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October 21, 2013

Request: Let's Keep Things Boring

I ask this of both Guest Bloggers and commenters.

I didn't stress this enough to Guest Bloggers: My main goal this week is to have time off, not necessarily to have an interesting, provocative blog that gets high traffic.

These two things will frequently be in conflict, because the edgier and more provocative a post is, the edgier and more provocative comments will be, and that means the cobloggers (who all have day jobs and are just stealing time here and there, fifteen minutes a break) have to get more involved with Guest Blog posts, and that means, ultimately, I have to get more involved myself, because it's not fair to ask them to do so much more work just so that I can have a day off.

But this means that I wind up not having time off, as I'm making judgment calls in the coblogger coordination thread, and writing to guest bloggers, and so on.

The rule against provocative and edgy stuff will result in a vanilla week of blogging. But that's exactly what I want. If it's not vanilla, then I actually don't have time off, and I might as well just be writing the posts myself. Editing is rewriting, after all.

If you have a post you're not sure about, please pitch it to a coblogger before you do any work on it. This will save you from wasting your time if they say "Nah."

And they will probably say "Nah." The cobs this week have similar incentives to a business' lawyers. Ever ask a lawyer if you can do something? He almost always says "No." Because "No" is the easiest possible answer. "Yes, but..." requires him to do a lot of work digging up the exact limits of what's legally permissible. He'd rather just say "No."

And so that's why lawyers just say "No you can't do that." They're trying to make their lives as easy as possible.

Which is the right way for the cobloggers to play it.

With me off (in theory), the cobs are already doing a lot more work than usual with regard to posting content and monitoring threads and trollbusting and so forth. Please don't make additional work for them -- that defeats the whole point of the Open Blogger thing. The whole point of asking guest bloggers to post is to lighten the cobloggers' workload, not add to it.

Edgier type stuff can be pitched to me when I'm back from vacation. Then I won't mind so much thinking about a topic or suggesting edits to a writer.

And I do understand that provocative writing is often interesting writing. But interesting writing requires me to do what I do not wish to do this week, which is work, write, edit, make judgment calls, troubleshoot questions, and patrol threads.

I really only get to be off when things are pretty vanilla, uncontroversial, and drama-free. Please help me out with this. I'm not shooting for the Most Exciting Week of blogging ever. I'm really shooting for the Least Exciting Week of blogging ever, because the Least Exciting Week of blogging ever means I get to spend the most amount of time napping.

I'm shooting for a genuine week off, more or less. That's my ideal. I'd love to just check in with the coblogger coordination thread and see "No issues" every day. If there are several issues each day, that means I'm not really taking a day off; it just means I'm working half-days, behind the scenes.

Another way to put it: When the Boss is off, it's not the time for Exciting New Product Rollouts or Aggressive Entries Into New Markets. It's time for caretaking.

Remember, we do post guest blog posts all the time, when I'm not on vacation. So anything provocative can be pitched as a post... next week. This week, I want a week of not working.

I want an Obama Week. I guess that's my real goal: I want a week of watching TV and doing practically nothing, just like our President has 40 weeks a year. Maybe even some golf.

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posted by Ace at 04:43 PM

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