You Have to Admit It’s Getting Better*…

Dearest Readers,

I would like to call your attention to 2 important new features of this site that should make your Wesleying experience a little better. The first is the Featured Posts section of the sidebar. Here you’ll find the 5 latest non-event posts without having to scroll through a page of event posts to get to them. We have also added 2 filters, which you can find at the top of the sidebar. As you can see for yourself, you now have the option to view either only event posts or non-event posts instead of them all mixed together as in the default setting. These two changes are part of our efforts to make Wesleying just as much about student voices as it is student events. Hopefully, these changes and the ones to come will make it easier for you all to access the content you want to see, while also encouraging our writers to write more original content and our readers to join in on ensuing discussion.

We understand some of the frustration with how slow progress is in revamping the site, but please understand that we are students like you. We have all sorts of things to keep us busy and finding time for cosmetic changes and such is difficult. Still, we feel the same way as you all about how much there is to improve and I promise that all the things you find ugly/annoying/user-unfriendly are just as irritating to us. We’re working on it!

As for this no-longer-funny joke of a header, it is soon gone. I am deathly afraid of commitment but I’m gonna commit to this: there will be a new header by the end of next week. I’ve been looking at that thing for way too long and the time has come for change– change we can believe in!

Love,

Whatshername/Wesleying

PS- Because we all tend to focus on what needs to be improved and negativity isn’t always so helpful, I’d like to know:

What do you like about Wesleying? What do you want to see more of or hope stays the same?

*If no smartass commenter responds to this post with “it can’t get no worse,” I’ll be really disappointed.

37 thoughts on “You Have to Admit It’s Getting Better*…

  1. Beau

    Regarding the stickying of posts (which Xue expressed a mild annoyance about in comment #15), I think the reasoning behind it goes back to something Xue said in comment #9 about “content” posts being the product of each individual’s effort. Contributors who spend a long time writing something (the MoCon retrospective, for instance) don’t want to see it 2/3 of the way down the page 4 hours after it’s posted because of 10 more recently published event posts. Making sticky the posts that the author put substantial effort into is a way to reward that effort. The filtering and new sidebar featuring of “content” posts probably makes the stickying less necessary.

  2. Beau

    Regarding the stickying of posts (which Xue expressed a mild annoyance about in comment #15), I think the reasoning behind it goes back to something Xue said in comment #9 about “content” posts being the product of each individual’s effort. Contributors who spend a long time writing something (the MoCon retrospective, for instance) don’t want to see it 2/3 of the way down the page 4 hours after it’s posted because of 10 more recently published event posts. Making sticky the posts that the author put substantial effort into is a way to reward that effort. The filtering and new sidebar featuring of “content” posts probably makes the stickying less necessary.

  3. johnwesley

    the best thing about wesleying is the readership. really, everything from shoutbox to the hostile comments seems to suggest a generally high level of stakeholder interest, albeit not always agreement. when people stop bitching you’ll know something truly wrong has transpired.

  4. johnwesley

    the best thing about wesleying is the readership. really, everything from shoutbox to the hostile comments seems to suggest a generally high level of stakeholder interest, albeit not always agreement. when people stop bitching you’ll know something truly wrong has transpired.

  5. yet another wesleying fan

    In response to Xue and Wesleying fan #1, I firmly believe that Wesleying’s current design is completely effective. Allowing the user to filter content IF HE OR SHE DESIRES is a fantastic idea. And as much as the fan#1’s suggestions seem like a more streamlined way to format the site, I think it completely removes what I love about Wesleying. Personally, I will never use the filters. When I come to Wesleying it is for both commentary and events. I check the site frequently scanning for new commentary, and in doing so am constantly updated as far as the goings on around campus. Just the simple action of having to scroll through four or five events to get to the stuff I want to read (like this post) is not something I put up with, but the reason I love Wesleying. Separating news and events, as much as it seems like a better alternative to the filters, would actually inhibit my use of the site. I want to see everything at once. Rock on Wesleying.

  6. yet another wesleying fan

    In response to Xue and Wesleying fan #1, I firmly believe that Wesleying’s current design is completely effective. Allowing the user to filter content IF HE OR SHE DESIRES is a fantastic idea. And as much as the fan#1’s suggestions seem like a more streamlined way to format the site, I think it completely removes what I love about Wesleying. Personally, I will never use the filters. When I come to Wesleying it is for both commentary and events. I check the site frequently scanning for new commentary, and in doing so am constantly updated as far as the goings on around campus. Just the simple action of having to scroll through four or five events to get to the stuff I want to read (like this post) is not something I put up with, but the reason I love Wesleying. Separating news and events, as much as it seems like a better alternative to the filters, would actually inhibit my use of the site. I want to see everything at once. Rock on Wesleying.

  7. Xue

    @Fan#1:

    For me, honestly, it’s just personal preference. I recognize that I have no control over what goes on regarding the blog these days anyways, so I’m only speaking based on what Holly and I originally envisioned and the way that it’s historically been. It’s admittedly been a very short history, and by no means am I saying that change won’t or shouldn’t occur. I have nothing against collaboration; If the current contributors can streamline communication and pull it off in a way that betters the blog, then by all means, go for it! Even more vehemently, I have nothing against “design”– It seems more like you and I just have different ideas of what constitute “good” design.

    In fact, I have noticed more and more of what I guess would, in the language of old stodges, might be called editorial control, mostly in the form of these “featured” opinion stories that get stickied at the top of the page. Frankly, these kind of annoy me, mostly because I’m just lazy and don’t like having to scroll down just to see if other things have been posted. But also, who decides what get stickied? I can understand sticking entries like this that are relevant to the user experience, but news or opinions-ish things, in my opinion, shouldn’t be. I’d much prefer to have them move down the page like normal posts so I can browse chronologically (By the way, I also think that having shortcuts to the 5 most non-event posts in the sidebar is a fantastic idea for this reason). That said, is it going to stop me from visiting Wesleying? No.

    The three column idea you’re proposing sounds interesting, but how would it be any different than offering category filters? Think about it: If someone is mostly interested in events, they’re just going to look at the events column, and vice versa for people interested in features or news. If anything, I feel like it would hurt the site in exactly the way you’re suggesting the filters would– Three separate columns means a visitor would have to browse in each of those columns individually in order to take in the same amount of information. Since your original complaint was that event advertising on Wesleying will now become less effective as a result of making it easier for people to filter out what they *think* they don’t want to see, then I don’t see how separate columns would be an improvement at all, especially because it doesn’t leave an option for those of us who’d prefer to see everything together.

  8. Xue

    @Fan#1:

    For me, honestly, it’s just personal preference. I recognize that I have no control over what goes on regarding the blog these days anyways, so I’m only speaking based on what Holly and I originally envisioned and the way that it’s historically been. It’s admittedly been a very short history, and by no means am I saying that change won’t or shouldn’t occur. I have nothing against collaboration; If the current contributors can streamline communication and pull it off in a way that betters the blog, then by all means, go for it! Even more vehemently, I have nothing against “design”– It seems more like you and I just have different ideas of what constitute “good” design.

    In fact, I have noticed more and more of what I guess would, in the language of old stodges, might be called editorial control, mostly in the form of these “featured” opinion stories that get stickied at the top of the page. Frankly, these kind of annoy me, mostly because I’m just lazy and don’t like having to scroll down just to see if other things have been posted. But also, who decides what get stickied? I can understand sticking entries like this that are relevant to the user experience, but news or opinions-ish things, in my opinion, shouldn’t be. I’d much prefer to have them move down the page like normal posts so I can browse chronologically (By the way, I also think that having shortcuts to the 5 most non-event posts in the sidebar is a fantastic idea for this reason). That said, is it going to stop me from visiting Wesleying? No.

    The three column idea you’re proposing sounds interesting, but how would it be any different than offering category filters? Think about it: If someone is mostly interested in events, they’re just going to look at the events column, and vice versa for people interested in features or news. If anything, I feel like it would hurt the site in exactly the way you’re suggesting the filters would– Three separate columns means a visitor would have to browse in each of those columns individually in order to take in the same amount of information. Since your original complaint was that event advertising on Wesleying will now become less effective as a result of making it easier for people to filter out what they *think* they don’t want to see, then I don’t see how separate columns would be an improvement at all, especially because it doesn’t leave an option for those of us who’d prefer to see everything together.

  9. direland

    Yeah, I think the “just here for the events” crowd is going to be heavily underrepresented in the user commentary of posts like this one… pretty much by definition.

  10. direland

    Yeah, I think the “just here for the events” crowd is going to be heavily underrepresented in the user commentary of posts like this one… pretty much by definition.

  11. Wesleying fan #1

    Xue: Obviously a newspaper-like “editorial plan and workflow” would hinder Wesleying. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used such stodgy-sounding words. You wouldn’t want to impose any sort of rigidity, or god forbid, requirements on bloggers.

    But you tend to get more and better content when bloggers communicate before clicking “publish”. Judging from Braille’s shoutbox comment “SHEEK POST THE FUCKING MOCON PIECE.-B” there’s been a good amount of that lately and we’re all seeing the benefits. I just can’t see how it would hurt to encourage collaboration on idea generation and story development. Again, I get the sense this is already happening, and kudos.

    I’m a bit confused by your hostility to “design”. Why would it hurt to set up the page so featured posts go in the top, story items take up one column, and events take up another?

    P.S. I think my take on events has been a bit misinterpreted, so let me clarify – I don’t see them as a necessary evil, and I don’t doubt their popularity. Fear the wrath of angry readers on a weekend without a weekend roundup! I just don’t think enabling your readers to hide half your content is the best way to serve them, especially if they find both halves interesting. Design, baby.

  12. Wesleying fan #1

    Xue: Obviously a newspaper-like “editorial plan and workflow” would hinder Wesleying. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used such stodgy-sounding words. You wouldn’t want to impose any sort of rigidity, or god forbid, requirements on bloggers.

    But you tend to get more and better content when bloggers communicate before clicking “publish”. Judging from Braille’s shoutbox comment “SHEEK POST THE FUCKING MOCON PIECE.-B” there’s been a good amount of that lately and we’re all seeing the benefits. I just can’t see how it would hurt to encourage collaboration on idea generation and story development. Again, I get the sense this is already happening, and kudos.

    I’m a bit confused by your hostility to “design”. Why would it hurt to set up the page so featured posts go in the top, story items take up one column, and events take up another?

    P.S. I think my take on events has been a bit misinterpreted, so let me clarify – I don’t see them as a necessary evil, and I don’t doubt their popularity. Fear the wrath of angry readers on a weekend without a weekend roundup! I just don’t think enabling your readers to hide half your content is the best way to serve them, especially if they find both halves interesting. Design, baby.

  13. Sheek

    http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=stats&s=s10wesleyingblog FTW

    Word to everything Xue said.

    To original responder: thanks for your input – we’ve been considering these changes for quite awhile, they’re not just reactions to criticism. We figured an event/other content separation would give people the best of both worlds – or either – but had not gotten around to implementing it until now.

    We don’t mean to impose a choice on people, but give them more flexibility in how they use the site. Hope that improves yr Wesleying experience.

  14. Xue

    Err, fuck, one of my changes didn’t go through– The part that says “editorial workflow” (wtf?) should read “Wesleying’s ‘editorial plan'”

  15. Carlo

    I figured most people would just click the Wesleying banner to display all posts, but I realized that that wasn’t incredibly obvious, so I went ahead and added the “Display Everything” link at the right.

  16. Xue

    Err, fuck, one of my changes didn’t go through– The part that says “editorial workflow” (wtf?) should read “Wesleying’s ‘editorial plan'”

  17. Carlo

    I figured most people would just click the Wesleying banner to display all posts, but I realized that that wasn’t incredibly obvious, so I went ahead and added the “Display Everything” link at the right.

  18. Xue

    PPS, re: “editorial plan and workflow”. I think the assumption here is that Wesleying is run like a…well, a newspaper, where ideas have to be approved, articles are written separately and then everyone gets together to collaborate and publish. That’s not how it’s done. By its very model, editorial workflow can’t be regulated like it can in traditional media–“Content” posts are pretty much all the result of one person who has an idea and carries it out independently of everyone else on the blog. They spend as much effort as they’re willing to invest in it. If no one trolls you, it’s a success and ideally you produce more content like it. If it incites a flame war, well, uh, I guess that could also count as a success, depending on what effect you were going for. What I’m trying to say is that there’s nothing that the SITE (or, god forbid, site DESIGN) can do to produce more content or alter workflow. There are no editors and no real deadlines. It all depends on the individual contributors and who happens to be writing that year, how they react to feedback, how much time they’re willing to dedicate, and what role they want to play in the creation of the blog as well as what role they want the blog to play on campus. And I think that’s the beauty of it.

  19. Xue

    PPS, re: “editorial plan and workflow”. I think the assumption here is that Wesleying is run like a…well, a newspaper, where ideas have to be approved, articles are written separately and then everyone gets together to collaborate and publish. That’s not how it’s done. By its very model, editorial workflow can’t be regulated like it can in traditional media–“Content” posts are pretty much all the result of one person who has an idea and carries it out independently of everyone else on the blog. They spend as much effort as they’re willing to invest in it. If no one trolls you, it’s a success and ideally you produce more content like it. If it incites a flame war, well, uh, I guess that could also count as a success, depending on what effect you were going for. What I’m trying to say is that there’s nothing that the SITE (or, god forbid, site DESIGN) can do to produce more content or alter workflow. There are no editors and no real deadlines. It all depends on the individual contributors and who happens to be writing that year, how they react to feedback, how much time they’re willing to dedicate, and what role they want to play in the creation of the blog as well as what role they want the blog to play on campus. And I think that’s the beauty of it.

  20. Xue

    I don’t know how I feel about the first commenter’s portrayal of event listings as a necessary evil. I don’t have access to the sitemeter anymore to check on stats, but when Wesleying began, it was VERY obvious that events postings were responsible for sustaining the vast majority of regular traffic to our site. The average page view was something like 13 seconds– I’d say 95% of all visitors were coming to Wesleying, scanning for new events, then leaving. That doesn’t mean we didn’t publish original content; We used to review weird food from Weshop, take pictures at events, write long-winded diatribes about campus history and whatever. Sure, people read them. But mostly they just wanted to see what was going on that weekend. If anything, the relationship was the opposite of what the commenter is suggesting. It was only after the Fountain incident that Wesleying started to become a source of news– Which, uh, I still kind of can’t believe has happened. Obviously, Wesleying plays a different (and dare I say much larger?) role on campus than it did when it was just me and Holly ranting about bats and shit, but I definitely don’t think adding filters is going to ultimately hurt the site.
    That said, I would lobby for a “Display everything!” button anyway.

  21. Xue

    I don’t know how I feel about the first commenter’s portrayal of event listings as a necessary evil. I don’t have access to the sitemeter anymore to check on stats, but when Wesleying began, it was VERY obvious that events postings were responsible for sustaining the vast majority of regular traffic to our site. The average page view was something like 13 seconds– I’d say 95% of all visitors were coming to Wesleying, scanning for new events, then leaving. That doesn’t mean we didn’t publish original content; We used to review weird food from Weshop, take pictures at events, write long-winded diatribes about campus history and whatever. Sure, people read them. But mostly they just wanted to see what was going on that weekend. If anything, the relationship was the opposite of what the commenter is suggesting. It was only after the Fountain incident that Wesleying started to become a source of news– Which, uh, I still kind of can’t believe has happened. Obviously, Wesleying plays a different (and dare I say much larger?) role on campus than it did when it was just me and Holly ranting about bats and shit, but I definitely don’t think adding filters is going to ultimately hurt the site.
    That said, I would lobby for a “Display everything!” button anyway.

  22. Wesleying fan #1

    #6: You misread, or didn’t read my whole post. I did not say that people don’t use Wesleying to find out about events. And my argument was in favor of events having a prominent location separate from news and commentary.

  23. Wesleying fan #1

    #6: You misread, or didn’t read my whole post. I did not say that people don’t use Wesleying to find out about events. And my argument was in favor of events having a prominent location separate from news and commentary.

  24. Also a wesleying fan

    Actually, I completely disagree with #1. I (and many of my friends) use Wesleying to find out about events. I don’t like when there are a lot of opinion posts. I think the filter is a great idea so that I can just see what’s going on around campus.

  25. Also a wesleying fan

    Actually, I completely disagree with #1. I (and many of my friends) use Wesleying to find out about events. I don’t like when there are a lot of opinion posts. I think the filter is a great idea so that I can just see what’s going on around campus.

  26. Noa

    I’ll take the liberty of saying on behalf of Wesleying that we’re flattered you come here to read news & opinion. I mean, do I? … I guess when I see it, but. I don’t think there’s a big danger of everyone blocking events, I mean… where else will we get dinner? Kidding…

    But there should be a button to switch them both back on.

  27. Zach

    #3:

    Notice that the events/content filter isn’t automatic. Wesleying will only exclude events if you click to exclude events, so the vast majority of visitors will still be bombarded by the daily influx of 10+ events.

  28. anon

    I was actually about to post the exact same thing as #1:
    If you filter events (the stuff no one really comes to Wesleying to see but they notice it as they scroll through it to the more interesting stuff) from the interesting content, no one will ever see the events, because they won’t have to. BUT Wesleying’s function as an event advertiser is one of its most important purposes on this campus.

    I hate to ask you to undo what I’m sure were time-consuming changes to the site, but I honestly think it’s a step back.

  29. anon

    I was actually about to post the exact same thing as #1:
    If you filter events (the stuff no one really comes to Wesleying to see but they notice it as they scroll through it to the more interesting stuff) from the interesting content, no one will ever see the events, because they won’t have to. BUT Wesleying’s function as an event advertiser is one of its most important purposes on this campus.

    I hate to ask you to undo what I’m sure were time-consuming changes to the site, but I honestly think it’s a step back.

  30. Wesleying fan

    One last comment. Since you use WordPress, it really would not be time consuming at all to pick out a nice looking magazine theme that would let you section out your content by category. There are hundreds of available themes on the Internet, and they’re easily modified if you want the look to be totally unique.

  31. Wesleying fan

    One last comment. Since you use WordPress, it really would not be time consuming at all to pick out a nice looking magazine theme that would let you section out your content by category. There are hundreds of available themes on the Internet, and they’re easily modified if you want the look to be totally unique.

  32. Wesleying fan

    I understand the idea behind the filters, but I actually think they’re a mistake. You might be overreacting to the criticism of there being too many events.

    People post events to Wesleying because they know they’ll actually be seen. But the reason people come to Wesleying is to read news and opinion. Hence the complaints when news and opinion are light.

    If people just start filtering out events, submitting to Wesleying just won’t be as effective anymore. And I think that’s a bad thing for Wesleyan. The school has clearly benefit from such an effective tool to disseminate information about events. Weakening that tool is the wrong reaction to the complaints.

    I don’t think this opinion will be shared by the majority. But I think the best thing for Wesleying – and Wesleyan – is not to encourage people to filter out events, but to develop an editorial plan and workflow that leads to the production of more news and commentary. Secondarily, it would help to adopt a more sophisticated design, such as a magazine layout, which would allow you to separate out events posts from editorial items, while still displaying both on the same page. You’d get the best of both worlds then.

    You’d also be able to put featured items in the top/center, which I know is where you must prefer to put them, because I can’t imagine you actually think the sidebar is the best place for them.

    Anyway, those are my two cents on the changes. I think you all have been kicking ass lately, but your potential is greatly limited by your site design, and you might actually be hurting it by introducing the filters.

  33. Wesleying fan

    I understand the idea behind the filters, but I actually think they’re a mistake. You might be overreacting to the criticism of there being too many events.

    People post events to Wesleying because they know they’ll actually be seen. But the reason people come to Wesleying is to read news and opinion. Hence the complaints when news and opinion are light.

    If people just start filtering out events, submitting to Wesleying just won’t be as effective anymore. And I think that’s a bad thing for Wesleyan. The school has clearly benefit from such an effective tool to disseminate information about events. Weakening that tool is the wrong reaction to the complaints.

    I don’t think this opinion will be shared by the majority. But I think the best thing for Wesleying – and Wesleyan – is not to encourage people to filter out events, but to develop an editorial plan and workflow that leads to the production of more news and commentary. Secondarily, it would help to adopt a more sophisticated design, such as a magazine layout, which would allow you to separate out events posts from editorial items, while still displaying both on the same page. You’d get the best of both worlds then.

    You’d also be able to put featured items in the top/center, which I know is where you must prefer to put them, because I can’t imagine you actually think the sidebar is the best place for them.

    Anyway, those are my two cents on the changes. I think you all have been kicking ass lately, but your potential is greatly limited by your site design, and you might actually be hurting it by introducing the filters.

Comments are closed.