From the inception of RedState, diaries have been an important part of the site. Not only from the perspective of creating a community but also as a recruiting ground for front page contributors. The overwhelming majority of us got our start writing diaries.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but a lot more diaries are being promoted to the front page. There are a lot of reasons for this but a lot of it is that frequently diarists hit a story before any of the contributors. If the diary is well written, it makes a lot of sense to promote it. This is particularly true when significant events happen at the state and local level.
The single biggest problem we have with diaries… other than some of them being written in ALL CAPS and without paragraph breaks… is that changes in technology have now created a garden industry in shakedown demands for use of copyrighted images. You, a casual internet user, can go to TinEye.com, paste in the URL of an image, and find every place it has been used. There are much more sophisticated proprietorial systems out there.
The good old days of last year are gone. You can no longer go to Google or Bing images and find the perfect image to accompany your diary. You have to have the rights to use the image.
On front page articles, we have solved that problem. Every image you see is documented public domain, royalty free, or we pay for it. Diaries? Not so much.
And when an copyright image is found in a user diary we get hit with a demand to pay some thousands of dollars for rights to the image.
Going forward, I’d ask that diarists NOT use images in their diaries. None. Not a single one. Unless you have taken it with your personal camera. If we decide to move your diary to the front page, the contributor making that call will find an image we own and drop it in.