(posted by chris the cynic)
So, here’s a question I never thought I’d ask: Should we have a “This week in the Slacktiverse” post?
When the typepad site was closing down and it was a question whether we should continue on at all the weekend “This Week” posts were cited by multiple people as the most useful thing to them. Now… now submissions range from non-existent to nearly so.
Initially it seemed like the reason might just be timing. That was why we switched the deadline from Greenwich Mean Time to US Eastern Time, the additional hours were apparently quite helpful to some people. Sometimes if there were no submissions I’d decide to just give in to all/any of the things saying, “I don’t have time for this right now,” and in the resulting delay there would be submissions.
Lately, not so much. We’re just not getting things coming in. At one point I solicited submissions from people in hopes that having a less empty post might encourage people to submit themselves. That didn’t work.
My submission obviously never gets left out because I compile the post. I can, and do, ignore submitting entirely and just write my contribution when making the post. But (conjunction at the beginning of the sentence, must be important) if the post is just, “chris the cynic self promotes,” then the post is kind of pointless.
Plus, as someone with a history of serious problems with depression, I’ve kind of cut news out of my life which means I almost never know of anything to contribute to “In Case you Missed This” or “Things you can do”.
So the question is, where do we go from here?
We can drop the post entirely, we can go on as usual (Saturday will have “These two weeks in the Slacktiverse” and after that a regular schedule) or we can try to change/fix things.
I didn’t want to open this discussion with no ideas, so I fished around for some first, in no particular order, here are some suggestions that have been made:
– Make the blog-around like the decon round up: links to posts made since last time on a given blog are simply grabbed and posted, no submission needed.
– Make the post less frequent, for example: This month in the Slacktiverse
– In addition to the existing “anyone can submit” system take on volunteers (if they can be found) to watch for and submit things that would make good additions to In Case You Missed This and Things You Can do. (For example “My job is to pick three news stories* from the week that I think everyone should know about them and submit them to “In Case You Missed This”.)
One thing pointed out regarding “In Case You Missed This” is, “To get news items in, you need people (a) to read them and (b) to forward them. Perhaps one might try to find out which of these things is missing?”
I think that applies to all sections:
Someone who doesn’t have a blog generally can’t contribute. Is that the problem? Or is the problem that people are blogging but not sharing? Whatever the problem is, what, if anything, can we do to fix it?
In Case You Missed This
People who don’t read(hear/watch) anything worth sharing can’t contribute. People who do but aren’t submitting aren’t helping. Is the lack of submissions because of thing 1, thing 2, or both. Whatever the answer, is there something we can do to change things so we do get submissions?
Things You Can Do
People who don’t encounter causes that can be helped via the internet (generally via petition signing or donation) can’t contribute. People who do encounter them but don’t submit them aren’t helping the section. Is the lack of submissions because of thing 1, thing 2, or both. Whatever the answer, is there something we can do to change things so we do get submissions?
And in the end, the question remains, should we have a “This week in the Slacktiverse” post at all at this point? I, personally, want the answer to be yes. But that doesn’t mean it is yes. If it’s just going to end up the, “chris the cynic wrote this since last time” post then it’s really not worth keeping.
So, please, share any thoughts you have on the subject in this thread.
* To make sure I don’t misrepresent things here, an “In Case You Missed” this doesn’t have to be a news story. A really good article on a blog is fine too. Video too, but that seems like it would be less frequent. (Though I could definitely see “The latest edition of ‘Tropes vs. Women’ is out!” being a submission.)
It’s just that if someone’s job is to find “In Case You Missed This” stuff for the week I think they’d have better luck with that job if they were following news items than if they were reading ALL THE BLOGS and watching ALL THE VIDEOS in hopes that one had a non-news related but still well worth sharing item.
There is no submission deadline for articles and open thread suggestions. Send them any time.
The Submission Deadline for the weekend post is 20:00 (8PM) US Eastern Time Saturday.
Anyone who has submissions for the weekend post should send them in. Some people wonder if they really deserve to be in the post. The answer to that is always the same: You do. So try not to be afraid and do try to send in submissions if you have them.
The sections of the post are as follows:
Any denizen of the Slacktiverse who has posted an article to their own website since they last submitted to a weekend post is invited, enticed, and cajoled to send a short summary of that article along with its permalink to the group email. That summary and link will be included in the next weekend blogaround. This will help to keep members of our community aware of the many excellent websites hosted by other members.
Remember, this is since you last submitted to a weekend post, not since the last weekend post. For example, if the last time you submitted was a month ago, everything you wrote since then is fair game.
Readers of The Slacktiverse can send short summaries of, and permalinks to, articles that they feel might be of interest to other readers. These should be sent, as you might expect, to the group email.
Anyone who knows of a worthy cause or important petition should send a short description of the petition/cause along with its url to the group email.