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Community Spotlight is a development of the original ‘Diary Rescue’ feature on the front page of DK3.  Promoting good writing by emerging diarists was and remains the ultimate goal.  However, the ultimate success of the DK3 Diary Rescue process in reaching that goal remained problematic.  Community Spotlight was designed to take the Diary Rescue concept to the next level, namely by potentially putting more “eyes on target” via its position on the DK4 page. Early indications suggest the Community Spotlight effect on diaries appearing in the box vastly exceeds what was achieved by the DK3 Diary Rescue feature.

Metrics defining “success” in the Diary Rescue process were never formally established although three general outlines became clear over the years:

  • Anecdotal observations regarding certain diarists
  • High Impact diary data from jotter
  • Reporting within the Rescue Ranger workroom about diaries that went from “rescued” to “recommended” (R2R)

Anecdotal Observations

Anecdotal observations consisted of observing rescued writers eventually gain significant comments (which we interpreted as reflecting increased readership) without any rescue help. Three diarists come to mind regarding this: Something The Dog Said, Ojibwa and the venerable Charlotte Lucas although there have been many, many others over the years. However, without any hard data, it’s impossible to determine if the Diary Rescue process itself was solely, mostly, or just marginally responsible for such authors getting more recognition as defined by increased commentary within their diaries.  Nonetheless, dozens of Rangers over five plus years have observed the same effect suggesting that the Diary Rescue process had something to do with increased author recognition.

High Impact Reports

High Impact data was never formally tracked as it pertained to rescued diaries.  However, I randomly compared dozens of different days’ Rescues and then looked to see if any appeared in jotter’s following day report.  With the exception of diaries that went R2R, in no instance did I see a diary appearing in Diary Rescue make the High Impact list.  Although the dataset isn’t large, one likely conclusion was that the Diary Rescue process, while good at potentially highlighting emerging authors, wasn’t finishing the deal.

Rescue to Recommended (R2R)

The one area that the Rangers tracked almost from the beginning were R2R diaries.  That being said, our extant data only goes back to Feb 2009 when we moved to a different online forum used for workrooms, discussion and general communication.  Afterward, we documented when a diary made it from the Diary Rescue front page feature over to the Recommended list. Like most members of the DK community, we estimated the Rec List as being the best judge of “eyes on target”.  In many ways, our most rewarding moments as Rangers occurred when a diary went R2R.  In the words of one long-time ranger “this is why I’ve been doing this for 5 years”.

Unfortunately, those moments didn’t come often.  From Feb 2009 until Feb 2011, we documented 30 diaries that went R2R out of around 500 diaries.  Again, nice when it happened but also another indication that the Diary Rescue process wasn’t completely doing what had been originally hoped for.

The Community Spotlight Effect

Turning Diary Rescue into a prominent 24/7 feature with real-time rescuing, as opposed to a Front Page entry that eventually scrolls off the page, are two "upgrades" that might seem like a blinding flash of the obvious.  Theoretically, the position of the box and the real-time nature of the feature would put more "eyes on target".  The burning question was how effective that approach would be.

Almost immediately it became apparent that comment levels typically increased, sometimes dramatically over the life of a diary’s presence in the current Community Spotlight box.  For example, FrankCornish's diary:
Obama, Hillary, Now is a Good Time for the US to Remain Silent Regarding Iran UPDATED,
started at 32 comments when it entered the box.  Moreover, it had been “stuck” at that comment level for at least two hours.  Our observations over the years suggested that the diary had probably gotten as much traction as could be expected from the standard diary process and would fall off the current diary list cliff to put it in a DK3 term.  However, within 90 minutes of hitting the Community Spotlight box, it had tripled in comments and hit the Rec List. 24 hours later, it was at 164 comments.

More examples:

stevej on  Photography Gear Addiction
entered the box with 40 comments and 12 hours later had 72 additional comments before eventually topping out with a total of 211.

A Man Called Gloom on  In Memory of Casey: 1998-2011
entered the box with 3 comments and eventually topped out at 81.

That wasn’t happening to every diary but three days into DK4, the comment surge and R2R activity really jumped out at the Rangers.  Therefore, we decided to closely track the number of R2R diaries for the first week and compare the numbers to our two years of data from the old Diary Rescue process.

The numbers surprised all of us: as of Sunday morning, 20 Feb 2011, one week after DK4 went live, 30 diaries went from R2R out of 120 appearing in Community Spotlight.  In just one week, the Community Spotlight process equaled two years of the DK3 Diary Rescue process. While some might question our assumption that diaries on the Rec List in fact reflect a broader readership, that perception has been a widely held one since the implementation of DK3; it's as good an indicator as anything else when judging the increase in a diary's exposure.

Thus, the DK4 equivalent of the “Colbert Bump” has occurred with the advent of the Community Spotlight feature.  We now have more “eyes on target” or as we would have said back in Diary Rescue on International Talk Like A Pirate Day “me mateys ‘r seein’ more scrolls ‘o larnin from tha poopdeck”.

For more background on the Community Spotlight/Diary rescue process, head to:
The Rescue Rangers Welcome Kossaks Back To Daily Kos.  And keep an eye out for Unitary Moonbat's diary tonight on the history of the Diary Rescue feature.  Both provide detailed looks at what we’ve tried to accomplish and how we’ve gotten to where we are today.

Finally, if you want to follow Rescue, simply go to:
and click on the "follow" link in the profile box.

Originally posted to grog on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 10:59 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow, grog, those stats are fantastic! (16+ / 0-)

    I knew Community Spotlight was making a huge difference in how many diaries went from Rescued to the Recommended list, but I had no idea it was that much.  The equivalent of two years of Rescued to Recommended!  That's astounding!

    Thanks for doing this.   Ranger work is a tough gig.  Thanks for showing that we're not just toiling away for nothing.

    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

    by Got a Grip on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 11:04:50 AM PST

  •  Thans, grog, for this overview. (12+ / 0-)

    One week's R2Rs = 2 years prior R2Rs.

    More eyes.  Says it all.

    Rescue Rangers have reason to be proud of their work.

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 11:07:09 AM PST

    •  Another interesting stat (5+ / 0-)

      is the number of diaries "in the box" over the week so to speak, 120.  All of us know that during the last 6-9 months, we've seen a drop off in rescue-able diaries.  Even if we'd rescued 15 diaries per 24 hour period, which we have never done, it wouldn't have hit 120 diaries.  And most weeks, we're lucky if we see 10 diaries per Diary Rescue cycle.

      So, I'm thinking that the real surge this week might also be cuz of the potential eye time CS gives to authors.  OTOH, that could be the hoooeeeey talking.

      "I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions. I'm not interested in debating them. I want to stop them." - Steve Gilliard

      by grog on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 11:12:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rescue Rangers do a superb job and the (11+ / 0-)

    Community Spotlight is a terrific idea.  Thanks for all the hard work!

    If you plant tomatoes you dig tomatoes.

    by nannyboz on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 11:12:20 AM PST

    •  The people who do the hard work are (8+ / 0-)

      the diarists who continue to spring up from out of nowhere or other longer time diarists who return to present great material.

      "I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions. I'm not interested in debating them. I want to stop them." - Steve Gilliard

      by grog on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 11:16:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks, nannyboz. (8+ / 0-)

      It's good to know there is support out there for the diarists that make it to the Community Spotlight box.  Much appreciated.

      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

      by Got a Grip on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 11:16:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wrote the other day (6+ / 0-)

        about diaries and feel good when something is well written or stirring or otherwise compelling that it gets read.

        As someone you have rescued three times I really appreciate the effort you take in doing this job.

        I'm glad Community Spotlight is working out well!  I figured it would.

        If you plant tomatoes you dig tomatoes.

        by nannyboz on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 11:35:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm glad that the R2R rate is up (0+ / 0-)

        (as you guys truly do have great taste), but I also think that it could get too high.  With the Spotlight where it is, it's a huge advantage for diaries making the Rec List.  When a large number of Spotlighted (Spotlit?) diaries make the Rec List (receiving double exposure), diaries promoted by the more traditional means can lose out more than they should.

        One suggestion below is that diaries on Spotlight don't become Rec List eligible until they scroll off.  I think that's a good idea (for the purpose of having eighteen highlighted diaries at a time rather than as few as twelve.)  Also, given the advantage, it might be good to cap the number of Spotlit diaries on the Rec List to, say, four at a time.

        The Rec List seems wonderfully roomy these days.  One nice thing about that is that some diaries appear to last for well more than a day now, but it doesn't seem bothersome because there's so much more room.  If we're eventually making the choice between a fifth spotlit diary on the Rec List and the previous day's blockbuster (which many people who don't tune in daily don't read), I don't want to stack the deck too strongly against the latter.

        But, as someone else said here, this is a good problem to have.

        They tortured people
        to get false confessions
        to fraudulently justify
        invasion of Iraq!

        Never let people forget this.

        by Seneca Doane on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 12:10:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't agree with capping the number of diaries (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane

          that would go from Rescued to Recommended.  Why would you cap them?  They have the same right to hang on that list as any other diary, IMO.

          However, I think the other part of your idea about not having them physically move to the rec list until they scroll out of the Community Spotlight box has some merit. Markos has been trying to find a solution to the population of both lists as have we rangers.  We don't think it's any more fair to have those diaries in the box and on the list than anyone else does.  To my mind, once we've gotten the diaries more exposure and they go Rescued to Recommended then our job is done in so far as we've taken them to a successful place and completed our mission there.  You don't want to yank them from the CS box but you don't want to have them repeated all over the front page, either.  So I think this part of your idea has merit.

          "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

          by Got a Grip on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 07:51:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Capping them would be one alternative (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Got a Grip

            simply because, admirable as the Rangers are, you -- and I don't think you -- want the prominence of the Spotlight box to mean that your choices dominate the Rec List.  I think that the alternative you talk about (mentioned by someone else here first, so I can't say it's my idea) is wiser.

            They tortured people
            to get false confessions
            to fraudulently justify
            invasion of Iraq!

            Never let people forget this.

            by Seneca Doane on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 10:17:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Once we put them in the Spotlight and (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              there are so many people who like them and recommend them and comment in them so much that they go to the rec list, then they are no longer "our" choices.  They become the choices of the public at large.  I don't see why having the rec list dominated by good writing is a bad thing.  I don't see why having diaries make the rec list simply because there are some with a big enough email or "friend" list to call in people who rec them automatically without even reading them is a better choice than having quality writing that wouldn't get attention without that kind of fan base making it there.  

              Our choices are made on strict criteria that have everything to do with good writing and all that entails and nothing to do with popularity.  So if people view our choices and find them worthy, then that's as valid a way to get to the rec list as any other.  There are many diarists her who spend a lot of time on the rec list now that got their popularity by originally being plucked from obscurity by us because they write well.  So I think your notion that somehow it would be unfair for those diarists not to have their shot simply because we chose them is skewed.

              "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

              by Got a Grip on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 08:07:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                vcmvo2, Got a Grip

                To put a cap on it would be going along with the idea that there is some inherent unfairness in the Rescue system that needs to be countered. The system itself should act as a counterbalance, not be something that needs to be counterbalanced.

                I look at the Rescued pieces quite frequently, but I certainly don't recommend them just because they are in CS, nor should anyone. The criteria for recommendation has been (and I gather still is) that one thinks the piece would be of interest to all, or to many at least.

                Meanwhile, there are still frequently pieces on the rec list that do not start at CS, that do not meet that criteria. People might keep that in mind as well, when considering suggestions about hobbling CS thusly.

                •  The "bias" comes from the limited number of slots (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm sure that many more diaries than can appear in the Spotlight section on a given day might deserve to be there, but they have to make hard choices.  For this to be one way that diaries are brought to public attention is great; for it to be the main way, given how much selection to be Spotlit increases the chance of a diary making the list, eventually becomes a problem.  I don't trust even the most wonderful group of people with that much influence.

                  Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

                  by Seneca Doane on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 11:16:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you're basically implying (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    vcmvo2, Got a Grip

                    that this has the potential to turn into another way to game the rec list.

                    But you are giving the other users very little credit, with this argument, for being able to make their own independent decisions as to what to recommend. If people are recommending things JUST because they are in CS, that's not CS's problem.

                    OTOH, If people are getting ignored by CS unfairly, that is. And without evidence that this latter is happening, I don't think you have a lot of ground to stand on as far as accusations of bias go.

                    Also, CS is open to more members; it could have a lot of members. It could have one for every hour of the week. It is not a closed system; it can and does get quite a bit of turnover.

                    If you really felt the need to control the whole phenomenon more, you could argue that there should be a limit to how many times a person can get rescued in a given time period.

                    It's tricky. My strongest sense of it all is to let it work out for awhile, see how it changes how the site works, see how many new authors are (or aren't) attracted to trying to publish.  But one thing I think we should not do is make decisions based on people's inclination to rec things just because they are on a list, or in a box. I see the purpose of CS and the RR's to save me time looking for this stuff - NOT to tell me what to rec.

                    •  I have to say that it would be very hard (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      vcmvo2, Miep

                      to give an honest look at what we do and how we do it and conclude that we're somehow rescuing personal favorites or in some way gaming the system.  It's actually fairly remarkable how disgustingly fair we are.  There are lots of criteria that have some say in what we do, but the one that gets the vast majority of the weight is the quality of the writing.  The next factor would be how well known the diarist is.  And part of the reason we can stick to those criteria so easily is because no one person has the final say.  All the diaries are vetted by multiple people, and those people are as varied as the stars in the sky.  So after you've done this for a bit it becomes easy to just focus on the quality of the writing and all that entails and forget about your own personal preferences.

                      So I think anyone would hard pressed to find we are biased in our approach to what gets in that little box.  We're very careful.  Mistakes can be made, of course, but they're rare, I think.  Too many eyes have to look at a diary for someone to game the system.  And if we caught someone trying to game the system, we'd throw them out on their ear so fast they wouldn't know what hit 'em.

                      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

                      by Got a Grip on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 06:56:54 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Very interesting (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        vcmvo2, Got a Grip

                        I have y'all backs, and wasn't concerned about it, but SD comes up with interesting discussion material and I think it's good for everyone to kind of talk this stuff out, now that CS is so much higher profile.

                        Comments like yours here do help with transparency, and will only be helpful in the long term.

                        •  Oh, I agree it should be talked out. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          It was baffling at first to be attacked as we were even before the site went live, and then in the first few days.  I tend to be a brawler and a caller of bullshit when I see it, and while I thought I had a thick skin I apparently didn't when it came to what we do in CS.  But 10 days have gone by and I've got a handle on my initial anger at the naysayers.  I'm much more prepared now to have a reasonable discussion when it's offered.  And it should be noted that while we don't trumpet our criteria, we're more than willing to be scrutinized for our methods.  

                          Transparency is always good, sunlight is the best disinfectant.  So an open and honest discussion is welcome at this point.

                          "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

                          by Got a Grip on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 08:50:10 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  slight clarification (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    vcmvo2, Got a Grip

                    There are only so many slots visible on the page at once, but how fast diaries move through those slots is negotiable.

                    I think the main potential for problems with this system is indeed going to be realized if it really works beyond expectations. At the same time, that would mean that the RR's and kos et al had indeed created an effective tool for drawing good writing. If that's our biggest problem here, we need to re-examine our definition of problems :-)

              •  I do dislike it when diaries make the Rec List (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Got a Grip

                because of an e-mail or Facebook or Twitter alert.  The question is how to distinguish between diaries going R2R (should there be a new term for it now?) because they are great diaries versus ones that go because they are prominent.

                Yes, you guys do have great taste -- I'm not sure I've ever seen a rescued (or spotlit) diary that I didn't appreciate reading.  But don't you think that even theoretically it could be possible to have too much influence -- like if the Rec List were composed only of diaries that had first been Spotlighted?

                If you don't think that there could ever be too much influence, then we just disagree.  If you agree that somewhere there would be a negative return on additional influence, then the question is just where we draw the line.

                My bottom line is that I want as many meritorious and popular diaries as possible to be as visible as possible.  It's only the simultaneous appearance of currently Spotlit diaries on the Rec List that has made me think that we're not maximizing that.  If they did wait for Rec List consideration until they scrolled off of the top bar, then I agree that that would be better than my initial suggestion.

                Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

                by Seneca Doane on Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 11:12:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think we are going to have to agree to disagree (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  vcmvo2, Seneca Doane

                  at least up to a point.  As we discussed earlier, I think the idea that a diary doesn't go from the box to the rec list until it scrolls out of the box has merit.  It keeps both lists from being redundant if nothing else.  Where we disagree is on capping the number that could go on the list.  The rec list is calculated to the most extent by the number of recs and comments a diary gets, and when others with more of that weight come along then others get bumped off.  That's as fair as it gets.  So if there's lots of recs and comments for a diary in the CS that weights it more than others on the rec list, then it should go to that list.  But holding that off a bit by allowing a diary in the CS box to only go to the rec list once it passes out of the CS box to subsequent pages is fair, I think.  If, at that time, it still has enough weight to rest on the rec list then it's on its own at that point.

                  As to R2R being a new terminology, it's been common terminology in the ranger lexicon for years now.  In a group doing what we do you find you have quite a bit of terminology that finds it's way into the common language of that group.

                  For instance, when we had the nightly post on the front page, the posting function for that was known as "the Shredder," as the posting function for the FP was decidedly picky and prone to taking your carefully crafted coding and spitting it back in your face.  We have quite a few terms like that, things that apply to what we do.

                  We've recently added a new one to our lexicon - BQD, or Blank Queue of Death.  When we're faced with a dearth of well-written diaries to keep the CS box rolling along.  As with everything, good writing can be a feast or famine situation, some days are full of great diaries, others are a dry as a desert.  So when you're staring at an empty queue and there are slim hopes of having anything come along to keep things rolling, you're faced with BQD, or the Blank Queue of Death.  The mere mention of BQD sends a shiver down the spines of a dedicated ranger.  ;-)

                  One of these days I'll have to write a diary on the ranger lexicon.  

                  "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

                  by Got a Grip on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 08:08:22 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Also, SD, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Seneca Doane

                  if you could provide me a link to the comment you've mentioned about holding diaries from the actual rec list until they scroll out of the box I'd appreciate it.  I gave a cursory look for it a couple of times but I can't find what you're talking about and I'm too swamped with the work involved in getting CS running smoothly to give a thorough search.  So if you could give me a link to that comment I'd be very grateful.

                  "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

                  by Got a Grip on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 10:20:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Happy to do so (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Got a Grip

                    It came from Alfonso Nevarez, here.  It makes enough sense to me that I happily withdraw the "capping" idea -- and I appreciate your constructive dialogue on this.  I hope it's clear that it's nothing against you or the Rangers; it's a Federalist Papers "this is a government of laws not men" sort of observation that the system should be designed not only to work with enlightened people running it but also to protect against the possibility that someday less enlightened people may be at the helm.

                    Here's an unsolicited suggestion for the "BQD" problem you mention above.  Some days you must have a surplus of eligible diaries, no?  Have you considered keeping a cache of those so that, as and if needed, you can go back a few days for one of the ones where the timeliness hasn't expired?  I don't think anyone would complain!

                    Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

                    by Seneca Doane on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 11:21:20 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  We've been getting on top of the BQD issue. (0+ / 0-)

                      We're learning to adjust our posting times according to what flow we're getting.  This is all new to us, a great difference from the old way of putting out a nightly rescue that encompasses the entire day with a limit on what we can save as opposed to no limit but still adhering strictly to our criteria.  So it's taken a few days to adjust, but we're getting there.  Most days we don't have this problem, there are lots of good writers out there banging away in obscurity.  And I actually expect the flow to pick up as people start to adapt to the new tools and embrace having the option to post more than once a day.  So time will tell, but we're not nearly as panicked about BQD as we were in those first few days.

                      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

                      by Got a Grip on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 11:35:52 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh! And thanks for the link. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Seneca Doane

                      I appreciate the help.  I've enjoyed the discussion, as well.  ;-)

                      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

                      by Got a Grip on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 11:37:02 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

  •  On Dk3 the rescue list was only (5+ / 0-)

    published once a day. It appears to be changing during the day on DK4. Is there a new procedure in place? If so how does it work now?

  •  Just a question here... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, Got a Grip, HoosierDeb, jlms qkw

    My first diary here got "community spotlighted," but I'm not too sure why that happened.  It was up in the community spotlight box like 2 minutes after I wrote it.

  •  By the way, (8+ / 0-)

    I think our own Unitary Moonbat might have been the first diarist to be made famous.  Susan G rescued him in one of her first rescues, the ones she did all by herself.  He took off from there.  

    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

    by Got a Grip on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 11:30:55 AM PST

  •  I'm sorry if thise has been asked and (5+ / 0-)

    answered elsewhere, but where did the rescued list end up? I used to look forward to it in the late evening. Does the "community spotlight" completely replace it?

    Answers. I need answers. Sigh.

    "'club America salutes you' says the girl on the door/we accept all major lies, we love any kind of fraud"--The Cure, "Club America"

    by Wheever on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 11:38:13 AM PST

  •  Good news! (11+ / 0-)

    I always thought it was too bad that the rescued diaries were on display so late in the evening for the east coast group, and this is the perfect answer.

    Thank you, Rescue Rangers!!!!

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 11:44:43 AM PST

    •  We've already had two diaries this morning, (7+ / 0-)

      out of the four that have been posted this morning after 7am, go from Rescued to Recommended.  It really is having a dramatic impact on how many people are reading the diaries that are rescued.  I'm so pleased for all the diarists.  More eyes is always a good thing, it keeps writers, especially new one or those that toil away in anonymity for a while, from getting discouraged.  Good writers need encouragement to keep them going.

      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

      by Got a Grip on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 12:17:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My last diary (10+ / 0-)

    was on the community spotlight (thank you whoever did that!), starting with around 32 comments, I think, and now I think it has 86.  It got a lot more views thanks to community spotlight.

    "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau

    by James Allen on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 11:48:20 AM PST

  •  I can confirm (8+ / 0-)

    that my last "rescued" Diary was static on 25 comments for quite a while.

    When it hit the Community Spotlight the comments rose to 75ish, and the number of recs tripled.

    I personally added a Recommended Tag to a Rescued Diary, and I saw at least one other.

    "Community Spotlight" is one of the Crown Jewels of this site, imo.

    What I do not know is whether or not those CS to Rec List Diaries would have made it on their own, or were simply inspired rescues.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 11:53:48 AM PST

  •  Ok ... Here is a suggestion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    claude, Got a Grip, jlms qkw

    The Diary in first place currently in the CS is also 2nd on the Red. List.

    So ... can we remove Diaries from the CS when they hit the Rec. List, freeing up a space for another Diary?

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 12:02:01 PM PST

    •  While I can see the logic of this... (5+ / 0-)

      ...we are directed by Kos himself, at present, to leave them there.

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 12:04:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They'll scroll out of the box quick enough, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude, Garrett, twigg, jlms qkw, kirbybruno

      especially as more writers get familiar with the new tools and the idea that they can write all they want, no diary limit.

      I see your point and am not unsympathetic to it, but we answer to a higher power.  ;-)

      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

      by Got a Grip on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 12:20:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That has to be fixed (8+ / 0-)

      problem is, if we pull stuff from CS into the Rec list, what replaces it? Does Rescue have to work harder to fill the slot, or does CS end up with a bunch of old diaries?

      Ideally, those diaries would live on a single list. But I'm not finding the easy solution.

      •  One thing I anticipate (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, sarahnity, twigg

        is that the number of diaries written will increase as people get familiar with the tools and realize the potential of writing multiple diaries.  And I anticipate that the power of groups hasn't yet been realized.  So if we have an upswing in the number of well-written diaries we'll also have an upswing in the speed with which new diaries enter and leave the box.

        But it is a thorny problem.  We don't want them leaving the box too quickly to gain the reader's attention, but we don't want them hanging their too long and the list growing stale.  If you find a possible solution the rangers will be glad to hear it.  It's something we're all pondering, too.

        "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

        by Got a Grip on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 03:28:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well as problems go (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Garrett, Got a Grip

          that's not a bad one to have :)

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 04:23:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Community Spotlight still lacks a clear (0+ / 0-)

          indication of how it is organized.  If there was a timestamp next to each diary indicating when it was promoted to the spotlight, this marker will give us users a much clearer sense in how the diaries are process through the spotlight.  From using this feature actively for several weeks now, it still feels random to me, even though I understand that it's not.

          We meant to do better, but it came out as always. -- Viktor Chernomyrdin

          by pontechango on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:36:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It does provide a timestamp (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pontechango, HoosierDeb

            if you go to our page and look at it in Blog view.  It also shows who rescued the diary.

            Community Spotlight is set up like a group just like any other group.  We're basically rescheduling diaries, as any group can.  So the time stamp is there.

            I'm not quite sure why that's important to you, but the info is there for those that want it.

            "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

            by Got a Grip on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 08:13:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Right now the fastest turnover rate (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Garrett, twigg, Got a Grip

        that has been scheduled, when traffic was high and lots of Rescues  queued up,  has been 30 minutes,  which a diary stays in the CS box 3 hours.  Our "default" turnover rate has been 60 minutes, giving each Rescue 6 hours in the Light.

        We adjust this as the traffic ebbs and flows, and try to concentrate on the high reader hours.  Each day is a work-in-progress.

        3 - 6 hours is a pretty good ray of light.

        don't always believe what you think...

        by claude on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 04:04:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the point being that we usually have (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Garrett, twigg, Got a Grip

          enough in the queue  (or try to)  that we can fill another slot without a lot of extra work,  so I wouldn't see pulling an R2R from CS as a burden.  And the Rescue remains in our permanent record, right in out blog view forever.

          I would certainly wait a while before removing, to see if the R2R was a momentary flash, as happens, or really stuck in Rec list. At least an hour.

          don't always believe what you think...

          by claude on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 04:10:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Here's one idea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Got a Grip

        If a diary is rescued it can't be placed on the rec list until after it's pushed off the front page of CS.

        I waited 23 years for this day.

        by Alfonso Nevarez on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 04:51:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Community Spotlight (8+ / 0-)

    is an excellent feature of the new DailyKos. It is "real-time" or at least "near-time" in a fashion that Rescue Rangers, which was a late night, low user time period feature, was not. I am not at all surprised that it is vastly more successful in achieving the goal. And that's before we even talk about its positioning front and center for everyone's eyes to see.

    Good job!



    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 12:08:58 PM PST

  •  jotter! i miss jotter! (6+ / 0-)

    i remember when we first started adding his diary - i know top comments was always there, at the end of our once-a-day post.

    this "real-time" rescue is pretty exciting.  

  •  data is powerful (9+ / 0-)

    especially in the hands of someone who understands it and knows how to use it to explain something.

    Thank you, grog for putting this all into a really usable perspective.  Thank you rescue rangers (will a new name be forthcoming?) for all the work that has gone into this up to now and will continue to go into it in the future.  And thank you kos, susan and the powers that be for valuing this bit of community building and seeking to make it more effective.

    Now I guess it is up to everybody to keep the bounty of riches coming, by continuing to write good diaries.  We are all freed just a bit from the need for eyeball catching, given this check against sensationalism and celebrity that the new system offers. Instead we can focus first on writing what is in our hearts or on our minds.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 12:32:43 PM PST

  •  Community Spotlight is one (9+ / 0-)

    of the brightest parts of DK4.  It is what makes the new site work, in my opinion.

    God is a concept by which
    we measure our pain
    John Lennon
    Oct. 9, 1940 - Dec. 8 1980

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 12:39:10 PM PST

  •  And thanks to Twigg for recommending this, so (7+ / 0-)

    I caught it through the "Recommended By" list.  I do like the new Diary list on top too!

  •  I am so glad that you did this. (8+ / 0-)

    I have been so perplexed at the amount of people "concerned" about having these diaries at the top of the page where they will actually be noticed.  I think the Rescue Rangers do a great job, and do not get the appreciation that they deserve!


    Don't look at me in that tone of voice...Dorothy Parker

    by kirbybruno on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 02:14:23 PM PST

  •  My thanks to all involved with (4+ / 0-)

    Diary Rescue. It is good to know diaries are being more widely read.

    And yes, I miss jotter. His daily summary was a good overview of the dkos day.

    Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

    by princesspat on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 02:29:26 PM PST

  •  Thanks, grog! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, grog, Got a Grip, jlms qkw

    I knew the R2R ratio had increased, but not by that much!  

    I think the new CS format will encourage an ongoing crop of new writers. I can't wait to see what wonderful things we're going to learn as it matures and blossoms.

    No, I will NOT sit down or shut up...but, thanks for askin'!

    by HoosierDeb on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 02:41:02 PM PST

  •  Rescue Rangers deserve mega-plaudits... (10+ / 0-)

    ...for their efforts over the years.

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 03:00:24 PM PST

  •  Rescue Rangers (6+ / 0-)

    one several occasions,
    gave me the "boost" I needed,
    when I was just about to throw in the towel.

    The new format of Real Time Rescue Rangers
    has the potential to change the whole Rec List dynamic,
    in a more serious and competitive, instantaneous way.

    Quality research and writing,
    deserve the attention and boost
    when it matters

    -- during that short Open Window to make the rec list.

    Kudos to all, who work to provide that re-focusing.

    and thx grog for the very informative diary.

    I dream of things that never were  -- and ask WHY NOT?
    -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by jamess on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 03:28:58 PM PST

    •  You are most welcome. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett, BentLiberal, Got a Grip, jamess

      This has been a somewhat harder birthing process than many of us (but certainly not all) would have thought.  It's always great to really know that diarists out there who are contributing good content to the site are benefiting from the collective efforts not just of us worker bees (the Rescue Rangers) but the fact that Markos recognizes what good content brings so the site and the fact that stale content detracts from the site and it's "power" in Democratic politics.

      "I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions. I'm not interested in debating them. I want to stop them." - Steve Gilliard

      by grog on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 03:37:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  indeed Markos deserves serious kudos (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Garrett, BentLiberal, Got a Grip

        for having the courage, insight, and fortitude, to build such a platform, in the first place;

        and even more so, for the Visionary directions,
        he's allowing the new platform to "grow into".

        Ground-breaking, I'd say.

        I dream of things that never were  -- and ask WHY NOT?
        -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by jamess on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 03:49:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the diary grog. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grog, Got a Grip

    It's nice to see the number of R2R.


    When we revolt, it's not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe. - Frantz Fanon

    by BentLiberal on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 04:17:39 PM PST

  •  I'm glad you're happy about this but (0+ / 0-)

    I wish you'd be more considerate about the fact that not all of us want the diaries the rescue rangers like shoved in our faces 24/7.

    Thank you for taking us in when we were alone, adrift with no place to go, cold and afraid..... Thank You Congress Matters!!!

    by Dom9000 on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 04:36:41 PM PST

  •  The Community Spotlight (6+ / 0-)

    I was fortunate enough to have one of my recent diaries picked up by the Rangers for the Spotlight (and thank you Rangers for that!), and while it didn't put the diary on the Rec list, it created a whole second round of discussion which built on the initial discussion in a particularly valuable and harmonious way.  Getting the Spotlight also generated a whole new batch of members and followers for the group it was written for.

    It's working!

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 08:53:37 PM PST

  •  Kos and SusanG had the vision (7+ / 0-)

    to see how this could work, what we needed to do this. It's one of the best examples of community building that I've ever seen.

    We Rangers volunteer to do this for a variety of reasons, but the ones that stay stay for the community building aspect, for the diarists. We also believe that good writing on a variety of topics will move the liberal cause further, that each group will build it's own type of "rescue" and that more people will get the word out.

    I love doing this as much work as it is; it's a worthy cause in the right place!

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 06:59:13 PM PST

  •  Thanks grog (6+ / 0-)

    The CS box is great.

    Its a good feeling to finally have a vehicle to actually bring the rescued diarists some actual attention and a shot at the rec list.

    I worked the later shifts and the diaries I rescued never had a shot at the rec list because the open thread was posted after the rec cut off time for those diaries. It really speaks to the culture of this community to give these diarists a shot.

    Thank you, markos, for allowing these diarists a shot at the rec list. Rescued diarists deserve it.

    I lift weights, but I don't sweat. I go for a swim, but I don't get wet.

    by rexymeteorite on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:26:27 PM PST

  •  As someone whose diary was rescued (9+ / 0-)

    I definitely say the new "Community Spotlight" feature is one of the best of DK4.  Honestly, I pretty much tuned out Rescue Rangers at DK3 since it was in a boring list format and featured late in the day for us East Coasters.

    But the live rescuing feature has really made an impact for me on the diaries I read here.

    Whoever came up with this idea deserves a two thumbs up!

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:27:50 PM PST

  •  It's a section we cannot avoid seeing on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, jlms qkw, DollyMadison

    the DK4 home page, implies that its offered diary entries are special in some manner (i.e., the implication of a "spotlight") and is placed squarely at the top of the page - i.e., a location where most people begin their browsing.  24x7, it cranks away.

    OF COURSE it would have better stats than Diary Rescue, which was a single, dedicated event published late in the evening Eastern Time.

    I'm glad it's doing the job expected, but really can't get all frothed up as to feeling surprise at this outcome.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:33:18 PM PST

    •  The other point (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, wader, vcmvo2, Got a Grip, jlms qkw

      is that Diaries are rescued much sooner.

      A few of them would probably have made the Rec List anyway, but all of them are open for comments and recs during their time in the CS.

      As I said upthread, mine tripled it's comments and res having been stuck for ages.

      I love that feature, and those Diaries "are" special :)

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:41:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  i was surprised at the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, wader, birdbrain64, Got a Grip

      huge increase in rescue to recommended.  it used to be so rare we could hardly remember the tag.  once every several months.  a few times a year.  now it's like a bell going off all the time!  

      less surprised about the number of comments after rescue.  

      and it's getting the better-written-stuff-from-less-known-diarists a lot more attention.  which is nice.  

  •  I miss the blurbs of dairy rescue (9+ / 0-)

    sometimes they sent me to a diary that I wouldn't have otherwise read

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:35:34 PM PST

  •  the Unitary Moonbat link (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BentLiberal, Got a Grip, jlms qkw

    goes to his profile, not the diary you referenced

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    I support Bob Massie for MA-Sen

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:40:36 PM PST

  •  The Front Page is like the President (7+ / 0-)

    The Community Spot Light is like the Senate
    The Recommended is like the House
    The Recently Recommended is the Governors

    Oh beautiful for spacious skys, for amber waves of grain

    I hated having to wait for the Rescue.  I never could give them all the read they deserved.  Now with a scroll, there's no reason to complain about content any more.  Which worries some of us because the troll diaries could be so much fun.  There just doesn't seem to be room anymore.

  •  I'll concur with an anecdotal: (10+ / 0-)

    I am spending much more time reading the stuff in the community spotlight, in two ways: (a) more time than I used to read the rescued diaries on DK3, and (b) more than I read the all-too-often overly hyperbolic stuff that makes the rec list.

    I'm spending far less time getting baited by flame wars and cries for attention and more time learning.

    I'm a concert pianist with a double doctorate... AND YOU CAN BE TOO!

    by kenlac on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 08:14:10 PM PST

  •  Any data on negative effect upon rec'ed (0+ / 0-)

    diaries due to placement of rescued diaries?

    •  Well, at least the rec list is bigger (0+ / 0-)

      so maybe (anecdotally of course) it sort of made room for the resced-to-rec'd diaries.

      When we revolt, it's not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe. - Frantz Fanon

      by BentLiberal on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 09:37:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  i *love* the community spotlight. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BentLiberal, Got a Grip, jamess

    especially right there at the top of the page.

    it's wonderful to see more than the usual suspects on the recommended list. and less meta, too.

    "Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." --Khalil Gibran

    by birdbrain64 on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 08:31:02 PM PST

  •  Don't know who is doing the rescuing, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Got a Grip

    I love the spotlight section.  Definitely more interesting than the rec list!

    Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction. Dennis Kucinich

    by keeplaughing on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 08:34:50 PM PST

  •  As one of the original RRs (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grog, BentLiberal, Got a Grip, jamess

    who was lucky enough - with Marcos and Susan G's support - to help spotlight those overlooked diaries, I have to say this is a great idea and a vast improvement. And, as someone who's been away for a while, it's nice to see so many familiar names here.

  •  Is there a way to recomment diary for community. (0+ / 0-)

    dcampbell has a great diary about the head of the Nurses' Union in the recent diaries list, but it's so late at night, I fear few will see it.

  •  +1 ~ (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, BentLiberal, Got a Grip

    I love the Community Spotlight, too!

    Now people will see rescued diaries while there is still time to Tip and Recommend them, and some may even be elevated to the Recommended list.

  •  I totally love the new rescue method. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, BentLiberal, Got a Grip

    I think I read more diaries from the Community Spotlight than I do from the reclist lately. I have seen diaries I've read there and rec'd end up on the reclist, too. The 24/7, constant flow phenomenon is a huge improvement, and the 'in your face' nature of the presentation means people will be shown the diaries without their having to ask to see them. Well done!

    Pollan's Rule: Cook! What two people eat for dinner: My 365 Dinners 2011

    by pixxer on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 09:13:27 PM PST

  •  But (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In DK3 there were blurbs telling what each Diary was about.
    In DK4 the pop-up is the first lines of the Diary which almost never tells us what it is about.
    The pop-up seems like a good idea, but can they actually report the gist of the diary instead of the useless first lines?

    •   I would like that too. (0+ / 0-)

      It would be cool to see the blurb by hovering over the diary in the CS box.

      When we revolt, it's not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe. - Frantz Fanon

      by BentLiberal on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 12:10:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you look at our group page (0+ / 0-)

      then you'll see a small blurb there along with the name of the diarist who saved the diary.  It's not like it once was, though.  We're not as lyrical in our mini blurbs as we were in the rescues of DK3.

      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

      by Got a Grip on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 08:00:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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