Contributors: Read this, plz. A to Z Stuff!

I’m posting this late and pinning it to the top of the page because I need to get it out there but I don’t want to interrupt our normal features to do that. I’ve been working over the last couple of weeks to get our schedule nailed down through the spring and streamline my own content production. Here’s where I am with the overall scheme.

  • We have a few features that don’t need to be interrupted in April. These fall mostly on Mondays and Fridays. On those days, we’ll have two posts. Otherwise, the A to Z will be our only written post of the day.
  • We aren’t starting a new run of anything until we get done with April, but I am open to pitches for features to begin in May.
  • I am going to do my best to keep the Tuesday/Wednesday photos going here in the afternoons, but depending on how the next couple of weeks go, that may or may not happen.

Information contributors need to know before loading the posts:

I will upload an A to Z image for every letter of the alphabet in the next day or so. These are the images I want to display when the post is shared on other social media. I will caption these images to give credit to their creator and link to the A to Z list.

A to Z art by Jeremy of Hollywood Nuts! For the A to Z list, click here/a>.

A to Z art by Jeremy of Hollywood Nuts! For the A to Z list, click here

Your options for art are:

  1. Just use the A to Z art for your post and call it a day.
  2. Find your own art, and use the A to Z art as the featured image. This will prevent the A to Z art from displaying in your post, but will still display it in the WordPress reader and on other social media because that is how our theme works.
  3. If you do not include the A to Z image in the post itself, I will add a standard blurb crediting Jeremy (not our friend and contributor Jeremy, but Hollwood Nuts! Jeremy) for the featured image and linking to the A to Z list to the bottom of your post.
  4. If you use video, please try and find them from official sources to minimize the possibility of the video being yanked down later and killing your post.

I have post guidelines somewhat-buried in the official announcement. If you don’t follow the guidelines, I ain’t gonna hassle you. Gonna run that post. But. The guidelines are set up to minimize your work and maximize your audience.

  1. Headlines need to be consistent. I want them to look like this: Blogging A to Z Day x: Topic. The number of the day should match the date, not the position of your letter in the alphabet, so even though Z will be our 26th post, the headline will read “Blogging A to Z Day 30: Zemanta.” (That’s not the real topic – just an example.)
  2. The month is broken down by day, letter, and author here. If you are unsure about topics, let’s discuss. If I’ve crossed something up and given you a wrong day, let me know. If something comes up and you need to do fewer posts, let me know ASAP, and I will either fill in or (privately) shop that day around. Otherwise, I’m trusting you to deliver, so not pinging you incessantly about your posts.
  3. If you do not currently have dashboard access, let me know when you are ready to load your posts, and I will send you an invite.
  4. I’ll need to schedule the posts for this in order to work around the regular features that are running, and so I can make sure they are hashtagged for maximum benefit on the Twitters.
A to Z art by Jeremy of Hollywood Nuts! For the A to Z list, click here.

A to Z art by Jeremy of Hollywood Nuts! For the A to Z list, click here.

I’ve crafted an alliterative theme for us that will encompass the wild-and-crazy range of topics we’re writing about. I am not announcing individual topics on the 23rd. Only the theme, and all of you who have blogs get a front-page link in the reveal post.

That’s all. Let me know if you have questions, etc. And thank you, once again, for your help putting this together. This is a feat in the works right here. A thing to tell stories about every spring for as long as we all keep blogging.

One more item. I am brainstorming better ways to communicate with contributors so I can move this stuff off the blog and make the front page more seamless. My preferred methods are either a contributors-only Facebook group or an email list. I am open to other suggestions. Let me know your preference, and whether or not you would even pay attention either of those.

Be honest. It has to be something most of you would keep up with so that I can use that one method to communicate with nearly everyone and tag the rest in a page comment here. The group in particular could be of long-term use to us, I think.

And thank you all. I try and thank you often, but I feel as though I don’t do it enough.

27 thoughts on “Contributors: Read this, plz. A to Z Stuff!

  1. I’d be okay with either email or a Facebook contributors only page. The notifications would ensure messages come through, but then emails are delivered straight to the inbox so either way is good! I think Arrow finishes in May, so I would be up for doing the ‘other’ idea we talked about originally – if you like. We can talk about that at a later date 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

        • I am still interested in that other idea. I am convinced it will be a seller, and since we brainstormed it together I am adapting it to other purposes on another blog. Same principles, but different characters, and will not be published here. Because yours is the one I want here eventually. And I want to credit you with a front page link to your on blog every time I use that idea, of course.

          But one thing at a time 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • Cool 🙂 Colour me excited about the idea and I will get things ready for May time! Oh, and by the way – my post on Sourcerer for the A to Z is related, so it will be a practice run of sorts. The letter O would have been so cool, but my letter (N) is a competitor so I’ll make it work! I have so many notes I’m in danger of getting buried under them 😉


  2. I’d prefer the FB group, honestly, because I hate how clogged up e-mail threads can get and how few options there are for opting out of conversations that don’t involve you. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I would too, actually. Because I hate to compose emails and never know who to cc and who to bcc. But There has to be enough interest/people who actually check Facebook in the crowd to make this worthwhile. What got me thinking about the group was thinking that I probably should contact all the contributors personally with their topics and dates, but that’s like two or three hours worth of emailing at this point.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I like the Facebook Group idea. I am in a few different active groups right now, and am keeping up well. Also several groups that are active that I have turned the notifications off for… there’s a level of control there that email completely lacks.

    My main inbox has 1,264 unread messages; my Facebook has no unviewed notifications. Make of this what you will…

    Facebook groups also have some features that could be used to fun effect, such as Polls. Sadly the Polls seem not to show up on Mobile so that hurts their effectiveness (this may have changed since I last tried). Also there are the Files you can upload, which would allow things like Policy documents to exist in more permanent form as an uploaded File in the group. If it’s in an email I have to dig back through and find it – not impossible, but not as easy.

    My $5.50.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So, @dbcox @parttimemonster @mbarkersimpson, since you all vote in favor. I am wondering if I just need to go ahead and set it up and add people. They can always leave or stay in to be diplomatic, but ignore the group. I do that shit all the time on Facebook. Five or six of us paying attention to a Facebook group could be useful.

    Could generate post ideas. And the way I feel about this blog myself, personally, is that anyone who is loading their own posts here and making the schedule three posts out of every four is just in. Everyone has an open invitation to come and go as they please, and the only real question on the editorial side is whether or not whatever idea they have is suitable for this blog.

    I think I will go ahead and tag @rebeccabradleycrime @infinitefreetime @natachaguyot @rosebfischer @quaintjeremy. And I am sure I am missing people but we have four and only need a couple more for me to spend the time and set this thing up. Tag the ones I missed, if you get the urge to do it. (Only people who have posted here can be tagged, and only by other authors.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • I thought I had replied on this post (I remember myself typing that I’d work on A to Z stuff end of March/early April and that I was good with the FB group). So anyway, I’m in for the Contributor FB group! I think it can work really well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • You replied on Facebook, I think. I remember it, too. I mostly tagged you here because it would not do to tag a bunch of people and leave you out. 🙂

        Also, this comment is important because this is the support thread. This is where the votes are counted in a way that can be pointed to later.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Facebook or email is fine with me. Sorry I don’t have anything meaningful to add to discussions right now. Hopefully things will lighten up here soon. Good luck with A to Z.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do hope things will lighten up over there. I am leaning toward FB, with email as an option for people who prefer. I don’t need every contributor paying attention to a Facebook group. Just need to eliminate three quarters of the emails. Because not much of the communication I send is really to everyone. We’re a diverse bunch, and there are a lot of threads to this thing. So mass-emailing every contributor the same thing will rarely be useful.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Just so everyone knows. The Facebook group is set up and I have added some contributors to it. Not adding anyone without discussing, but if you want in, it’s there for the asking, and I will contact those of you who are on Facebook and ask as I have reasons to do that. Basicially, I don’t ping people to join things without putting a lot of thought into it and having a reason to do it.

    Also, this blog has enough contributors that tagging one another on threads can be a fun thing, and we can use it to get the threads busy if we are smart about it. Never ping the post author unless the thread is very old or you are afraid they are AWOL, is the first rule. Because every comment sends the author a notification already.

    But DO tag me on contributors’ threads if you want to bring me into a conversation. Tag @gno112, not the Sourcerer account. Because I do not get notifications about comments on contributors’ threads. I have to come and look in to see what is going on.


    • I’ll have to add you because it’s a secret group. It’s just a few of us and some file structures right now. I am in the process of building it. Will add you tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We’ve got all we’re getting out of this post being pinned to the top of the front page, so I am unpinning it.

    Will contact everyone else, eventually.


  8. Pingback: New Plan for the Spring/Summer | Rose B Fischer

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