Next Monday, July will take over as primary administrator. Topics this week are:
Wed – The American Dream (Finn)
Th – Kids’ Internet Use (tcmama)
Fri – Favorite Limericks (WCE)
The Old Site was originally a workplace diversion, allowable to many of us because it was on the WSJ website AND because back then we spent lots of dead time on butt-in-seat conference calls. We migrated to The Totebag as our work and personal lives changed. We are spread out over many time zones. And of course, the “regulars” are a shrinking, not a growing community, although we do have a lot of wonderful lurkers who post from time to time and have sent in a few topics this year.
As a novice admin I did put in a lot of time, more than is really necessary. July is not only more conservative politically than I, she is more laid back and doesn’t mind some of the comments I find unacceptable. Her touch will be lighter at the helm. We make a good team, which was most evident in the resolution to the privacy and retention issues on which we initially held views at opposite ends of the continuum.
The most frustrating aspect of my six months was the general lack of group interest in topics with substantive content. I was even admonished not to use submissions from certain contributors because they were too boring. Heartfelt posts from personal experience and serious ones usually generated very little direct on topic discussion. Part of that is because we are not checking in as frequently in the way we did when tied to a desk. Part may be due to the same problem that any workplace lunchroom or kaffeklatsch has – if there is no immediate interest in a topic what remains are variants on the same conversation day after day. And there are few or no new voices joining in.
After all these years, I wonder if in The Totebag’s present 6-day a week format the juice is still worth the squeeze. Perhaps we could cut back to Politics on Sun plus 3 posts during the week, say a Monday general interest topic , a family/education topic on Wed, a lighthearted topic on Friday. Readers would continue to bring up other topics, ask for advice, and check in, just as we do now. We could try out “threading.” Or perhaps we could just autopost this on the other two weekdays: