Editorial: Winter 2014 Update and Roadmap

Regular followers of the site may have noticed that there had been a slight drop-off in posts over the past few weeks. This was down to the fact that I’ve been fighting not only an illness since just after the launch of the site back in June, but also the cumulation of the side effects of medications that were treating that illness. Over the past few month, along with some other personal stuff, this led to some impact in the continued operation and development not only of the site but also the development of InfiniBadger Press products. The good news is that I’m no longer taking those meds and the side effects are clearing up, allowing me to get back on track.

My original plan was that every three months I’d evaluate where the site is at and work out a roadmap for the next 3 months. We’re just over the three month mark now, so it’s time to share some of these changes with you:

  1. Community News: Starting Monday 6th October, 2014 news posts that point out to other sites and new products will be posted on “odd hours slots”, starting at 11am and progressing through the day. This isn’t much different from what has been happening before, but there will be a more regular schedule. Posts will generally run 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm, and rarely outside of this. News postings won’t be posted on weekends but will be posted Monday to Friday. The exception is if there is breaking news.
  2. Features: Adding to the above, features developed in-house and by contributors will run in “even hour slots” starting from 10am on each day. This means there may be multiple posts each day for certain feature days, but they will be spaced out appropriately throughout the day rather than all being front-loaded. There may be additional larger features that run on the weekend, but that is still being looked into. These features may start a little after 6th October.
  3. Contributors: Contributor contracts and documents are almost ready to be sent to those who have expressed an interest in contributing. My apologies again for the delay, but I want this done right so that OSRToday will be here for years to come to support the community and to allow contributors to continue to earn income.
  4. RSS feeds: Currently RSS feeds show full entries of posts. This is going to change to partial entries because contributors earn income on a revenue sharing model based on views of web pages and not RSS pages.
  5. Social Networking: Social networking tools are being re-examined to find out the best way to use them to help integrate with the site.
  6. Mailing Lists: I’m currently examining options to develop digest and other mailing lists that integrate well with the site. This means finding an option that allows not only for daily but weekly digests as well as also allowing segregation of special notices such as sales, special promotions from creators and others in the community. I’d like to offer a number of different options to visitors to the site to get access to special promotions that are exclusive to those who choose to subscribe to them as well.
  7. News Blasts/Flashes: I’m examining a way to present quick links out to content that don’t need a larger post and finding the most effective way to present this on the site. Writing full posts takes time for each, and news posts that are posted are done through human curation (one of the hallmarks of the site). I’m loathe to use social networking to do this, because we’re already bombarded enough with lots of content, and I don’t want to use a shotgun approach. One possibility is using a single post each day that is updated as new news comes in, and having that post be shown in the sidebar. Other options are being examined.
  8. OSRecruit: I’m returning to the finalization of OSRecruit and hope to have that launched this month.
  9. OSReview: The review procedures for this will be finalized in the next month and recruiting for those who wish to take part in the initial run of this, reviewers and creators both, will be opened up. The review system will be using a transparent rubric and process that allows reviewers to provide authentic and meaningful reviews for consumers and creators while still allowing them their own personal voice, and will fall under an editorial control process. This takes time to set up correctly and get everything lined up, but many of the pieces are in place for this now.
  10. OSRecap: There are two weeks of OSRecap missing that will be caught up with and entered into the master page to bring the site back up to speed. These should appear over this coming weekend.

Thanks again to everyone who visits the site and has helped make it a success over the past three months of us being here.

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