There will be no edition for the month of December due to the timing of it with the holidays and also in order to clear the way for a new schedule. 2012 will introduce a new and improved e[lust]. Thanks to feedback on a post on my personal blog wondering if I should end e[lust] I’ve come up with a solution that I think will be better for everyone. e[lust] has been going for 2 years now and hopefully this next year will be better for everyone.
Change #1 – A New Schedule
Even though there are many ways to receive updates and reminders on when submissions are accepted, such as the RSS feed, email/social media subscriptions to the feed and of course Twitter it can be hard for busy folks (or just those lacking enough dopamine for a decent memory, like me!) to remember to submit. And of course it ends up happening that either submissions, judging or publishing would fall during a major holiday resulting in low participation or no edition for the month. With this new schedule many of the major “out of town” holidays will be avoided and the schedule will never change. Barring real life big emergencies I don’t foresee missing a month in 2012 on this new schedule.
Effective January 1, 2012, e[lust] submissions will always open on the 1st of the month and close on the 7th. Projected publish date for every edition will be the 15th of the month (give or take a day occasionally). Eligible post dates will always be from the 7th (previous month) to the 7th (current month).
This new schedule should be much easier to remember but the reminders will still get posted as usual.
Change #2 – Deleting Broken Links is Allowed
Another change you might notice is on old editions. I’ve used a plugin that checks for broken links (i.e. blogs that have closed or posts that have been deleted) and have unlinked all of those. This will appear to you as plain text with a strikethrough line. If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog I highly recommend that you install and run this plugin. There is no reason to keep broken links on your site whether they come from comments or digests like e[lust] and Pleasurists. If you have a blogspot/wordpress.com site you can’t use this plugin but if you’re bored some day you can look back at the old digests here and feel free to unlink on your own site manually.
Change #3 – Taking “Submissions” for Edition Photos & Spotlight Photos
One of the ways that I changed e[lust] when modeling the guidelines from Sugasm was that I didn’t allow submissions of just photos. Those sort of submissions on Sugasm had led to some pretty commercial sites being included. But not including it also turns away a few bloggers who primarily post photos for WW, HNT, etc. This is why I chose to only use blogger photos for the edition header photos and also had a “Spotlight Hot Blogger” in the sidebar. As I grew increasingly busy/overwhelmed with real life in the last few months I didn’t have time to cull through all of the photos every week looking for something suitable. So that I am sure to have something to spotlight I am going to put up a submission form for photos – except that unlike regular submissions I will be choosing just 2 per month to showcase. Maybe 3 (using 2 in the sidebar) if I get a lot of people submitting for consideration. There is a special page for that and the photo guidelines that I tend to look for are spelled out.
It Takes a Community….
While I do have a pool of judges and helpers, people come and go and schedules vary every month with life so I’m always looking for reliable people to be on the list and help out when you can. Volunteers get a link in the sidebar if they have a site (you don’t have to be a blogger, though!). If you think this is something you are interested in, read up on the basics here and then email me.
I hope to see more of all of you this coming year with the new schedule – the bigger each edition is, the more reach it will have to introduce new readers to blogs. If you should have any suggestions on how to improve e[lust] I am happy to hear it. I hope that my change this past year in what type of post/site is included in the digest has helped you all feel even better about participating and sharing the digest with your readers – unlike Sugasm I strive to include only real, genuine content from genuine bloggers as opposed to content from aggregation sites or highly commercialized “blogs”. While you may not see what goes on behind the scenes I do end up turning away a submission because it does not fit in with the new rules. I don’t want to promote those sort of sites anymore than you do. What I want, what I think we all want, is respectable method of putting our best foots forward and gaining new readers to our blogs while also finding new friends and promoting each other. Thank you all for being a part of this community!
See you January 1st!