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Vacation, Please

gone-fishing-postersI need a vacation from EphBlog, who is willing to help?

1) There needs to be a new post on EphBlog every day, appearing before 7:00 AM. We have a 1,000+ daily readers and an obligation to give them something about “All Things Eph” each day, as we have been doing for over 5 years. Fortunately, WordPress makes this easy to do since you can edit the time of the post to be in the future, causing it to appear automatically. Most of my morning posts are actually written ahead of time.

2) There is an infinite supply of material. Check out WSO, the Record, our Eph Blogroll and Planet, as well as the various feeds on our main page (all thanks to Ronit). A search on Google News for “Williams College” always produces interesting results. Our archives are an endless source of material worth revisiting. Consider what we were blogging about three years ago this month. Posts do not need to feature the latest news. They just need to be interesting.

3) The last time EphBlog tried to give me a vacation, we failed. Why? I think we have a coordination problem. Lots of people (especially me!) think that this would be a good idea, think that we need less me and more everyone else. But it is tough to plan this all out ahead of time and/or to commit. I have a solution:

If you think that this is a good idea, make one post right now for Feb 1 at 6:00 AM. Then, announce that you have done so in the comments to this post. If you still have some energy, do another post for Feb 2 and then Feb 3. With luck, others will be inspired by your efforts and make posts for later days. Pretty soon, we’ll have a week done and then, perhaps, the entire month. A month without a post from Dave! Wouldn’t that make for an better EphBlog?

4) So, I invite all authors to participate. (And anyone who would like to become an author is welcome to join.) Note that this won’t prevent you from making other, more timely posts throughout the month. Just because we already have one post ready to go at 6:00 AM on Feb 8th does not prevent you from adding another post that day, with breaking news or otherwise.

My prediction: This won’t work. Lots of people say that they want less me and more others but, when they have the chance to contribute to that effort with pre-scheduled posts, their enthusiasm flags.

Prove me wrong!

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#1 Comment By sophmom On January 28, 2009 @ 11:06 am

Dave,

My authoring skills are still very basic. I have never stored or timed a post. Also, I still don’t know how to display an image. But, with a little help, I can figure it all out. I will be happy to provide a post every X days, depending on who else commits.

And for whomever else who finds material, but doesn’t have the time or inclination to author the piece, “Speak Up!” is your way station. Many thanks to all of you who are using it in that way.

Ronit has provided a veritable treasure chest in the sidebars. (“The Barnstorming” is now one of my bookmarks. The babies are unbelievably cute, but the writer, the dad (Matthew?) is really, really funny.)

Anyway, count me in. But do you really think you can stay away? Will you be reading, or have your loved ones threatened to completely block access to the site?

#2 Comment By Dick Swart On January 28, 2009 @ 12:29 pm

Look in the schedule, FisherBoy!

#3 Comment By David On January 28, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

I can easily stay away. I will probably read, but won’t comment.

Yet, so far, we have one post up for Feb 1. I guess that a one day vacation is better than nothing . . .

#4 Comment By Diana On January 28, 2009 @ 6:38 pm

Okay, I have posted photos for February 2, 4 and 6.

#5 Comment By sophmom On January 28, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

I will commit to posting anything of interest from “Speak Up”, which lately has amounted to almost daily.

And I would love to post an essay about Kirk Varnedoe ’76 ’67 (thanks to Larry George and P’12 for bringing it to my attention), which I will divide up into short segments to be posted daily for a week or so, depending on what else is going up.

I will get the first post up on the schedule very soon!

#6 Comment By David On January 28, 2009 @ 7:57 pm

I am in the process of being proved wrong! Inconceivable!

Dick and Diana have created posts from Feb 1 through Feb 9. Thanks in advance for the vacation. But I really would like to take the whole month off. 5+ years of daily posting will wear a body down. So, who has something for Feb 10?

#7 Comment By ddavis On January 28, 2009 @ 8:44 pm

I added three more. All we need now is one for February 12, and we’ll have February 1-14 covered. Someone should step up.

#8 Comment By sophmom On January 28, 2009 @ 8:53 pm

My series will begin on Feb 10th then.

I will time each consecutive post of the series to go up at 7am every day after that, for a little over a week. They aren’t long and they are easy reads so other posts on the same day would be great if someone gets inspired.

#9 Comment By anon ’70s On January 28, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

Minor correction: Varnedoe graduated in the late 60s; Lowry (MOMA) was ’76. Looking forward to the series.

#10 Comment By sophmom On January 28, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

To Anon 70’s:

Thanks.

That was a typo, I swear!

#11 Comment By Ronit On January 29, 2009 @ 12:47 am

I’m on vacation, but I’ll look into what on earth is up with the sidebars. Eph Planet is usually a good source of posting material.

UPDATE: I did some research and here’s what Google had to say:

Error “999” when viewing or burning a new feed

| 7:46 AM

Publishers with Google-hosted feeds based on Yahoo! Pipes or Delicious feed content may see an “Error 999” reported when they attempt to view their feeds, or burn new feeds based on content from these sources. We are working with Yahoo! to resolve this issue, but a full resolution is not expected for several days.

This post will be updated once Google-hosted FeedBurner feeds work properly with Pipes and Delicious-based content.

Since our sidebar feeds for Athletics news and Eph Planet are generated by Pipes, I guess we’ll be feedless until they get their act together.