I'm experiencing some bandwidth issues on my end which boil down to possibly making some changes, especially based on what we've seen on the blog recently. But before I start unilaterally making changes, I'd like to poll everyone here first because I generally want to maximize community happiness.
Proposed Comment Policy Change #1: Disqus Replies
A lot of people are genuinely having trouble remembering to not nest comments. Honestly, I blame Disqus for suckery. But we have to figure out how to go from here. Our current rule is adding overhead for all the moderators (who have to monitor new replies and ask them to be reposted as non-replies) and for the readers (who have to remember not to reply) and it's not buying me much because (a) the rule isn't easy to remember and (b) I can't read the old threads anyway because the Disqus switchover has nested everything into unreadability.
More and more, I've just been following conversations by email and the comment widget and bypassing my own visual processing disorder that way. Given that we're seeing low returns and high frustration with the reply rule, should we revoke enforcement of the reply rule (i.e., asking people to delete and repost) and just try to be individually mindful of visual processing disabilities moving forward?
Proposed Comment Policy Change #2: On Topic-ness
When we instituted the seriously-please-stay-on-topic-people rule, we were facing a situation where the second or third comment on, say, a Twilight thread would spin into a completely off-topic discussion of, say, Star Trek. This was frustrating for the author (usually me) because it felt like the activism was being sidelined in favor of the community needs, yet we recognized that community needs were still important. We solved this, I think, extremely well by creating the regular open threads and asking that blatantly off-topic conversations be moved there. Everyone has been extremely good about this, and I thank you all.
Now that we have that paradigm in place, I think we would be fine to relax the off-topic rule a bit -- things which relate to the topic of, say, abuse can go into a Twilight thread without (I think) having someone pick up and run a full nine yards on how Gredo shot first, dammit, for example. Do others here agree that we've reached a good rhythm with the open threads and that we can loosen the off-topic restrictions a bit now that we understand what is "loosely related" (and therefore fine) versus "totally off-topic" (and therefore more appropriately located in the open thread)?
Proposed Content Additions
I've been trailing off on "fluff posts" lately because of some intersectional issues regarding activism and trolls (tl;dr: it's easier to be hurt by emails complaining about liking, for example, a Kindle as opposed to emails complaining about my Twilight activism, because liking exposes a vulnerability in a way that criticism does not), yet I would like to find a way to make "fluff posts" work in this space. I thought long and hard about a spin-off site with lighter themes and a "safe space lite" policy might work, but I'm not sure that I want to split my efforts that way -- and I'm not sure that the readership would be willing to split across two sites.
I'm considering, instead, adding a Community tag to future fluff posts and revamping the review tagging system to be a little more simplistic. The community tag would indicate that fluff posts are "safe space lite" and aren't really activism related so much as community related. I would probably also back-fill an Activism tag to the deconstructions, in order to split the two. Thoughts, about this concept as well as about content?
In addition to this, I may attempt to add content-generated advertising to individual community posts in an attempt to make ends meet financially due to ongoing job concerns. In which case, the ads would be contained under a cut and would be warned for in-post. Thoughts?
Proposed Change of Pace
Several of you have commented to me about Twilight-fatigue: you enjoy the deconstructions, but you're running out of things to say. The blog stats indicate that we're still getting tons of eyeballs on the Twilight threads, but the feedback I'm receiving is that I'm either not going fast enough and/or the weekly pace is too much and needs to be spaced out more. I'm not sure which would be best, and I'm hesitant to change without understanding the larger community feelings. Thoughts?