8

In the first month of the blog, we've had 15 posts (2 more in draft at the moment, and lumping all the WorldCon ones together) from 7 authors - a pretty great start!

The "how do I contribute" post has the following information:

The organisers maintain a posting schedule, so that we have a regular flow of content, so they'll organize with you when the best time for your post to go live is (time-sensitive posts, like reviews of events, can be done outside the regular schedule, of course). Please work within the schedule so that we don't have lots of posts in a day and then a drought for a couple of weeks.

However, this isn't really how things are currently working, and it's mostly based on the way that other Stack Exchange sites handle their blogs and suggests from the SE staff (although I think I read recently that SuperUser has stopped using their Google Doc).

I believe the goals are:

  • Every post should have some sort of minimum time as the most recent entry, since that's what you see when you go to the site.
  • We don't want to have (e.g.) five posts one week and then none the next.

Potentially, we can also build up an expectation of certain types of content on particular days of the week (this was recommended by SE more than once). For example, movie reviews on Monday, book reviews on Wednesday, other stuff on Saturday. Personally, I'm not convinced that this sort of schedule will work for us (at least not yet).

For those that are contributing or those that think they might: what would be the best way to organise this for you? (I'll pre-seed with some suggestions, but do add your own as well if nothing fits).

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  • Note that I've hesitated bringing this up before because everything is going so far so far. I don't want to mess with something that's working, but it would be good to have this clarified, even if the answer is to keep going as we are. – Tony Meyer Sep 14 '11 at 1:00
3

Trello

We create a Trello account and use that to plan/manage the schedule. This is obviously a pretty new product, but one of the suggested uses is publishing, so it ought to work fine. It's prettier and perhaps easier to work with than a Google Doc.

Here's an example of what we could do. Anyone can view it and vote - I imagine there's a "ask for invitation" link on there somewhere that you can use to become a member of the 'board' (then you can rearrange things, assign yourself to cards, etc).

This is free right now, although it may not remain that way. Even if it becomes paid, given who created this product, we can probably cajoel (sorry, couldn't resist!) our way into a free account.

One weakness:

  • It's yet-another-account (meaning also yet another set of credentials to manage). This means there's three accounts for a blog contributor, all unlinked: scifi.stackexchange.com (presumably), scifi.blogoverflow.com (assuming you're going to write there rather than email in copy), and trello.com (assuming you want to be involved with planning/scheduling).
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  • I think we need something like Trello, a substantial project management tool, to ensure there's transparent and understandable organization guiding our work on the blog. Personally, I user Basecamp at work, but based on the video at Trello.com, it looks like it would suit our needs. – user1027 Sep 14 '11 at 3:01
  • I'm trying to join the board, but there's no option to... How does one do it? – OghmaOsiris Sep 22 '11 at 19:07
  • @OghmaOsiris I think Tony needs to invite us. @Tony consider this an invitation request from Keen, Oghma and me. – user56 Sep 23 '11 at 20:26
  • Sorry - I thought that there would be a "request an invite" link somewhere. I've sent invites to everyone that has an account on BlogOverflow. – Tony Meyer Sep 24 '11 at 3:17
  • @TonyMeyer Thanks, I receive the mail, clicked on the URL… and then what? I'm still not a member, and I don't see any kind of “click to join this board” button. Could be this issue. – user56 Sep 24 '11 at 11:39
1

Self-management

The laissez-faire type environment that we are currently using, where everyone decides for themselves when their posts should go live is working well: let's not change it.

If you have sufficient privileges in the blog system to post, then just do it, trying to not clash with anyone else. If you don't, then one of the editors/admins will pick a date soon after you let them know that it's ready to go out.

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  • The only thing I don't see working with the current environment is that there isn't a set turnaround time for posts to be reviewed then posted. Maybe saying something to the fact of, "All posts should be turned in for review a week before the desired scheduled publication" (or some other predetermined time frame) would bring at least some order to the chaos. – OghmaOsiris Sep 14 '11 at 3:06
0

Shared Spreadsheet

We start using the shared spreadsheet more. Authors are expected to follow the schedule in the spreadsheet. Those with write access to it decide how to best spread out the posts. The spreadsheet is used to plan posts as far in the future as we have suggested articles (including ones that have not been started yet).

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