Sunday, January 03, 2010

Clarification (Jess)


Around August a theme in some e-mails was: 'You lazy bums! You used to work hard and now you barely do anything!' Sometimes it was worded a little nicer. Sometimes we weren't called bums.

But these were either readers I didn't recognize or new readers who were e-mailing ( and they were convinced that, once upon a time, we were the hardest working website around and now we barely did a damn thing.

I never got it until, December 18th, someone finally e-mailed back to dispute my assertion that we actually write more articles each week than we did when we first started this site.

Not true! Blasted a reader back at me. In 2006, we did 957 articles! And we'd never done that many before or since!

"Wow," I thought. "Someone cared enough to count up all the articles for each year."

Maybe the e-mailers should have been calling us "stupid bums"? Or at least me.

There was no counting. The reader was looking at the links to the right and seeing tallies for each year:

2005 (448)

2006 (957)

2007 (610)

2008 (630)

2009 (679)

To look at those numbers, the reader is correct.

Except the reader is wrong.

In 2005, we did far less writing each week. In 2006, we also did far less writing.

"How can that be!" cries new reader who wasn't reading in real time.

Are you familiar with our weekly feature "Highlights"?

That is now written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. and Wally of The Daily Jot.

"Highlights" provides links to various community pieces that readers or the group writing "Highlights" thinks were worth noting.

"So?" asks skeptical reader.

In 2005 and 2006, we didn't do "Highlights." But we did do Highlights.

Am I splitting hairs?

Not at all.

Back then, each week's edition featured strong writing we wanted to highlight. We would grab a post by Rebecca, an entry by C.I., etc. and republish is in full. In 2005, there weren't that many community websites. By 2006, that had changed significantly. And approximately 5 of each week's articles (at least five) were full reposts.

Because it was just too much work, we stopped reposting to highlight.

And we moved to "Highlights" to take its place.

Use the archives and go through the weeks. You'll see that we are, in fact, writing more than we used to.
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