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Diaries scrolling off too fast for you?  Maybe you need some new spectacles.  Let ol' Doc ek polish them up for you.  Meta and snark below the fold.

Those who are familiar with my work will remember Alternate Views of Reality.  This update focuses on the most and least effective methods, along with some thoughts on diary crawl.

First, open a new window so you can sing along with Mitch (follow the bouncing ball).  In Firefox (don't have Firefox?  Get it here.) Ctrl-N.  Warning, left clicking the links in this document will not move your new window, you must follow the directions.

Let's review the basics-

  • Use the Front Page
  • 'Show' 50 'diaries.'/Set.
  • Ignore the 'Front Page' and the 'Recommended Diaries' (plenty of time later).
  • Read the first 'Recent Diaries'.  This lays down a time marker.
  • Go to the bottom of the 'Recent Diaries' list and start reading.

  • Diaries with lots of comments (plenty of time later).
  • Diaries about subjects you are not interested in, like MetaKos.
  • Diaries by authors who bore you, like ek hornbeck.

As you move up the list, glance at the headlines of the Front Pager's diaries to get the gist of what they think.

Soon enough you'll have read up to your marker diary.  Time to hit the refresh button.  Rinse, repeat.  If in 90 minutes or less you are not wailing on the refresh button hoping for a new dairy you may need Pam Dawber's (warning- commercial site) help.

Or you may need to find more subjects you're not interested in and authors who bore you.

While you are waiting you can go back and look at the things that you skipped.  Diaries with lots of comments tend to be on the 'Recommended Diaries' list anyway, but maybe not.  At this stage of the game you should be looking for things that interest you, you can catch up 15 minutes of diary posting in 5 minutes.

The 15/5 minute rule applies to any non-reading activity-

  • Comments
  • Ratings
  • Recommends
for every 15 minutes you spend, it will take 5 minutes to catch up.

The MOST Effective Method

The Magic Bullet.  'Recent Diary List'/'View story summaries' ON/'Search'.  Wow.

Let's go back one page though, to plain old 'Recent Diary List'.  If you're in a hurry, or the traffic is high; 'Recent Diary List' is your best friend.

It is just like the 'Recent Diaries' list, except-

  • No Ads
  • No 'Front Page' posts
  • Long Titles
  • Time and Date Stamps
  • Countdown Number!

The Long Title and Time/Date Stamp are shared with The Magic Bullet, the Countdown Number is unique to this view and helps to contribute to it's utility.

You are already used to picking diaries by title.  Speed Reading techniques are the same as before, lay down a marker and start reading.

If you have sharp eyes you can read the Time/Date Stamp directly to see how fast diaries are being posted, I usually just look at the Countdown Number and the burnt orange each time I hit refresh to see how good I'm keeping up.

This view is so powerful that I can usually see 24 hours of titles, authors, comments, new comments, and Time/Date Stamps in a very short time even during the highest traffic, just by hitting the 'Next Page' button.

What makes The Magic Bullet superior during periods of normal traffic is that last little refinement- 'View story summaries' ON.

Welcome to the Blogstorm

There are 50 Katrina diaries and more are coming at the rate of 1 a minute (gasp).  How can I possibly keep up?

Uh- you know that space dKos has when you write a diary, the one labeled 'Main Entry:'?  That is your story summary.  Hope it is as misleading as mine was, otherwise no one will ever read your stuff.

If you just plopped your whole diary there it doesn't bother me at all, got me a mouse with a scroll wheel.

It usually doesn't take me long, given all this information to decide whether your diary is worth the strain to my eyes.  Diary a minute?  I sneer at you, I cast aspersions in your general direction.

The LEAST Effective Method

See that 'Menu' box over on the far right?  Push the 'Diaries' button.

Why, it's all about me.

Those pesky Front Pagers are gone and my kitty picture has the text of my teaser nicely wrapped around... hey wait!  It's gone!  Curse you diarist #12 since I posted, and your little dog too.  'Next Page'.

Some thoughts on diary crawl

I can read 50 Katrina diaries, I really can.  I soo totally respect the insights and motivation of each and every author who shows some effort, who indicates through their work that they are not just pasting a link and scrambling for 300 characters (not that I haven't done that).

What I don't understand is the movement toward restricting diaries.  It is not that hard to keep up.  I confess, I like the oddball stuff, the meta stuff, history, philosophy, science, computers, trivia.  It eases my mind to chat about these things in a supportive atmosphere (well, I did get my first non-4 yesterday- a 2 sob).

I'm tough, I can take it.  After all, I'm just a Regular User, so there's not much you can do to me.

Well, you could take away my diary privileges.

Originally posted to The Stars Hollow Gazette on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 09:02 PM PDT.

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