I had contemplated asking Newsviners about their New Year's Resolution but a) the idea is a bit obvious and predictable b) most people I know don't even bother with resolutions and c) I've not decided what, if any, resolutions I myself will have yet. Last year's were to get better at chess and crosswords and I failed at both.
Then I had this idea: Let's make the resolutions about our use at Newsvine. We've all talked about how we'd like others to do things different - back away from flame wars, not troll - how about if I turn it around and make it a question about our Newsvine use.
And thus this idea was born.
So what ARE your resolutions for Newsvine Use in 2008? I've listed what I'd like to see from Newsvine for Christmas (and beyond) but what do you want to see from yourself? If you are like me, and god help you if you are, then you've said "I'll just read one more discussion than go to work" and the next thing you know you're fired because you, well, never showed up for work. So maybe if we document these goals, promises and resolutions it'll be interesting and, dare I say it, a community-building endeavor?
I once had a therapist give me advice which I condensed and repeated back to her this way: Find the things you like to do and do more of them. Determine the things you don't like to do and do less of them. The therapist pronounced me graduated from therapy and, I bet, now steals my quote. But I digress. So many people would be happier if they just followed that advice. You don't like reading discussions about athiesm so why read them? You're tired of trying to understand why it's ok for someone to act anti-semitic but it's not ok for someone to label that person AS anti-semitic? Then don't read it. (Or start a meta topic on that topic which will start productive and then become a huge flamefest.)
So here's my resolutions:
I resolve to try to do less of those things which probably irk others, namely:
- I'll try to resist seeding more than 10 things in one day and ideally shoot for 5-7. Otherwise if I'm in your conversation tracker.. well, let's just say that I'd guess there are some who take me off their tracker precisely because I seed too much. Plus I don't want to add to the signal to noise ratio being askew.
- Promoting my material in other people's columns. It's a blurry line between "this piece is related" and "this piece seems, to me, related but to you it might not." I tend to the former argument but I'm going to move to the latter argument. If you listen closely you can hear some Newsviners breath a sigh of relief and consider - I hope - liking me again. The problem with me being so prolific is it's hard for me to enter a discussion and not be reminded of something related that I wrote. But I'm going to try to end the urge to say, "that reminds me of something I wrote..."
Instead I may just index some of my articles - like I did with my music seeds, and my books read and movies read, which I listed on my recommendation page - and seeds. Or if I want to share a link still I might email the author of the seed or article first. Sorry to those I've hurt by not being more tactful. The line between self-promotion, being helpful and link spamming is blurry indeed.
I'll do better. If I don't I give you the right to forward me all your spam about your genitals. I do
reserve the right to reference my own stuff within my own articles, such as I do with this piece.
I resolve to do more of these things which, I think, people here like:
- I plan in 2008 to resume listing in article form the best articles of the week or month, shining the spotlight on others, trying extra hard to focus the attention on new less recognized writers. My latest effort to do something like that was here, where I suggested everyone share links to their favorite pieces.
- Possibly doing (or getting others to do or help with) a Newsvine week in review, where we can highlight notable revelations of the past week, such as a Newsviner having a baby or someone (ok, Noah) returning. The idea would be to provide the week in a nutshell for someone who didn't have time to read through everything. It would be sort of like this idea I shamelessly stoll from Lauhal where you'd ask, "What'd I miss this weekend?" if you happened to spend a few days off line.
The mentoring program will begin after the holidays. There are still some logistical issues to work out but I think this will be a great way to help new members as they join us. If you're interested in mentoring newsviners click here for more information. If you're brand new and need some immediate help, like a mentor today, feel free to email me.
Addendum: I am going to avoid seeding something unless I have something to add to it. Otherwise I, and others here who seed without much of a comment beyond "This is interesting," are nothing beyond a fancy clipping service.