There had been some, though really not all that much, discussion and brainstorming over the nature of the blog reporting done here at chess.com. It seemed almost unanimous among those who spoke up that the system at it existed was unsatisfactory. For myself it had grown psychologically intolerable.
It seems there is a grand, though undefined, plan to overhaul the entire News/Articles/Blogs (I guess this will also include the forthcomng "Master" or "Professional" articles - I'm not sure what to call them) components, but in the meantime, Eric & Co. rolled up their sleeves and established some less intricate stop-gap measures that redefine the blog reporting system.
I've been trying to look at the new system both objectively and subjectively and now I'm trying to commit my thoughts to paper.
Fellow chess blogger Dozy mentioned in his recent entry, Winning a Lost Game, that he is very satisfied with the revised system. Now I have to question my own feelings and motives.
From the tiny amount of discussion, I had gathered that the prime concerns that most people had were that the reporting system allowed arelative few people to hog the prized featured position on the Chess Blog Page (I know I've "hogged" my share) and that, since the most recent blog always supplanted that last featured blog, often, after attaining the top spot, one got booted from it in a very short time.
These were valid concerns and ones I certainly shared, but it seems what really concerned me wasn't exactly a shared concern. My concern has always been one of exposure. I personally don't care in I have one reader or a thousand, but what I do care about is that, since my blogs are mostly informational, that the person who wants to find that information, or the person whose intersts match what I write about, will have sufficient opportunity to notice the posting.
In order to advance my own agenda, I had made some suggestions that work for me, and, as far as I can see, work universally. I'll outline them again here:
| Eliminate the "featured" top blogger (or in the current scenario, the 3 rotating, featured top bloggers) completely. (This is on the Chess Blog Page; as I understand it, the top blogs are featured on two other pages. I'm not concerned with them.)
Expand the "Top Bloggers" concept. Allow a person to sign up for that position upon agreeing to limit his blog (or a large percentage of it) to chess-related subject matter. Only these blogs would be listed in the main column of that page. (really, there should be a check-box or something similar that would indicate whether that particular blog is chess-related and only those checked as such would go in the listing. (All other blogs could be listed down the righthand column where it now lists the redundant "most recect blogs" or on a separate page altogether.)
Do away with the blurbs from the first line of each entry to conserve room and allow more blogs onto the first page. List the blogs in chronological order with the most recent on the top (but not "featured" in any manner).
This final point I haven't thought through sufficiently, but perhaps limit the possible number of posts allowed on the Blog Page in one day by any one blogger. (In this scenario, say the limit was two, if I were to post 3, either the third just wouldn't be posted or it would supplant the first - but I don't know what this would do to overall reporting. The other possible scenario would be, as an official Chess Blogger, you would be aware that there would be a limit on the number of blog entries per day and only that number of posting would be possible. This is shakey territory.
The purpose of the above suggestions is to allow more people to be "Top Bloggers" (or my preferred term, "Chess Bloggers."); to NOT feature one blog above another for any reason ("featuring," intended or not, infers a value judgment on that blog) and to put more blogs in the immediate public view for a longer period of time - exposure.
The newly revised system, while it seems to address several of the problems inherent in the old system, still does little toward filling my personal void.