Friday 6 June 2008

Blogsite Numbers & possible solutions

The success of this blog has been beyond my wildest dreams. I have just done a quick check of the full membership list and we have itladians from (just a selection) Shanghai, Melbourne, Sydney, Windhoek (Namibia), Capetown, Noth Pole (Alaska), New York, New Jesey,Toronto, Oklahoma, Mexico City, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Brno (Slovakia), Oslo, Reykjavik, Calcutta, Halifax (Nova Scotia), Madagascar, Asuncion (Paraguay), Vancouver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Geneva, Dublin and lots of places across the UK. (Forgive me if I have missed you location out - no shun intended).

Clearly itlad is now an international phenomenon. This year the book will be translated into Russian, Polish, Dutch, Czech and Spanish with others to follow in due course. This will add to the numbers of itladians. And this is where I have a very great problem ... a positive one but nonetheless a problem.

As numbers increase so do the demands on this blogsite. As I have mentioned in the past I am limited to 100 "Full" members. A full member can not only just respond to postings and make comments (as can anybody who has a Google Account) but they can also contribute their own postings which appear on the front page. When I first started this blog I was unaware that I was restricted to 100 "Full" members. Therefore lots of people showed interest in me and my work and joined the blog as full members. The problem now is that we are very close to that magic number. Every day I have more people wishing to join in .. people who wish to make regular postings on itladian subjects close to their heart. Now of the 96 or so "Full Members" there are about 35 who are contributors and within that number maybe 20 who are regulars.

In order to open up places to those 'newbies' I have to withdraw "Full Rights" from those members who are inactive (i.e. never made a posting or who have not done for over a year). This I do with a heavy heart but all these new members that replace an old one are told that they must contribute at least one full posting in the first month of membership.

Today I have withdrawn "Full" membership for a handfull of members that have never placed a posting or responded with a comment and have been members for more than a year. This does not mean that these people cannot still make comments - only that they can no longer post. Clearly if you are one of these people and wish to now become more involved simply let me know and I will reinstate you.

I am working on a potential solution to this issue. I wish to keep this priceless blog going but I also plan to open up an Itladian Forum on my Website. This will be open to all comers and will not be restricted by numbers. It will be much more open and will be more a question and answer type format. Clearly it would be great if all of you joined in this one as well ... but this site will continue as the more intimate 'inner circle' type beast that we have all grown to love. So, no changes, just another potential location to spread the word out into hyperspace and beyond.



Karl Le Marcs said...

Tony: I agree (largely) but I have just done a quick totting-up bit of research on all the posts made since the start of this year.

There have been about 25 members who have posted since Jan 2008 and of these members, the figure becomes around 15 who have posted more than once.

This should mean that the 100 'capacity' for full members is not even close to being a problem yet and I feel sure any member who hasn't posted for a year will not feel aggrieved at having their membership withdrawn to make way for someone who does wish to be actively involved.

Indeed ANYONE can comment on posts (which is often the best way for anyone new to introduce themselves to the blog before posting for the first time) and there is always your Doppelganger facility available also to anyone who does not have full posting staus.

I think the Forum idea is a good one, providing it doesn't detract from the intimacy and the wonderful blend of deep thought and awful gags that we have worked very hard to create here.

Utilising a Forum page for Questions & Answers would be a possibly useful way forward I think, thus allowing the blog to evolve through the continuous blending of our collective thought-forms.

Taking things to the other extreme, if we DID have 100 regular posting members then we all simply wouldn't keep up with such a level of involvement; indeed it's a tough enough job sometimes already!

I hope I speak for all of my fellow members, posters, commentors and those that simply come here for the pleasure of the reading experience, that the blog is FABO and we hope it doesn't change, but grows and evolves with each passing breath and thought expressed by everyone.

Anthony Peake said...

Thanks for your comments Karl. I fully agree that if we did have 100 bloggers as active as the 'inner circle' we would have real difficulty in keeping abreast of things. However as the site grows this is a possibility.

It is such a balancing act. I think the massive strength and attraction of this site is that we are all friends and it feels like that. It is so important that we do not change this in any way.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Tony: You are very welcome as ever!

You know that I am firmly on your side (or at least I would hope that you do truly know that) and I have much more to say on this and the posts of today.

These words of mine may contain some contentious ones and some nice and fluffy ones, and they will follow shortly.............

Karl Le Marcs said...

This needs saying, and is probably not going to be met with universal agreement but such is my role in life sometimes.

The danger we have with this blog is that IF too many people post on one day then a post such as Hurlyburly's excellent piece on his film Glossary (and the time it obviously took to complete) becomes obscured and pushed so far down the page that its "life" of being read is reduced.

What I would suggest, and I open this up to everyone for their opinion, is we all use a fair amount of common sense and maybe think about when to post something.

If it is a day when there are already, say three, new posts then perhaps posting the following day may be an idea.

My concern is that there are some really tremendous posts, ideas and progressions of ITLAD made here and without a common sense approach and mutual appreciation some of these may get lost in a swarm of postings.

As we expand collectively we endanger ourselves by over consumption.

What do you think?

SM Kovalinsky said...

I fully agree: There is always the temptation to communicate not only regarding the fine ideas, but to also respond with the emotions that the human person behind the ideas has evoked. On its own, this is an excellent thing: Truth be told, it was personal banter among you, Hurly, and Tony which "sold" me on this blog in the first place. It becomes problematic if it goes on too long. I am absolutely one of the worst offenders, and I think I have been over-tolerated and gotten off lightly, far too often. I think, judging from what I have observed in the American political blogosphere - which is dynamic and vital and truly beautiful - is that the emotional asides are on some blogs put as a PS in parenthesis, so do not detract from the ideas proper. Human response and back and forth are too vital to do away with altogether (just observe the meetings of some philosophical societies!) and yet a blog moderator and editor can be a blog's best friend.

johar said...

Karl, I agree whole heartedly with your common sense suggestion. I've missed posts before that have been extremely interesting because of the volume of other posts on the same day. I would add that the other posts were interesting as well! But it is easy to lose a good post this way.

However I would also add that our lovely band of ITLADian movers and groover's, should NOT decide AGAINST posting due to volume or because they feel that the existing posts are more important. Posts can easily be submitted over the next day or so,yes?

Every post has value and the most amazing discussions have come from a seemingly simple question/observation.

I guess it's a case of keeping an eye on things and monitoring ourselves respectfully.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Susan Marie and Johar: Thank You both for your comments and taking the time to consider both my words and my reasons for voicing them.

It is all a question of balance.

YES we want more people to be regularly involved and YES we want as many as possible to comment on existing posts BUT dilution weakens the strength of a substance and I would hate to see us lose that.

SM Kovalinsky said...


Karl Le Marcs said...

*throw Diamante encrusted Blog Moderators hat towards overly elaborate Victorian hat stand in the corner but inevitably misses and it falls on my sleeping cat*

Rosh said...

karl, i think u r rite..commonsense is required..(i feel like a fool today morning...after reading my silly post...!!) i promise i wont post anything when there r erudite and valuable posts..!!

johar said...


You are NOT a fool! never think that of yourself or believe others here think it of you.

Your comments and observations are valuable and interesting, it is simply a matter of knowing in which format to put them.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Roshni: I agree with Johar entirely.

Everything that anyone wishes to say or contribute is valuable.

Your input to some posts have been tremendously interesting and we all thank you for that.