September 11, 2007
As I get ready to resume posting, I find myself mulling over some possibilities for changing the temporal structure of Only a Game. Although the primary role of this blog is to provide somewhere for me to empty my thoughts and get feedback on various drafts, an important part of the reason it works for me is because the blog is also a kind of community (albeit, a disparate band of people who flit in and out from time to time).
With this in mind, I wanted to open the floor to discussions as to ways I could change the sequencing of posts to make it easier for people to be involved.
For example, it was recently suggested to me I could serialise the bigger posts into shorter chunks, to be read more easily over a longer period of time. Now this entails more work for me, both in structuring said posts, and in linking them back into the architecture of the blog (immeasurably easier to link in a single post than a dozen short posts), but I'm tempted to try something in this vein as an experiment since I am keen to get my posts shorter if possible. I am about to write up my notes on Hannah Arendt's The Human Condition, and I may try this in a serialised form.
The following is the current template that I broadly adhere to:
- Monday - comments only
- Tuesday - short pieces (snippets, reflection or editorial)
- Wednesday - games
- Thursday - short essay
- Friday - long essay
Since we are currently in the middle of an "Ethics Campaign" ('campaign' in the sense it is used in role-playing games, since I see my blog as a non-fiction RPG), the essays currently tend to pertain to Ethics.
Things about which I'm interested in people's thoughts include:
- Is Friday the optimal time to post a long essay (in terms of generating discussion), or would it work better earlier in the week?
- Would a serialised sequence of shorter posts be more accessible than the larger pieces? If so, what sort of timings would be appropriate? Is once a week too infrequent? How would I fit this into my current 'schedule'?
- Anything other thoughts people may have on how the blog is currently run.
Thanks in advance for any opinions shared!
Ok, this is tangential, sorry.
I've always enjoyed reading dialectic arguments, which I know are a device to dissect a subject by a single individual, but why not produce sthg similar with these campaigns? Nothing fancy, just a digital compilation.
A multi-lectic :)
(On the other hand, a dialectic usually arrives at a conclusion! has that happened here? I can't recall)
Posted by: zenBen | September 11, 2007 at 03:41 PM
Funny how a schedule like that might not be all that apparent as a reader, if you're not looking for patterns, but that sheds a lot of light on it. I think structurally I enjoy the big posts as single posts, but then sometimes its hard to get the time to read them. So it may well be worth the experiment to serialize one and see how that goes for everyone.
Hard to say if Friday is the best day for a big post in terms of generating discussion, since people tend to get out on the weekends (or pretend that they do)... maybe moving it to Thursday? Boy, I just have no idea which days of the week constitute the best blogging days :)
Posted by: Jack Monahan | September 11, 2007 at 04:10 PM
zenBen: I've never consciously employed dialectic, so I'm uncertain what to think here - or what would be entailed in the 'multi-lectic' you mention. Care to expand upon this idea?
Jack: it's a woolly question at best, but I thought it interesting to court opinion! :)
Posted by: Chris | September 11, 2007 at 04:46 PM
On the one hand longer posts on Monday give commentators a sense of cohesion to the resulting discussion. On the other hand, Friday posts are often frivolous and it's nice to have some grit in the mix.
I have found, from personal experience, that bite sized topics work best, even if the post gets a bit long. It's also been useful to not cover topics exhaustively in a single post as it encourages people to point out your glaring oversights.
Posted by: Corvus | September 11, 2007 at 05:38 PM
timing: I'd prefer Monday or Tuesday
Size: My impression is that in your posts you use a scheme of three or four chapters regularly - so try to post the chapters separately
Posted by: translucy | September 11, 2007 at 07:41 PM
The idea of moving the big post to the start of the week is interesting, in that it puts the discussion into the week instead of into the weekend, so to speak...
It's a big change for me, though. Posting a big post on Friday gives me the whole week to prepare it. On the other hand, when I get rolling, I start "stockpiling" content, at which point it's trivial to hold it back to the next week. It's definitely workable, but it means the first week back to blogging in any situation would be without anything to finish upon. (I don't see why this would be a problem though).
translucy: The larger ones often do decompose into 'chapters' - but I'm not sure how I would go about serialising them intentionally. However, I'll definitely serialise the Hannah Arendt piece I'm about to start so we can see how that works in practice.
Thanks for the input, everyone!
Posted by: Chris | September 12, 2007 at 08:29 PM