    Just my 2 cents as someone who's been around - though not a lot lately - since the beginning.