OK, the Board Post has had enough time at the front of a the line, time for something new. Though just to keep the reminder in people's mind since we're just getting started here, the deadline for submissions for the weekend post is 2000 GMT on Saturday. Which is 4:00 PM on Saturday EST/EDST and 1:30 (AM) on Sunday in India.
Anything since the 15th of last month is fair game because we haven't had an official weekend post in a long time, and if you miss the deadline but have a submission, send it in anyway. Try to make the deadline but if you don't we'll see what we can do.
Also, for anyone getting sick of all this set up meta post stuff, the first real content post is scheduled for tomorrow.
Ok, onto the point of this post.
The reaction to the idea of a deconstruction round up, insofar as there has been one, seems to be generally positive with a few people pointing out mistakes that we don't want to make, which means that all that we need to do at this point is gather a list of deconstructions and not make those mistakes.
In order to gather a list of deconstructions I'm asking that, in the comments, people tell about every deconstruction they know about that they even vaguely suspect someone somewhere in the Slacktiverse might be so much as slightly interested in. So, more or less, tell us every deconstruction you know of.
Not making those mistakes is going to be a trickier thing to deal with mostly because there's multiple possible ways to go about it and not all of them will be the best, some are probably downright bad ideas.
Basically all mistakes brought up as things to avoid stem from one thing: We do not want a post were we weekly link to someone who doesn't want us linking to them. That would be bad.
The general solution offered is to ask, and my plan is to send out emails to the deconstruction makers asking just that. I'll do it using the group account just to make sure that there's no possible confusion about whether I'm talking about the weekly post being here or at my personal blog.
I don't think there's any disagreement with that part of the plan. Here's where things could get tricky: What should the email say?
Obviously it should ask the question of whether or not they would prefer we don't link to them. Other people have pointed out that saying this is a new site under new management might make it so that people with animosity toward the old site wouldn't mind being linked to. It has further been pointed out that a link thread allows people to comment on something other than the original site (one of the goals of this project, in fact, given some people's problems with disqus) which could mean that people are commenting on the deconstor's work in a place beyond their control, and we might want to bring up that fact in case the deconstructor didn't make the connection.
On thing is, we don't want the email to be an essay, if they read it then we're talking their time and time is a precious thing indeed. So we want to say all of that concisely. Figuring out how to do that would be a good thing to do here.
But that is not my primary concern.
My primary concern is this: what should the question be? Specifically, should it be opt out, or opt in?
What we're trying to figure out is if they mind, should we only assume they mind if they say, “Yes, I do mind,” or should we assume they mind unless they say, “No, I don't mind.”
This matters. This matters more than somewhat. This is an important thing to figure out. So, in addition to the other things I've mentioned, we need to figure out which it's going to be in this thread.
I, personally, prefer it to be an opt out situation and I'll explain why:
Now any attempt to pigeonhole multiple and diverse people will inevitably result in failure and oversimplification, but for the sake of simplicity I'm going to oversimplify by pigeonholing multiple and diverse groups of people.
There are, more or less, three groups we need to consider:
1 Those who want us to link to them.
2 Those who do not care if we link to them.
3 Those who want us not to link to them.
If we link to the people in the first group then we're happy, they're happy, everyone wins, no one loses, let's throw a party.
If we link to the people in the second group then we're happy, they don't care, some people win, nobody loses, the total amount of good in the world has been increased while the amount of bad has not, let's throw a party.
If we link to the people in the third group then we fucked up, they're pissed off, everyone loses, no one wins, the soda goes stale, the ants get the pizza, and we sullenly walk away with our heads held low; dejected.
Basically, as I see it, what we need to do is to find a way to maximize the number of people in groups one and two we're linking to while minimizing the number of people in group three we're linking to.
I think that works best if we have it be opt out.
My reason for this is fairly simple: we want to link to people who are indifferent. It gives us a more complete index of the deconstructions going on and, because they're indifferent, doesn't bother them in the least. It's not exactly a win-win, but it is a win-[not-lose]. So if we link to indifferent people that's a good thing.
But, if they're indifferent, what are they odds they send an email back? They're indifferent. They don't care. Why would they care enough to send an email? If we choose to do it by opt in we'll probably end up losing most of group two, a group we'd rather not lose.
On the other hand, people who don't want us to link to them, those in group three, actually care. We're saying, “We'd like to do this thing,” and they're thinking, “No, I do not want you to do this thing.” Which makes me think that they'd be much more motivated to send an email. All they'd need to do is hit “reply” type “No.” and hit “send” which, if they've got feelings on the issue, is probably something they're prepared to do.
Also, it's not like this is a one time thing, if all goes well we will be linking to any recently updated deconstruction on a weekly basis, so it's not like this is the only chance for people to say, “Don't link to me,” if after our first post someone says, “Don't link to me,” we simply won't link to them.
If we mess up in the direction of linking to people who want us not to link to them, they'll have plenty of opportunity to tell us that we messed up. If we mess up in the direction of not linking to people who couldn't care less, they'll never tell us we messed up because they couldn't care less.
In a lot of situations I think opt in is better than opt out, but in this case I think opt out would be better.
But that's just my opinion and I can see space for serious debate on this point, and what we need to do right now is settle the issue of whether the message we'll send will be opt in or opt out and then, once that is settled, decide what the email should actually say.