Question of the Week: November 3rd, 2015

What links would you like to see more of or less of in the linkspam?

Particularly around Asexual Awareness Week, we’ve had a large growth in the number of links in our linkspam.  That’s good because it means activity is growing, but it might also mean that we should be more selective about links.  Do you like the larger linkspam, or do you think it’s too long and intimidating?  What kinds of links could you do without?

For those who didn’t know, we share some links with Draw from the Deck (since both are run or partly run by Queenie).  Draw from the Deck has a slightly different emphasis, often including back and forth chatter on Tumblr.

I myself prefer shorter linkspams.  Sometimes I feel like I’m supposed to stay on top of ace blogging and read everything, but it’s just not enjoyable, and I can be very picky about writing styles.  When I ran the linkspam some years ago I used to impose limits on its size.

About Siggy

Siggy is an ace activist based in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and has a Ph.D. in physics. He has another blog where he also talks about math, philosophy, godlessness, and social criticism. His other hobbies include board games and origami.
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20 Responses to Question of the Week: November 3rd, 2015

  1. Is there an issue with linkspam size outside of AAW?

    For a lot of pieces, being included in the Linkspam is the only way they’re ever going to be found by a larger audience. Not everyone has five dozen RSS feeds and Google Alerts set up. Being in the Linkspam can be just the encouragement a new blogger needs to keep going.

    Typically, I’ll only read one or two things from it. I think that’s a pretty good percentage, actually. If the size is cut back, those one or two things might disappear.

    If the size really is an issue, why not break them up and have more of them, but on various themes. Monday is Relationships, Wednesday is Intersections, and Friday is General, something like that?

    • While there is already some editorial discretion involved in choosing what links go in, I’d prefer to leave it to readers to decide which ones they want to read and which they don’t rather than leave out something that maybe people would have been interested in reading if they had known about it. Asexuality Archive also makes a good point about the importance of the linkspam as publicity for smaller blogs. If something has to be cut, it would be better to cut sources that already have lots of readers/publicity such as news articles.

  2. queenieofaces says:

    I read pretty much every link that goes into the linkspam, so if we want to cut back on something…my vote is axing media coverage. It’s just…not that interesting to read, 90% of the time, but I feel like I have to read it because it’s in the linkspam.
    (I will also admit that I don’t have the patience to watch videos [I read a lot faster than I watch], which is why there is so little vlog coverage in either TAA or DftD’s linkspams.)

    • I’m 100% with you on that one. I would much rather read actual ace blogging than news stories that recycle the same old tropes. Now, if there were media coverage of some actual event of interest instead of “whoa, look at these weird asexual people”…

  3. Sennkestra says:

    Honestly, i like having long linkspams, because it helps me find more of the things I otherwise might have missed.

    If you want to focus on quality, though, one idea could be to split the linkspam into two parts – like, one section for “this weeks highlights” with a handful of quality posts or events of high interest, and then maybe another section for “other recent items” for more smaller items. Or like, “Editor’s Picks” vs. “Everything Else”.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hm, the Editor’s Picks thing might be hard because of the way we do the linkspams—all of us can contribute at any time, so who counts as the “editor” in that case?

      • Sennkestra says:

        Well, what I was more thinking is that “editors picks” would be agenda bloggers’ personal favorites, where “everything else” would be things that contributors thought was worth including, maybe, but not necessarily a must read.

        So basically, everyone’s an editor, and each editor might pick one or a few of what they considered especially good links to highlight (out of all the links listed for that week). Does that make any sense?

        (So I guess it’s editors’ picks, not editor’s picks)

      • Siggy says:

        If we were to implement this, here’s how I’d do it: Any blogger who puts links into the linkspam may choose one article a week to highlight as “Siggy’s pick” or “Elizabeth’s pick”, etc. We recently started categorizing links, so all of these picks would go in a separate category

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I’d also agree that news articles are the best thing to cut—with the exception of those written by community members like Arf or Nico. Or like that one written by Anna Thomas, that was great. Maybe it would be better not to just cut the whole category, but create standards for news articles that get rid of the 90% that are just like “look, asexuality is a thing that exists I guess, here is a photo of spoons.”

    • Siggy says:

      As far as my own contribution to linkspam goes, I already get rid of 90% of news articles. I subscribe to google alerts, and there are several articles every week which are of basically no interest.

  5. Volatura says:

    As a lurker in the asexual community, I look forward to the linkspams. It’s true that sometimes they’re overwhelming and I don’t have the time or energy to read through everything immediately and sometimes I’ll get weeks behind but I always go back and catch up on my own time and if the linkspams didn’t include so much, I might miss things. The one suggestion I can make is to separate out the media coverage. I think it’s equally important and am always curious to see how asexuality is discussed in mainstream news and often I don’t know about those discussions and articles until I seem them listed in the linkspam, but those are the ones I’m least likely to read. When I do read them, it’s for entirely different reasons and requires a different head space than internal ace discussions. It would be easy to do a monthly news and social media coverage linkspam and leave the weekly ones to ace-spectrum blogs etc.

  6. I agree with everyone else above; if you have to lose something, the mass-media stuff is the least applicable or interesting. I like the linkspam because it allows me to read blogs/articles by folks who may not have a ton of readers, or who for any other reason will actually appreciate the views and respond thoughtfully to comments. I’d love to see some more creative works in here too, poems and things like that that crop up from time to time.

  7. DL says:

    I personally don’t have a problem with the size of the linkspams, but that may be because I generally only read a few of them that sound interesting or relevent to me (time factors). If they were to get cut back significantly in length those ones might not make the cut and as the linkspams are my main source of asexual community stuff I wouldn’t see them elsewhere.

    However, if those compiling the linkspams are keen to make them shorter then I guess I agree with the people above who are nominating the media stuff as what I’ve been reading has been by other bloggers. I don’t envy the decision maker! With so much diversity in the asexual community it would probably be hard to decide which areas get included : /

  8. luvtheheaven says:

    Personally, I like the length of the linkspams! I imagine they’re a lot of work, though. So I understand wanting to be pickier about what to include. To me even longer wouldn’t be a problem though. Even if I can’t read it all right away, I can usually read it all eventually, or learn to know whose posts/what topics I want to ignore and never (or not usually) read. 😛

  9. Siggy says:

    Several people are reading this as if I’m saying that the linkspam needs to be shorter and I’m asking people to choose which links to sacrifice. This is not the case. I only expressed my personal preference for shorter linkspams. My preference is probably idiosyncratic though, since obviously I am the admin, and I feel like I should have an idea of what we’re linking to. I don’t really like when linkspams are really long and only a couple links are of interest to me, and I’m not sure if anyone else feels the same way.

    It is not necessarily the case that a longer linkspam is more work for us than a shorter linkspam. Curating the linkspam could itself require work.

  10. Grey Wanders says:

    I like the length of the linkspams currently – especially the mid- to longer-lengthed ones. I’m somewhat selective in what I read, and will generally only read the entire linkspam if it’s short or full of particularly interesting content. In general, media coverage and 101 materials are of little interest to me. You’ve seen a few dozen you’ve seen them all. (Although education materials for distribution, like the ones Redbeard Ace makes are different, since they’re being run by the community for vetting.)

  11. Elana says:

    I like having lots of things in the linkspam because it’s one of the main ways I keep up with what’s going on. It functions a little like my ace community newspaper, and like with a newspaper, I don’t read everything, just ones that look interesting or relevant. I liked how this past week it was divided into sections, but I know that’s more work, so I’m quite happy to just have a list of links with the title/topic. Like many other people here, I also often skip the mainstream media pieces.

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