Much like last week, this is a special week. Not because of the IndieGogo (which is still ongoing, and which you should totally support), but because we're launching something that's been in the works for even longer: The new Blog category questionnaire!
But first, all the numbers you've come to know and love!
Contributors and Contributions
We've had our busiest week this week. So many contributions! And quite a few new contributors, to boot. 32 different posters with relevant, scored posts. That's incredible. Sadly, it has also resulted in lower average scores.
Days and Hours
Apparently, this week, we didn't like Monday. Also, some serious work was put in during the day time, for a change.
I present to you the new Blog category questionnaire. This questionnaire is a direct result of work done on the next version of Utopian guidelines, and I think it represents a better vision for the category.
In this post, I will go over the entire thing, and talk about why it is the way it is.
A. Is the submission easy to read and understand?
- The post is clear and easy to read
- The post is of decent quality, but there is room for improvement.
- The quality of the post is below average.
- The post is hard to read and the content is sometimes hard to understand.
B. Is the submission enjoyable to read?
- The submission was fun and enjoyable to read.
- The submission was a bit dry, but still enjoyable.
- The submission wasn’t much fun to read.
- The submission was no fun at all to read.
I have long said that the Blog category is about quality writing, but the questionnaire did not reflect that. Now, we're putting more of an emphasis on that, with questions pertaining both to clarity and enjoyability. You'll notice some of the answers to the first question come straight from the old questionnaire. But with the addition of the second question, we're drilling deeper.
C. Does the submission include significant editorial and/or personal content that represents the writer’s experience or views?
- The submission has a great deal of editorial and/or personal content, making it a unique experience.
- The submission has some editorial and/or personal content.
- The submission has little editorial and/or personal content.
- The submission has no editorial and/or personal content.
This is another thing we've talked a lot in moderation comments, but wasn't properly represented in the questionnaire. We want your views, experiences, and personalities reflected in your posts. This is our way to judge that.
D. What is the topic category of this blog post?
- Project introduction or project promotion by project or person appointed by project.
- Development log / release notes / project news by project or person appointed by project.
- Project promotion by non-aligned person.
- The topic is barely related to the project.
"Project promotion" used to be a blanket answer for any kind of promotion, which is silly. A post by a project promoting it to the public is more valuable to the open source ecosystem than a post by a user saying "I liked this thing, here's why."
E. Was relevant quality graphic and video content included in this post?
- Yes, at least 4 distinguishable instances of graphic or video content were included.
- Yes, between 2 and 3 distinguishable instances of graphic or video content were included.
- A single instance of graphic or video content was included.
- No graphic or video content was included or the content was irrelevant.
Yeah, this one stayed as is.
F. How much insight and knowledge does the author bring regarding the project discussed in the post?
- It is clear that the author is closely familiar with the project and its details.
- The author offers some valuable insights about the project.
- The author offers little or no unique insight on information about the project.
- The author knows only little or nothing about the project.
This is a reworked version of the old "how familiar is the author" question. The big difference being the replacement of "most of the blog post contains information gathered from other sources" with "The author offers little or no unique insight on information about the project," which is how moderators have been using the third answer anyway.
G. What is the timeframe of the events and announcements discussed in the blog post, and does it include reference to similar projects?
- Both recent and future events, as well as comparison with similar projects is included.
- Events more recent than 2 weeks, or future events related the project are included.
- Comparison with similar projects is included.
- None of these topics are discussed in the post.
And, finally, this one stays the same.
You will notice two questions have been eliminated entirely: "What is the overall volume of the blog post?" and "Is the post a part of a series?"
Both of those questions were gamed quite a bit by some of our contributors, with posts being padded with non-essential - and sometimes plain redundant - text, and "series" seemingly invented for no reason other than getting a higher score. There's no judgement about that. You used the system as it was, and wrote to the questionnaire. I get that. We get that. But it stops now.
One benefit of the new questionnaire, for contributors and moderators alike, is that it will now be used to score both the Blog and #iamutopian posts.
Utopian is about promoting open source software, and helping folks from all walks of the digital life contribute to that ecosystem. But we want meaningful contributions. And when it comes to blog posts, we want posts people will want to read. We've been urging you to step up your game for some time. Some have, and some haven't. Now, the questionnaire reflects that goal. We fully expect scores to go down before they go up. It's a different ballgame, and the rules are different.
The new questionnaire will be active soon, so start writing your posts accordingly!