New Format, Old Strategy: The Diary Ghetto

So when you work IT, your ears bleed from hearing the following words recited after every major software release: “Its a feature – not a flaw”.

This is usually put forward by the development team, as they try to social engineer a failing in their code, to be perceived by the user as the code actually working as designed.

Sometimes, though, they’re right. What is perceived as a flaw, is actually by design, for a non-obvious purpose. As is the case with Redstate’s move of diaries off the front page, onto a separate section.

This is positioned by Leon as ‘diarists having their own page…it looks great…hope to encourage all our diarists to start contributing more regularly.’

Our OWN page. The fourth tab choice out of four possible*. Where all the oft-times inconveniently titled and inconveniently up-voted diaries are safely hidden away, from contaminating the now ‘professionalized’ Redstate front door.

Given how many front page writers got their start *as* diarists, this transparent move to lock away the loons from a first look is kinda funny: the conservative pundit version of ‘I’ve got mine, now lets raise the barrier to entry’.

The comments being broken is another interesting coincidence. There’s a least one mod here that’s in no hurry to fix this (you all know who). And the data gathered during this outage, just may justify a metrics driven argument that RedState traffic will do just fine, even without commenting.

But end of day, if you’re a conservative, you have to acknowledge the primacy of private property. RedState is Salem’s sandbox. It’s perfectly appropriate for them to rope off a smaller section for who they might see as the metaphorical ‘kids without good bladder control’, as the price of admission.

I just wish they’d be straight about a site design that so clearly represents an operating philosophy shift, as a basic gesture recognizing the reader as not-an-idiot.

*General web design user interface principle: The least important info on a site, is the last clickable tab

(Editors Note:  Conspiracy Theory much?  There is nothing evil and conniving going on here.  First off, the comment function is coming back, as Leon noted this AM.  It was back on for a while, but we quickly noticed that the IT people turned it on without single sign-on, which meant anyone with a Disqus account could comment, and oh, did they.  So it was turned back off until that could be fixed. Secondly, the people doing this update, frankly, do not know anything much about Redstate – they didn’t know we do SSO for comments and they didn’t understand user diaries.  The Redstate folks, i.e. Leon and the rest of us, had to ask for it to be added back in, and that resulted in a > 1 week delay in getting the new design implemented.  There will probably need to be some improvements made to what is already here.

So before you start tossing around conspiracies and accusations, maybe consider actually asking someone about it first.)

from PaladinLostHour
1) Ask how? The comments are broken; and even if not, my commenting privileges were removed awhile back. Again, your sandbox, your rules – but when I sent 2 polite mails to the contact address, asking for privilege restoration, I never heard back (“No” would have been fine). So if you can’t ask a question through comments, or get a response through email, it’s a bit challenging to dialogue.
2) I agree with Ausonius. For my part: I understand IT people and consulting very well, and am paid well for that understanding. If comment driven web traffic is central to your revenue model (something which one mod has repeatedly challenged), it is flat malpractice for any IT consultancy not to have noted that, during the requirements capture and design phase for the upgrade. Moreover, if not captured there, the plugin fail absolutely should’ve been identified in early beta testing and fixed before release. In my world, this would be a conversation with the consultants, vendor management, and a legal rep in the room, discussing expedited resolution and potential partial refunds.
3) None of your ‘conspiracy’ tagging addresses the diary ghetto. And again – your sandbox, and if I’m being honest and against my own ego’s interest, probably the right move. If RedState wants to play with the big boys in the conservative pundit world, front page content should deliver a known, uniform level of quality. That’s impossible to guarantee with any-user content appearing in the space.