Story Posting Pace
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Cactus: So, tonight there was a bit of a debate in the #staff channel on story posting frequency. It seems a goodly amount of people really want us to post far more frequently, and keep the submission queue emptied out. If it's not going to be posted SOON, just delete it. I told them that I would bring it up to the entire editors group (and Mattie_p so he can stay informed), and try to at least get a test run going to try out more frequent posting.
LaminatorX: I have some reservations about this, but it's certainly something we could try out.
I think that we could do this without spamming ourselves to death if we start posting the timeliest and most compelling stories to main page, while posting the secondary interests to the Topics pages, something we have not yet attempted, as far as I know. My worries about this are twofold. First, submission flow. /. can do this with their hundreds of submissions. I don't know how it will work with our dozens. We'd find out quickly enough if we try it though. Second, editor coverage becomes a much bigger deal if we're not queuing up the main page several hours at a time. I can find 20 minutes a couple times a day at the office quite easily. Posting as we go requires much more consistent application of effort throughout the day. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it might be something that's only practical with a different staffing approach than we have now.
The other thing I might miss is each story getting it's time in the Sun for an hour or two on the Main Page. Salon manages to keep an above-the-fold story on top of its feed. Perhaps we could arrange something similar.
Cactus: Right now, the only 'Nexus' available for us to post to is the Main Page. Once the Nexus / Topic deal has been worked out, I'd wager we could spam posts and no one would complain. Right now I think we could step up our post rate a bit, and it would be fine. Maybe aim for 1/hour for now, if submission rate allows, and increase as we can over the next week? Pacing not set in stone, obviously. There will be posts that should go up asap, and all that.
The most vocal person in #staff last night said that everything should go as soon as it's ready; there is no reason to queue for later. He has ONLY seen people complain about news being too slow. He was outraged that certain (bad) things were posted while other (good) stories sat in the submission pool, and he has seen plenty of people wanting to volunteer to edit so we should have all the help we need in order to push things out. According to him we've botched this so bad that people are leaving, and he would join them too if he wasn't on staff here.
I think a poll on posting rate should be set up asap, see how quickly people want 'em. All the comments will be in one easy place, and we can adjust accordingly.
LaminatorX: Alright lets float a poll today. I'm also kicking the pace up a notch to about a story per hour, but to see how it goes. I think sterr has a good point about pruning the queue as well.
WizardFusion: There does seem to be a "lack" of posts, but then there doesn't seem to be many comments either. I see the update posts that state we are getting lots of page hits, but no one seems to be commenting.? This could be a result of having too many moderator points and too many moderators.?
LaminatorX: Well. We've cranked up the pace but it got a little scary last night. I actually went on #soylent and called for submissions a couple times. I think the idea we discussed yesterday about linking pace to submission volume makes a ton of sense. As a rough rule of thumb, let's back-off the accelerator any time we're in single digits in the queue, and crank 'em out when we're over 20. Hot news runs immediately, of course.
Here's our last two weeks submission volume: 2014-02-21: 33 2014-02-22: 14 2014-02-23: 18 2014-02-24: 22 2014-02-25: 38 2014-02-26: 23 2014-02-27: 26 2014-02-28: 19 2014-03-01: 8 2014-03-02: 7 2014-03-03: 23 2014-03-04: 27 2014-03-05: 15 2014-03-06: 16
If those lower weekend numbers are a trend, and they likely are, we may want to squirrel a bit today so as not to be caught short over the weekend.
WizardFusion: Good idea, but then how many people access the site on the weekends.?
Personally, I only visit when at work.