Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I was also confused by the term "diaries": it made me overlook the main content of dKos for a time, a couple of elections ago. I suggest that we first decide whether to replace it (my vote: Yes!), and then choose a replacement. I would prefer any one of several suggestions above.


  1. a daily record, usually private, esp. of the writer's own experiences, observations, feelings, attitudes, etc.
  2. a book for keeping such a record.
  3. a book or pad containing pages marked and arranged in calendar order, in which to note appointments and the like.

...So how did the term "diary" get applied to what clearly aren't diaries, or even diary entries?

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Sun Jan 21st, 2007 at 03:02:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because originally (on kuro5hin) users could write both stories and diary entries. DKos configured scoop in such a way that ordinary users could only write diary entries, but they end up being the most important content. So, the name is unappropriate because the current configuration has changed with respect to the original design, for which the name was appropiate.

Personally, starting with the ET configuration, I would abolish merge diaries and stories into a single category (call it 'article' for argument's sake), and I would make the front page list the top-10 recommended articles list instead of top-10 recent stories.

There would still be a need for a separate category of content, the Open Thread, whose RSS feed and most recent instance would appear in the "hated space".

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 21st, 2007 at 06:17:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For me, whatever the configuration, diary is a poorly-chosen term because it is not immediately clear to a neophyte what it refers to (and a non-native English-speaker will get no help from a dictionary). So I'm for looking for a different name.

Scoop certainly provides for the rec list being automatically the content of the "front page". It also then provides for a fuller rating system for "diaries", including negative ratings. Even if the rating system were kept binary (recommend/do nothing) as now, your suggestion would change the way we look at diaries and recommend them. It would incite diarists to write "for the front page", and raters to think principally of that when rating. It would introduce a much greater notion of competition, and, imo, would do nothing for feelings of harmony and cooperation here. Neither is it obvious that it would provide a better front page than the current system, where an editorial choice is made of rec'd diaries that seem appropriate to the page that is, in a sense, the outer face of ET. Take the rec list I see now, for instance: three out of ten are unlikely front-page articles (however good they may be), the mock layout for ET (internal business), the Easter Barcelona meet (internal business), and Nonpartisan's excellent and gratefully-received image links (useful info for bloggers). Of the remaining seven, one (techno's) is on the front page, I've just put up Sven's hooch-from-trees piece, and possibly another will go over too. A point in favour of moderation is also that the rec list doesn't automatically reflect the quality of discussion threads (it may do so marginally, but recs are generally given on the basis of the diary itself, and early in its life).

Your solution for the Open Thread forgets the Salon, and also the fact that at least a day back, both of these continue to attract comments and should be visible. I see them in HTML which allows us to punctuate the front page with attractive graphics, rather than an RSS feed.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 04:21:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you way of allowing all users to write diaries and stories? I don't think any of the three recommended diaries which you rightly say are not FP material would have been written as stories. I don't intend to see the Barcelona meetup on the front page, but some of the other "serious" articles I write fall in a different category. Apparently the original scoop configuration included a "moderation queue" for stories, the best of which then made it to the front page.

So, it might be worth considering making the "diary" section more explicitly a "user blogs" section by a change of name, and re-introducing the story moderation queue.

Scoop was originally developed for use on Kuro5hin and was designed to allow user submissions of content much like Slash, another somewhat similar CMS. But where Slash and its flagship site, Slashdot, relied on a small group of editors to decide what content was actually published, Kuro5hin and Scoop aimed to allow moderation by the users themselves. Scoop's solution was to introduce a "moderation queue" where submitted stories would be visible to registered users, and where users could vote on whether a story should be published; a story which garners enough positive votes to cross a (configurable) "posting threshold" will become publicly visible, and a story which collects too many negative votes will be deleted.


While one of Scoop's main strengths is its innovative story- and comment-moderation system, a host of other features are available. For users, Scoop offers a number of conveniences:
* Individual weblogs or "diaries" which bypass story moderation and post to a separate section of the site.

I consider the Salon an Open Thread, neither diary nor story. And you're right the ability to be creative in the Open thread/Salon header is a plus. But maybe the front page could just display the last two Open Threads (one Salon and one Evening open thread, in either order) and 8 front-page stories.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 04:34:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I don't think the way Scoop was organised at first for Kuro5hin is really a criterion. That type of organisation (to speak to the substance) would add complexity and more stuff on screen for not much discernible advantage. Apart from tech/internal community questions and maybe personal requests for info etc, why would members write to the diaries list rather than to the stories?

Of course, you may disagree with me that the front page presents the outer face of ET to newcomers and those who are checking the place out one way or another, but I think that's its main function, and I think that function is better served by an editorial group rather than by automatic posting from a rec list. My objection, also, on the grounds of an increase in competitive spirit in the community, still appears important to me.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 11:41:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, there has to be a way for diaries to be promoteable to debates. The Mock layout (internal business) could be there, and we have regular requests for "can this diary be moved to the debate box?" which can't happen because only stories, can become debates.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 04:36:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That we can fix when we have control of the code, which should be soon now.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 04:41:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not enamoured of the user-voted front-page. I've never seen one I didn't hate. I think an editorial board has a useful function of providing shape to the site, but that's a philosophical difference between us.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 04:44:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can I just repeat my suggestion that if the editorial role becomes (at any point) contentious, that any editors are prohibited from posting direct to the frontpage.

Ya know, I enjoy watching Jerome's posts fight (and usually win) their way to the top of the recommended diaries list.

But I do understand there is sometimes a need to post direct (for e.g. Jerome as the site is his until the UberDoop .eu ET LLP gets writ)...so I'm in agreement with editorial boards...but would shackle them slightly by not letting them post direct (though they can post diaries and via recommends become promoted by their friends through a simple nepotistic system I am hoping to take advantage of for free rail travel through Eur....did I type that out loud?)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 08:10:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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