Instead of cluttering up the main posts pages with Editor’s Notes posts, I figured I’d just put them all here.
September 15, 2012
So we’ve had 9 months now of this new method, where everything happens on the same exact dates of the month. I figure, that’s enough time to fully hatch a human so it should be enough time to figure out if this system works best for everyone involved. I’d really like to hear feedback either way and if there is anything you think could be made more clear, or easier, please suggest things (comments are open on this page)! Occasionally I consider going back to 2 editions per month, which is still 2 less per month than Sugasm put out at its’ height, but then I realize that there are a lot fewer sex bloggers now. I’ve been kicking around the blogging world for a little over 4 years and have seen many come and go. I also realize that 1 edition per month is a fuck of a lot of work and I couldn’t possibly get enough people to help me do this all quite so often.
In general I’ve been quite pleased with the editions. While I don’t shoo people away based on the quality of their writing or the design of their site (be glad I don’t base it on the latter or some of you excellent writers would be in trouble), I do “edit” the editions. Every edition I do turn away anywhere between 1 and 3 submissions. The number isn’t any higher in part (I hope) because I have pretty clear-cut and easy to understand guidelines about what will and won’t be accepted here. Every month someone aims to prove me wrong on that last bit, but I think it’s just because a small percentage of people simply can’t be arsed to read directions or rules. The quality of our alumni hasn’t gone unnoticed; an Australian online mag pointed readers to us as an alternative to That Book. Clearly they’ve noticed that we have some really great Kink & Fetish writers, and many Erotica submitters!
Yet I still find myself wanting for more on certain editions, like #40. What could be wrong with it, you ask? Nothing “wrong” per se….it’s just simply my desire to have balance. I’d really love to see more posts that fit into the “it’s not erotica” categories. Erotica is lovely and you lot are generally pretty darn good at it, but I know that we also have a ton of smart, influential people in our blogosphere with smart, important stuff that needs to be shared. What can you do about it? If you see such posts out there, perhaps comment and suggest that they submit it to e[lust]. If they don’t know about e[lust], take a moment to tell them about it and how it works. Actually you can do this in general, for anything sexy that you read. The better each edition is, the more people overall who read it, and the more people overall who will read the submissions of everyone involved.
Thanks to all who’ve kept me sane, and I look forward to hearing from you!
March 16, 2012 – An Edition of Opposites
The March edition (#34) of e[lust] saw more submissions than we’ve had since this time last year. To that end, I’m thrilled! More submissions means more exposure for everyone. However, due to bad timing and a dusty list of helpers, I was unable to get my self-imposed minimum number of judges to participate this time. I require at least 11 positive acknowledgements of help in order to ensure that there is a Top 3 voting. Why? Because it is inevitable that 1 will have to drop out due to personal reasons and I really feel that the judging is at its most fair when there are at least 10 people voting.
People have suggested that I just pick the Top 3 myself when this happens – again, I don’t feel that it’s fair, or that it’s what most people would want (the voting of one’s peers is very affirming – that the majority of a dozen peers picked you is a little more uplifting than if just one person did) not the least of all is that it’s *tough*. Each edition requires a lot of work: Gathering up judges and helpers; setting up the submissions form and reminder posts; sending out reminders on Twitter every day; putting together 3-4 emails of links to send to the judges; checking every link to make sure the post & site are sex-positive and fit the guidelines; building the edition; gathering the votes and tallying them up, sending out reminders to forgetful judges; choosing and editing the headlining photo and sidebar photos; compiling the html file. I’m sure there’s more, but I’m heavy into a fibro flare-up today which includes brain fog! :)
When things were run the way Sugasm ran, which was to have every participant who submitted something vote, I found that most people didn’t bother to read every submission. And really, I couldn’t blame them. They were given a list of 40-50 submissions to try and read in 4 or 5 days time? So few people even bothered to vote under that method and half of the ones who did didn’t even read everything. If they’re not reading everything then the voting isn’t fair. That is why I came up with the idea of the judging panel – people who want to vote, who have the time to vote, and who have committed to reading every submission. I set it up so that they’re not overwhelmed with time constraints or a barrage of things to read.
I have a handful of really awesome judges who are super reliable and I just love them to pieces. Now if I had a dozen really awesome & reliable judges, I would be thrilled! Like I said, I understand that even my star judges have “real life intrusions”. We all do! Just some months the stars line up in the wrong way and most of my judges are busy. C’est la vie, right?? But I do have a lot of judges in my monthly email list that haven’t responded in a long time, have stopped blogging, etc and I need fresh blood! I mean, uh, no not blood, brains! Wait no, that’s not right either. Bodies! Ok so no matter how I phrase it, it sounds “wrong”. You know what I mean!
Next month I will likely have 11 of my judges responding favorably but I feel that I can never have too many judges. Especially since I don’t expect everyone to be able to help every month. If I have a big pool to query then odds usually end up in my favor. So I need to make the pool bigger and this is where you come in! Read this page to find out if judging is something you think you could help with sometimes. Then contact me and let me know that you’d like to be added to the list and at the end of every month I’ll email you to see if you’re available. If you’re not, no biggie, maybe next time. You don’t have to be a bloggger. You can just be an avid sex blog fan & reader.
December 31st, 2011 – A New Year and a New Method
Thanks to feedback on a post on my personal blogwondering 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!